Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Alfred Schaffer

DAY(DREAM) # 598

The mountain pass is notorious.
On the left the tangles of the pine trees
and on the right the planets and stars.
Sometimes I was overtaken, sometimes I had to brake
black-brown clouds charged along ahead of me
as though I should hurry but I was in no hurry.
I drove upwards like in a children’s song.
One sharp bend to go and then the highest point of the pass –
a few seconds as light as a skeleton                     
before everything goes tearing downhill.
I accelerated a bit and held my breath ready
when suddenly I was overcome
by a deep sleep, as clammy as thick fog.
All sound was silenced.
I quickly threw her into second and forced,
though I’d existed a moment ago,
like a velvet drill in heavenly matter.
Whether I was on my way home, or alone
or accompanied – I’ve clean forgotten.
Apart from that it was the depth of winter           
and then that road, that hateful road
that just kept on climbing and climbing
there is no end to it. 

DAG(DROOM) # 598

DAG(DROOM) # 598

De bergpas is berucht.
Links de kluwen van het dennenwoud
en rechts de sterren en planeten.
Soms werd ik ingehaald, soms moest ik remmen
wolken joegen zwartbruin voor me uit
alsof ik haast moest maken maar ik had geen haast.
Als in een kinderlied reed ik naar boven.
Eén scherpe bocht nog en de pas was op haar hoogste punt –
een paar seconden licht als een skelet
voor alles naar beneden sjeest.
Ik gaf wat extra gas en hield alvast mijn adem in
toen ik opeens werd overmeesterd
door een diepe slaap, klam als dichte mist.
Elk geluid sloeg dood.
Haastig zette ik hem in zijn twee en drong
terwijl ik net nog had bestaan
als een fluwelen boor een hemelse materie binnen.
Was ik op weg naar huis, was ik alleen
of werd ik bijgestaan – ik ben het glad vergeten.
Behalve dat het hartje winter was
en dan die weg, die hatelijke weg
die maar bleef stijgen en maar steeg
er komt geen einde aan.
Close

DAY(DREAM) # 598

The mountain pass is notorious.
On the left the tangles of the pine trees
and on the right the planets and stars.
Sometimes I was overtaken, sometimes I had to brake
black-brown clouds charged along ahead of me
as though I should hurry but I was in no hurry.
I drove upwards like in a children’s song.
One sharp bend to go and then the highest point of the pass –
a few seconds as light as a skeleton                     
before everything goes tearing downhill.
I accelerated a bit and held my breath ready
when suddenly I was overcome
by a deep sleep, as clammy as thick fog.
All sound was silenced.
I quickly threw her into second and forced,
though I’d existed a moment ago,
like a velvet drill in heavenly matter.
Whether I was on my way home, or alone
or accompanied – I’ve clean forgotten.
Apart from that it was the depth of winter           
and then that road, that hateful road
that just kept on climbing and climbing
there is no end to it. 

DAY(DREAM) # 598

The mountain pass is notorious.
On the left the tangles of the pine trees
and on the right the planets and stars.
Sometimes I was overtaken, sometimes I had to brake
black-brown clouds charged along ahead of me
as though I should hurry but I was in no hurry.
I drove upwards like in a children’s song.
One sharp bend to go and then the highest point of the pass –
a few seconds as light as a skeleton                     
before everything goes tearing downhill.
I accelerated a bit and held my breath ready
when suddenly I was overcome
by a deep sleep, as clammy as thick fog.
All sound was silenced.
I quickly threw her into second and forced,
though I’d existed a moment ago,
like a velvet drill in heavenly matter.
Whether I was on my way home, or alone
or accompanied – I’ve clean forgotten.
Apart from that it was the depth of winter           
and then that road, that hateful road
that just kept on climbing and climbing
there is no end to it. 
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