Niillas Holmberg









Brutus, my brother, I know your health was questioned by Cassius and the others

when your eyes wandered the walls of the senate house as if looking for a window,

while a man lied by your feet with a cloak so bloody

that it was no use wiping your knife to it –

this is how your believes stain your garb!

Did you foresee that beyond ages, dreams and rust,

I am here too, also doubting, while drying my weapon,

that this is not something to recommend for offspring –

I would sooner walk naked than donned with a curse.

Apathy is a pipe dream I had in a guesthouse.

I woke up to scratch off dried blood from my toes,

for once again I’ve tried to escape the stony road on a stony road,

the whole numb society as my stimulator.

I shed tears blended with milk and wine

as he whispers me his last words:

« by all means must we fly; not with our feet, however, but with our hands. »

but I still have one assassination to mastermind.






We started dating in autumn

and even though my dog died

I was in love

three months later

a boy with head lice was born

Rimbaud, un poète maudit

and his haunting example

was to darken himself

in order to see

you clearly couldn’t handle the smell of absinthe

and when the shotgun appeared in our bedroom

it was time to put him aside

I changed into an artisan of complacency

all desires I gasped inside

and what I exhaled was pure compassion

I judged attachment on a spring lake’s ice

if love were a leaf and not a tree

one could swallow it whole

but instead I told you:

”The leaf of love does not exist”

and, oh, you hate Rimbaud




River Allegorical


Last winter the midnight sun appeared

shining through you

and I saw that fear is fruitless

it’s impossible to lose you!

but although I felt the beams

I didn’t settle down to glimmer

nor do you have the patience

to glow in this life

I’m sure mother sees her little soldiers

heroically sacrificing themselves

we waged war against mines

in fear of loss, again

and now as the rich get richer

to the detriment of the tundra, of the home rivers

I fear more than I feared losing you

but don’t be afraid

my love for you is equal

to my love for dear mother

because you are my mother

and I am my mother as well

it’s impossible to lose myself

as I sit by the stream

the river is but an allegory












Niillas Holmberg (1990) is a Saami multi-artist from Ohcejohka/Utsjoki, Finland. He graduated from Tampereen Yhteiskoulun lukio (Tampere’s highschool of arts). Holmberg works as a writer, musician and actor. He mainly writes and sings in Northern Saami, but also in Finnish and English.

He has two collections of poetry; Dego livččen oaidnán iežan (2009) and Amas amas amasmuvvat (2013). In 2010 he won the first Uralic poetry slam in the city of Oulu. He will publish his first Finnish poetry collection this year. Holmberg’s poetry has been translated into Finnish, English, Norwegian, Spanish, German and Hindi for literary magazines and festivals.

He has participated in numerous international festivals of poetry, for example the International Poetry Festival of Medellín (Colombia), Poetry on the Road (Bremen, Germany), Annikin Runofestivaali (Tampere, Finland), Oslo International Poetry Festival (Norway), Kritya International Poetry Festival (Wardha, India).

Holmberg was the young artist of the year in Riddu Riđđu international indigenous peoples’ festival in 2010. He was granted the young artist’s prize by the Kalevala Society for his work for Saamiculture as a writer, musician and actor on 2011.

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