It feels as if the land is in my skin,
the sand has entered through my pores and eyes,
the people who have lived here, live my mind,
and clouds they saw, are now above my head.
The green of May, the brown of Fall, the snow,
they saw it all and heard the sea rage on,
in the same way as I do now. The salt
that stays upon my skin, is what they tasted too.
Now underneath the sand the earth has moved,
as different times have overwhelmed the strand,
new dunes emerged, others are washed away.
Not everything remains, as live goes on.
Then as I walk the beach, a trembling breeze
comes rolling over waves into my ears,
the wind then goes and in the light of dawn
a ship with sails is floating above sea.
A stranger out of nowhere finds the shore.
his footsteps disappear as he walks on.
He is a father, he might be a son
who once was lost. The island shall be his.
On May 18th there will be a poetry event here on the island of Terschelling, called “Dichter bij zee” and I was asked to read some of my poems there, the theme was “freedom” linked with Terschelling. Six poems of mine were chosen, one of them in English (“Frame rate 25”). The first poem I am supposed to read there is in Dutch:
Vrijen op een drooggevallen schip
Jouw lange benen duwen die van mij uiteen,
zo drooggevallen bij de vloedlijn wil ik slapen
met jou en alleen water om me heen,
het zeewier onze deken,
de zee klotst ons in slaap
en wolken drijven met een glimlach over
tot ze verdwijnen waar de zee hen drinkt.
Jouw lichaam dat in mijn lijf zinkt,
wij maken liefde en de zee maakt mee.
Now this one proved difficult to translate. Translating poetry can only be an attempt I suppose. (Or you have to be a really good translator!)
Making love on a ship that stands clear of the water
Your long legs are pushing mine apart;
like this, near the flood line, I just want to sleep
with you and only water to surround me,
sea weed our blanket,
the sea rocking us to sleep
and clouds drifting over with a smile
til they disappear where the sea drinks them.
Your body sinking into mine,
we make love and the sea is a part .
Meanwhile I am looking forward to the release in August of my second anthology of English poems, “Amor” by Winter Goose Publishing. I am also trying to write a novel in English and with writing for my Dutch publisher, my daily 2 hour walk plus baby sitting my granddaughter, maybe I shall not be around on Internet as frequent as I would like to, but days will get slower later on! I shall try to read as many blogs as possible. I wish every one a very good Summer 🙂
Since the funeral a lot has changed.
From the moment we planted your body
into the sandy soil of your birth ground
trees started to grow faster and bigger.
Flowers produced more scent and see how
the grass is no longer grass
but your hair, waving in wind. Gently. Kind.
A lot has changed. I love you now.
Thin moments gone forever
reflect falsely in what we saved and unfold:
the shine of a postcard of the place in Summer
while we were there in Winter
and the light was greyish.
Cliffs and rocks caught our attention
and the smell of a foreign meal,
but gulls of the kind we knew
reminded us that we were not there for ever.
The sunset washed ashore to die at our feet.
I found a writing pen with the ink dried up
but it had such lovely colour, teal,
and you captured sounds from that place,
they danced on your tongue in a pirouette,
only to jump ship the moment we left Britain.
A young man on his first trip as a mate
left his ship to see the famous town.
The streets were simmering, the sun went down
and gardens smelled of home. He met his fate.
She was most beautiful, her hair was red,
she only charged him what he could afford.
He forgot that he was needed back on board,
and in her room they made love on the bed.
Then when the morning came and light was hard,
he woke up knowing that his ship had sailed
but to his heart this love he felt, prevailed
as it was love and had been from the start.
He turned to her and shivered, she had changed
into ugly, soars and lumps, all skin and bone.
She looked at him and turned him into stone,
another statue in the town arranged.
Flowers in vases die faster.
For days we watched
the roses fade and bend
and crumble out of life.
One rose fell on the table.
A bee inside her petals
refused to give her up
until he too was dead.
Today I broke the vase.
A thousand pieces flew
around and for a moment
the roses’ scent was there,
the humming of the bee,
those shades of red and black.
The moment you gave flowers
came back and forth to me.
A miracle can not repeat itself,
therefore I thought it a one time affair
to have known you senseless
in the biblical sense
before you left on a ferry in mist
Then I saw you again unexpectedly,
as we met by chance in a bar
surrounded by smoke
making the air rather dense.
Again you stayed for a while,
followed by another departure for ever.
Each day now your eyes reflect
in shop windows, movies
and trains passing by.
Through anonymous faces
in images on busses
I see miracles happen this way.
All got a new order from the day you left.
You even took your ragged up coat and
I rearranged the furniture.
Where your chair had stood for years
was a light mark on the wooden floor
that I tried to cover with a too small rug.
It came all the way from Mekka,
and had a nice shade of green.
I removed your photo’s one by one,
those that were too dear to look at,
out of the album where white spots remained,
the paper’s original colour.
I took off your ring, the bracelet you gave me,
the necklace with the medallion too,
and my skin was whiter
where the silver had been.
I thought removing your traces
would make me forget and
make me feel less sad,
but every white spot is you.
Your absence is leaving marks
reminding me of days of innocence,
where around them time has moved on,
unheard, unknown, unseen.
On that evening we had decided
that you and I were not meant to be,
but a final walk along the sea
might make the end a bit easier.
You had packed all your stuff already,
and carried your brown suitcase with you,
as if you would step and walk away
over the waves. You looked holier.
We sat, watched our earth move from the day,
the sky went from blue to indigo.
You were still here and I held your hand,
tomorrow was bound to come too soon.
Another day gone, another end.
What mattered most, or what mattered less,
at that moment we had no idea
only that we bonded with the moon.
You whispered my name like you loved me,
the moon was almost full above us,
we had no time to waste or to spite;
the ferry would take you anyway.
But we made some memories that night,
a ship sailed by in silent movement,
all in our lives seemed meant to be.
In spite of so much, you did not stay.
Each morning when day pierces through curtains
I recollect myself to be person,
from shattered fragments all over the place
my body and my mind are being reshaped.
I return in the world of the living,
recognizing others, going through same
kinds of restoration, feel of regret.
We work our ploughs and catch our fish to eat
until day is over and Sun goes down.
Every evening I fall into pieces,
to be a lost molecule of the night.