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VIJF GEDICHTEN IN UITGAVE ĎVOICES FROM EVERYWHEREí


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demer Press bracht een Engelstalig boek op de markt, ĎVoices From Everywhereí, met bijdragen van dichters uit verschillende landen.

Van Albert Hagenaars werden vijf gedichten gekozen uit zijn bundel ĎBloedkransí (Uitgeverij In de Knipscheer, 2011) die, in een vertaling van John Irons, al diverse malen eerder verschenen. Het gaat om: 1) A handful of earth, 2) Reunion, 3) Ancestor, 4) Yogyakarta en 5) Surrender. 

De andere dichters zijn, in alfabetische volgorde:

Chahra Beloufa (Algerije), Floris Brown (Zuid-Afrika), Miller Caldwell (Schotland), Gary Clark (Engeland), Julie Cornett (Engeland), Iona Cozmuta (RoemeniŽ), Frank Decerf (Vlaanderen), Joe Hakim (Engeland), Joris Iven (Vlaanderen), Hannie Rouweler (Nederland), Karel Sergen (WalloniŽ), Robert Swann (Engeland), Mark Walmsley (Engeland), Mike Watts (Engeland), Martin Willitts (Verenigde Staten) en Dave Windass (Engeland).

De samenstelling was in handen van Hannie Rouweler en Mark Walmsley.


I: A HANDFUL OF EARTH

A handful of earth, bestowed with love
by the creator as a revelation.
Your name, but I did not believe

in myself and as yet spoke no Javanese

and hunted on, into the emptiness of other lands,
reflecting what a person keeps from himself.
The master, your grandfather, had foretold it:
 
shortly after I am gone he will return.
 
And so you waited, with Buddhistic patience
allowing me to circle round you ever closer,
a bird of prey, losing in beat of wing,
 
gaining in keenness of gaze.

 

II: REUNION
 
After seven years of denial, after seven
times seven blows to the midriff,
the breaking of resistance,
 
you suddenly appear once more in the palm garden.
 
After so many words on bloodless paper
your smile is like that of the reliefs
in lava rock everywhere around us, full lips
 
that are to close round more than my language.
 
After the kept silence, the cutting, the sheafing,
the flailing of the rice from its stalks,
now the blessing of the elders, the gift,
 
a vow unknown to those without belief.

 

III: ANCESTOR

Behind glass I see you then,
as a copy in hardened synthetic resin
of the skull fragments compressed to stone:
 
Meganthropus Paleojavanicus.
 
Gone for good are the hair-covered skin,
the flat breasts with their long nipples
and the short hoarse sounds of the tongue
 
in which you warned, made love, died,
 
but not the strings of notional DNA
still spiralling in the woman with whom hand
in hand I stand before the dark showcase
 
and reconstruct your heavy features.
 
Your luxuriant world with predecessors
of elephant, buffalo and crocodile
became imperceptibly slowly buried
 
beneath layer upon layer of sediment.
 
After hundreds of thousands of years of waiting
you lift up your once so strong hands
of what is now caked grit,
 
reach out towards me
 
and want my mouth to breathe
life into her. I incorporate you
when our descendents survive,
 
according to a theory far from proven yet.
 

 

IV: YOGYAKARTA
 
The line from the volcanoís summit
past the sultanís palace to the seaís abyss
spans the sacred space of the culture
 
in which until the end you are embedded.
 
It preserves the balance between
the heavenly bodies and the daily life of prayer
and service, of birth, dying and grief.
 
May nothing disrupt this imposed harmony
 
or neighbours will view us with darkened gaze,
fire will rise up from Merapi, blood
descend from the world of ancestors.
 
So I am taught, ignorant as I still am,
 
and I am all ears and see charred fields
where the rice now rustles in a gentle breeze, hear
envy in a friendly voice, and bow
 
my head because I have so little own control.

 

V: SURRENDER

The gamelan strikes up, copper against copper
brings a former pledge to its conclusion.
Shrill voices search, grow stronger.
 
In our stiff garments we stride to the centre
of the ring and throw betel leaves at each other,
against which no disaster can prevail.
 
As carefully as possible I step on the egg
and you wash my feet with what is freed
in the bowl with flower-petal water.
 
Under the approving eye of all
I empty a sack with rice, nuts and seeds
in your still briefly covered lap.
 
How deeply buried in my mother tongue,
how far withdrawn from the wreath of blood,
insatiably spreading in new life
 
merciful death now seems.

 

 

POETRY BY THE OTHER PARTICIPANTS
(page in progress)



*

Hit the wall and not the child
Take a deep breath, donít get riled
You were once an infant too
Carers thought the world of you

You grew up into your teens
Anger surfaced, violent scenes
Break the circle donít be tethered
Or you find the family severed

Rid the land of Child Abuse
Banish every false excuse
See them grow up in delight
Childhood valued. Get it right.

Miller Caldwell

 

THE ANGELíS LUST

then he spoke:
there will be wind,
silky wind.

wind rocked over her belly.
the moon rose, billowed,
her full corona through the window.
venus blushed.

the wings on her shoulders blazed,
she had a sniff of the angelís lust.

tongues licked and leaked.

therefore, said he, I have created the hard sand,
itís getting wet for the sea that comes,
itís keeping dwells in the loose sand.

Karel Sergen

 



KNOWLEDGE  

The sea is cold, but not in its wider depths,
Where the warm brotherly blood
Of capsized fishermen flows through the hanging nets
Which catch on to inner mountains
And wild, waving vegetation,.
The beating, searching blood of fishermen flows
Through the depths of the sea,
Attracting various types of fish.
In the sea there are different hierarchies,
But there is a love, warm-blooded and wordless,
Sometimes taking monstrous forms.
It reaches no closer than the watershed,
And can suddenly disappear in an eddy,
Invisible at the surface,
Originating deeper down where currents collide.  

Joris Iven

 

MY DAFFODIL

Where the sun has raised
In the first morning
Where I start learning
The first year of my candleís dreaming
To rescue my enthusiasmís hunger  
And searching a rich affection  
I found you; my daffodil  
Eradicating all my hoursí vile  
Decorated; your red cheeks by a Russian handsome smile  
Giving me a smile too  
Where I didnít stop going through  
O! Daffodil, you substituted my tune  
Painting it joyfully like the moon  
I touched your petals  
Losing their control  
Flying to me as a foul  
Taking me to a thorny stroll  
Where your words towards my disease could have a role  
I liked your colors my daffodil  
Wearing them in a fashionable style  
Taking all audienceís eyes for a while  
I cherished your methodsí pourboire  
Having never that hateful color of noir  
I followed your shadow  
Passing by me and my soul seeking for words from the window  
You told me, your name  
And all others just the same  
So I felt some minutes special  
Yet my attention exceeding to the superficial  
You clapped, ďgo aheadĒ
And my photo always shown as you said!
 

Chahra Beloufa

 

  



WAR IN DARFUR

Where to are you running my dear child  
Where to are you running my dear child  
As your feet are kicking dusts?  
Thud your little heart against your temples  
What does your frozen mind say?  
Little feet just carry me  
Little feet just carry me  
So that I can find my way  
Through this war-dust-storm  
Eyes nailed on any safe haven  
Father! GOD! Iím c-h-i-l-d!

Floris Brown

BEER MATíS LAMENT

On my back drinks are parked,
I exist to make sure tables arenít marked.  
I soak up the spills, the tears, the laughs,  
I can be flipped from bars for friends to catch.  
A witness to fights and gropes and snogs,  
chucked in a bin or left in the bogs.  
A missile for an enemy, a note for a friend,  
like the local boozer my time is at an end.  
So I hope youíll miss me when Iím gone Ė  
Iím a bit of British history you put your pint on.  

Joe Hakim


TROUBLES

I see myself reflected in the china
and it is disturbed 

I see my hands in the soil
among the composted leaves  
rooting out what is unnecessary  

my words are on the clothesline  
for everyone to see  

I iron my thoughts with an iron
hot from the stove
of my heart

if these things trouble you,
and they should, if you do not like
what you hear,
imagine how I feel
hearing voices within
forcing me to calmly discuss
the troubles of the world

in words,
both soothing and scolding
to the touch

Martin Willitts

 

THE GOOD SEX MAN

The Joy of Sex
For The Good Sex Man,
Is to give good sex

As much as he can.

He communicates well
And recalls what youíve said,
Giving carnal contentment
From your toes to your head.

A Good Sex Man
Explores all the nerves
Of your secret zones,
And all the rhythms
That vibrate your bones

The Good Sex Man
Exchanges all pleasures,  
And then adds on extras
In surprising measures.

So many ways
To caress, To massage,
And stroke,
Thatís the experience
Of a Good Sex Bloke.

And just when you think
He's met all your needs,
He'll start over again,
Offering different speeds.

A Good Sex Man may rest
When your done,
Thatís when he's happy,
When youíve had enough fun.

He'll then build you up
To taking some more,
Exhausted,
Contented,
You're fulfilled to the core.

Robert Swan

 

 

 

 

QUADRIPARTITE, GIRL

                        Exhibition: Closing Time
                        Belgian painter Jan Vanriet

Girl with your rolling skates,
arms spread dancing in
the morning light along shadows
of trees, how beautiful you are  

cheerful and vulnerable when you glide
in the afternoon down the streets.
Your dark wavy hair floating in the wind.
Nobody sees you, all see your silhouette.

Your leg upwards like a flexible ballerina,
you hurry past the windows of your life.
Nothing changes when dusk falls into the water,
takes shelter behind high trees,

black, your figure. And I, from the distance,
would call: beware of the wicked, wicked wolf.
The night swallows everything, the danger that girls
of your age often don't see.
Watch out, pay attention.

Hannie Rouweler.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT

It's cold, grey and uninviting
As I sneak down the stairs,
At five in the morning
And dying of thirst,
I dare not awake them,
As they sleep soundly on,
The people in my life,
That I now rely upon,
As I lay awake,
To the sound of the clock,
Tick, tick, ticking my life away,
Like dripping water
On a tin plate,
Creaking floorboards
The odd car droning by
The silence deafening
And I wonder why
I should be like this
At my time of life
With everything to live for
And a full-time working wife
It's no consolation as I sit alone
At five in the morning
No credit on my phone,
I am now jobless
And the guilt eats away
At my soul
My upbringing
And the reason I'm here,
Everything I live for
Now all in doubt
It's a matter of time
Before she kicks me out
How do you describe that
At jobcentreplus?
To a twenty five year old
Who's more bored than us?
As he sits at his computer
Shouting out names
When he calls out mine
It fills me with shame,
That's why at five in the morning
I'm sat on my own,
A fifty five year old, once proud man
Now on the scrap heap.
 

Gary Clark

 

THIS IS NOT A LOVE POEM

No
She didnít  
Punch
A hole through  
My breast bone  
Rip out  
My still beating heart  
And then volley it  
Out of sight  
Somewhere  

Because  
Despite the whispers  
It didnít happen  
Like that 

And no
I am not a broken
Soul  
Curled like a foetus  
On a mattress  
Stained
With moments
That burn
Behind
My eyes
Like an awful
Memory

Because
Despite the blows
Iím not that
Feeble

Of course
It was hard
But Iím still
Breathing

Look
I never wanted
Compassion
I never wanted words
Of wisdom
Some contented voice
Telling me
That there are
Oceans
With millions
For me to choose  
From  

I wanted  
Nothing
Except
To be left
To drink

ÖAlone!

Only time sorts
Rubbish
Like this out
You know that
After all
Some of you have
Probably
Been there
Yourself

And whilst your
Story may
Have been slightly
Different from
Mine

Things did get better

Didnít they?

Mike Watts

 

 

ONE NIGHT

 

Itís summer here, as alwaysÖ

Late at night, not far,

Only a few birds twitter,

Maybe still partying for no reason

Simply for the joy of being.

 

Above the lonely patio

This strange, crazy tree

Stopped shivering dry, brown leaves

Finally blooming its white dream:

Little, velvety, simple flowers.

 

Two squirrels

Nestled in each otherís warmth

Breathing heavily and fast

As if, with every breath,

Reaching for the last sip of restful sleepy air.

 

Walking out,

The night

Like a dark fog of silence

Gulps me

A repetition for the later-to-come

Final moment.

 

Nothing moves.

Only that un-named quivering marvel,

A purple-gray shadow

Lit behind the clouds

Embracing slowly from the other side

Black stems and branches,

Nests, rooftops, buildings

The hills and the Bay

And everything else so fragile,

Obscurity canít even pencil.

 

No need to translate my poems anymore.

My mother tongue also

Is slowly falling asleep.

 

Ioana Cozmuta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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