I’m ordered to a big hump of stones
as if I were an aristocratic corpse from the Iron Age.
The rest are still back in the tent sleeping,
stretched out like spokes in a wheel.
In the tent the stove is boss: it is a big snake
that swallows a ball of fire and hisses.
But it is silent out here in the spring night
among chill stones waiting for the dawn.
Out here in the cold I start to fly
like a shaman, straight to her body–
some places pale from her swimming suit.
The sun shone right on us. The moss was hot.
I brush along the side of warm moments,
but I can’t stay there long.
I’m whistled back through space–
I crawl among the stones. Back to here and now.
Task: to be where I am.
Even when I’m in this solemn and absurd
role: I am still the place
where creation works on itself.
Dawn comes, the sparse tree trunks
take on color now, the frostbitten
forest flowers form a silent search party
after something that has disappeared in the dark.
But to be where i am . . . and to wait.
I am full of anxiety, obstinate, confused.
Things not yet happened are already here!
I feel that. They’re just out there:
a murmuring mass outside the barrier.
They can only slip in one by one.
They want to slip in. Why? They do
one by one. I am the turnstile.
by Tomas Tranströmer
trans. Robert Bly