And he stood before his tent
watching the damp of the morning
and he knew all was well. Bit chilly perhaps.
Archive for May, 2014
And he stood before his tent
The shape of a bird,
of a flower,
of every bird,
every flower, tree, rock.
Time after time,
specimen after specimen:
perfection, finished without a seam,
no plan needed.
I can’t do that
but I would love to try.
Staying behind in a house that’s abandoned,
for sale and forgotten and nobody cares:
the stray cat, a bat moving in for the winter,
the mice and some slow living spiders and bees.
The wood worms, the floors that are cracking and rotten,
the ants, the cobwebs, the mirrors and doors that won’t shut,
sounds from the past, the leaking rain talking,
memories playing their hide and seek antics.
Mould. Slugs. Two buried fetuses.
No new owner waiting, the habitants grow
in freedom, in size, in boldness and number
to a buzzing crescendo, to a scream in the night.
Where does it end? House for sale.
When the astronaut returned to Earth,
he was told that he had lived shorter
than those he had left behind on the planet,
and he had won a whole second in time
which the others had consumed.
He quickly found out that this was true;
wherever he went,
elevator doors closed before he could get out
and his wife said goodbye
before he had a chance to say hello.
sunlight painfully reminds me of outside
while inside all is gently talking of darkness
and the choice is mine to live it or not
ants carry stuff without hesitation
rain never pours from earth to sky
there is logic everywhere but in me
the spider insists in keeping me company
building a new web every night
and it catches my thoughts in its silken net
one day she and I shall leave this cave
together facing the lightness;
for now she moves in circles like me
“I am only eight,” I said.
“Then I am eight too,” the man said.
It was a real shame he thought so.
when you were almost born
I met a doe in the forest
and she was not afraid of us
when you were born
Leonids fell from the sky
and you blinked back
as you cried for the first time
an owl answered all was well
and you were silent
My death won’t be a cheerful one,
not like my birth was, though I cried.
I never met someone who died
and called it cheerful, really none.
My guess is it will be in bed,
at night and all alone maybe,
too dark for anything to see
too late for anything be said.
My birth was in a Winter night
the place was my grandmother’s house,
my mother present, as her spouse,
no doctor, though they hoped he might.
I was all blue and rather small,
they tried to keep me warm and well.
The midwife said that she could tell
I would survive the cold and all.
From where I came I’ve no idea,
I have no memory no clue.
I lived the way the others do
and never was another me.
To go back when my time is there
to black eternity, my goal
and nothing will stay here, no soul
I’ll be a molecule in air.
Among the material that is you,
(breathing, body, footsteps)
lingers more, the you that has no name.
I’ve grown accustomed to its gentle meaning,
sensing you from every distance
not just by your voice.
Out of the abyss that is time
you will be heard in echos,
in a breeze, in whispers;
I shall remember you
by body, by mind, by affection
as I hear footsteps moving on.
When she, in storm and spring-tide
stretches her arms,
empties her guts,
alters the beach
in a sizzling cruel crescendo;
when she vomits, foams,
wreaking destruction over land,
pouring her salty tears,
it’s then I do love her the most:
sea, demented granny, not yet amortized, fighting,
holding on to life,
tearing up all she encounters,
spitting ensis, throwing crab onto the sand,
she shows her dirty teeth
(the driftwood that is splintering)
and crying whales are washed onto the shallows.
She fights her demons like a lioness.
Then wind clams up and all falls silent, she nourishes her wounds
and quietly returns to far and silent grounds.
This is my translation of Verrinneweerd, the poem I wrote for the poetry contest of the event Dichter bij Zee that was organized here, Terschelling. It lost a bit of rhyme in translation. Yesterday evening the poem wan (a shared) first prize. 🙂 Being on stage is always a bit scary, but it went well.
Als zij bij storm en springtij
haar armen strekt,
haar darmen leegt,
het strand verandert
in een sissend wreed crescendo;
als ze kotst en schuimt,
verderf zaait over land,
haar zilte tranen stort,
dan houd ik nog het meest van haar:
zee, demente oma, nog niet afgeschreven, strijdend,
hangend aan het leven,
verscheurt al wat zij tegenkomt,
spuugt ensis uit en smijt krab op het zand,
laat haar vuile tanden zien
(het wrakhout dat versplintert)
en grienden stranden huilend op het wad.
Zij vecht als een leeuwin tegen haar demonen.
Dan zwijgt de wind en al valt stil en koestert zij haar wonden
en keert zij zwijgend terug naar verre, stille gronden.