It is the frozen depths of Finland.
It is the chill blue of unrisen silences in a room.
It is cajoling someone into playing
and finding they cannot.
How dark the evenings have grown.
Air-raid sirens in full wail.
Women scurrying through fetid alleyways.
The music boy squats by the collapsed
In the white-tiled chamber
the criminal glitter of the interrogator’s eye:
You cannot go on like this.
I am the newspaper sheet
skittering among the trees.
havoc from the village fountain.
A hissing wind circles my house.
Dogs bark at my beard.
It is plainsong turned to gunshot in my ear.
At dawn I lay shivering
on the outskirts, searchlight a white moon.
In the unknowable distance, a thread of smoke rises
from the hermit’s campfire.