Sunday, 28 May 2017

'Cor inquietum' poem by the Swedish poet Vilhelm Ekelund

Aldrig kan själens
längtan stillas,
icke jordens riken,
brusande städer
och hafvens glans
förmå att lindra
dess eviga oro.
O, hvem spelar
dessa toner,
denne svidande musik
på mitt hjärtas
strängar, spända
allti, alltid
alltför hårdt?

Nothing soul’s longing
e’er appeases,
none of earth’s dominions,
dull-roaring cities
or oceans’ gleam
can soothe completely
its fixed agitation.
O, who’s playing
this constant music
these so sorely smarting notes
on my aching
heartstrings, tautened
always, always,
far too tight?

Friday, 26 May 2017

'Father' - another poem by Andy Fierens


the table was laid out for two
the meat was tender
when there was a knock

who’s there? my wife said
while she looked away
and washed her hands

i opened the door

there were many of them
as far as the horizon
they filled the landscape

i knew who they were
although i’d never seen them before

their looks were stern

what have you done?
they ask in unison

who is it? my wife called out
the meat was ready
rare and soft

in front of me stood the seed
that i had carelessly spilt
since my youth

all the seed that had
ever flowed from me
it had germinated into grain
and come back to me

they were rough and transparent
incomplete, since they lacked
a female component

father, what is it you have done?
they asked once more

who is it? my wife called out
i pulled the door some more towards me
transfixed i looked at it
that restless sperm of mine

It’s complicated, i told them
for i was a man and a coward

blushing i thought of the life
that has slipped through my fingers

nameless and naked
they asked
a third time why

i gave a deep swallow
it didn’t help

in veils of mist i then saw
how they started to become blurred

i went on standing there till i was sure
that all traces had been erased

then i went inside
and closed the curtains

who was it? my wife asked
she cut the flesh
that was pink

i chewed far too long
and told her it was tasty
so tender and soft

my wife did not notice my suffering
she had her own cross to bear

that night while she slept
i tossed and turned
and sighed deeply

dejectedly i stood up
and counted the blisters
on my hands

when i pricked them with a needle
they seemed to be full of tears

it was the work of many years

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


A Toon Tellegen poem about the world of words

at a window

I stand at a window.
I see words coming.

Some words I recognise:
although, red, previously,
nevertheless in its flapping jacket,
truthfulness, imperfect...

Some clamber onto each other’s shoulders.
‘Who are you?’ they shout.
‘Overcast,’ I shout.
‘Heavily or fairly?’ they ask.
‘Slightly,’ I say. ‘Slightly overcast.’

I lower my eyes.
I wish I was glittering
or somewhat
or even more: notwithstanding.

It starts to rain.
Although looks up, her cheeks grow wet.
Far and wide run away.

Darkness falls.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Poem by the Flemish poet Andy Fierens


mummies love daddies
daddies love mummies

usually a mummy gives
her love to one daddy
(the converse also applies)
day after day
just gives love
to the same daddy
or the same mummy

it sometimes happens
that the one contains
more love
than the other is
                      equal to
we say about these others
that he/she is satiated
or quenched
the one (daddy/mummy) then has
a residue of love
and we sometimes call this
the surplus (that is jargon)

pay attention now
what follows is important

love has a limited shelf life
that means
that it can go sour
just like milk

what’s such a daddy or mummy to do
with that surplus?
let it go bad?
let it languish in some corner?

or could they
use it to make
someone else happy?
a daddy or mummy who is lonely?

no right-minded
person can
object to that
you might think


but as you all know
with adults
you never know

imagine mummy gives her surplus
to another daddy
one of those who’s lonely
then there’s a big chance that your
daddy will call your mummy a whore
that means that daddy is not happy
that he

is ventilating his dis-satis-fac-tion

or imagine daddy gives some love
to some lonely mummy or other
then it’s not unlikely that your mummy
runs through the house
screaming strange things
such as i’ll milk you dry
to the last penny
just wait till you’re asleep you bastard
and i’ll smear
tar on your balls

that’s terrible

it sometimes happens that a daddy gives
his surplus to another daddy

and sometimes things get patched up
between mummy and daddy
(but if daddy gives his surplus
to another daddy
usually not)

that’s how it goes with adults

later when you’ve become an adult
and married
or live together with someone
or have a living-apart-together realisation

the chance is pretty big
that you’ll notice sooner or later
that you’ve a surplus
then above all you must make
someone else happy with it

for life is short
and senseless without love

but you’ll probably have to learn
to keep your mouth clamped shut

for silence is golden
and girls you don’t want to be whores do you?
and boys you don’t want tar on your balls do you?

but such worries are for the future
just start by looking up the meaning
of the word jargon