Sunday, 28 July 2019

Henrik Nordbrandt: 'The rust-red sail'

The rust-red sail

Simple it has probably never been
but I recall a pale sea with some white
and unless I am mistaken a single
rust-red sail
a smell of dead fish and tar
and behind my back a rustling
of what I later learned
was called ‘lyme grass’.

Also from the word ‘yarrow’
I then understood that I had been born
and what that involved. And for that
reason I collected stones
and was fond of steel implements
but was afraid of what was alive
the creeping ivy with its nestlings
that died so quickly
and the insects that live in old furniture.

It was always those sails that were farthest out
that held my gaze longest.
And precisely then everything was as simple
as when I recollect it
right now:

The rust-red sail’s
verdigris shadow on the pale water.

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