(© Irina Jauhiainen)

When Everyone Around Me Bought an iPad

After Walt Whitman

When everyone around me bought an iPad and the iPhone 5
When they texted in stead of talking face to face
and tweeted pictures of their plates at the dinner table
When they told me how lovely it was to carry social media in their pockets
When poets did their readings off phone screens
and said they no longer used pen and paper
How soon I became disgusted of all this
’till rising and gliding out I wandered off by myself
Found a manual typewriter at an antique market
and logged off Facebook, permanently.

Shady Stuff

I got a text on my phone. Want to go out and do some shady stuff tonight?
I faced moral dilemma, wondered what on earth to reply.
But I saw not an angel or a devil in miniature descending to speak to me;
on my right appeared a tiny intellectual feminist,
wearing neat clothes, a sleek hairdo for a halo
and a stack of books in stead of a harp.

Don’t fall for it too easy, love, she said with a soothing voice,
pushed the glasses up her nose and went on.
You should stay on the path you know is right,
read sonnets by the fire, have an early night.

Before I had a chance to frown at her (what a bore!)
something else caught my attention. On my left I saw
a woman in a tiny black dress, fishnets and red lipstick, spark
in her eyes, dark hair waving down an arched back.

The femme fatale casually leaned against my ear and whispered with glee,
baby it’s your time, can’t you see, to release
that crazy wild spirit lying beneath.

So I swept the smart one off my shoulder, calling after an apology.
I’ve listened to you far too long. It’s time I give some shady stuff a go.

And I willingly followed the femme fatale to the deep pits of Hell.


Your faithful backpack awaits in the corner
of the room you had the illusion was yours for a little time
It has been everywhere with you
Never completely unpacked.

No one can completely unpack. Life is dynamic
Stillness is only borrowed, every flat on rent.
Between birth and death there is a
fleeting moment when no one owns you
You do not belong to anyone or anywhere.

Existence is only borrowed.

We are like migrating birds
Bursting to song on a cool summer morning on finding
aplace to stay. There is no such thing as home –
you stay for a while, but soon the instinct to move
will overwhelm.

Life changes between sunlight and snow
and flickering afternoon light through trees
in summer wind. You can try and remember
a view from the train window or an instant,
but they will keep moving once you turn away.
Their memories will only be real in your mind and a few
faded photographs.

To keep moving is the only thing that is true.

for New York City

But how can he sing about
the sun in her eyes
if he never comes up to see the sun?
The musician’s score of Forever Young,
echoes in the halls and the stairs of the subway station
and resonates in the great stages of Broadway musicals
There’s always some sort of blues
playing in the streets of big cities

Cherry blossoms burst to bloom
showering the pavement in petals
as if it all were but a beautiful dream

Beautiful dreams must come to dead ends
on cold hardwood floors and grey morning skies.

There are nothing but echoes all over.

Voluntary Internal Migration

We travel towards
the South-Western part of the country to keep pace
with the Sun. If we reached the speed
of the changing horizon we could stop the time.
Soft afternoon sunset would linger on forever.

But days grow shorter and darker, as the
dimming light in the reflections on frozen water
tells in its stories.

Every molecule moves slower as the night comes.
Small streams flow into rivers.
Birch trees rise from tundra.

We can only slightly
delay twilight.

Passionate Lover to an Artist

Won’t you let me be your muse
when you feel that there is no use
to paint your pictures day to day
of landscapes, every time the same?

Perhaps I’d give you something new
to draw, to mix a different hue
I’ll offer tasteful countervail
when your endeavours seem to fail

May inspiration lose its reason
your art face a fruitful season
Make space for all inventive passion
that you might in your paintings fashion

A breath of life you would exhale
arouse each and every detail
compelling images evoke
with every slightest paint-brush stroke

Each morning you would hear my song
I would make you carry on
all your inner strength seduce
if you let me be your muse

I would never leave you cold
nor your drive would I withhold
we could create, design, devise
make beauty wake up in your eyes

Paint sunsets in the purest gold
make covers of the skin unfold
all your images educe
if you let me be your muse

Ocean Trapped

They say the body is a temple
but the boy was trapped in something that felt more like a cage.
The blood in his veins felt like an ocean, like the fucking
Atlantic with its cold currents. Noontide flooded in and rushed.
He fell against the shell of his own being. Every moment of existence
consisted of kicking and screaming and clutching at the
burning metal bars

He feared the level of the ocean would rise. He closed his eyes.
He shut his senses, all of them. The fall would come quickly,
he knew it then. The cage was filled to the brim with nothing.
Ocean was still there. Salt poured into every pore on his skin.

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