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Newness of Sunset (Helsinki, July 2005) July 28, 2007

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry, Uncategorized.
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Newness of sunset, late, after 11, on the coast of Finland,

in a fine Baltic breeze,

in late July when we seek shelter not because we must but just to congregate.

Images of Helsinki and Stockholm play in a continuous loop like an eight track,

music then click, music then click then…on and on.

Forget about airports and schedules for a moment, I tell myself,

how often do you get to visit this place, three-quarters of a world away?

So I sit and watch the people, the trolley with its low rumble goes by

as if to say “excuse me,” as if it could go by unnoticed it would.

A Russian cathedral to the east, the harbor, then downtown,

and an opera house,

even if you don’t like opera, it represents the art.

I am called to gaze at the people meandering around and into Finlandia Hall,

not the idle rich, but it’s a moment to seem so.

And if this were some other city, some other place, I might be put

off by the Arab and Asian cabbies, but not here, not now, and

I can’t explain it and I don’t feel the need to know why.

The sun doesn’t really go down and the dusk is comforting so I shake off my

laziness and walk and it is a quiet time indeed as most of the lights

are out except the pubs and restaurants where I can hear the

murmur and stirring drift into the street if the doors and windows are open.

I don’t fear street crime but I don’t know why, and I wander toward the hotel

instead of taking the direct route, but I get there eventually and

the club in the basement is buzzing.

Young people smoking and talking into their cell phones and taking

pictures with them, speaking Swedish, Finnish, English, alternating

at will, it seems, so I stop for a moment taking a last look at the

western horizon, still visible, another trolley,

people scurry to board, it rumbles off, then the street noise

gives way to the club noise.

I decide to retire at least for four hours until sunrise calls me back.

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