Invocation By Mirjam Tuominen.

Beyond the seven mountains
the seven valleys
the seven rapid torrents
the seventy-seven nights
the seventy-seven days
the seven hundred-hundred-and-seventy-seven days and nights
the seven thousand and seventy-seven paradise years
shut up in the mountain
beyond the valleys
beyond the rapids
beyond the nights and days
the days-and-nights
the paradise years
inferno years purgatory years
inside shut in
outside shut out
I cry: Awake!
Come Back!
Why did you abandon me?
A whole is more than a half.
A Half cannot live as a whole.
Awake awake awake!
Go back the long way
the hard way
over the seven mountains
through the seven long valleys
soar float plunge
over through
the violent currents
the dangerous whirlpools!
I look like a human being
and am a semblance
a hollow shell
without you.
You say that you are dead.
I say that you are asleep.
I call you back.
I cry out for you
I beg I appeal:
The darkness takes me
fear screams
shrilly with a bird’s voice.
Fear O fear fear
you gave me life.
Give me back
set me free
the chains rattle
I weep
there is blood where I walk.
Fences grilles barriers
the birds are eating from my eyes
those cruel birds with strong beaks
and averted gaze
O birds birds birds
harbringers chosen ones shimmering white deep-black
not those cruel ones, not the eagles
but you
mortal harbringers
you that travel with messages from death
take me on your wings
fetch me back
birds birds birds
sorrow-swan black swan lonely swan
I call upon you I cry out I beg
wild swan
you that do not exist
gentle swan:
Fetch me back
give me back
my living entrails
out there outside
insuide shut in!
Give me
grant me
Fetch me!
Sorrow-swan black swan
harbringer from death’s kingdom
together we must plunge
soar float
the veils of the water are soft
the sky without weight.
It is easy to soar
hard to walk.
Breathe breathe breathe
like the bird
when it floats.
I want to travel the long way
return again

by Mirjam Tuominen

I find this a most difficult and traumatic poem to read, but Mirjam never lost the tension nor the thread of her voice through it. She sustains it’s monumental impact right through to the elegiac section at the end, and sure that’s what we call composition.

Invocation by Mirjam Tuominen, from Selected Writings of Mirjam Tuominen Translated by David Mac Duff. Bloodaxe Books. Publ. 1994. For bio please google and read Tuominen, she was a fascinating writer on fear and loathing. She was also consummate at composition, although difficult to read.


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