No. 8-9


Håkan Sandell  

Translated from the Swedish by  Bill Coyle  


The Bogomiles… 

The Bogomiles, followers of Bogomil,
snapped the metal in crucifixes,
the wood in them they broke,
fonts of holy water, the water,
all these belonging to Satan,
they overturned and laid waste to.
Light that combined with darkness
no longer possessed the same
purity it did in the beginning
but belonged to the author of evil.
But I love the wood in the trees
the roots, the branches the leaves
that drink of light and rain.
Love railroad tracks, the ceaselessly
branching roads of the conceivable,
rejoice over the existence of minerals,
the lead, copper and quicksilver
in the oils of Turner and Rembrandt
the renewal, the fulfillment, the vanity
still-lifes, cherry blossoms, sexual positions
imported from China and India.
Love the soul in the infant
returning, love’s theatrical depictions,
unreal, deceptive and perishable.
Love ice, fire, their union
in the humidity of a woman’s sex ,
nights as much as day
the heart’s abysses, black wells,
the light of the baptismal font, and of heaven,
take it all in on the inbreath
of my animal lungs, ecstasy
from the atmosphere, and the heady smell
of greenery, oxygen, decadence.
But shining in front of me nevertheless
stands Bogomil, who took the cross and from it
tore wood, metal and inscriptions
in his longing for the age of the Spirit.




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