Archive for December, 2010

Late December Visitor

 

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His face appears from long ago

And though his hair is whiter now

He is the same

 

His eyes say that all now is well

But tell the story of his life

He saw the world, he fought and fled

And wed a wife

That wasn’t right for him he says

But no regret

That  they have met

 

He‘ll  sail away on New Years day

Now  may he leave on New Years Eve,

The year will end with our farewell

A raven’s cry,  a nasty spell

 

I hope he ‘ll leave  me not till morning

And love again will be our haven

And the year will start so well

 

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Old & New

 

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Come  the darkest day

Now old light is gone in cold

Year,  begin to end

AT MIDNIGHT RAISE YOUR GLASSES

Day light to begin now

Gone is the darkest end

Come in the new year

 

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Midwinter

 

Terschelling 19 dec. 2010 Rusty guns foto: Toussaint Schroders

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The battle axes won’t be melted soon
This peace on earth is just a phrase
But you and I made up no day too soon
So let me give you this embrace

The silent nights that we are hoping for
They won’t be keeping us awake
By sunset we’ll just close and bolt the door
Since silent night is give and take

 

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Jingle Potluck

 

Terschelling 19 december 2010 foto: Toussaint Schroders

The lighthouse and the candle

It was a quiet evening. Christmas eve.
The “Pythia” was sailing under a full moon. On board, captain Hessel Westra did his shift and drinking his coffee that the cook had brought to him in the stirring cabin.
“Another Christmas at sea,” the cook sighted. He gleamed outside.
Hessel didn’t speak. He shivered. Every now and then a beam of light flashed over the water from the coast. The island became visible. The lighthouse Brandaris. Terschelling.

The old farmer put his book down and his glasses away. He looked at his wife, who was sleeping in her chair near the window. On the windowpane was a candle next to a picture of a young man. The candle was flikkering. Christmas eve and a silent night. Maybe it was a pity there was no snow this year.
He rose from his chair, got his jacket and wellies and went outdoors.

It was so quiet outside. Just the sea behind the dunes. The moon was shining from a clear dark sky.
A cow in the barn mewed, then it was quiet again.
The old farmer started to climb the dune and he thought of years ago. So maybe he was wrong that time. He shouldn’t have tried to force the lad to do what he didn’t want. But that was how it was in those days. Children listened to their parents, was he wrong to think his son would listen too?

But the boy wanted to go to sea. Not become a farmer. And now, years later, he knew the son had a point. But then… Had he himself not just lost his brother who was drowned? He was still wearing the black armband then!
Around the arm that hit his son that Christmas eve.

From the top of the dune he looked over the peaceful island, the dunes and the sea.
Where would his boy be now? Well, boy, he would have been forty now. Would he still be alive today?
He left that Christmas eve and he had never returned. Never they had heard from him.

On the bridge of the “Pythia” Hessel still shivered. The coffee couldn’t keep him warm. Was it really cold? He remembered that he had this strange sensation when he was young. A shiver. A feeling of bad things to happen. And then he would just know a cow would die, or lightning would strike , things like that. Odd, he had forgotten all about that shiver.
Maybe it had to do with the fact they were sailing here, so close to Terschelling, where he had lived on his parents farm until that Christmas eve such a long time ago.
There was the lighthouse. There were the dunes. And somewhere behind those dunes was the old farm, the horse and his parents. If still alive.

The old man was staring towards the sea, were he could see the light of a vessel far away. Why didn’t he just go home, inside, where it was warm.
Didn’t he hear the old horse now? What was wrong with that animal?
He turned round and entered the barn. The horse was restless, scraping his foot over the floor.
“What is the matter old boy? Huh?”

On board of the “Pythia” Hessel took over the stirring wheel from a mate and gave him his coffee.
It was strange, in the last years he must have sailed here several times, so close to the shore of his island, and he never thought about home till now. It had been a horrible fight, between him and his father. Over twenty years ago it had been and he had left and never returned to the island.
Maybe he was right then. He thought so, then. But now, he could see his fathers point of view too. So soon after the death of his father’s brother, he should have waited a bit with revealing his future plans.
And now he once again sailed by the island he used to live on.

He shivered.
All of the sudden he saw his mother, she was sleeping in her chair near the window. The candle on the windowpane flickering. The candle…
He uttered a cry.

The horse had calmed down a bit, the old eyes looked sadly at the farmer.
“So you are fine now, aren’t you old boy,” the farmer said. Just when he decided to take a look in the stable to see if the cows were okay, he could hear the telephone ring in the living room.
“Now why doesn’t she take that call?” he wondered. He forgot about the cows and hurried inside, into the living. There his wife stood in the room, a burning curtain was lying on the floor. She tried to kick out the flames. He helped her and they succeeded to put out the fire.
Still shaken she said: “I was asleep, you know, and then the phone rang. I woke up and I saw that the curtain was burning. I just tore  it down to the floor. Just in time. If that phone hadn’t rang…”
“Maybe whomever it is, will call again,” her husband said.
“Whomever it was, he or she may have saved my life,” the old woman said. She put the fallen picture of her son Hessel back in its place and they both had a glass of wine to celebrate the good ending.

Hessel was still near the radio and waited. There was the voice of the operator.
“This is Scheveningen Radio again sir, I am sorry, they won’t answer the phone.”
He thanked her and stared out of the window again, over the sea. There was the lighthouse of Ameland, the next island. The shiver had gone.

Slowly the ship continued the voyage.

translated by me, from orig. Dutch, written by me in 1986

Haiku or Naisaiku or Senryu

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nights without loving

cold shivering are my dreams

waiting for your hands

WAKING UP FROM THIS NIGHTMARE

loving hands waiting

nights shivering without cold

for my dreams are you

 

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This poem needs a bit of explaining perhaps: I wrote it as I found out about a new form of poetry and I wanted to do one too.

NaiSaiKu usually has the same lines in the first and second haiku but in reversed order.  This experimental form I saw at leo’s is about mixing all the words.

I used all the words of the first haiku in the second and devided the 2 haiku’s by a sentence of 7 syllables. Read more about this on Leonnyes site (see link at the bottom here) Leo is really clever  🙂

on this site

One winternight stand

 

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If shelter was what you came looking for

Or the warmth of my bed

Or the arms I  put around you

-And it was all that you needed, you said –

 

Then why was it not enough

Later, early, in the hard  morning light

when the snow silenced all other life

when it was still too cold to be outside?

 

How come you went away then

Again, leaving me shattered,

and fighting my tears

the candle still burning bright

Why? After all: these cold years,

should they  not have mattered?

 

Your footsteps are fading  now

covered with snow,

you are gone now

 

don’t come back, don’t come back to me, never

don’t do this again

ever

come back

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Oh, you are returning now

The candle still burning

Yes I give in again, not aware of a reason

Against better judgement

our love warmth reburning

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nominated and given the Jingle perfect poets award.

this poem is an entry for the Poetry Potluck

list of winners! 🙂

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