LV Democracy's secret In free, general elections, with secret ballots There, too, is music's concealment, its inaccessibility, eye to eye Where coercive power, over the other, does not exist This is music's secret When music moves, sovereign, in time, its own time For that is what defines it South African faces, in the first free election The dignity, the joy breaking through, the laughter, the tears And the wave of warmth As if the terrorist bombs, the violence, did not even exist Amandla! The strength to do what? The power to do what? We shall see - There's the fear that disappointment will come Also inside myself But that is not I Objective music sounds for a moment That which is history If that summary word has any meaning whatsoever I have been here before When in the city park in Lund I took off my hat on the first of May, when we sang the Internationale, at a Social-Democratic gathering, in the early 60s A warm rain fell on my head New, light-green leaves That I, too, grasped democracy's secret The unification of fellowship and sovereignty Respect for the worth of every human being Later another kind of transparency came, the blinding Every moment democracy must be won anew As if it were always indefensible, defensively As if it just existed as light actively moving outward For a short time it can eliminate violence But violence can grow overpowering As can the violence of others against others This is no excuse Worth itself is always obliterated by murder
LVII We flee furiously in the directions of all the senses Also in nothing's There is no difference Even the flame of nothing burns We are inside the function There is nothing outside it As if the wandering between vowels and consonants were also a wandering between the mountains Parmenides and Heraclitus, or between the discrete and the continuous A dance of vowels and consonants; where they also change functions A generalized pattern of gesture; the movements of the larger body; also semantically, conceptually The play of feelings and of interests I see the outer surfaces of faces, the small tic in the cheek, the darkness passing over the skin, in spite of all that is said, in languages that lie Every power struggle is destruction Breaking apart the fragile form Where it issues, free of constraints, from the captivity that is existence Dark matter of the soul; of an indeterminate sort We are here only for a short time On the near-infinite interior surfaces . . . What is time? That which uses us In the larger brain - Vowel lengths are decisive, also of the tension in interior rhythm Whichever mountain we leap off; so the stretto also happens between mountains Mussels resting darkly in strata of clay, living, breathing the clear water; or practically fossils already Under the increasing weight Scraping sounds Explosions of consonants Vibrating R-notes, grating The danse macabre of crystals As if they were already principles The heart's freedom breathes -
LVIII All the irons in the fire If they are irons If it is fire - As a child I saw the irons in the forge The sputtering sparks from the anvil . . . The peculiar comfort of fire The generalized conflagration Where will I be when it comes? Will I be defenseless? The opening for all language, all images, all sound Only through listening, seeing, speaking-singing can it work Straight through the stone that shines monstrously And the terror of the idyll I touch you with the wing of pain; lightly, lightly, lovingly Each moral problem carries its inner darkness The darkness precipitates hatred It does not have to dominate . . . Word comes: Yet another of my friends has cancer I hear his voice on the telephone, it is not he who tells me about it, I believe he understands that I know, but we talk about other things His intellect is intact, as if the immanence of death did not touch it at all We speak about language, about grammar Analytical or normative I propose the possibility that the differently constructed faculties of language in our two cerebral hemispheres perhaps give rise to two different kinds of syntax, engaging each other in a dialogue Within myself I hear the dichotomies, recurrent on many levels, ontologically, epistemologically Also emotionally, perhaps; but I also imagine a kind of tri- section A constantly growing number of factors I remember a sketch I did when I was 18 years old, of a tower constructed of shards patched together, which was also a plant, or a rising member Rising into the invisible counterpart Then I listen to the aged voice, hear its liveliness, its acuity, when new thoughts come to mind We talk about new poetry; how it is possible to perceive the exact taste of its language, its edge That one can go wrong, but this sense is still unerring I realize that soon we will not be speaking with each other any more This hurts What have I learned? I have seen incorruptibility, concentration, seriousness I think about another one of my friends, who died of the same kind of cancer The same kind of face, when the great music played The same light, coming from inside the face
LX With V I talked about the young heifers in the meadow As a child she was a shepherdess, tending cows and sheep She spoke with expertise about the ages of calves When I said one of them was a beauty she replied: They are all beautiful! We spoke about flowers, their names, in Swedish and in Latvian Our language was English We spoke about something else, not politics, not nationalisms, rather about the intense, open human emotion, love Virgin Mary's keys are also Mother-of-God's hand The whole hand open, fingers spread We looked at twayblade, and at St. Peter's keys At Digerhuvudet on Fårö she walked away alone along the white rubblestone shore, her brown shawl swept around her head, an old woman, a figure of pain I also walked away, but in the other direction, in the blinding light from the stones, the sea, below attacking terns When I came back to the group I saw her She showed me her find, a clump of moss the size of a fingertip, gleaming silver I showed her mine: a coral shaped like a clam shell, petrified, four hundred million years old All we did not talk about What came after the dictatorship The conflict of pain What "the national" is, if other than a fiction And what in that case this fiction means I do not know
LXI Straight through disorientation and death The near-infinite landscapes that rise toward the sky and the sea Flowering meadow saxifrage, a sea of white over the heath where the curlew takes flight The lapwing The oystercatchers Where burnt orchids, small purple-and-white orchids bloom And pasque flowers, their little heads Junipers wander away into the distance toward infinity A road A lighthouse The series of overtones rises, all the more steeply Silence We have inner thresholds of velocity, thresholds of comprehension Time's limits, upward and downward; limits of integration Humans; we move in real landscapes beyond all models Including those we make of our- selves Infinite fineness does not suffice - We will approach maturity So many of my friends are dying now Are dying or already dead I listen to the pain, the fragile limit of the voice, clear Then come the hiccoughs, the lump in the throat, the small touch of valor I try to just be there Consolation is impossible What could I possibly have to offer I hear my own voice vibrate Into the white storm-space Nothing has changed there Out there is only storm, invisibly racing clouds, surging trees of pain, on every leaf a face, mutable, as if on a small gold screen Mirrors of metal, burnished Water Clear as glass Within the whiteness a distant black point, rapidly approaching Out there across the sea I hear its roar The scent of salt Seaweed I too flee for protection But it doesn't help Rwanda The picture that comes into focus more and more clearly One of the larger genocides, also of this century Churches have been transformed from asylums into abattoirs Everywhere corpses lie, rotting bodies Children Women Men The numbers are always growing The radio station of the Hutu extremists broadcasts nonstop exhortations "to exterminate the cockroaches," the Tutsis An officer in the Tutsi guerillas speaks of Auschwitz, that Europeans also gave themselves to such pursuits It is still going on The smaller genocide in Bosnia goes on The suffering is immeasurable We count the dead Maybe we should count the living Our guilt grows and grows Not collective guilt; but personal responsibility
LXVII Always alone For otherwise the life of the fragile symbols dissolves In what we do together giving occurs; and symbols of a different kind are born In this there is war As if conditions of peace were contaminated at every moment A delicate balance Deep peace At night I dream of snakes; vipers, of different colors Your face looks at me I am antisocial; cannot participate This is my stigma; inscribed as a snakebite I bear the crescent moon I also bear you, beloved As my living sign How do I become a sign for you I reproach you for your goodness Thus I am evil From the cave my dream is also born: a single god, colorless, with no face Then the light from within is lit We illuminate the world Crystal!
LXX Now the dead call to me from out at sea, where the sun sets over the tongue of land, in violet haze Around the sun two rainbow fragments, like widely spaced quotation marks It's as if the dead could now also meet While we, the survivors, walk on the shore Everything is only provisional The sea moves calmly Terns fly along the water line, its irregular form New sandy beaches are forming; at intervals briefer than I could have imagined Other stones lie there, more than a thousand years We are in the presence of the order of permanent murder, its smaller eternity; and thus not eternal Its abolition is on the agenda For us and for those who survive us For all the dead! New bladder wrack moves in the clear water Women are swimming, a few of them In the distance the city is visible, where I first saw the order Freedom's wing also came from there Like a measurement from inside From the opened order...