From the Lighthouse: a letter

It’s high land where the lighthouse stands.
The uphill track looks gentle and pleasant.
The track down the other side is broken and hungry.

I need to tell you about these last few days;
don’t know how much time we have left.
The clock strikes at random, increasingly so.

The tide withdrew from the bay this morning.
An ancient carcass of a schooner has appeared;
the wind creaks through its lonely skeleton.

I drift from floor to floor, window to window.
The snivelling housemaid watches me all the time.
Who does she think she is? Who do I think I am?

I insisted on making us herring-paste sandwiches,
spiked hers with seeds of woodruff.
She’s in the outhouse now.

I may have time to write this before she returns.
Her barnacle eyes have the power to stanch me.
And the breeze has risen to a gale since daybreak.

So I tell you, I’m wired deep, real deep.
Bedrock, timber, the universe and everything.
No lost sailors for me; I’m bound for the mountains.

Two ospreys sail high above the storm.
The shipwreck gambles are all picked clean.
If you can, think of me.


Jane Røken