takk for alt

1 February 2016

they line up neatly

like a class best behaved
no whispering today

there’s a view of the sea
earshot of the factory

the road lies still
the fjord is still
are two stillnesses the same?


not every Hardanger gravestone says
but it’s the most common thing carved

thanks for everything
is the loose translation

for what is it thanks can be given?


tell me the sky – how it is, one more time
tell me the stream’s strong words
say after me
what I have meant
you know the things to do
they’re day-by-day
known to season

there is the need for a fresh coat of paint
remember to bring in the washing, the cat
(how many cats ago was that?)
and haul the boat before the storm

end of the day know all is done

du lever i vart minne
still living in our memories

høyt var du elsket
you much loved

there’s thanks for being dead as well
for getting out of the way
(no one puts that on a stone)


stand longer in my silence here
for it is love to stand

go with the mountain in my boots
because you have a touch of sky

the colour goes out of it
sky down and earth up
everything tending to night


here turf is weather
and weather’s a roof
my day and my night one

all are bones
clean as the dark to which we whistle
or else I’ll be damned

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About Kit Kelen

Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a well known Australian poet, scholar and visual artist, and Professor of English at the University of Macau, where he has taught Creative Writing and Literature for the last sixteen years. Volumes of his poetry have been published in Chinese, Portuguese, French, Italian, Swedish, Indonesian and Filipino languages. Japanese and Greek collections are currently in preparation. The most recent of Kelen’s dozen English language poetry books is Scavengers Season, published by Puncher and Wattmann in 2014.


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