Many a splended thing

a poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

It’s easy to be lyrical about something beautiful, say, a rose
it’s so much more difficult to find anything cheerful
about a revolting animal like a rat.
Once in a log cabin that was nailed to rocks
up a dark mountainside, where trees don’t grow
but tiny flowers do in June;
I met a brown and white chested rat.
It sat on top of the piano when I played,
enjoyed the musical vibration!
I think.

When I stopped playing
went into the kitchen
to find a hammer
it guessed my evil intention
and disappeared.
It reappeared
when my hands were busy trying to tease out an acceptable tune,
the rat was no longer afraid
since it sensed my good mood,
it was snowing,
the pair of skies, leaning up against the outside wall were rotten
I wasn’t going anywhere
and had plenty of firewood.

Hammered a nail into the wall instead
and hung up a ten year old calendar
which pictured a naked lady,
loosely draped in blue silk,
published by a garage and
I never got the connection.
Yet, a rat is just a rat,
a sigh is just a sigh,
not more than a gentle resignation of love gone by
and love surely did die
when I found my companion drowned in a pan of soup
left for cooling till next day
and yes it was still snowing.