Johanna Venho, “Heavens, How Tired I Was Sans Skeleton”


Taivas miten väsyin ilman tukirankaa
siinä tulituksessa: maailmaan kylmäpanoksia vatsaan
lippaan täydeltä. Oli päästävä pois! vain yksin pysysin koossa.
Syvä-pimeässä. Älä kysy missä olin,
rittääkö: hukuin jo kerran.
Jokin korsi nousi nikama nikamalta,
meriruoko, antoi merkin.

Olen alkanut purkaa ja akvaarion seinää.
Kun tulet, tiedoista en välitä kuulla. Puhu
se viiva jolla vesi leikkaa ilmaa, työntyy ja
imeytyy sen sisään

* * * * *

Heavens, how tired I was sans skeleton
amid the firefight: a clipful of the world’s cold bullets
to the stomach. I had to get out! Only alone could I hold it together.
Deep in the dark. Don’t ask where I was.
Suffice it to say I drowned once already.
A stem rose vertebra by vertebra,
sea sedge. It was a signal.

I have set about demolishing the aquarium wall.
I don’t care to know when you are coming. Speak
the line with which the water cuts the air, penetrating and
absorbing it.

Source: Johanna Venho, Postia Saturnukseen (Porvoo-Helsinki-Juva: WSOY, 1998), p. 53. Photo of Imatra Rapids (Imatrankoski) and translation by Living in FIN

Angry Birds

Angry Magpies and Crows Attack Elderly Woman in Imatrankoski
Anu Pakarinen
June 6, 2019

birds-1Raili Lindberg is still shaken by the incident.

Imatra resident Raili Lindberg was the victim of a nasty attack last week in her neighborhood in Imatrankoski.

After going shopping, Lindberg was taking the same route home.

Her journey was interrupted when four or five large birds attacked her on the bike path running from Jutinkatu to Pasinkuja.

birds-2Magpies and crows attacked Raili Lindberg on the bike trail between Jutinkatu and Pasinkuja last Wednesday.

Lundberg says she was attacked by magpies, but her description suggests crows were also involved.

“A neighbor tried to warn me, shouting from the balcony for me not to go down that bike path.  Since the birds were screaming, I couldn’t make out what he was saying nor could I hear anything clearly. I kept going and the birds attacked with their claws wide open. They jumped on my head and pecked it,” Lindberg says.

Rescuer Pecked As Well
Lindberg tried to protect herself by crouching, but the birds would not relent. She says she went into shock and cried for help.

“With four or five birds pecking the crown of my head, I went into a bit of a shock. The neighbor tried to come and help, but the birds pecked him, too.”

The attack ended only when Lindberg escaped by moving forward down the bike path, her hair, neck, and clothes soaked in blood.

“I was covered in blood. I really didn’t know what to do. Then I called the Imatra municipal authorities,” says Lindberg.

The Police Get Involved
Apparently, the city reported the matter to the police since a police patrol soon arrived at the scene.

bird-3Several scabs, still visible on Lindberg’s scalp, are a memento of last week’s assault.

After consulting with the region’s on-call veterinarian, Lieutenant Timo Kuokkanen of the Southeast Finland Police Department, watch commander at the time, ordered the birds destroyed because there was no other way of solving the problem.

Kuokkanen says there was a danger the problem would continue all summer.

“I got the impression the birds were aggressive and this had been happening for some time. There were several people who had suffered bloody head wounds.”

The police patrol reported shooting one crow. The fate of the other birds is unknown.

Lindberg Hopes Tree Will Be Cut Down
Lindberg says she went to the doctor this week. Her wounds were cleaned, and she was given a tetanus shot and prescribed a course of pills.

She is still shaken by the incident.

“Lost in my thoughts, I was walking the same way again when the birds started cawing. Then I came to my senses and got the heck out of there.”

birds-4Was that the nest?

She knows that, ordinarily, birds have always been aggressive this time of year in the very same spot. The cause could be a nest located near the bike trail. According to her, there have been threatening situations in the past, but she does not know of the birds ever having attacked anyone so badly before.

“They should cut the whole tree down!”

Lieutenant Kuokkanen argues the episode is quite exceptional.

If magpies and crows continue to endanger people, he urges them to dial 112. The police will come to the scene to see what can be done.

All photos by Anu Pakarinen. Courtesy of ES. Translated by Living in FIN