Saturday, April 25, 2020


I Open the Curtain

Before I go to bed I open the curtains.

When I wake up I want to see the living dark

and the pines and the sky. I know a grave;

if you're there you do not see the stars.

Orion has arrived now in the west, hunting, hunting -

he has not come any farther than I have.

The cherry tree outside my window is naked and black.

The sky is a bell, dizzingly blue, where the hard

fingernail of the new moon is writing something.

Winter Morning

When I woke this morning the panes were frosted over,

but I glowed from a good dream.

And the stove poured out its warmth

from a woodblock it had enjoyed the whole night.

Across the Stump

It is the roots from all the trees that have died

out here, that's how you can walk

safely over the soft places.

Roots like these keep their firmness, it's possible

they've lain here centuries.

And there is still some dark remains

of them under the moss.

They are still in the world and hold

you up so you can make it over.

And when you push out into the mountain lake, high

up, you feel how the memory

of that cold person

who drowned himself here once

helps hold up your frail boat.

He, really crazy, trusted his life

to water and eternity.

One Word

One word

— one stone

in a cold river.

One more stone —

I'll need many stones

if I'm going to get over.

I Look At the Stamp

I look at the stamp on your first letter.

It's a month or more since it came.

During that time you've haunted this house,

called to me, frightened me, changed

from Ate to a green Erinye.

Today I got your photograph:

it is a girl sitting alone on some logs

near the darkening ocean.


Olav H. Hauge
Trusting Your Life
To Water and Eternity
chosen & translated by Robert Bly
Milkweed Editions, 1987