(for I.
steep coast

Author: Anja Kampmann
Translator: Anne Posten


(for I.

He left last year
in the days that followed
you often saw shadows on the branches of twigs
and the sea
washed up whalebones, whose secret midpoint
he sought
A constant outline like the black
within the lighter stripes on the asphalt
or shall we say stones, smaller dancers
the mosaic of time or
shall we say patterns a flock of rooks
makes against the sky
shall we say November and fainter light
or shall we say breathflakes and memory
an eternal reversing
like the Chinese man in the park in Paris
shall we say vines on the houses
the sparrows, their fluttering, the anatomy of flight feathers
on an early fall day the midpoint
of every sound
that passes through us.



a heart failure of light
an intrusion into yesterday
a river with plums on the banks
pears a market
and when tito came the villages
and when tito came the healthy
men and the healthy women
and the children who took their dogs on ropes
away with them
and afterwards
and in the woods the shots
the woods the woods the hills
with soft greenish light
and in autumn in summer winter
and the early abandoned year
as it followed the others
it followed followed each other away
the fishers the butchers
nuts to gather nuts
a hollow thud from inside
an emptiness in the fruits and who
picked them up who ate
of them what remained maribor
with whirls of glass of glass
the dogs came back first
with their long slack ropes
that were never dropped only held
tighter and pressed in the
blind hands the forgotten hands
with the lashes
to go swimming to dive
in the village lake in the village pond
in the depressions of the landscape
in the reflections of a new day
the lashes lashes and the dog’s
rope by day and under
the memoryless clouds
in the greenish greenish
where someone came where everything fades
as one goes.


steep coast

it’s almost sunday
the wolves get trapped
in the cliffs it’s the sound of the sea that hits us
the rolling of stones ahead a few boots
in the rock how the waves wash against the air
running the wind swells the cape the space
for your small memory yellow
as they ran children who stick out
their tongues in the rain sea salt
to learn the howling of the wind afresh
with the spray comes love rough
in all its ancient languages.


Anja Kampmann, Proben von Stein und Licht.  Hanser, 2016.