The Great White Fiji Poem

The South Seas Private Hotel, Suva, Fiji.

The South Seas Private Hotel, Suva, Fiji.


What constitutes an adequate translation?

The thing that works in one language, is not necessarily transferable into another.
One must feel the ring of the language.

This poem started out as a blog post written in Suva, Fiji. Its second incarnation saw it as a poem written in Finnish. This text is yet another variation; not the same as the ones in Finnish but not completely different, either.


THE GREAT WHITE FIJI POEM

Cigarette smoke the gray clouds
	spreading in the lungs 
		of space, the living stars,
the far-off drops of joy, 
	the hair of palm trees, 
		and on the planet’s surface, 
en route from one
	country to another, 
		in the air, 
in the stratosphere
	of the sky, the wind 
		of thought, 
dancing in the brushes 
	of the courtyard, 
		shaking the limp 
sheet on the line,
	as a man awakening to life, 
		some future shape
you can’t quite 
	put your finger on,
		it hides in the darkness, 
in the night,
	and you stare into 
		the stars of the black space,
the sleep changed 
	into serious words,
		the dogs in the distance, 
beyond sleep, and wakefulness,
	the wise sentences, 
		the sentinel 
against the unknown,
	the old mongrel of the old 
		Ulysses, 
you will never return home, 
	you are condemned 
		on the road, 
a jew, your eyes 
	like two stars 
		shining, 
a murderer of 
	an albatross, 
		you cannot come back
home again, 
	you fly, you flit,
		the time racing forward, 
slowing down, the joy of the stars
	penetrating the thick 
		mass of clouds,
it starts to rain, 
	the sound of raindrops
		on the wooden window sill, 
the night is nearly
	bored through, 
		the first occupants
of the house woken 
	unperceived,
		you still sitting 
on the wooden bench
	in the backyard of the great
		white house, listening 
to a toilet hush, 
	a shower being turned on,
the whole planet 
	on the threshold of day,
the wet sheet on the line, 
	an actor’s cape, 
this play is over, 
	the encores called,
the life started.

About Markus Jaaskelainen

Markus Jaaskelainen is a photographer located in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

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