Memories of Horses by Rolf Jacobsen

The lines in the hands of old people
gradually curve over and will point soon toward earth.
They take with them their secret language,
cloud-words and wind-letters,
all the signs the heart gathers up in the lean year.

Sorrow bleaches out and turns to face the stars
but memories of horses, women’s feet, children
flow from old people’s faces down to the grass kingdom.

In huge trees we can often see
images of the peace in the sides of animals,
and the wind sketches in the grass, if you are happy,
running children and horses.

translated by Robert Bly

The Old Clocks by Rolf Jacobsen

The old clocks often have encouraging faces.
They are like those farmers in the big woods or in the mountains
Whose whole being contains some calm acceptance
As if they belonged to some other race than ours.
A race that has fought its way through its time down here
And has seen its unhappiness shrink back like grass
During that earlier period when the Earth was earth.

They are guests with us this time and they nod in tune to our distress
Next to our bed with their mild wisdom: it’s OK,
oh yes, oh yes, it’s OK, it’s OK.

translated by Robert Bly

Sssh by Rolf Jacobsen

Sssh the sea says
Sssh the small waves at the shore say, sssh
Not so violent, not
So haughty, not
So remarkable,
Say the tips of the waves
Crowding around the headland’s
Surf. Sssh
They say to people
This is our earth
Our eternity.

translated by Robert Bly

Evening Clouds by Olav H. Hauge

Clouds are arriving now
With greetings from
Distant coasts;
It’s been a while since
They sent a message to me.
You shy pink
High on the evening sky–
It’s probably for
Someone else.
Well, there’s still
Some hope left
In the world.

translated by Robert Bly

It Is That Dream by Olav H. Hauge

It’s that dream we carry with us
That something wonderful will happen,
That it has to happen,
That time will open,
That the heart will open,
That doors will open,
That the mountains will open,
That wells will leap up,
That the dream will open,
That one morning we’ll slip in
To a harbor that we’ve never known.

translated by Robert Bly