Hakan Sandell (Sweden)

Translated by Bill Coyle


A dirty blue, thunder dull veined sky,
though in my eyes it hadn't yet managed
to fully take color and I hadn't decided
just what, exactly, had created what -
was the sky flowing forth from my eye,
or was it holding me fast here to life and breath?
The earth was light and new, the autobahn -
a black river came streaming along with us
in the median strip, torrents in the ditches
Pine trees towering colossal, disproportionate,
and dark painted firs from illustrated stories
though the acid rain's light violence must
have left the metallic hues already.
During stops along side roads to piss,
the forest was silent, among lichen-gray trunks -
the ears of the forest - I saw them - listened
to the sprinkling whisper of our streams
deep in the forest, pale gold as the light.
My father's penis, the dark blue shadow
of a mighty tree branch or a peacock's sleek
curving neck, oh ho, impressed by its size
I looked down at my own flap of skin,
little as a pinky, zinc white, a Greek statue's.
The dirty blue heaven shone oxidized
above the roof of the forest as we walked back,
the shimmer grew sharper, and when the sun had dried
the rain from the treetops, there stood the colors
of the renaissance in the gothic forms of the pines.


I've Left Notes

I've left notes on the chart.

Aged, patient Europa

weeps over its pianos,

weeps into evening sonatas.

The way the social workers

weep into new orphanages.

As always in these parts,

twilight four times daily.