Thursday 19 November 2020

Dan Andersson: 'I timmerkojan på Sami'

In the timber hut at Sami


Fireside time’s great on a pitch-black night

when winds through the roof-hole are squeezing

and seizing the quick-leaping flames in flight

while the forests are mumbling and wheezing.


Cold’s on the prowl round each earth-cladded rent

to seek a way in for some biting;

finds one as well – when the fire’s warmth is spent

frost scrawls on the walls its white writing .


Heavy from our labour, a close-knit crew,

till peat-turfs’ last flickers stop spreading

and cold shakes us awake, night scarcely through,

we sleep on our brushwood bedding.


Hard is the lot we are forced to endure –

its aim – there’s but God’s explanation!

Mists that drift slowly and clouds that obscure –

no one knows their destination.


Nurtured by forests with never a claim,

our lives grew murky and gasping,

Men without friends, poor folk without name,

cogs in a wheel always rasping.


Our fate we should never call ill-starred,

we have warmth and food in good measure!

The needy are many, their lives are hard –

none but the dead peace may treasure.

To see the original poem, go to here

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