Archive for September, 2014

Personally (translation of Persoonlijk by my husband Toussaint)

My husband Toussaint is very ill now and he wrote the following:

“This posting might not remain here very long. Maybe I remove it tomorrow, or get up this night and remove these writings quickly.

A strange introduction? Certainly, hesitating so not to have to begin? Sure.
Acting interesting to capture readers? Certainly not, please move on browsing on the world-wide web. This is just a personal story, but it happens to be mine.

Why this long-winded introduction? Well because: this week I was told I am seriously ill. My stomach is being burdened with a rather rare form of cancer. With bad prognosis. I don’t want to go too much into details about the exact sort and diagnosis. Perhaps later, if I decide to keep on blogging. At any rates, my life has changed dramatically, as well as that of my family.

I am about to go into a period of goodbyes, limitations, getting worse and the end. I try not totally to let go of the little hope that is left (my limited medical knowledge and google don’t give me much hope). I do hope that some time will be given to me, to be active, as beloved one, father and grandfather. I am not ready by far to give that all up. The first hours of informing people, getting stuff at the physician’s, taking care of business, that has been done. Now it depends on whether or not I am able to live the live in the here and now. To not run for the future (if I could do that, I would probably have done so already) but also not to be petrified by fear for that same future.

This may sound brave and philosophical, but I wouldn’t know how to rephrase this as the emotional rollercoaster keeps going.
If I can give you some good advice: appreciate life and each other, it is gone before you know.

I now shall consult an old, sad friend. Symphony no 6 “Pathétique”by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Music which touches the essence of men to me. If you like to react to this, please do. I shall moderate everything, and might not publish everything.
For now, thank you for going with me in my story so far.”

For Toussaint, me and our family it will be a difficult time ahead.


toussaint schroders

Dit blogje blijft wellicht niet lang staan. Het kan zijn dat ik het morgen weer weghaal, of dat ik vannacht uit bed kom en het schrijfsel snel verwijder.

Een vreemde inleiding ?  Zeker, treuzelen om niet van wal te hoeven steken ? zeker.

Interessant doen om lezers vast te houden ? Zeker niet, gaat u gerust verder rondkijken op het wereldwijde web. Hier vindt u alleen een particulier verhaal, het is mijn verhaal, dat wel.

Waarom deze omslachtige inleiding?  Wel hierom: deze week kreeg ik te horen dat ik ernstig ziek ben. Mijn maag is opgezadeld met  een redelijk zeldzame kankersoort. Met een slechte prognose. Ik wil hier niet teveel ingaan op de precieze aard en diagnose. Misschien later, als ik besluit te blijven bloggen. In ieder geval staat mijn leven op zijn kop, en dat geld ook voor dat van mijn gezin. Ik ga  een periode in van afscheid…

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Half dead trees

20 09 14 002

Crisp lying under oak trees where they grew,
Their veins dead rivers where the sap ran through,
Some green and waiting silently in haze
Of morning. To go this way, with such a grace

These leafs, as found in poems. I did find
Old trees with life and death, a different kind,
Combining past and present in one branch
That knows to bleed out life yet never stanch.

I hear the sound of death in cracks near me,
An owl is closing eyes so not to see
A leaf now captured in a spider’s web
While Autumn kills it in it’s fading ebb.

This is the place where time is made and dies;
A wood where one can hear the branches’ cries.

I took the photo in the woods, Terschelling, 19 September 2014. And that tree is not an oak 🙂

Them and Us

The crawling creatures go
Combatting with each other,
Carrying manure in clumsy Atlas style,
Though the impact of their efforts
Hardly that of a mythological figure;
We look down on them, we kill them!

Using a fingertip only, we shake our heads
watching ants run in circles. Spiders end up in
Our hygienic Hoovers, we have contempt
For the woodlice, never moving on in evolution.
We sit back and are content
Because, better than them, much better:

A Goodbye in Sunshine

10maart 1949 - albertje en maarten, robbie
Photo: My parents, then not married for another 7 years, as this photo was taken on 10 March 1949 and they married 19 May 1956

In steam and mist a goodbye seems forever,
More so than when it’s taking place in rain
And I could not believe that you were gone
When Sun was shining on your funeral.

Such brightness that day had, we all walked
Smiling to your grave, you would have loved
To be among us; for a moment I was sure you were.
In steam and mist it would have been forever.

When Sun was shining on your funeral,
You went, the coffin white with roses.
More so than when it’s taking place in rain
A goodbye in such light does not mean forever.

This poem is a repost. When I wrote it in July, I was not aware it was about my mother’s funeral, she died 20-09-2009 so that is 5 years ago today. On her funeral, the last Summer’s day, we listened to Last Rose of Summer (Celtic Woman) and everyone had a white rose to give to her when she was buried. Sometimes I feel as if I only now get to know who she really was.

It was no farewell, just a goodbye.


Old words go back to being wood
The paper changing colour due to time
How well they once were understood
Repeated fingers going over rhyme

The leaf veins ran with nightblue ink
The paper changing into art
With words to make four generations think
And hear the beating of the poems heart

Though with some pages missing here and there
(Words written seem for ever gone)
Some half ripped out by sudden tear
The reader can not stop, needs to read on

Thus more and more the book becomes a tree
To carry fruit and live eternally


Dust is us
Our scattered dead skin
Spread all over old pieces of furniture,
Looking the same, yours, mine, that of
The Greek lady who let us a room
And tried to rip us off,
Dust everywhere, not just hers
But also that of warriors, tourists,
Writers: everyone who ever stayed here
Who ever said foot in this Naxos place
Is spread over all the old furniture
And we all look the same
Whirling under the bed,
Us, scattered and forgotten.


The sea has mingled
With my past today,
Fiercely spitting out
Leftovers of its junket meal
In a brownish grey
While trembling air
Digested parts,
As it should be:
Lovers touches,
Reckless (always trying to be fair,
But reckless) prattle,
False assumptions,
Cherished letters.
You and me.


You ask about the use of fountains,
Spraying water only to drink itself,
Still the most wanted places in cities.
We stood in one, on a hot day.

There is no use, I say. Only the beauty
And to cool the feet of tourists,
To throw in a coin for good luck.
Now there, that is a lot of use, you say.

You make me see life in a different way.


A moving poem deserving more readers 🙂

Belfastdavid's Weblog

I sit back,
close my eyes,
free my mind,
reach out my hand
to touch whatever’s there.

Sometimes soft sand upon a beach,
sometimes rippling water of the sea,
sometimes grass growing on a cliff top,
sometimes naked flesh of inner thigh
above a stocking top.

But every now and then
I reach
and nothing’s there.

I search and search.
I need to find
and touch again
familiar things I love –

the mug from which I drink my tea,
a book with well-read pages,
my favourite teddy bear,
your hand.

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