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difficult to talk about universal brotherhood in these troubled
times, but at the same time it is most necessary. No doubt, the
present day sees us advancing in the business fields and
experiencing growth in the material sense; but there is an equal
growth or expansion of our inner emptiness and hollowness.
Though the outer growth is very important for global
development, we cannot achieve it entirely unless we ensure the
growth of our artistic inner world. Undoubtedly, we also need
spiritual, cultural and artistic enrichment. Poetry is related
to this inner soul of our world, it has its roots deeply
embedded in this inner spirituality that runs as a thread
through all of us.
With all the scientific and economic development we are
witnessing now, our entire world is moving towards an unknown
and fearful darkness. Most of the economic principles are
becoming worthless, and with our inner development neglected,
surely we are progressing along a path that will definitely not
lead us towards humanity and its blessings.
A question may arise, if the times are so appalling, what help
poetry can provide to us?
I don’t want to talk much about it, but would rather try to
understand it during our poetry festival these three days. We
have a very strong example of Medellin Poetry Festival that has
changed the reputation of a country which was notorious for
drugs to one that is now loved for poetry and art. Fortunately,
Kritya is a founder member of the World Poetry Movement started
by Medellin Poetry festival.
Kritya has been working hard from 2005 onwards for poetry and
arts without much homework but with a strong vision and for
these past eight years we have been putting in all our efforts
to go forward in this direction.
I saw your picture in the paper yesterday, and today
though the report concerns a tragic accident
and apparently you’re avoiding us, your relatives
I felt the urge to tell you a couple of things:
A singer should always be smiling
and your smile won’t sell if you don’t soon get your teeth
Furthermore you should sit on a stone and listen to how
your inner teeth are grinding.
There’s nothing to beat it! Especially in the morning
when you can stare out over the open water and see its hugeness,
an enormous colored lens from which the sun’s iris detaches
in order to study the people of this town.
Don’t ever let the same terror walk the same path three times,
it leaves the tracks of a forestry machine in the brain, instead
you should walk these paths, across water
everything appears in a different light, absolutely everything:
a robin is chirping wildly, there are violets, and lungwort!
I know what I’m talking about, I too
have been reading the paw of a tiny creature.
translated from the Finnish by Donald Adamson, published in New
European Poets, Ed. Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer, Graywolf
Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 2008
What's an Eye Alone
It will not do to paint just an eye
There must also be some scenery around
Whatever is seen can be made unseen
Will a blind eye pierced by the date's thorn
turn into something besides
a dry, burning jungle?
What's an eye alone?
There could be ash as evidence
and they would call it an illusion
the powdered bones and tender flesh of children
will be delicacies in the century's great banquet
What's an eye alone?
Barbarity crushed it long ago.
Had it not been statue in stone,
Had He been standing there in the Bamiyaan cave,
He would have stood as still.
Eyes like lotus,
peace on the face
his thin garment fluttering in the hot winds
a smile on the lips
Hand raised only to bless
the Fearless Man.
Eyes shut, they stand still, the sunflowers, saffron,
heads bent in the strong gale of darkness.
Violent winds of darkness blow around
and killer waters of the dark
climb stealthily up the stalks, entering
the many roots of the plant.
As they reach the petals,
the waters of darkness have to become
Gripping the face of the sunflowers in their large multiple
darkness puts a layer of thick black color.
Underneath it, the faces of the flowers are saffron.
Bent down in the gale of the dark,
eyes shut, they stand,
Let the Sun be were it is.
Like secret meaning of the night
each town or cup or star.
One cup made of glass and again the same of stainless steel.
For the star of glass
I make every effort to keep it safe as long as possible,
saving it for years on, seconds, centuries or weeks together
From flaps of wings of wicked birds that could shatter it.
I spend a whole life-time to make sure
that it does not slip out of a hand-grip, and it is not kicked
by a foot,
does not fall down from somebody’s window-pane, that star of
Or the glass-town.
When the cup made of glass, suddenly
the full cup of stainless steel,
so full, full up to its brim . . .
A poem is not like the leaves
swept by the wind in the streets.
It is not the still sea,
the moored boat.
It is not the blue sky
and a clear atmosphere.
A poem is a spike
in the heart of the world.
A gleaming knife
plunged straight in the towns.
A poem is anguish,
a piece of shining metal,
ice, a dark wound.
A poem is hard,
a polyhedral diamond.
Solid – sculpted marble.
Rushing – an Asian river.
A poem is not a voice,
the passing of a bird.
It is a gunshot
into the horizon and history.
A poem is not a flower that withers.
It is embalmed pain.
A winter descends
with frosts and downpours.
Lonely graveyards strip themselves
of dust and strangers’ footsteps.
Rain – blood of stars and flowers,
blood of the body.
Your eyes hollowed walls –
a foreign army passes.
The shiver of the breeze over the sea.
The wrinkles faded in the future.
Night writhes in the empty coffin
going deeper even than the light,
sky buried in the earth,
the humming of time within
the shore’s empty skull,
reflection by the seaweed
that becomes a candle to light
the subterranean currents and darkness.
Full of death and epidemic.
between two trees
Will you make a crucifix
or a musical instrument
out of me ,sir ?
or shall I just stand like this all my life
keeping track of seasons with my leaves ,sir
How do I know
I too am a tree ,like you.
Better you take the trouble
of seeing today's newspaper .
There is nothing in the paper
just a few fallen leaves, sir
Then consult some book.
There is nothing in the books
except the seeds
of other books .
Then think .
Thoughts have cuts of axe ,
marks of teeth
footprints of travellers gone by
or of my long nails
which I have implanted deep down
in the the breast of earth
to save myself
There is prison in thinking
fear and terror
seems as if I am bound
Then go, break yourself
what is in breaking ?
if not a tree, then ashes
if not ashes, then sand
if not sand, then steam
All right , be quiet then
When did I speak ?
It is just my leaves
Shaking in the wind .
Words are very light
Words are very light
to pick and place .
Pick the word 'ocean'
place it close to 'laughing '
Make 'laughing ocean .'
Pick the 'tree'
place it close to 'walking '
Make 'walking tree '
How easy !
pick two words and unite.
Make green sun
Difficult is only to know
from where to pick
and where to place.
Difficult only is to know that
where to place so that
they remain placed
a light breeze of truth flows
the green sun
the singing stars all fall down
because the words are very light.