by Hanne Busck-Nielsen
The drum of night upon uswe become shadowsslipping on mud and flat stones;between tufts of grass and moss,water blinks – a trickleof voicesunderfoot in the squelch.Spruce trees and ochre larch,dim to black silhouettesagainst the sloping sky,their lowest branches layering with mist –elverkongen's døtre dance.Clod-clowning troll Bobbarækus rumbles.Misshapen heartbeats. A beast.I'm a disappeared child –see six revelling elver-girls,their tree-rot hollow backs sway;the moon stays impartial –a freezing glare with no graceyet a lost line remembers itself –Aldrig ræd for mørkets magtDo not dread the might of darkness –it weaves through bracken and heatheruntil at last we step backonto the road curving the fell,dumb to dark, night eating silenceand no owl or wind to make us real.
by Hanne Busck-Nielsen
Faðer uor som ast i himlüm,halgað warðe þit namaWe watch night climbthe fells around us. The scree slope buries its facewith dark and below Wast Water puckersa last flutter-dash across its pewter sheen.Tilkomme þit rikie. Skie þin uilie so som i himmalanIts depth is foreign to me,these serious mute mountains not mine;so oh bo iordanne. Wort dahliha broð gif os i dah.only the names: Eskdale, St Olaf's Churchfeel almost homely – almost like relativesyou've never met but for your parents’ memory.A bird calls above us,then a rustle in the margins along the lake.Wast Water, black omphalos of a wounded earth –Oh forlat os uora skuldarwe are soon gone, our lives hidden again –but you draw deep, back to the source.so som oh ui forlate þem os skuüldihi are.In this darkness there is no pretence, not much at least.Oh inleð os ikkie i frestalsan utan frels osifra ondo.Here the scale is another, requiring a growing stride.Tü rikiað ar þit oh mahtan oh harlihhetenThe mountains mutter their knuckled prayer i ewihhet. Aman.
From the Archives
by Jean Sprackland
You can get drunk on the airin this town. There's a wild smellthe locals love: malt, hopsand yeast, which is tricky stuff,doesn't like to be controlled.Microscopic spores escape from the breweries,filling the air with excitement.Carried like seeds all over townthey find out sugarand corrupt it. You open a cupboardand find marmalade transfiguredinto froth, spreading over shelves,dripping spoilt and heady.Saccharomyces cerevisiae.It spreads like scandal,creating bubbles of discontentwherever there's a bit of sweetness.It makes things unstable.Even places you'd think were safe– a home, a bed – disordered.The song of a blackbirdExaggerates a restless nightand you wake, feverish,ready to make something happen. Anything.