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New Winter
Rumjhum Biswas

I have grown unused to this
tightening of skin,
peeling of husk from heel

seasonal birds look at me strangely
for I do not remember
the shiver in their songs
I do not remember
sleet stung leaves, now

a quiver of rain jabs
and the pain in my joints
becomes
an extra limb that I must carry
like a cross. No more slapping

of wet hair between braided towel
the scent of lavender fading
from old woolens shaken from disuse

no more scent of tomatoes
ripening in the sun,
soil loosened to receive
new seeds. No more

of all that now, for suddenly
a lopsided carol announces Christmas
and plastic trees stand, proud

sentinels of the season,
when I only ventured out
to buy lip balm.

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Smell
Kristiina Ehin (Translated by Ilmar Lehtpere)

I smell you at the crossing in the heart of night
                                to let my lungs revive
                                        I smell you
                             meateater and trail stalker
                          there is the scent of the sky
                              and a beard growing
                                 just as I thought
              I scent the glistening lakes of your eyes
    that are accustomed to quenching thirst and cooling
I scent how clean and fertile are the fields of your dreams
               light and warm the soil of your wishes
     and how happy your mother was giving birth to you

                  oh how dangerous to be so near
                 now you can't keep your eyes off
                               I want to flee
                    but for that this moment is
                          too great a wonder
                  and far away is every reason
                         why we shouldn't...

               fidelity - rough as a man's cheek
                raw meat that draws you close
                         a trail that remains
                a trail that can't be abandoned

For Alice
Kathleen O'Driscoll

The near full moon sinks behind a bare winter tree,
the stars are bright enough
out here in Knocknacarra.
I can blank out
the all night lights
in the next door mansion
with my small bare hands.