Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Erik Menkveld

CHORUS OF UNHEARD INFERIOR TIMBER

Now we’re the window case
here in this kitchen, they
do look at the pretty
neighbour opposite
on her balcony or a
modest scheduled flight
passing above, but not
at us, who frame it all.

And now we’re the boards
in this floor, fat chance
they’ll hear us either,
even though we creak quite
loudly at the merest
touch and they displace
quite a few feet while
cooking or having words.

Even now we are
the table they eat at with
our legs between their own
and our wood under
bare hands, we’ve been forgot:
they chew the fat at us
and their children sprouts
they want to go without.

But we’ve all put forth
our leaves, against wild
skies have felt the wind
rage inside us. And
below a few of us
this was listened to and
pondered standing still.

KOOR VAN ONGEHOORDE WAAIBOMEN

KOOR VAN ONGEHOORDE WAAIBOMEN

Nu we kozijnen zijn
in deze keuken, kijken
ze wel naar de leuke
overbuurvrouw op haar
balkon of een bescheiden
lijnvlucht die over komt,
maar niet naar ons
die alles omlijsten.

En nu we planken zijn
in deze vloer, horen ze
ons voor geen meter,
terwijl wij bij de minste
beroering vervaarlijk
kraken en zij tijdens
koken of woorden tal
van voeten verplaatsen.

Zelfs nu we tafel zijn
waar ze aan eten met onze
poten tussen hun benen
en onder hun blote handen
ons hout, zijn we vergeten:
gesprekken voeren ze aan ons
en kinderen die van geen
witlof willen weten.

Maar allemaal hebben we
blad gedragen, tegen
wilde luchten de wind
in ons tekeer voelen
gaan. En onder sommige
van ons is daar naar
geluisterd en diep
in gedachten gestaan.
Close

CHORUS OF UNHEARD INFERIOR TIMBER

Now we’re the window case
here in this kitchen, they
do look at the pretty
neighbour opposite
on her balcony or a
modest scheduled flight
passing above, but not
at us, who frame it all.

And now we’re the boards
in this floor, fat chance
they’ll hear us either,
even though we creak quite
loudly at the merest
touch and they displace
quite a few feet while
cooking or having words.

Even now we are
the table they eat at with
our legs between their own
and our wood under
bare hands, we’ve been forgot:
they chew the fat at us
and their children sprouts
they want to go without.

But we’ve all put forth
our leaves, against wild
skies have felt the wind
rage inside us. And
below a few of us
this was listened to and
pondered standing still.

CHORUS OF UNHEARD INFERIOR TIMBER

Now we’re the window case
here in this kitchen, they
do look at the pretty
neighbour opposite
on her balcony or a
modest scheduled flight
passing above, but not
at us, who frame it all.

And now we’re the boards
in this floor, fat chance
they’ll hear us either,
even though we creak quite
loudly at the merest
touch and they displace
quite a few feet while
cooking or having words.

Even now we are
the table they eat at with
our legs between their own
and our wood under
bare hands, we’ve been forgot:
they chew the fat at us
and their children sprouts
they want to go without.

But we’ve all put forth
our leaves, against wild
skies have felt the wind
rage inside us. And
below a few of us
this was listened to and
pondered standing still.
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