Choice & Endurance


When there is a choice,

you can endure a lot


I'm aware of this,

up in the morning bedroom,

in January 2023

at the farm

in the north,

tucked into my mountain sleeping bag

under a double layer of thick quilts,

dressed in my merino underwear,

a thick pair of polar socks

and the woollen sweater Anna knitted for me


The reason for this predicament

is Russia's insanities in The Ukraine,

and the raging cost of electricity in their wake


We simply cannot afford the electricity it takes

to work the geothermal heating we normally use,

and have used all the winters I've been up here with Anna


I don't HAVE to endure;

I can go back down to my apartment/retreat

south of Stockholm by the Baltic coast,

1000 kilometers due south,

where I can enjoy a steady +20°C

all day and all of the night

(like The Kinks would put it!),

and where I still have one more year

of a set low electricity cost, and district heating


However, there are reasons to endure!


In addition to the obvious - Anna and the animals -

there are the endless forests

with their neural pathways of snow scooter tracks,

and the many frozen-over lakes, ice covered with snow,

both instances perfect for skiing,

- and the spacious silence,

embellished with snow flakes creeping across the windows,

the sound of the wind in the pines and spruces

and your thoughts finally having all the space they need

to become poems or plans to realise,

or the spacetime you need to prepare for the inevitable,

which no one has yet escaped,

even though daft religious rumours says something else


Having to work some for the basics,

like carrying firewood from the shed,

kneel by the big burner in one of the outhouses

to fire up the system in – 30°C,

and feed the wood stove in the main room

downstairs in the main building, where we reside,

to finally get the indoor up to T-shirt level

around lunch time,

has a value unto itself


You never feel unconnected to the circumstances

or the surroundings

or the general living conditions

here on the farm


It fills your day, touches your body,

fires up your mind

and the planetary being inside,

and leaves a trace of reflections

and poems and ways of survival,

that you simply don't encounter

in city living,

and the birds flock around you,

the squirrels make visits,

the woodpeckers bang away

and at the outer perimeter

Yannis, the fox, strolls by,

having fetched some organic waste

from the compost behind the stable


- and at times you sense some of the feelings

left behind out here in this semi-wilderness

by earlier generations, hundreds of years ago,

with the difference that they had no choice

but to pull through or die,

without a supermarket forty kilometers away,

or a hospital with state-of-the-art care sixty kilometers off,

provided by the tax-paying citizens


- so through this forenoon I spend the pauses

between walks out to the wood burner

in the outhouse

and the feeding of the horses out in the meadow

in the warmth that starts to fill the house,

with the Persian ney player Hassan Kasaei

on Spotify,

physically quite aware of the elements

surrounding our house this cold and sunny winter's day,

leaving one of my choices unchosen


- and we can always be sure of a warm, soothing tiredness

by the end of the day,

when sleep will come, effortlessly and angelic,

the stars standing watch around this house on the hill



Poetry by Ingvar Loco Nordin The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 24 times
Written on 2023-01-17 at 12:08

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Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Despite the demon Putin's insanities and their effects that you describe so convincingly in this poem, the scene you paint is really quite idyllic. In your position I too would choose to endure such hardship! Blessings, Allen