Wednesday 14 December 2016

Poem from Lars Gustafsson's last collection 'Etudes'

Chromatic fantasies

And then finally,
yet again a kind of morning.
Light forces its way in
through many narrow chinks.

more and more clocks
join in and form a chorus.

From the bazaar of old tower clocks
As if cut out of sooted paper

To the light whirring, like swallows
of the very small clocks


More clocks the more the day proceeds.

Here everything now happens very quickly;
The birds stiffen in the trees.
The old wood-turning chisels that slept
beneath blankets of cobwebs
wake up, sharper now
and long to cut
 into blackened oak 

The sort of wood that has waited
a very long time under water
deep asleep in its loneliness
and only friends with the channel’s movement
that constantly imitates itself.

You great trees, you once green friends,
why do you stand so naked now?

As if cut out of sooted paper

And even this day
moves with fluttering sail
into an absent-minded twilight:
the month of November’s
harsh answer to our address:
In the trees the birds stiffen now
and become their own shadows

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