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Along the edge of dark blue waters

cold and lonely northern waters

lies the mighty sleeping giant

known as Pentti Koskenkorva.


Touch your ear, my name is Peter

is the name sense of this giant

slumbering mass of earth and eskers

sleeping off a dearth of questions,


never asked and seldom answered,

Pentti Koskenkorva blended

with the ironwood around him.

What’s the point of being giant,


holding answers, living pliant

like the waves and mighty waters,

when no human ever seeks him?

Wingless, bored and flighty human,


seeking, never finding human

fears the energy of motion

rooted to the blind emotions

hunger, thirst and lust his potions.


Stirs the waters till they’re muddy

tears at hearts until they’re bloody

numbed and callous, nothing lingers

of the knowledge at his fingers.


Once mankind, he loved to stalk

with cougars and the wandering stocks

of caribou, he slurped with bears

the lush blueberries, now he hides


like quivering rabbit, locked within

his lazy habits—why I can’t

and why I won’t—the total sum

his daily rote, oh bloody hum…


ho bloody hum, the giant’s heard

it all before, he’s had his fill

of lamentation, what’s become

of jubilation? Are there none


whose incantations might arouse

a celebration of the mind

and sense? But no one answers him.

Sleeping giant Koskenkorva,


though he snores and rumbles nightly,

offers truth that’s spoken rightly.

Touch your ear, my name is Peter

loses hope, there are no leaders.


Then one day a wandering girl child

knobby kneed and grubby girl child

drops a rock into a pool and

watches circles rippling and


fraught with strange imagining, she

hears an angry sputtering. The

hillock where she eats her lunch, it

grinds from side to side as if


a chin resided neath the brush

of saskatoon and thorny bush.

On outcrop of a grayish hue

she dances, then with eyes of blue


astonished sees the wrinkling brow

of granite fold and glacial fault

scrunch up, a breeze, then mightily

the woods blow out a giant sneeze.


To be continued, don’t know when…

Meanwhile, here is a lively sample of

Finnish rune singing by the folk group

Värttinä. If you listen closely, you may

catch the Kalevala meter that my poem

follows within their tune “Nahkaruoska”,

which means “leather whip”.

© poem by Elaine Stirling, 2012

© oil pastel of Antero Vipunen by Hanna Kantokorpi, 1991