Sander Heinsalu's poetry.








Souls wing over the night-wall,
dream-winds bear them away.
Would my soul heed the flight-call
were I to die today?

[Whistled tune in wav format]

When the wolves are for me calling,
howling in white fields of snow
of which softly more is falling,
its cutting peace may I then know!

What need is there to travel for the body
if the mind can travel in its stead?
What need have I to pay for flying
if the mind can fly outside my head?
What purpose serves it when I eat and drink
but to help the body keep the mind alive?
To pleasure get, one only needs to think
and let the phantoms of one's fantasy go wild.

What are we up to within this world?
What is its purpose, I ponder.
Should it be unmade and backward hurled
into the abyss yonder?
Why do I hear the din of the wind
and why do I taste clear water?
Should I silence the turmoil within
with a simple self-slaughter?
Why do we sweat as swinking slaves?
Why do we want fame and fortune?
Isn't it better to let Styx lave
our feet and the boatman importune
to take us through to the other side
to dream in deep-dolven darkness,
forgetting the toil, and time and tide
as they pass us by, markless?
Why guard your grief, in greyness grown
and why stay steadfast in silence?
Seeds of thoughts sprout, in strangeness sown
and lead to vile deeds of violence.

The mind in the know
on wings of wind
flying goes,
seeking things.

Once I flew
to a place that I knew
not before
and no more
shall see the same way
as in those days
when the Sun
shone without a shade.
The memory
is like a golden glade.
Flying there
through clear air,
I saw beauty
in the midst of the sea.
It struck me
deep and I will see
it clearly
always in memory.
The white, the black, the blue of sky
mirrored in pure water - those colours never die
on a flag or in a land
where rocks are black and there's no sand
where snow is white, untouched by feet
where sky's and water's colours meet.
The name is Green but the land is bare,
the wonders of which I once glimpsed from the air.
I landed in a town
and I saw no frown.
Instead, a joke I heard
as a welcome to that world
where nature's beauty, goodness of the people -
may the golden light of joy them keep all -
I saw. That I remember,
though the memory be but embers
of the true light of joy
and goodness. I was but a boy,
which was good,
for my mood
wasn't darkening
because of hearkening
to the thought of coming days -
sorrow at the parting of the ways.
Sunshine I saw,
seemingly unending, more:
the great waters bending,
falling, crashing, sending
up a mist and roaring
and drops of water soaring.
I may walk the ways of those good times
again but I will never find
such joy, for as the years pass by,
the place will be the same, not so will I.

Understanding slips away
like water through my fingers,
but the feeling that I've failed
ever near me lingers.

I know and I am aware:
I don't know where I am and why.
I know what is on the ground there
where I'll go at last to die.
And I know what shines in the sky
above and beyond it all -
the stars in their myriad, high -
when at last I heed the call.
I know I am watched from above
by their beauty so far and keen -
I feel no desire for love,
once the stars I have seen.
They shine so serene and eternal,
for a moment I do have peace,
the contrast to this world infernal
their beauty will only increase.
When at last my stillness and sorrow
ends, and my days of distress,
when I know that upon the morrow
I will enter nothingness,
the stars I will then remember
and the brightest nights recall,
thinking how hope's tiny ember
in the darkest night of them all
will always shine and summon
me as a moth to its flame.
When I am wound in shadows,
ready to end the game,
there comes a shard of beauty
and calls me by my true name.
I will not leave this world today
nor on the day that follows.
There are many monsters to slay
in my thoughts' darkest hollows.
Friends fleetingly come and go,
while enemies ever gather -
this law I long have known.
Why cannot this world be another?
When I lay myself down and die,
leaving this world behind,
I will console myself with the sigh:
"Yet the stars will continue to shine!"

Truth is a double-edged sword -
grasp it and bleed, the stronger, the more.
It's a blade without hilt. Sorrow and guilt
it produces galore.
Giving truth to another, you hurt them.
No need for that which all abhor.
Keep it silently. With curt bend
of your neck confirm what they look for.

Too many things in my mind's eye
I see for my peace of mind. Sigh...
On the brink of achieving
what long I sought,
I am also perceiving
that its worth is nought.
Too many things cannot be bought -
my mind is crawling, to fly it ought.

Time flies,
mind dies.

The foes that I have let escape,
the friendships I have killed,
the thoughts that I have had too late,
the hopes not quite fulfilled -
they haunt me as I sleep or wake,
my smile with sudden startle still,
they fill my heart with fear and hate
and silently they sap my will.

I found a friend -
a beautiful lady.
We parted then,
to never meet, maybe.

Strength has many, many sources
some of which you should not touch
but there are far too many forces
in this world for Man to match
alone, unaided, without taking
might that is not of his making
springing from a place that payment
takes in word or deed or raiment
body, mind, or soul, or magic
in a form that's grievous, tragic,
whether you wish to pay or no.
Nay is not an option if you go
to siphon power from these places
disguised with many diverse faces.
Darkness is the source of death
but may give might to those whose breath
bends to promise food and shelter
to the forces which would falter
in the fullest light of day.
In the end for all you pay.
One way or another
your promises will smother
your freedom or your light
and your mind or body's might.

His eyes were white when he spoke of snow
And a weak light therein did glow,
In the distant hills I heard the wolves howl
And the whoosh of the wings of the soaring owl,
The crack of the branch under beautiful burden,
The sound of the silence most holy I heard then.
Happy are those who have peace unto them
From death or from life. Nought can undo them
Or mar them or scar them or wear them down,
From peace unto peace they pass without frown.
Peace of soul that the wisher lacked
Was once wished unto me and to others, way back.
I wish that this wish could come true, but alas!
We are not made for that to come to pass.
Those who understand this are blessed and cursed indeed,
Sorrow, wisdom come to them, ousting useless greed.
Good things to wish to others that you cannot possess -
Such greatness few have now and in the future even less.
As a blank slate we are born and, growing, gather evil.
Some good people still there are, a miracle I deem it.
As the world grows more connected, more we interact,
More we meet those who heart's goodness unfortunately lack.
More the evil ones each other meet and gather courage,
Strong in numbers themselves feel and fear less the outrage
Of the good and of the neutral who may try to curb them.
Soon all people, drowned in darkness, feel their own greed burn them.
Some masters are remembered in story or in song
Though men are mortal and the years are long.

Here under the noontime sunshine I'm walking,
with slow steps treading the land of the dead,
bent through the beautiful graveyard stalking,
seeking escape from the thoughts in my head.

Simple minds who don't know why
make up stories, fill the sky
with gods who sit above them high.
Twixt complex truth and simple lie
veracity will bid goodbye.
The choice is commonly the lie.
This situation makes me sigh.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
These are the questions
I have for you:
What are the questions
I should ask about you
To which the answers
Would make me doubt you?
Tell me your life's
Most interesting stories
Especially the ones
Violent and gory.
What are the questions
You wish I'd ask you,
The answering of which
Would really task you?
Tell me the statements
You'd use to awe me,
Impress me, shock me
Or really thaw me.
What are the questions
I could throw you
That, if answered,
Would let me know you?
Tell me your cleverest ideas,
Things that make you laugh
Or bring you to tears.
What are the questions
You'd use to test my
Intelligence, and those
You'd be most impressed by?
Tell me your secrets
And all your fears
And the lies about you
That one could hear.
What are the questions
You wish I'd avoid
And those, at which
You'd pretend to be coy?
Tell me something I don't know
That is highly useful
or elegantly shows
That it's bad to be truthful.
What are the questions
That would really surprise you,
And the most cunning trap
I could devise you?
Tell me the story
Of your life,
Its starkest betrayal
And greatest strife.
What are the questions
About the questions
About the questions
About the questions...
You know where this goes
And madness lies
That way for those
Who think themselves wise.

Mind rent asunder:
rationality is treed
and barking under
is the need to breed.

May the stars ever shine above me,
trees surround me, strong and tall!
May the three Good People love me
and invite me to their hall!
May the Sun that shines above me
always let me rest.
May the nice people round me
be forever blessed!
By their kindness I am gladdened,
their joy brings hope to me.
Never let them be saddened,
always let them be free!

The breath of the world is blowing as wind.
These are the words that it ever does sing:
"Time will burn and destroy everything
that humans will learn at some point to build."

15.04.2006 / 04.04.2016
Lo, there do I see the starlight
so white and bright and far,
and there do I see the blue flame
that calls me to the stars,
and the golden glow there also plays
in which I wish to end my days.
The joy and peace and the forest-ways -
the light all these before me lays.
Fierce is the flame and peaceful the glow,
but the starlight the most I would like to know,
for the like of it is not in this world,
and it cannot be captured in words.
The stars still sing on the shores of that sea
where I watched the world that is lost to me.
The light of stars was in those eyes
into which I looked in sweet surprise.
Grey was the sand and black the sea
and the world itself was empty and free.
The memory still exists in the mind,
but nothing is real or akin to its kind.
Fell is the flame and strong the glow,
but the starlight is sharp as a shard of snow.
It cuts me off from peace and return,
but permits the flame and lets me learn.
When once with the flame I manage to burn,
maybe then I'll achieve that which I yearn.
The stars still sing on the shores of the sea.
Who will play the Blue Danube for me?
Peace is the glow, My Joy is the light.
The flame may give unending might.

From Starbrow it started, where will it end?
The ways have parted, all roads bend.
Of memory solely one cannot live.
Let my mind only have flame to give!
To the stars one day let me reach!
Until that time I'll remember the beach.

Happy is flametime, the shadows are sweeping
and wisdom is found in blessed weeping,
the sea's sound and the pinewood's scent.
In my mind there is something that will never be bent.
Yet for everything there's a price:
I cannot weep, for my heart is ice.

I've been sittin' in the shadow
all the lifelong day -
where in all this endless meadow
did I lose my way?

In the land of the mind our kind isn't blind.
Other eyes otherwise, you will find, have their time.
Our tide, though, is high all the while - we are fine.
As a sign of the times freely fly weary sighs:
"All will die, don't know why, it is my fate and thine."

In the darkest pits of despair
coming from unknown sources,
lift your eyes skyward, see what is there -
the myriad stars in their courses.

If I could create as well as destroy
my states of mind and emotions,
I would stop thoughts from going astray
and end their erratic motion;
I would create clarity, call it today
to fill my mind with finer notions,
finally find the long-lost flame,
and end the world's need for potions.

I walk the land of life so kind,
I look for light to light the mind.
In the world of thought no turf nor sky -
do I upright stand or downright lie?
No sound of voice nor sight of face,
objects only float in space.
Lines of fire light the glooms,
abstract trees lack leaves or blooms.
Shapes are wrought of searing flame,
their lines so thin and clear are made.

From your old poem, remember your being,
regain your essence from memory,
rebuild your mind from its earlier dreaming,
glad for the gift of this reverie!
Creation's what makes the mind immortal,
remembered through the ages.
It is to another person a portal,
an escape from our selfish cages.
Creation, when none is there to applaud,
where none can reach or understand,
still has some value, even if flawed -
you will know where you stand.
You will know where you are, and when,
and whither you're going and why,
you are centered and focused then,
you can live before you die.
Let the wind blow, let fall the snow!
Beautiful is the light.
Go back to the snows that went long ago!
Let the mind take flight
and tow you, opposed to the flood of years,
to the shore of your youth on the river of time!
Then you had more honour, less wisdom and fear,
were more like the people in song and rhyme.

All that was strong in the mind, left impressions,
be they good, bad or ugly.
All these can be used in self-healing sessions,
picking bits of yourself from them subtly.
By his mind is a person defined,
and the mind is built from its memories.
One is never so lost that one cannot find
Oneself in their spells and glamouries.
Thoughts are always flowing and churning,
but piecewise the flow is continuous -
it cannot be cut by manuscript-burning
or re-education sinuous.

This will bring you back to what you were
Then, when you were young,
When you were stupider, purer and braver,
More like the people in songs.

First you die in word,
then you die indeed.
First your wound is burned,
only then you bleed.
If you were a bird,
you would not find the seed
in this accursed world
that on your soul will feed.

The accounting
Everything is paid in pain -
this world's only currency.
Everything is bought in vain -
death claims us without clemency.
In the end, it is all only self-selling -
there is nothing else to trade.
When the final bells are knelling,
when the mighty on the bier are laid,
there is nothing but ourselves remaining,
no assets accompany us to the grave.
Toil is ever with us, mind and body maiming -
nought else exists for us to invest or save.
Only one is there who at last tarries,
all debts claims but gives out no rewards,
an agricultural implement he carries,
the shortest roads go ever through his ward.
For all the bargains you have made in life
the tax is always heavy in the end:
all people pay a hundred-percent slice.
These rules are somewhat difficult to bend.

Down a dark alley, bordered by trees,
we are all walking to the graveyard gate.
Let go of your goals and simply be,
forgetting fear, forsaking hate.
Let go of your sorrows, enjoy the breeze,
forsaking fear, embracing fate.

Do you feel the otherwordly breeze
that lightens the head and weakens the knees?
Terminate your thoughts and barely breathe.
Forsake your fears, embrace your fate,
be present in your purest state
when you gain the graveyard gate.
Hold the horror and the hate -
they are too little and too late.
Back away from blatant bait -
avoid addiction, do not mate.
Then you'll pass like winging fowl
the Shortest Road with singing soul.

Dear are the treasures the thoughts have found:
zero is a number and silence is sound.
I carry my world between my ears -
the source of my laughter, the spring of my tears.

Close your eyes, stretch a hand,
pick a book, leave this land.

If the sorrow of the sages
were blended in this cup
with the memories of ages,
would you drink it up?

Lone exercise
Lone to the bone, but do I moan my woe?
What I have sown, I gather as I roam
in my own home, reading tome after tome -
in the wolds of worlds created of old
my mood is gold, I am not alone!
Though the wind is cold, I stride on, bold,
because I know I will find my goal.
The glow of a coal in the hole of a mole -
this is the role of the mind, on the whole:
the sole pole around which go
tales untold, unwritten, unsold,
scrolls only in thought unrolled.

The truth is a treasure with a trusted friend
alone to be shared, if even then.


Whirling and streaming, spinning and winging,
silence is the song that the snow is singing.

Watch the swallows' flitting flight
in the sunset's fading light!
See the swallows dancing fly
in the morning's shining sky!

The Sun is smiling, myriad shards
Of its shine are falling flickering.
Flimsy flakes of the sparse snowfall
Its light to life is quickening.
The wind bears the flakes, prevents their fall,
Who knows what summons they send?
Few are there who heed wind's call
That mocks the law that things end.

The snow soars on the streaming gales
Parallel to ground -
A bright sea billowing with waves -
The way in it has drowned.
White smoke-like tendrils crawling cling
To the jet-black road -
Such beauty but the blizzards bring
Across the fields to flow.
Small shards of Beauty may be found
In rare and wayward weathers.
Though Man has much of Nature bound,
The winds he cannot tether.
In vortexes and whirls snow dances,
First gathers and then flees -
I wish I had more of these glances
That gild my heart with glee.

Tiny pearls
at the ends of pine-needles,
whoever heard
of jewel-bearing trees?

There is snow. There will be walking,
crazily to myself talking.
There is snow. There will be song.
There will be thoughtful silence long.
There is snow. There will be thinking,
watching flakes in lamplight winking.
There is snow. There will be light -
dazzling, dancing, new and bright.
There is snow. There will be peace.
All movement and all sound will cease.
There is snow. There will be fun -
like a child I'll in it run.
There is snow. There will be sport.
The wind is wild, the breath is short.
There is snow. There will be power -
nought I fear in this fair hour.
No weight too large, no road too long.
I'll walk as far as lasts my song.
There is snow. There will be sliding.
slipping, falling, running, gliding.
There is snow. There will be motion.
The night air - my magic potion -
giving strength and bringing dreams
in which it always to me seems
the world is wide and full of wonder.
I need not hesitate nor ponder.
I should go and grasp the gladness,
banish wisdom, banish sadness.
The night no longer seems so dim -
the snowjoy fast is setting in.
There is snow. There will be writing,
verses working, wisdom citing.
I am sitting here, not hiking,
although desire's fires lighting
bid me go and go with speed,
paying nothing any heed
to fulfill the constant need
on my face fair snow to feel.
There is snow. There will be steel
in mind and body without feel.
There is snow. There will be laughter,
although ashes I'll be after.
There is snow. There will be smiling
as the drifts are higher piling.
There is snow. There will be dreaming,
against the wind as struggling leaning
I trudge on to see the light,
quench the fire, spend my might.
There is snow. There will be sleeping
in the cutting wind's safe keeping.
There is snow. There will be cold
in my bones so I feel old
and grey, but mighty. On this day
I would laugh as I was slain.
There is snow. There will be breathing
in the swirling storm that's seething
all around, that light caresses
the trees about to lose their tresses
to the whistling, wailing whirlwind
in which the flakes are falling twirling.
There is snow. There will be seeking,
'neath the bushes searching, peeking.
There is snow. There will be jumping -
my heart is liquid fire pumping!

The air is filled with shining shards
That flit and dance today,
Briefly lighting Arda Marred
And melting then away.

Jumping into the snow after a sauna
yourself in flame and cold,
the newly fallen snow.
headfirst into the drift,
to roll and then be swift
to hurry
back into the heat.
A flurry
as of burning sleet
in light
envelopes the skin,
and life
and freedom fans within.

The full moon blazes, clear and white,
the stars like shards of piercing light
prick the blackest vault of Night,
radiant shining, cold and bright.

The ravens croak, bare are the trees,
from the west there wafts a breeze.
Dead leaves on the forest floor
foretell the frosts at winter's door.

I have looked into the Sun unblinking,
till it faded to a silver disk.
Wish I had been watching dewdrops twinkling -
it would have been a lesser risk.

19.12.2009 / 04.04.2016
How beautiful the starry night!
So crisp and cold and clear.
Imagination taking flight
and I know no fear.

Come to me, snow,
freeze my heart,
claim my bones,
make me depart
the land I know!
In the snowfall
fly the gulls,
around them all
the light, so dull.
This I recall:
swaying trees
and dancing snow
in the breeze
that quietly blows -
a green and white dream.
Faster now
are falling the snowflakes,
speeding down
where the fair grass makes
of them a crown.
Grey the day
and quiet and weary
when snowflakes play
in the light bleary
on the second of May.

Behold the light
through the pines pouring!
That is a sight
to send my soul soaring.
No matter whether
Elder, Younger Days -
in any weather
friendly are the forest-ways.
The scent of pines
means the evaporation
of worries mine
into elation.
The sound of the sighing
of the branches of trees
sends the fantasy flying
into the sheen dream-green.
Bright are the boughs
with beauty inner.
Their sights and their sounds
with gladness glimmer.
I wish I could there abide
as one of the tree-nation
instead of death in the rising tide
of human civilization.

Gold is gleaming through the grey
treetrunks at the break of day.
The sky is yellow, blue and white,
the Sun comes piercing through the night.
The forest-hall has pillars tall
of great grey trunks, without a wall,
its canopy by sunlight painted,
its floor is made of snow untainted.

Who cares about Holy Trinity?
Stars are the Holy Infinity.

The night is alive with wind-voices,
wind-shadows in the topless trees.
The night is a time of many choices.
Waves on the meadows, grass bends in the breeze.
The night is alive with wind-wings,
whispering secrets of many things.

Translation of "Kirovi tähtede all" by Naised köögis
The houses were blooming, those were beautiful times -
the yard full of children, no less.
We stood on the pasture-path, your hand in mine,
heads spinning with happiness.

In a belt of stars on a night of June
so gently I was kissing you.
The apple-tree was yet in full bloom
and above the meadow the Moon.

Already next morning the train-cars were pressed
full of children and youths and the old.
To Siberia I was sent, wearing my summer dress
in a train meant cattle to hold.

Winter waited with unending freeze
those whose hearts yet held the spring.
We were as blooms on the trees
transported far by the wind.

The letters were endless I sent at the start
to those who were left at home,
but in light of the tough times I understood fast
that they never saw those.

Frozen this night crystal-clear
under the stars of Kirov.
Snow-drifted roads, our tears
and sledges that carry a cross.

Degradation and force, denouncement we suffered
as prisoners on foreign roads.
Foreign powers and gods we begged to be suffered
to return again to our homes.

Home, where the warm June
had not gone anywhere.
The apple-tree in full bloom
and above the meadow the Moon.

The houses were blooming, those were beautiful times -
the yard full of children, no less.
We stood on the pasture-path, your hand in mine,
heads spinning with happiness.

We were like tree-blooms
transported far by the wind.
Beyond the Sun and the Moon
to each other we remain true.

Translation of "Valge liblika suvi" by J.M.K.E.
Already from childhood I knew, indeed,
you should not in the spring a white butterfly see.
Then summer will come sad, will come hand in hand with tears,
ah, that I would not have wanted to believe.

At the start of this summer, though, one could only see
white butterflies in flocks, all places full of these.
Although I lent no credence to these, my heart guessed evil,
heart guessed mourning, heart guessed death still.

The summer came with blooms, the summer came with heat and
the universe was full of sun, to the joy of people.
Radio spoke of tensions, we didn't listen, but laughed.
We didn't pay attention to the roar of aircraft.

We hadn't seen death,
we hadn't seen ruins,
life had loved us,
now, mid-summer,
we saw all we hadn't seen.

The summer of white butterflies has arrived,
the blaze of a thousand suns has arrived.
No-one will retain this summer's memories,
everything melts away, all joys and worries.

Now in the end summer came running with blood,
death fell from the sky, from the sea-flood.
The land is lifeless, around only fly
carrion vultures and white butterflies.

The summer was angry, the summer hot and sere,
colourful suns filled the atmosphere.
Radios were silent, there were no listeners,
no need to listen, you could see it right here.

Now we saw death,
now we saw ruins,
life was yet loving us.
Now at summer's end
life was still loving us.

Finished is the summer of white butterflies,
thousand-year winter now has arrived.
We survived the summer, will the winter too survive,
the winter that is full of versicoloured butterflies.

Finished is the summer of white butterflies,
this is the start - a new world begins.
We survived the summer, will the winter too survive,
we live in waiting of a new spring.


Magic has entered, the lines of power
in this world will be redrawn.
Build yourself a mighty tower -
the plural of "wizard" is "war".

Your soul is heated in the fire
of your rage and anger dire,
it is picked up by the tongs
of clenched teeth in effort long.
On the anvil of the night
it is held until all fright
is gone. The impurity of fear
is burned from it with coals that sear
through all the mind's and body's bounds -
the cry of pain then distant sounds.
Your soul is hammered with black steel
till all that weakens you you cease to feel.
Emotions like rust-layers away peel,
till in the strongest storm you stay on stable keel.
Songs of power, songs of might,
songs of dark and blinding light
your dreams will chant you as you lie
on the anvil, desiring to die,
losing the ability to cry,
but teaching thoughts to further fly
than given to most mortal minds
by native talent and by birth
on this bleak and boring Earth.
Hammer rises, hammer falls,
loud it shouts and distant calls,
you are beaten, you are crushed,
again to standing rise you must
until each blow rings as a bell,
reflected from your shining shell,
until the hammer not a dent
makes in your mind when hell-bent,
until the hammerhand is chilled
by the threat of hidden will.
Heated you are by wrath again
and plunged into a sea of pain,
bitter cold you are as anger chills,
worked into a warhorse for your will.
Then there comes the grinding-stone,
its weary, boring work will hone
your mind to mastery of lore
til brain is bitter, eyes are sore.
Your edges honed to gleaming light
plucked straight from a starry night
will cleave through shadows and all lies,
with which the world will try to blind
you, will be parted by your mind
and, sundered, wither will and die.
Your sighing edge the breezes shears,
it will cut despair and fear.
Your soul, the sword, should have a name
as becomes a famous blade.
Half in awe and half in fear
the smith will lift you to his beard
and you hear the whisper rough:
"Only one name is enough,
some swords are named Shattersteel,
some are called the Red Sea's Keel,
some even proudly proclaimed Death,
but you I call with quiet breath
(that your edge so simply rends)
the unassuming name of End.
May you have the means to sunder
all. But please do stop and ponder
before deciding death to deal -
missing heads are hard to heal.
You shall be called the Shortest Sword,
over you no-one is lord.
No king will add you to his hoard
or feed you at his battleboard.
No hand will ever your like wield
or carry to the killing-field.
None has ever seen such swords,
your like will be made nevermore.
The weapons of this world would fill a sea,
but you are the single one that's free -
over you none can be lord,
because you are a hiltless sword."

You can bring an army,
you can bring a gun,
you can bring the gods themselves
to come and join the fun.
I will face you here
and I will face the world
and I will show no fear,
for I know not that word.

With visage inscrutable
face your fate immutable.
Of this suggested strategy
the costs are not computable,
the rules not institutable.

You fake that you embrace the cold,
but the true talent, power old
you probably do not possess
and that is really for the best.
Might has many murky sources,
some of which one should not touch,
but lust for them flows from the forces
which in this world we have to match.
From concupiscence for foe's art
many a man has turned to the dark.

When the enemy round us rings
and their ranks do not seem to be thinning,
when all hope is lost of a draw
and we don't even speak of winning,
when I know that I will lose all -
a dark end from a bitter beginning -,
when I see I must surely fall
and my new friend Death is grinning
so near and yet so far,
no-one will see me running.

When I am alone and seeming defenseless,
unnumbered words are my sceptre and shield.
Mighty the mind, yet governed by word-whips
that lash the emotions to take to the field.
Whistling the wind and roaring the breakers,
calling the gales and spelling the swell.

Sweet chances - I can throw my life away!
Deadly dances we will perform today.

Steel wings, sharpened as scytheblades,
wrought in wrath at a fury-flamed forge,
fly the heaven's far-flung highways,
seeking ceaseless in a hungering horde,
trying to track the target of vengeance -
woe to the one who the hunters have found!
No depth of delving or height of ascendance
enables escape from this ironclad cloud.

Souls are forged in fires low,
embers red there round us glow.
Hammerfalls are hard and slow,
blow is blasting after blow.
What is our fate? We do not know.
Swords are bought with heavy gold,
for souls the trade is still more old.
Tales in after days are told
of the sharp and of the cold.

Runes of ruin and reaving-rage,
blue as blaze of burnished blades,
fire-enchanted, forged in flames
that no thought will ever tame!

In a tiny cockle-boat I land on a cold shore.
The oars are laid inside the hull and these with frost are hoar.
A boot makes but a secret splash. The snowdrops give a knell.
In these waves we cannot fish, for only wraiths here dwell.
Of very little worth is life. Above, the North Star shows.
Soon in a small forest-glade a spark on tinder glows.
I neither fish nor hunt a beast - with other thoughts I came.
In a clearing of the bush I light a sacrificial flame.
Not much fun is found this night. The knife will be unsheathed.
Only weaklings will call heinous the intended bloody deed.
Who do I want with force to carry to the shadow-land?
What type of food today to wraiths do I plan to hand?
Strange the rustling that I hear gathering around.
They watch, desiring a victim, not to guard the ground.
Fleshless, boneless are the wraiths, some lack mouth or eyes,
some shape-shift, while others stay in ancient forms and vile.
The knife then nicks the tender neck, red the drop that leaves.
The shadows leap into the glade. I awake as if in dreams.
What feast to feed on do I offer to the summoned hosts?
What morsel meets the insubstantial teeth in maws of ghosts?
When the boot sank in the wave, my belt held but a knife -
I brought no offer other than my own life on this night.
The pack in frenzy pounces on me, teeth numerous as a saw's.
The blood bursts from its wonted vessel making still its throbs,
as if a shave had sliced my neck with a blade of ice.
What is the favour that I purchase with this sacrifice?
Why did I choose to spill my blood to feed the shadow-kind?
If death I seek, then ways less gruesome surely come to mind.
When the ghost-pack closely clings to sink their teeth in me,
their necks within my grasp this brings much more easily.
Not by chance did I row here when a bitter frost I felt -
of ice was made the naked blade tinkling on my belt.
Juniper burns in this fire now built to a mighty blaze.
Guilt stains not one who oneself cuts with an icy blade.
My muscles move flickering-fast, quick as thought, or a ghost,
I am of a kin in my whetted wrath to this ravenous host.
The frozen blade has vanished in flame - fire the end of its life.
Its spirit as vapour flows to my hand, forming a death-keen knife.
I grab a ghost by its throat and thrust the reborn blade in its chest.
Shadowy blood spills from the hole. I gulp it, and turn to the rest.
The wraiths are none too clever and come, as one, thus all,
to leech from the neck-wound the flood. So their doom will fall.
Finally they figure out that something amiss is afoot,
but by then the blood-thirst binds them - it has taken root.
Some charge at me, some try to flee, but neither is of any aid,
for shadow-swift their former prey, and juniper-smoke fills the glade.
As Death itself I stalk the smoke and rob the ghosts of life and power.
Too fast for sight the knife now strikes, slaying them this night and hour.
Nought prevents the once decayed from dying yet another time.
The horde of wraiths is lying slain 'twixt tree-trunks glittering with rime.
With might new-gained I freeze my blade to ice from vapour yet again,
to make the knife forget its strife, think its blazing death a game.
The juniper-fire has turned to ash. In the east the blushing dawn.
On my neck the healing gash is a colour-change from being gone.
If I wish, I can now fish, eat it raw - that too is good,
but on this isle I feel no tie to hold me in this mood.
The boot sinks silent in the wave, from the forest birdsong wells,
the cockle-boat with hoary oars rows from the shore into the swell.

Two hours in the blast
Of concentrated fire,
In the shadow vast
Of two dragons' ire
Two hours counting
from drawing battle-lines
I am still standing -
I surprise myself sometimes.

If I had fallen,
Who would have borne me back
Or guess what had befallen
To a cooked corpse fairly black?
Those who cannot stand the heat
Should out the kitchen go,
Sheep who only blindly bleat
The truth will never know.

The world is wide and full of wonders,
Why do I torture so
Myself - that's what I often ponder.
Why don't I simply go?
The world is strange and full of sheep,
Why don't I make them prey?
Why do exams make me lose sleep?
Why don't I die today?

What drives this knowledge-lust of mine?
What is it in my mind
That in sound of harp or gift of ring
Or power of a worldly king
It has no joy of any kind?
Why is this day not fine?

On the border between night and day
grey threads twine through the shadows
and twist around the final ray
of sunlight on the meadow.
In the door dividing dark and light,
a web is weaving, wandering,
stray threads grope and then draw tight,
encountering each little thing.
What is this weft that emanates
from fingers tingling of my hands,
when the last glow illuminates
the bloody-gilded lands,
when the Sun sets and the Moon ascendant
stares as an evil eye through the clouds,
when all divining-rods and pendants
fail to part the future-shrouds?
Why was a power given to me
and what is that power's nature?
What is the cost that, riven from me,
pays for its every feature?
The power, useless in this world
and age I chance to live in,
would once have fair-sized empires burned,
had it been free rein given.
But changes wrought by my own thought
are deep encysted in my being
once treasures of the mind are brought
inside, they will not leave me.
Mighty weapons everywhere
are difficult to carry,
I'd like to rest the burden here
and for a while to tarry.

I fight under one condition only,
which is ancient, stark and holy:
the fight goes on to the last breath,
all the way to the death!

Northern fire, subtle skill,
we do not keep the weak of will.
Snow is scintillating cold,
sages speak the stories old.
Starlight streaming, stark and pale,
a single cloud, a speeding sail.
Freezing fingers, numbing pain,
a little light, a leaping flame,
burning fingers blackish made -
what was warm, the frost regained.

By the Light that is within me,
by the Darkness in my mind -
the Shadow will not win me
while the Sun upon me shines!
By the light that is around me,
by the darkness also there -
my own deeds have bound me,
my own thoughts have me ensnared.
Of all that happened to me
mine has been the make,
for to our own undoing
we all do forge our fate.

In a silent vale on shadow-horses,
forward flung by fiercest forces
rides a reaving host ungleaming,
spirit-cloaked and shady-seeming,
blades blood-soaked and as if dreaming.
I look at the torrent teeming,
river of riders badly bleeding.

If you cannot keep the pace,
you'll be trampled by the race.
If you cannot hold the line,
you'll be killed like sheep and kine.

I like to look at life
through an optical scope,
with a dot of red light
mark its heart as it gropes
in the dark of my dreaming,
in the shadows I've sung,
in the words of my weaving,
in the traps that I've sprung.
Try as you might,
too weak is your heart
to break through the blight
begun by my art.
The gun gives a start
and the leap that then happens
ends in a cart,
feet facing the chapel.
Whose is the eye and whose the finger?
Birds fly to the sky at the bang.
Who is the spy and who his death-bringer?
Who drank the shot that just rang?
Both of the roles are played by you.
Damn, you are fast on your feet
to fire the bullet and catch it too
and do it all in your sleep.

I do not know which road to take
and I do not know how far,
save that it leads to heaven's gate
and I must go armed.

Let there be light, let there be flame,
let there be an end to the game!

Here in Midgardr we dwell in death's shadow,
so until we should cross the black-flowered meadow
and knock on death's door, to be greeted with scythes,
let of steel be the will and ice the eyes,
of diamond the heart and of blue flame the mind!

Here do I stand and, once broken,
I find it hard to bend.
Here do I stand and, once broken,
I will never be broken again!
I can withstand both steel and fire,
all things in the world that kill.
I will never achieve my desire.
I will never relinquish my will.

Hear me, oh denizens of the dark land!
The flame that I carry you cannot withstand.
Stay out of my way and hinder me not!
I will enter and exit this deadly dark grot
where the dead wait for those who forgot
the promises made to those who begot
them with wails on the birthing-cot.

When your ride has ended, and the song
has gone the way of all good things in time,
may you have a peaceful sleep and long
under the green grass and the grey rime.

From the House of the Hammer of Wrath
there comes the ideal of warriors -
although certain our death,
we make sure that it will be glorious!

[Whistled tune in wav format]

As you move from sun to shade,
your only aid will be your blade.
As you move from day to night,
a ray of light is worth a fight.

As the Sun goes westering,
sinking to the sea,
though our wounds be festering,
so shall we.
As the Sun goes down earthwards
and her light flees,
we won't need the song of bards
to be glad to have been.
The Sun will rise again next dawn,
bringing morrow-wind,
we will long lie under lawn,
sundered from our kin.
But though we will not rise afresh
with the next morrow,
the shroud upon our mortal flesh
will not be sable sorrow.
The shroud will be the young grass
shining golden-green,
under it we'll be at last
in the land of dreams.

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Translation of "Tundmatu" by Väikeste Lõõtspillide Ühing
Oh great unknown, why do you desire storm?
Wouldn't quiet beach be more pleasant still,
where soft the wind and gentle evening sun,
where both desire and forgiveness wait?
I see there many ships sail on the sea.
I know that none will make it back to shore -
far far too deep the graves on the wavebottoms,
far far too dark the nights on the seabed.
Oh great unknown, why has the guidelight gone?
There are no gulls when the sea boils with wrath.
Death kisses dancing on the waves your lips -
you will die, you will never reach the shore.

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When someone is pushing you over the edge,
don't push back - pull instead!

I decide my fate in a moment of peace
Between two bites of an apple.
My fate for the next two minutes at least -
I will be eating the apple.

Goodbye to George
Friends come and go in life,
but enemies one gathers,
so to engender strife
I wish not with my blather.
But I must say that finally we die
and before that life is generally rough,
I do not want to leave friend George behind -
having him in front is bad enough :)
Though all this weary world may be a stage
within which games in theory we play,
when this show's season irrevocably is past
I will be glad we were together in its cast.
My words I hope will not be misconstrued
as asking for thy heart or hand
when I say you are a bastard true,
however, I still love you, man! :)
Though I know not what the winter may betide,
I'm certain that when all is said and done,
you will reserve such strength within your mind
that you need never bow to anyone.
Always keep with you my wishes kind:
when you get tired of the playing long,
may you know what fun it is to ride
and sing that slaying song!
Mayhap we'll meet again, now who can tell,
before we irreversibly and fast
take the shortest road straight down to Hell
and surely meet within its circle last ;)

This poem now is yours, to do with as you wish,
may the ping of parry and blade's little swish
make multitonal music for the ear and hand.
May you have joy that lasts while falling grains of sand
in a certain hourglass still drop from top to bottom
and we walk on land, not deep in darkling grotto.

After having made your day,
I would like, if I may,
to make your night as well ;)
I'm under your spell,
as I hope you can tell.