Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

H.H. ter Balkt

Timid Fire

Time was lacking,
yes, no doubt about it.
A black thrush was singing
shamelessly, poor

adversary, bell-ringer …
Second Prometheus, risen
from the really hot regions,
stoked up from Styx’ waters,

from end-of-days-elixir,
pecked the view day after day
and handed us over, to
the treasure fleet of vultures …

I awoke in the night
that winter-time set in,
when ghosts and antlers
stuck out from the long wall;

the midwinter horns blew
and dry brushwood climbed:
‘… Big Bells Good-bye
… Blue Bells Good-bye’

There’s a raid going on
against all that exists.
The oat field saw it,
the fireworks maker did not.

             9 November 2004

Bleu vuur

Bleu vuur

’t Schortte toen aan tijd,
ja, dat lijdt geen twijfel.
Er zong een zwarte lijster
tegen de klippen, arme

bestrijder; klokkenluider ...
Tweede Prometheus, gestegen
uit de heel hete regionen,
gestookt uit Styx’ wateren,

uit laatste-dagen-elixer,
pikte dag na dag ’t zicht
en leverde ons over, aan
de zilvervloot vol gieren ...

Ik werd wakker in de nacht
dat de wintertijd inging,
toen spoken en geweien
opstaken uit de lange muur;

de midwinterhoorns bliezen
en dor waaihout rankte:
‘… Big Bells Good-bye
… Blue Bells Good-bye’

There’s a raid going on
tegen al het bestaande.
De haverakker zag het,
en de vuurwerkmaker niet. 

             9 november 2004
Close

Timid Fire

Time was lacking,
yes, no doubt about it.
A black thrush was singing
shamelessly, poor

adversary, bell-ringer …
Second Prometheus, risen
from the really hot regions,
stoked up from Styx’ waters,

from end-of-days-elixir,
pecked the view day after day
and handed us over, to
the treasure fleet of vultures …

I awoke in the night
that winter-time set in,
when ghosts and antlers
stuck out from the long wall;

the midwinter horns blew
and dry brushwood climbed:
‘… Big Bells Good-bye
… Blue Bells Good-bye’

There’s a raid going on
against all that exists.
The oat field saw it,
the fireworks maker did not.

             9 November 2004

Timid Fire

Time was lacking,
yes, no doubt about it.
A black thrush was singing
shamelessly, poor

adversary, bell-ringer …
Second Prometheus, risen
from the really hot regions,
stoked up from Styx’ waters,

from end-of-days-elixir,
pecked the view day after day
and handed us over, to
the treasure fleet of vultures …

I awoke in the night
that winter-time set in,
when ghosts and antlers
stuck out from the long wall;

the midwinter horns blew
and dry brushwood climbed:
‘… Big Bells Good-bye
… Blue Bells Good-bye’

There’s a raid going on
against all that exists.
The oat field saw it,
the fireworks maker did not.

             9 November 2004
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère