Thursday, 10 September 2020

Torild Wardenær: 'Velde' (X-XII)






The multiple universes are unintelligible, so I make do with thinking of the finds

of fossilised trees, some remains of oak on the Axel Heiberg island in the Arctic,

and the incomprehensible Laptev and Kara seas, shallow and sinister, for

voodoo is practised there at a high level of cold-bloodedness.


The pressure ice from the one sea bores into the other, but not a drop

of cock’s blood is spilt, nor will it ever be able to happen in these waters,

so far away from hot-blooded Haiti.


And the Pacific, also almost inconceivable, presses on the landfill of nuclear waste

on the Enewetak atoll, presses on till something also shifts hereabouts,

and on the other side of the river I see once more she who is roaming

around in the snowy weather in a thin orange blouse, she who has lost

her mind.





As if all the saints of Mexico ... 


Can this have happened? There are no sources, so it cannot be known for sure

but it is not improbable, and it does not feel like some fantasy,

that some sorceress, way back in the line of ancestors, held the vertebra of a

snake close to her breast. Under her skirt she hid her still-born twins.


The sun set in the west, and the objectivity of the stars and words rose cold,

warned her to hide during the day and roam at night, for

there were no sisters for miles around.

Only brother sun, only virgin moon allowed three thousand years to pass,

so that I, the questionable historian, could write about this.


Perhaps it is the sorceress’s distant and possible existence,

or the interconnectedness of all things that let me see another woman,

one early, but already heat-quivering morning in Oaxaca.

She, standing in the middle of the street close to me, seen from the bus window in an

instant when traffic stood still. Endlessly poor, in rags, bare-legged on cobbles, and

with a gleam in her eye that one would probably characterise as insane,

but I would call transfigured, serene, as if all the saints of Mexico

held their hand over her, and as if I, when our gazes met,

could sink into humanity.





In the direction of Kepler’s supernova 


They lean against the rock to rest, and the youngest of the apprentices in

the stonemason guild, fourteen years old, well-built, wearing a knitted vest

and coarse leather trousers, points at the sky, in the direction of Kepler’ supernova,

which they can all see with the naked eye: 

‘Sich, welch grôzer sterne!’

(‘See what a mighty star!’)


Four hundred years later they are all gone. Above the sandstone wall they raised

the star has shrunk into merely an indistinct mist in the telescopes.

But the sounds, as in the heyday of the supernova, are the same: the hacking

in the wych elm, the crowing, kickickickicking and coooooooing carry across the river,

hit the wall, cast the echo back over roads and pastures, everything wisely ordered

through the centuries, and the olive-green, jungle-green and jade-green

mansard roofs brood over new transient bodies, down south in Europe and

far from the regions of jungles, olives and jade, but even so in a

simultaneity and also transience which the short-lived bodies,

abandoned to abscesses, hunger and sepsis, also were and are –

yes, even the sandstone wall, the colossal churches and the steadfast,

gaping gargoyles that guard the river high up from the roofs are



But when the light crashes and plunges down between the houses, it is crushed and

spreads out more and more, soon merges with the sounds and stretches one taut string

between now

and the dying star.

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