Archive for December, 2012

Into the next year!

And we shall march on:
the pensioners, the children
the mother and her little son,
the teacher and some
giggling girls in Sunday dresses
all following the band,
with the baker hitting the big drum
and the butcher blowing
his enormous cheeks as he impresses,
playing on the sousaphone,
and everyone is going
with joy into the brand new year,
no one will stand aside or be alone
when the band is passing here.
And while their boat is drifting on
we’ll still hear them play
when they are gone
into another day.


Everyone a very happy 2013!

image from the Dutch movie “Fanfare” (1958)

(this is a repost of last year, I am a bit busy but I wanted to wish everyone a very good 2013.)

2012 is over. For some people it was a bad year, for others fantastic.

Personally, it has been a great year, with a few ups (Veritas got published, I met some very nice people, also online! My family is still in good health, my eye got fixed, I still write novels for a living) , and a few downs (lets forget them lol) and also very good memories.

I hope next year will bring good times for everyone. It won’t be easy I think, with the economy, the wars everywhere, hunger and natural disasters, so  good luck everyone! Lets help each other when things get worse, and most important, let there be peace…

Shade of a storm

As light is needed to make shade, so do
I need your voice to say what’s real here, what is made
of substance, what is air and nothing more. Or lies the truth in
the transparent molecules between us when we see each other?
Air has no shade, no memories, you say.

Yet I recall a certain storm we had before.
Air moving fast. Although it didn’t last for long,
the memory won’t fade. The air between us seems much thicker now.
So what is real when clouds have moved away,
is it enough for us to open savoured bottles? Will you stay?

Merry Christmas!

because of this birth
some peace seems possible now
on our bitter Earth

maybe not forever so,
though just for one Winters day

because of this peace
that we let into ourselves
some bitter might go


Merry Christmas every one! 🙂

Being apart

More often when you are not here with me,
I sense you in the way the raindrops fall
near me, a rhythm that explains it all,
but not why you are not right here with me.

Near me, the water falls apart in parts
that splash against my feet, my skin, my hair,
reminding me of days we didn’t care
about goodbyes nor raining that now starts.

More often when you are not here with me,
the loss we didn’t feel then, comes in parts
of splashing raindrops, and that’s how it starts
to be reality, the truth to me.

Near me I sense you close to skin, my hair
and in the rhythm when the raindrops fall.
No. I do not want to explain it all.
For me it is enough to know you care.

Christmas stable

The live Christmas stable got a cold,
so Christmas is postponed
till the codeine kicks in,
although it is believed by then
the shepherds will be stoned.

Christmas Spirit

We listen all evening to Carols that rhyme;
just a reminder that this is the time
to sit all dressed up for a large dying tree
with candles burning too dangerously,
and outside we can see some ugly cold snow
so we have no place to escape to or go,
we must sit it out together my friend
let’s be glad that it soon will all be at end.
Pass me the calories, pass me the wine,
if we keep up the spirit, we might be just fine!

😉 I do like Christmas! Honest!

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 wheel house.
“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 the cold that made him tremble? 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, where 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 had 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 held his breath.
All of the sudden he saw his mother, she was sleeping in her chair near the window. The candle on the windowpane, he saw it 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, published in De Terschellinger. repost of 12-12-2010

I had planned for something new, but things got in the way!  🙂


Time, we so need time, to be in, to live in, to heal in,
we see it on the graveyards, as there lives time,
we do need time desperately, we also hate it.
We find it in mirrors and in condolences.
Time grows on us, and makes us older,
as time is impatient, never waiting
never showing any mercy at all
time is not gentle and soft
never it is generous
not to us
time brings pain
sadness that lingers on
it leads us to an early death,
or finds us looking back in tears
at sunny days when we’re being happy
playing with a toy horse or a bright red ball.
Death meets us at the end of the darkest alley,
that’s where we are when there is no time for us left.
Lost we shall be then. Gone. It always has the last word: time

We shall remain

To see beyond what can be learned with eyes,
to find through your eyes every time we meet
is truth, that gives me joy, comes as surprise,
so know that I shall follow when you lead.

To be with you. What else should matter me,
to catch with your hands all that we have found?
This so much gives me life, so let us be
in love together, and for ever bound.

To me this is enough to get us by:
to be, after the bad that we have seen,
together. Now: we only have to try
and make it both, in spite of what’s obscene.

If we can just forget about the pain,
that came to our lives, we shall remain.

Tomorrow (Wednessday 19 Dec) I am going to the hospital for post op check up, hope to be online again 20th.

What we never said

After a while, the conversation ends as we are done with speech,
with nothing more to say, there is some time to kill,
so silently we walk on, side by side over the beach,
to dwell in past and present with the tide,
and no more talking taking place,
this will be our way to say farewell. My friend, the ferry waits for you.

Watching you sail away, I’m thinking of the gaps I should have liked to fill.
Perhaps it’s so that words mean more to us than normally they do,
when they remain unsaid? As if unspoken they might add some truth?
I don’t know if it mattered, still.

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