Five Poems from a Lakeside in Finland


Here rushes to my plate glass a grasping of vision
amidst memories of meltwater, memories of rain.
Morning cracks and splits a hoarding of leeches;
amorphous reminders of our insides – a realisation;
the clouds above are moving south and pouring fine
heat onto a still-live set of receivers, prone bodies align
themselves; crackling sundials, fingernails pierce piers
and long-necked divers never see the snow yet remains
of crystals flatten their beaks. I still feel the water rocking
my body, inertia is real and tangible. Suddenly, a sound.


Eight days can slip through wet hands, a week ago
nothing was or will be left of them – they said
I was there too, they said, it isn’t difficult to remember
anyhow, the noon doesn’t know how to end, up here
and the evenings won’t get shorter

for one of us, the lengthening of hours won’t stop

some of us can’t help but feel the change. For some,
quite the opposite occurs.


We are the act of hiding our feet from view, changes
in birth patterns, blame some ancestor;
for my bones jut at angles and yours do too

they filled mine with metal pins, incisive actions,
cast me up. I hear you were built a scaffold, I
would have sat with you, had I known and now

still, I lie on my chest and seek out indented floorboards –
the time you spent weighing in space seconds
lingered here, filling a wanting piece of air with steps


screaming boatwood, bridging
this place, this view-
-ing oar rises and
rips a wake, seconds trail

my soles, torn, gathering memory and
an absence of the start of dusk, my

furrowing of long mists, some-
where, black water,
a shattering.


A secondary drowning, numbers fill a space
normally reservoired for basic impulses – drip
fed inhalation, memories of outward breath

covered by reeds and the knowledge we can
choke forever in two inches of an indoor sea

hair separates into hairs, garments become none –
life shatters and flees around a flailing, the blood
hungry rush towards the fading heat and somehow

we remember how to pierce the ceiling, hanging
heavy with all that sky, one day we’ll all run
and run out of what we forget is almost endless air

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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