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Aava Uusikuu - Water is Burning - Music to the poems of Mirkka Rekola

1. Water Is Burning

Like bait in a river,
with indistinct quiver,
burningly, slickly,
silver streams quickly.

Two fiery fishes
in the water are turning.
Your eyes have lit up.
The water is burning.

2. Evening

Poems sound in your ears. Each one, each one.
Region, highway and distance
can limit the footsteps no longer.
The road to you doesn't
lead away. Closeness
is the same truth: a dream for both.
You loved the water – now the water's singing.
Without dams, free, without limits.
Like the treeless shore that you sat upon
the waves endure today
like stone.

3. Song

Forget the wave. Now it's receding.
Not a thing could bear the water's weight.
Forget it all, it's eye-deceiving,
forget this whole exhausting play.

See far away a seagull's flight and live it,
across the landscape its peaceful arc,
and then a song, quiet, tender and timid,
and a little ripple that hardly makes its mark.

4. In the Dark

A day of thirst behind me
I drink dream in heavy streams,
but the bitter taste of bile
is even in my dreams.

Banish the cloud, O Lord,
so dark and without rain.
I once drank from the sun,
and now I want the sun again!

5. Spring

The stream does not know the breath of willows,
nor the willow the stream, nor the grass the trees,
and complaints are not heard by the buds of willows
– and if you suffer, unknown is your disease.

Like the thought of stone, devoid of expression,
you gaze at the distance, without roots.
Beneath you a cache that's missing its treasures,
a rough surface, empty, not bearing fruits.

6. Into a Dream

Into a dream to slip at last,
the pains of the body all past,
from interminable hours.

Gently I'd drift toward that place
where the maple tree I once did gaze,
was playing with its yellow leaves.
I would say: now there's time just to be.
Now I'm the earth,
now you're a star.
And in the wind in touch we are.

7. The One Who Won't Return

So childish,
it tempts a smile
to ask oneself
how the mountain
or sea are doing now
when you are away.
And does not the wind
catch on the lantern at night
and seek out a listener
from everywhere
lighting up slopes
and shorelines,
and composing restless shadows
on the walls.
  The mountain knows not
  what you gave it.

So childish
to think a simple song
might thus endure
and still persist in playing,
or a star keep on flying
as once before
over the peaking crest
to the water's very edge
or think that water
there is craving
your image against the black back
of the mountain.
So childish
to those who won't return.
  The sea knows not
  what you gave it.

8. In Front of You

Cold and hard as ice
is what my palms are like.

All the stains were washed away
by the mountain water the snow made.

You shouldn't give, you shouldn't touch,
I cannot give to you too much.

A cry of ice alone to guide you
against the fire that burns inside you.

9. The willow

On the brink
of a cool stream
do you remember
the tiniest willow.

When you went
everything was overcast.

Now the upshooting top
violates the sanctity
of clouds.

10. Today

Tunes gave light
to a forbidden flame,
and I denied the words
before they even came.

I'm through with
sparking to others' side.
May I sing here,
if I here reside?
 
Poems: Mirkka Rekola: Vedessä palaa (1954). Translations: Veikko Suvanto 1-6, 8, 10 &
Kirsti Gibbs 7, 9 (2011).

The original versions of the poems in Finnish are here.