We share our fate in languages half learnt,
our words have traveled days of evolution,
in nights our dreams make how we think
and make up for illusion.
We say more than we know.
Combine the two, the day and night,
and we can speak of destination.
Maybe our fate is that we can not stay for long,
we carry so much burden on our road,
we cope and think that heavy lifting makes us strong.
We die although we always thought we would not.
But now and then we may return in quotes,
in déjà vus and photos,
in names and hastily written notes.
We could not disappear, or so we hope.
When you go to other places, leaving
home behind, forget what you expect to
find, for greater must the finding get you.
Light that, either gold or silver shining,
dances on the sea, the sky is turquoise,
grey, it might be damping, misty, raining.
Don’t imagine sunshine, how it falls there.
Meet those moments – blank and mindless, humble,
eager, hungry – stepping down, away from
you, the self, and watch him, nosy, walk through
unexpected lanes and roads, before the
journey home, returning to the city.
Apart we stand as thrown away from love,
alone and tired, waiting for a ring
but no, the phone is dead and I won’t sleep
as well as when your breathing follows mine.
Apart we live our lives through thick and thin,
for what it’s worth, I never loved again,
I miss your presence, your reclining chair.
No I don’t care that you don’t ring no more.
We lie our lives pretending all is well
but nothing is, we stand as thrown away,
apart we are alone, and tired we move on.
I shall not phone you but I miss your voice.
On rare occasions
such as birthday parties,
the mothers would smoke
and it had to be done in the kitchen
where they giggled like teenagers.
They went to the hairdresser
to get curls once a month
and on birthdays, they used hairspray.
On other occasions
such as funerals in rain
and Tupperware parties
they would smile sadly,
lips painted red,
the curls covered with head cloths
and when another baby was born,
they would do both and cry hard, giving tea parties
using Tupperware containers for cookies
that would taste plastic.
I don’t wear lipstick often
and I do not smoke.
I don’t care too much
for birthday parties,
I don’t own any Tupperware
and I try to avoid going to funerals.
I liked having all my children
and I never have cookies
when they come by the house.
I would not fit in my own childhood as a mother.
But maybe they went out
to drink wine later in the day, and read
with total strangers,
not understanding anything
but falling in love
and waking up in a motel
next to a god.
Now I can relate to that.
Yes, I could be
a mother in the sixties. If I had to.
If you were that god and if
there was a Tupperware container
that I could actually open
to give cookies.
if I was not my child.
I could not do that part.
Look here, life, I said, you can take it or leave it.
I am not going to change, not anymore so,
for this is my body and this is your home now.
Every breath I take is well intended fresh air.
So let’s be friends. I shall accept all of your flaws
until the last day that we might spend together.
Care for us both if I forget to nourish you.
Kindly remind me that we now are friends not foes
so we can go on, I said, in some harmony.
The scent of pink petals is hanging in the room:
with my eyes closed I’m with you in that flower shop,
years ago but the flowers smell the same as then,
to get something nice but cheap for a funeral –
we didn’t really know the deceased very well
who was in his eighties when he died in his sleep,
we only knew that he liked flowers very much.
We ended up spending our money on roses
and on those flowers we didn’t know what to call.
We almost forgot to dress in black. The graveyard
never smelt so grand and fine that I remember.
Memories last longer than flowers in water.
For ever: a kind old man behind his window,
waving, when I smell those pink flowers in the room.
Go not without a memory of slumber,
remember the turquoise and the gold,
the brightness of the room in Summer.
Go not without, before you go away.
If I have failed and nothing makes you stay:
go not without hearing the growling sea
before you go, the waves that rolled forever.
Go not, go not without a memory of me.
Trees die for the sake of poetry,
some were homes to nightingales –
one should be able to tell
by the poems on their paper.
Flowers are cut with the sharpest knives
to be given away affectionately,
but often the roses
die for nothing.
Words are read, silently tasted for sound,
their meanings unheard,
drifting through air
The nightingale loses its home,
the flower its life and words their voice
to connect one searching heart
to another waiting soul.
Clouds tell me of places,
shapes emerging and fading –
none might ever appear again.
I’m the only one here
to see these figures explode
when a wild goose is joining me.
As we’re watching the sky,
we understand each other
and I become the wild goose now.
Flying towards the clouds
I go over land and sea:
the wild goose and the former me.
I took the pic a while ago, here on Terschelling
We stood before the open gate
and waited in the springtime sun
as none of us spoke much that time,
we only heard the wind blow hard.
We watched her get her red kite up:
the girl who came from Amsterdam.
Her hair was black in curls and shone,
she wore a jacket and a scarf.
She let the kite go in the air
and you ran forward through the gate
to grab the line, thus saved the day.
You took her hand. We held our breath.
We, others, knew right there and then
that you may never let her go
so obvious it was to us.
The kite is gone, but love has stayed.
Your children now play in the grass,
a girl with black and curly hair,
the boy’s is red just like his dad,
and they have kites that fly all day.