Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Pieter Boskma

Mound Light

When I awoke then in my own childhood,
the sparrows in their dozens chirped on the estate,
my granddad’s turtle doves cooed muted and sweetly,
it dawned on me that I was happy now now now,
was happy for the first time, shielded and carefree.
Sunlight through fresh spring leaves swung along
the walls, beyond the birds a silence of more joyful
expectations held its exultant breath – and the sheep
bleated freely among the smoothing scythes, and in
the distance a church always clanged on Sundays.
 
I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer.
Horses’ hooves copped down the sandy path past
the dahlias, everyone had been awake for ages, on their way
or at coffee, whose aroma rose from the stairwell
and merged with my sacred first happiness.
 
And I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer, in the
gutter the light wafting down was curling, and then to
wake up, to see the green shivering window, which
seems just to emerge in that simple gaze of a child
who wakes as nothing by space and at once enchanted
stops in his father’s house, opens his dewy eyes,
already a bit more broad-shouldered, knowing: that’s
how it must have been in the first fraction of a second.
 
So I remained intact when the creatures came to
the shed door and I with my granddad honoured every
golden-red mist bank that drew across the field a trace
of probable infinity and engulfed with distinction
the farmsteads of the neighbours one by one.
 
It was a haphazard wish to wake in this bed
forever and never again to fall out of favour
with the tumblings of crows on the roof,
with the milky gold dance past the dahlia wallpaper,
the unthreatened sparrows and the tame sweet turtles
– to  see and awake in this mound light forever.
               And it was good, and I saw.

Terplicht

Terplicht

Toen ik nu ontwaakte in mijn eigen kindertijd,
de mussen bij dozijnen tjilpten op het landgoed,
mijn opa’s tortelduiven dof en zoetjes koerden,
drong het tot mij door dat ik nu nu nu gelukkig was,
voor het eerst gelukkig was, beschermd en zorgeloos.
Zonlicht door vers lenteblad schommelde de wanden
langs, voorbij de vogels hield een stilte van blijere
verwachtingen de adem jubelend in – en de schapen
blaatten vrijelijk tussen de sussende zeisen, en in
de verte klingelde een kerkje altijd zondag.
 
Ik lag alleen in bed en bleef nog even liggen.
Paardenhoeven ploften over het zandpad langs
de dahlia’s, iedereen was lang al wakker, onderweg
of aan de koffie, die geurig opsteeg uit het trapgat
en versmolt met mijn heilige eerste geluk.
 
En ik lag alleen in bed en bleef nog even liggen, in de
dakgoot kringelde het neergewaaide licht, en dan te
ontwaken, het groen sidderend raam te zien, dat wel
net lijkt te ontstaan in die simpele blik van een kind
dat ontwaakt als niets dan ruimte en terstond betoverd
stilstaat in de hof zijns vaderen, zijn bedauwde ogen
opslaat, al wat breder in de schouders, wetend: zo
moet het geweest zijn in de eerste fractie van een tel.
 
Zo bleef ik intact als de dieren zich vervoegden aan
de staldeur en ik samen met mijn opa eerde elke
goudenrode nevel, die over het veld een spoor trok
van waarschijnlijke oneindigheid en de hoeves
van de buren een voor een met lof verzwolg.
 
Het was een lukrake wens om voorgoed in dit
bed te ontwaken en nooit meer bij de tuimelingen
van de kraaien op het dak uit de gunst te raken,
bij de dans van melkgoud langs het dahliabehang,
de onbedreigde mussen en de tamme zoete tortels
– om voorgoed in dit terplicht te zien en ontwaken.
             En het was goed, en ik zag.
Close

Mound Light

When I awoke then in my own childhood,
the sparrows in their dozens chirped on the estate,
my granddad’s turtle doves cooed muted and sweetly,
it dawned on me that I was happy now now now,
was happy for the first time, shielded and carefree.
Sunlight through fresh spring leaves swung along
the walls, beyond the birds a silence of more joyful
expectations held its exultant breath – and the sheep
bleated freely among the smoothing scythes, and in
the distance a church always clanged on Sundays.
 
I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer.
Horses’ hooves copped down the sandy path past
the dahlias, everyone had been awake for ages, on their way
or at coffee, whose aroma rose from the stairwell
and merged with my sacred first happiness.
 
And I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer, in the
gutter the light wafting down was curling, and then to
wake up, to see the green shivering window, which
seems just to emerge in that simple gaze of a child
who wakes as nothing by space and at once enchanted
stops in his father’s house, opens his dewy eyes,
already a bit more broad-shouldered, knowing: that’s
how it must have been in the first fraction of a second.
 
So I remained intact when the creatures came to
the shed door and I with my granddad honoured every
golden-red mist bank that drew across the field a trace
of probable infinity and engulfed with distinction
the farmsteads of the neighbours one by one.
 
It was a haphazard wish to wake in this bed
forever and never again to fall out of favour
with the tumblings of crows on the roof,
with the milky gold dance past the dahlia wallpaper,
the unthreatened sparrows and the tame sweet turtles
– to  see and awake in this mound light forever.
               And it was good, and I saw.

Mound Light

When I awoke then in my own childhood,
the sparrows in their dozens chirped on the estate,
my granddad’s turtle doves cooed muted and sweetly,
it dawned on me that I was happy now now now,
was happy for the first time, shielded and carefree.
Sunlight through fresh spring leaves swung along
the walls, beyond the birds a silence of more joyful
expectations held its exultant breath – and the sheep
bleated freely among the smoothing scythes, and in
the distance a church always clanged on Sundays.
 
I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer.
Horses’ hooves copped down the sandy path past
the dahlias, everyone had been awake for ages, on their way
or at coffee, whose aroma rose from the stairwell
and merged with my sacred first happiness.
 
And I lay alone in bed and stayed there a bit longer, in the
gutter the light wafting down was curling, and then to
wake up, to see the green shivering window, which
seems just to emerge in that simple gaze of a child
who wakes as nothing by space and at once enchanted
stops in his father’s house, opens his dewy eyes,
already a bit more broad-shouldered, knowing: that’s
how it must have been in the first fraction of a second.
 
So I remained intact when the creatures came to
the shed door and I with my granddad honoured every
golden-red mist bank that drew across the field a trace
of probable infinity and engulfed with distinction
the farmsteads of the neighbours one by one.
 
It was a haphazard wish to wake in this bed
forever and never again to fall out of favour
with the tumblings of crows on the roof,
with the milky gold dance past the dahlia wallpaper,
the unthreatened sparrows and the tame sweet turtles
– to  see and awake in this mound light forever.
               And it was good, and I saw.
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