Archive for August 23, 2011

When too close was near

When too close was near and I almost touched you, but missed,
one of us took a deep breath of distance, madly talking,
afraid to be boring.
Another hour of relief kept us together in a thin sort of rain,
in the bus stop shelter, too late for the bus, too early for walking,
till the next time off guard,
but so aware
that our shoulders felt each others warmth,
we let all anticipated fears go, to dare.
The first time we kissed, it was pouring.

entry for gooseberrygoespoetic poetry picnic \"Kiss\"

kind whispers

The miss of you and who you would have been now
makes me think it would be nice to have a heaven in my mind
only for you to live on like forever.
A haven, a place for you. One of a kind.

The street

There is a certain understanding between
the old man and the street.
He has played here when there was no pavement, in the sand.
He shared his first kiss underneath that lantern,
now electric, where he would like to stand again
but a car is parked there, quite obscene.
The street remembers him, making sure he won’t fall over,
carefully letting him step over the pieces of brick sticking out.
The houses watch with hidden curiosity, a curtain trembles,
and the café door opens to give him a welcome
of spirituals and other rituals
and he will have some.
But then he will go back to the place
he calls home.  As the lantern now
shines a different sort of light.


Around me children are angry,
we look in fear at each other:
I am afraid of their physical power
and they of me because I am not like them.

Around me the mob  is approaching
and my father is at sea
and my mother my responsibility
and I am not good in running
and I don’t have a brother to do my battling
so I stand and pretend calmness.

I bluff a certain dédain.
Running seems a better option, but
noses do stop from bleeding. Eventually.


There was a lot of bullying going on when I was a child, this “mob” chasing me (probably others too) daily when I was 4 on my way to Kindergarten  were actually 3 or 4 boys of about 7. Teachers were also violent,  and parents.  Looking back, I think there was nothing I could have done to prevent the beatings. I just escaped into my own world if it was too much  🙂 thinking up stories.

A poem from the past: Far

I was convinced I never wrote poetry before last fall. There is something funny about the memory, I had quite forgotten that a long time ago I did also write some (very few) poems, but in Dutch, they (gedichten) were published, some  in a magazine called “Viva”, also in the primary school’s paper when I was a primary school kid, and in some books, poetry about pregnancy and this one, published in the book : “Mother, poems about the first woman in your life” published by uitgeverij Michon 1987. Why I completely forgot about them, and even thought I never liked poetry, (I must have?)  I don’t know. Life happened, it was over 20 years ago. And I probably didn’t think of them as real poetry. Sins of youth (jeugdzondes) we call them here 🙂 Translated from Dutch:


It is midnight.
Shivering I walk through the strange house.
I feel lost, crying of homesickness,
in the middle of the night.
To be home now for just a moment.
And then: the telephone rings;
a voice out of nowhere.
It is my mother. She says:
“I can’t sleep.
Thinking about you all the time.
Hey, is something wrong?”

Het is middernacht.
Rillend loop ik door het vreemde huis.
Ik voel me verloren, huil van heimwee.
Was ik maar even thuis.
En dan: de telefoon gaat over;
een stem vanuit het niets.
Het is mijn moeder. Ze zegt:
“Ik kan niet slapen.
Ik moet steeds aan je denken.
Zeg, is er iets?”


In the Dutch original there is a sort of rhyme in it 🙂

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