All departures are a start,
but I don’t want to go into the new.
I’ve grown accustomed to this view
and leaving it will break my heart.
How does one part with memories
of childhood days? They seem to follow me
in streets. The chestnut trees
were always there, I watched them grow.
All starts are a departure,
familiar sights will fade in time,
I’m looking forward to a new adventure
but I don’t want to lose this view.
He stepped into his coffin twice a year,
to stretch himself and see if it was fitting.
But this was not enough, so in a hearse
they drove him to the cemetery lane.
Sitting up for the duration of the ride,
giving orders to the driving undertaker,
he waved at people in the street. He caused
his wife a fatal heart attack this way.
And now he’s dead himself, the hearse no longer his,
but every now and then, on misty days,
he can been seen, while waving from his coffin.
To leave the sweets untouched
for as long as possible,
a postponed reward
till my weakness would win:
I did it as a child.
Twenty five toffees I saved,
sticking together in my drawer.
As this is like my love for you,
I wait to show you my affection.
Longing is the best part.
As long as I can
I shall keep it a secret, then: tell,
a sweet reward for nothing special,
for me on an obscure day,
with ordinary problems,
solving one (and creating some more).
In lakes, the ground unseen,
my thoughts of you must find a grave,
the depth of water I don’t know.
They ought to go and give me rest.
They might swim East,
fine swimmers as they are
or float more West,
or sink into the mud deep down.
I do not care. I need them gone.
I’ll tie them with a brick for weight,
as they should not emerge too soon.
My thoughts of you must find a grave
in lakes, the ground unseen.
When the tide was almost turning, waves paused,
all seemed on hold. The clouds stopped moving on,
and we had time to find out what had caused
the gap between us, as so much had gone.
We stood there, not in water, not on land;
a seagull awaited our decision.
There was no sound, no movement on the strand.
What were we both trying to envision?
Then there it was: this lightning struck above.
The waves began to move up on the beach,
our feet got wet, and from thereof
we had each other: maybe this was love.
We are both watching the sun set.
I don’t know you; you don’t know me.
I see you wipe a tear.
It was a great sunset.
On Sundays, God took over the silence,
from the church came his angry voice:
the organ, heard in the entire village
where everything seemed forbidden.
But my mother hung out her washing
as it had gotten dirty on Sundays as well,
and she would ride her bike in spite
of the parson, who was in church anyway.
Hell and devil couldn’t bother her anymore,
not after all that happened,
not after that cruel war. (Where was He then?)
The happy heathen, she was free now.
“Your mind is yours,” she taught me.
“No one can keep you from thinking what you want.”
I celebrate my freedom. And thank
my free-spirited mother.
We lived with an elephant in the room,
pink and with the size of Texas, it stepped
on toes, putting chips on our shoulders.
It lived with us for years, then we killed it
with sarcasm, and buried it outside.
All participated in the murder,
but the elephant was never mentioned.
We started to feel guilty of the crime
and the space we gained, soon became choking.
Another elephant now lives with us.
I’m amidst a birthday conversation,
with six people talking at the same time,
words leapfrog through the living filled with smoke,
exploding in laughter. I lost track somewhere
between the price of fuel and the weather.
Then, out of the blue and cigaret fumes
you enter. So we are back together,
miles apart. Your eyes hardly remember.
Photos are taken, the flashlight X-rays
prove I’m with strangers now. I should have known.
“This used to be my brain, now is a grave yard
where memories rot in grey and brown shades.
Once I could remember what they were about.
I do not mind. My mind has done with me.”
She stares over the street that she can’t name.
Her room is on the top floor of the building
where windows never open. Black birds
smash themselves against the glass. Despair.
“I need a spade,” she tells the nurse who frowns.
“I need to dig the grave yard up.”
Her medication is adjusted. Another black bird
kills itself by wanting to get in. Some years go by.
One morning her bed is found empty. A window
is shattered, glass everywhere. But no sign of her,
she seems to have disappeared. A note says:
“Gone to do some digging.” And a black bird screams.