Poetry by Andres Ehin

by Richard Adang



to be a dog-apartment with three barking rooms
with a snout-bathroom
where one tap dribbles cold
and the other hot slobber

to be a dog-apartment with floors
that howl towards moon-yellow ceiling lamps at nights

to be a dog-apartment
that detests the smell of cats

to be a dog-apartment
whose sofa hairs bristle up
even at the stench
                              of distant felines

Translated by the author and Richard Adang, USA

*  *  *

white nights
                      with my small finger
                       I push that ghostly
                       and weightless city
away from my sight

an empty plain of land and  sea will remain
shadowless night light will remain

Translated by the author and Richard Adang


Wind that flings a moldy leaf onto the  asphalt.
Wind that pushes wide open the flaps of fog.
Wind that battles against the fog and surrenders.
Wind that shreds the linen of cloud

and reveals  a pale blue shivering sky.
Wind, smelling blood, sweeps across a bleak slaughterhouse.
Wind that dances its drunken dance with a thousand lanterns.
Wind that wants to be wetter than sleet and rain,
    but actually carries the chlorine smell of a cheap pub,
    cigarette-smoky, sickening wind.
Wind, petty wind, tiny tormentor.
Wind, great wind, ruler of the plains.

Translated by Richard Adang and Taavi Tatsi

deep under ground dwell
            soiled birds
if you wash them clean
            their cornflower blue plumage
            will gleam
these birds are
            and deep blue moleeagles
with these birds
            Estonian plays Indian
            Indian plays Estonian
but those birds only allow
            the indigenous peoples
            to pluck their blue feathers
we Estonians and Indians come
            from the land of three-coloured dogs
            and underground birds
but where are we going

Cornflower is Estonian national flower, one kind of swallow (“smokeswallow” in Estonian, “Hirundo rustica” in Latin ) is our national bird.
For some, Estonians are the Indians of Europe.

Translated by Taavi Tatsi and Richard Adang