Amsterdam house boat

One night on the deck of a houseboat
in a canal where swans swam
you told me about love, how it appeared
in Arab poetry and French chansons.
We were lying on the deck
watching the chalkboard sky
on which you wrote my name.

You had a pigeon, almost white
that you kept in a cage.
You even sang, and the next day
you waited for me when I
left the building where I worked
and so you were it then, my lover.
You didn’t bother about foreplay.

Moist, we were swimming over each other,
and the rubbing of skin on skin
is what I remember, the Turkish music coming
from a house across the quay.
Your face changed into that of suffering
and death, your movements more mechanical
than human, you were not you anymore.

First you made love and I learnt.
Then we made more of what we had.
The chalkboard became a grey slate,
the swans now were crows. It ended
when the sun entered your
Amsterdam window and I opened it
to let the white dove go.


Comments on: "Amsterdam house boat" (8)

  1. Ina this is a fabulous poem!

    You just get better and better! And you were excellent to begin with. How could you have such little fairh in your English poetry?! Maybe its the case that we all doubt ourselves from time to time, but you have absolutely no need to doubt yourself 🙂

    L&H xx

    • Hi Christine, thank you very much 🙂 And thank you for saying so! I am always worried I overlook a stupid error lol 🙂 L&H xx

  2. Love poetry is a tricky business. I think you carried this off very well.

  3. How beautiful … especially love the ending, but then you always seem to know just how to begin and end a poem! XO

    • Hi Diane, thank you very much. It is funny you should mention that, lately I try to work on my “endings” and it is amazing you noticed! XX

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