Winter Solstice 2002/2003

Poem By Liāna Langa

There is nothing sensual about the short twilight moment
the teeth-locking of the waning light and mischievous life rhythms.
The sun is a grandiose sponge for the re-pumping of our blood,
squeezed into the aqualungs of our skin, we gaze at the December wind.
It's a carefree thousand-handed cremator.
Its hands are a pharaoh's desiccated bone marrow. Look, how it scatters the ashen snow on our heads.
Look, it come into our home, look, it gazes at us.
Look, it sits down beside us at the table.

Soundless conversations, the dark that penetrates our lips to stay,
a boy's face smeared with marmalade, words without sense,
the sweltering armpits of visitors, restless candlelight and fir needles
chosen by the cremator. Against our will we become a family.
Fixed by mirrors pictures fidget, therein we swell in raw colors
like recently gutted fish. Question marks, leaning over the table -
smiling, mobile hair, jangling ice motes in our cartilage.
Trimm, trim, trim - an alarm clock turns itself on
so the cremator does not sleep in and shall wake us tomorrow
morning as set. The dusk hurries to cook up a compote from all
it has on hand - with foreheads shiny with frown lines, couch
dust, perplexing fiddling in corners. In a space
that doesn't tolerate anyone, our hologram thousand-armed wind
hugs us and presses ever so close to us. Unbearable
to exist during solstice, to exude sap along with it, to drip to the next class.
It shares our meal, hiccupping, saying thanks for our largesse.
In our midst there are no witnesses nor can there be any.
The future catches on fire.
Our blood circulation sweeps us deeper within ourselves.

Days two seconds longer in a hoarse throat.

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Other poems of LANGA

The Ones Who Don't Belong 1.

I wake suddenly from deep sleep.
In the forest's undergrowth my shadow roams.
Hundred-thousand-year greedy muzzles suck
moisture clinging to a vessel of mist.

The Ones Who Don't Belong 2.

Leaves frost-bitten by a harsh night rustle between my fingers.
A rook siddles closer
to a cross painted mud-colour. A white pebble thrown against
the cheap granite slab summons an echo

The Ones Who Don't Belong 3.

You say to me - summer? Stop! Too much of glowing flesh, glassy
grey light on eyelids, the odour of decaying melons. Maybe
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Don't be angry. Escape heals, but only for a space of time, just until

The Ones Who Don't Belong 4.

Come, life's winter! In a corner of a window ledge a titmouse
pecks at a bit of bacon
whiter than the city's snow. Lemon yellow sunbeam bagpipes
tangle in tree branches sounding funeral marches. Racing clouds

The Ones Who Don't Belong 5.

A roadside garden queen boards the train Aizkraukle - Riga.
She's wearing rubber boots, a grey moustache
above a chapped mouth.

The Ones Who Don't Belong 6.

Farewell, homo mediocris! We dream and sleep still among roe
subtly rose. So slow their movement, so sticky. As if someone
will come shortly to glue our transparent flesh together.
We can do it ourselves! Just the water doesn't permit it,