Arto Lappi: Three Tanka and Two Haiku

peacock butterfly (neitoperhonen)

Tiedän tulleeni
kotiin – näen sammakon
portinpielessä:
se vain pullistelee kun
pidän veräjää auki.

I know when I come
home I’ll catch sight of a frog
on the gate’s jamb stone.
Its bubble bulges only
when I hold open the gate.

Linnun vappaus:
nälän lennättämänä
leijana kantaa
poikasilleen matoja,
kirvoja, kärpäsiä.

A bird’s freedom is
delivering to its chicks
worms, aphids, and bugs.
Flown through the air like a kite,
it is driven by hunger.

Kesäinen päivä:
neitoperhonen istahti
rinnuksilleni,
levitteli siipiään
ja paistatteli päivää.

A summery day.
A peacock butterfly sits
on my chest for a moment.
It unfurls and spreads its wings,
bathing in the daytime sun.

Levähdyspaikan
toivossa perhoset
ylittävät meren.

In hopes of finding
a place to rest, butterflies
are crossing the sea.

Vaikka kivi on
pohjassa, me seuraamme
yhä renkaita.

Even though the stone
is resting on the bottom,
we still track the rings.

Source: Arto Lappi, Kukko puusa (Turku: Sammakko, 2002), pp. 14–17, 45. Thanks to Mischa Gabowitsch for inducing me to look at page forty-five. Translated by Living in FIN. Photo of peacock butterfly courtesy of LuontoPortti

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