Tuesday 20 March 2018

Erik Lindegren: 'mannen utan väg' - sonnets 21-30


To love without knowing it to listen silently
to the sound of the indefatigable picklocks of truth

to conceal a caress inside oneself and feel
one’s fever softly falling under the threshold of the storm

to retire within one’s expanses and burst open
a shell so as to glide more clearly with the clouds

to remember everything that hurt with the veil of
a smile and hurl a stone far into eternity

to be able to reassemble everything one has dismantled
and once more hear crickets as the urging small sounds of time

to feel pain flare up in blazing haloes
to have the sap’s view at the very top of the tree

to push one’s wish ahead of one on well-greased wheels
and know that the worst and the best are still to come


as still as a well space is filled with your dreams
the seeds of night grow large in concealed hands

the leaves of decay sleep safe close to your heart
and the gleaming ice of spring refracted in your forehead’s prism

melts and moistens your roots in your sun
and your skin is like a song of praise in braille

a faint vindication of day’s hard memory
but the one who fought among surging surf goes in

among the tree-trunks in night’s dreamt forest and sees
your sleep as monuments of young green shoots

and drops of time in the lap of the day now past
and the rose window flaps in the wind without fragrance

and the sea’s blue ice-freedom flutters like a banner
and through the night your closed eyelids shimmer


The constricted heart is in agony but the scars gleam
sunburned in the knife-edged profile of love

and that is why the birch’s yellow medallion falls
so calmly into this abyss of the lips of stones

and the weight of stones does not melt the host
in remembrance of the summer mountains’ swollen veins

but the rustling of the broken spider’s web
scared the bird of oblivion to wings of iron

and they scratched the bright-blue moss of the sky
and spattered red on the powerfully clenched hand

until the sound seethed and the mountain crests were cleft
so that the sun should linger in coming

cool the blood to an autumn foam
hammer the scars into a pendulum swing of light


and she asks what you have done with your unconscious
love and nature’s grey eye loses its sense of wonder

and everything springs up from the ground in this
stillness where the river and grave stand watch in eternal sleep

and we sat in the greying light right up until our bodies
were as low as the earth and in silence we warded off all words

as encroachers on our trust until my word
fell to the ground and she and the sky bent down

so that we were as close to the earth as the sky in trust
so that we no longer knew where the secret existed

whether up or down for there was no direction
and everything was as close as I had known in the dream

till the very moment I stood up with my head above
the clouds and she wept to see me in this defiance


the faithful bee hums for the shrivelled rose
the rabid dog drinks from the sunken storm’s throat

and the flying dutchman hauls his bride on board
so as to bury himself in her fury-cut hair

at the lists the lance of the black knight grows
and in the air the tragic mask of the charwoman glitters

in the dandelion pasture even the catchfly’s tar-bubbles burst
and the butterflies’ blinkers now say their final prayer

in the skies desert-singed clouds stack from verandahs
and the pulse’s tambourine makes the virginia creeper tremble

a taboo summer squirms uneasily on crystal-clear noes
the jaws of the tiger lily sink softly into the past

from the trailer of time hurrahs are flung out at death
dully garrisons rest beneath the rain’s silent leaps


in the hood of dawn the lovers’ parting shivers
their charred faith flares up in bleeding love

and the field catches fire and burns off their eyes
but the play of shadows on the prison wall extinguishes their sight

and their fingers grope on the front’s dream of purging
and the sombre flight of fate in the plumage of salto mortale

and they listen to a word that pounds in their veins
and they fumble round its forehead in the vulture’s tight circles

and their moment is united with this fuse
that branches out in the glass child-coffins of the abyss

until the explosions break deep into the clouds’ lungs
and the rain falls red and warm as their blood

and a mouth-organ interprets doomsday in ashes and dreams
around love’s flames that gut the fires of hell


you observe the doves’ last flight in the sun’s landscape
and the rash dance of the insignias in the ear of death

here in this loneliness where the soul’s trapdoors are opened
and you sink down into the harsh harmony of the irretrievable

so as to walk in frost’s azure city where the woman of spring
now shakes with cold and desire on the magnetic mountain’s top:

oh how cursorily the dress is thrown over the balustrade
in the gentle gleam of autumn’s fading hoof beats

how the world situation spreads its stains out over the oceans
and the remains of conscience rage in the tower-clock’s refuge

how birds of empty sepulchral chapels are oxidised within you
how sadly your questions triumph over the answers

how the words ricochet in the wind against the pavements’ memories
harder than heels and your prayers to yourself


to shoot an enemy and roll a cigarette
to flare up and be extinguished like a beacon in a storm

to sit like a fly in the net of interested parties
to believe oneself born with bad luck but just simply born

to be a function of all that does not function
to be something else or not to be at all

to be fitted like the grey stone into hatred’s wall
and yet to feel the stones’ consensus as heather’s joy

to feel everything neglected in the steaming rain
to enjoy the suspense at the smouldering bonfire

to doubt that this has to be the last time
to approve everything as long as it is not repeated

to force a path through and reach a prospect
where lightning flashes hunt to avenge mankind


far out on the ocean rocks Medusa’s head
with worms now grey and a crow’s-nest of eternal grief

we recall what we recognise our brothers’ blood
their winding sheet of women’s burning tears

their eyes forever lost in the begging hand of death
we recognise what we know and we wait

wait for liberation’s wingbeat above our heads
for the end of degradation and our own life –

oh whirlwind of hate that lacerates our breast
run through us with life when we have to bleed

lift us like a trophy in your flight towards the sun
carve us a blood-eagle with the spear of twilight

for deep in our breast resides Medusa’s head
with worms now grey and tears of stone-turned grief


at the nightmare’s finish the lion leaps out
at the moment of death it enjoys its freedom

after we bewitched and dragged off by our hair
have once more seen the always foreseen abyss

but should the dead be mightier then and the humiliation
sacred the living hecatombs must again be sacrificed

to the slaughtered dead the murdered dead
and the screeches of the wounded plead for mankind

how no one could divine the commonplaceness of the horrors
how a feeling of home gagged in the paralysing lime of loathing

till the lion at one leap stood out in the arena
and with raised paw gave us jubilation and death

and we understood: not the dream not thought but this
this which always must exist and must be overcome

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