• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 03
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Where Österlen’s lacy coastline unfurls under the bewitching horizon on the top of Kåseberga ridge, I finally catch sight of Ale’s stones - or Ales stenar as the inhabitants of the Skåne region in Sweden often refer to them. Surrounded by dolmens and graves dating back to the Bronze age, the monument consists of fifty-nine stone slabs placed in a boat-like pattern, constituting the country’s largest remaining ship setting. Nobody really knows if this “vessel” once functioned as an old-school sun calendar but it has been noted that at the time of summer solstices the sun sets at its northwest point and rises at the opposite point at winter solstices.

freshly blown glass boat
the scent of lightning streaks
thickens the June air

Hoping to be able to spot him aboard, my eyes trail the giant-shaped stones, dreaming different characters into each of them. Chatting on the internet, living in distant corners of the world, we have been planning this meeting for countless months. Maroon streaks riddle the sky as velvet scoters and silver-spotted skippers carry the smell of the nearby fishery on their graceful wings. "Midsommar" is now celebrated by dance and bonfires all over the country as maypoles, like flowery masts, bright up the landscape - it should be the very summer solstice of our relationship as well. According to some rumors there once lived a giant in Kåseberga under the name of Vold, it was him who built the stone ship. One day, encircled by enemies, he ran to the edge of the sea to escape and just as the villagers thought they caught him, he took a boat and set sail toward the horizon. Standing upon the ridge, one may catch a glimpse of his vessel, ploughing through the Baltic Sea’s mint waves. He seems to be present in the fading tapestry of the herbs, in the faltering song of the cormorants…



It appears the ship spills over under the weight of sun beams and sinks behind my back. I close my eyes to the kaleidoscope of beech forests and ancient petroglyph sites I have visited so far. Beneath Ale’s stones, layers of several other boat formations hide under the surface of the ground, waiting to be discovered by wannabe time travelers just like myself.

white lies
the cry of a heron
cuts the midnight sun