CROSSING SWEDEN - Poem by Harry Clifton
Insistently, a foreign tongue
I can only interpret as Song
Comes over the air, as the train roars on.
Even as it speaks
Ice breaks, and fast-flowing rivers
Take over, the dazzle of lakes,
The shutter-speed of sun through trees
As the mind clicks into gear
And the eyes unfreeze.
A windfarm's slow propeller
Threshes cloudy skies -
I wonder who lives out there, who dies,
And see my own reflection
Rushing past, to the greater world
Of Stockholm Central, Gothenburg,
As the changes are announced
In that Scandinavian, singsong tone
I recognise now as my own.
It wants to be helpful, to be kind.
Abroad in the north country
Of my own mind,
I hear it - any tongue will do -
Interpreting the hinterland,
Seeing me through.
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