The true man

At an early age she suddenly became a widow and left her life in the busy city she always hated for a quiet existence in a rented house in a village near the sea, where she took in all the grieving with morning’s salty air, to breathe out in relief, and for her only companion a gull with one leg.

She would feed the gull, walk over the beach, write on her laptop and eat the bread she baked herself. Once a day she went into the village to purchase food and wine, and at night she went to bed as soon as it was dark.
She did have internet, to sent her work to a publisher whom she only met once. And she had Facebook, her blog and email to keep in contact with the world.

After a while, a man she only knew online and who was usually the only commenter on her blog, started to send her private messengers on Facebook. He was a writer too, she often read his blog postings. His writing was better than hers, so she thought, and he had more people commenting than she had, which was fine, as she didn’t really liked to hop from blog to blog anymore. She much rather listened to the rain or watched the mist coming out of the sea. He was very nice to her and he admired her writing.
For a long time the chatting was just friendly and amusing. He asked all kinds of things, he was intelligent, funny and caring. They slowly became more intimate. They shared thoughts of all sorts. They sent hearts to each other all day long.
They video chatted, they sent photos and he let her read his writing before he published it. He was in love. She could not help falling too. He was exactly what she needed.

Of course she wanted to know more about him and read his blog more intensely, so she tried to find his writings through a link on his Facebook page, only to find he had more than one Facebook page. She landed on a page with his name, and his family. It was him, on a photo with a woman, he was in a relationship so it said and he had one more daughter than he had told her. At least that was the info there.

She asked him why he had not removed the notification of his relationship, as it never came to her mind he was a cheater perhaps. He was angry because she had investigated him.

The love seemed over but they patched things up. He wanted to live with her, marry her. They were soul mates. They made plans. He had a big secret, he told her, but he would not tell her until he was in her arms.
She asked for his phone number, but he didn’t want to give it. When he finally did, she later discovered he had blocked hers. He had not told her though.

A friend of hers stayed with her for a while and they discussed the affair.
“It does not look good,” the friend said. “All things adding up, I think he is not totally honest. Don’t you think so?”
“It looks odd, but there could be explanations.”
“Did he give you any?”
She sighed.
“Not many. And they were just as odd.”

Meanwhile he deleted parts of her comments on his blog, so she decided not to read there anymore.
“His daughter had a baby. He told me a few days after the birth. And two weeks later, he told me the baby had been born the night before. But when I said that it was rather quick for another one, he changed his story.”
“Right! I told you. He is lying. He wants a place to live, or attention, or money, or a laugh.”
“He asked me how much money I had, right in the beginning. I told him and that I have no debts. He said he didn’t too. Now he says he has financial problems.”
“Do I need to tell you what is going on?”
“You don’t understand. We are soul mates.”
“So is he coming here?”
“He can’t. He needs a passport to get here, but he has hurt his knee.”
The friend got silent and drunk the rest of the bottle.
“He says the most incredible things to me. He adores me.”
“Sometimes you are very naïve.”
“So what am I to do now?”
“What would you tell me to do if it was me?”
There was a long silence.
“I do love him,” she said. “I want to meet him.”

The friend took a paper and pen and wrote something down, then put the note in the empty bottle and walked to the sea. She threw the bottle far into the waves.
The friend left the other day and the writer remained, puzzled about what was true, what was paranoia, what was obvious and what was real love.

Then he told her his knee was long better.
She asked him if he was going to get the passport. Her tone was firm, even impatient, as she needed to have some proof he was true in his intentions. They got into an argument.  She for once really lost it. It ended with her sending him an email in which she called him a liar.
She walked to the sea and stared long into the waves, till her one-legged gull appeared. He was sitting on a bottle that had washed ashore. There was a note in it. It was the bottle her friend had tossed into the sea.

She took the bottle home but didn’t open it, although she was curious to know what her friend had written. She decided that it would remain a secret, like the man she had loved so much. Had he been for real? She would never know.
She went on with her life but never forgot him.

Trying some fiction.  Hope you like.

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Lay your head on my shoulder and wait
For now the first birds sing
And we won’t interfere
Let’s listen, let’s hear
Nothing more.

Just you and me and morning sun
A day beginning in a dream
All the past behind us
Will not interfere
Not anymore.

Moving on
From pain to you
From past to future
To a place we were before
Forever loving, forever more.

Lay your head
On my shoulder and let me
Make you safe. Now I know you
And you know me also. Now
We move on, nothing less, only more.

Remembering

Today would be the 70th birthday of Toussaint, my husband, who died in 2016.
Realizing once more what I miss: his honesty, his love, companionship, and, in spite of all our imperfections, a very good relationship.

We were supposed to grow old together.

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Verdict

There we are in court, not even close
by the way our thoughts have taken over
and all the years we lived have spoken,
as guessing jury members in an unfair trial,
as barristers who bribed the witnesses and
tampered with the proof.

Not even close we are now,
but we almost could have been.
Life made us careful
and prosecutors, disguised as facts,
took over.

And of course we both are right,
as we investigated our own fears,
and we are judges too,
thinking we know right from wrong,
we know to be careful and suspicious,
to listen to our instincts for signs of disturbances
and of course we are right
to let our closeness slip in the final verdict.
Heads will roll.

But we can also ignore the evidence, and grow
above ourselves in the process, bailing each other out,
for together we would not be two times one prisoner
in separate death row cells.

Our thoughts might move closer and we could plea to free us,
to be who we are, better and in peace. If we want, we can convince.
It is our only freedom. To be sentenced not guilty,
moving away from our fears.
Meeting at the gate, together leaving the court of justice behind.

The Balance

My 5th English poetry anthology, published by Winter Goose Publishing, is out now! As kindle edition and in print. 144 pages.

“The Balance” on Amazon

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The thought

she feels the thought as physical,
a growth under her skin, it glows in her bones,
yet it occupies the room she sleeps in,
walks with her and keeps her company
while her mind wanders off to the day.

the thought lives in her arms and wants to possess her,
and she lets it enter, time after time.
it enters, stays and yet enters in new proportions,
new appearances – this overwhelming thought
that she could be herself again, and finally be safe.

 

(don’t ask  🙂 ) 

 

I am proud to announce that my poetry anthology , published by Winter Goose Publishing  and titled “The Balance” will be released on April 18 this year, both paper and e-book.  The ebook version can already be preordered through Amazon (only 5 $ ! A steal! 🙂  )

 

“Ina’s poetry will make you laugh, will make you cry, and will make you gasp in recognition as a particular poem speaks directly to you. She writes novels in Dutch, her native language, and poetry in English. Her love of the English language apparent in her usage of it. She is not afraid to expose her heart as she uses experiences her own life—her poetry often being an attempt to find meaning from the apparently inexplicable. Her books make ideal bedtime companions allowing you to reflect on your own life.”

—David Agnew

“Acclaimed poet Ina Schroders-Zeeders produces poems full of a distinctive and subtle expression, examining emotions stirred in everyday life, and in this new book life gives us further insight into her life, and that delicate view and understanding which make her such a unique voice. With her beautifully distilled phrases Ina explores her interest in the way emotions interact with landscape and everyday rhythms, taking us under the surface of the apparently unremarkable event to reveal the wonders therein. The book is a treasure trove of insights.”

—Peter Wells

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Amazon The Balance (pre-order e-book)

On a personal note:

This book is a very emotional one for me, as the time I was  writing it and the time after, my life has been pretty much in turmoil. And it still is I suppose. Emotions of grief and mistakes, hope and reality can be a lot to deal with. Sometimes sadness rules, but I like to be optimistic and think of the good in myself and others.

I hope to find the balance in my life and that I shall be ‘Moving on’  which happens to be the title of the next anthology later this year.  (“The Balance” and “Moving on” are in fact sort of twins.)

 

 

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