Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Paul Demets

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.
It lays us down in its place. We stare at who wakes over us,
who breathes over us. What it wants to quench
is unfindable, we get drunk on the view, shoulder-judder
 
at the sight of the light dripping through a pine. We toss
the blanket to one side, search for what separates us
and clear a path outside; the earth smells of rusk.                         
It’s the youngest day; this spring we watch the ground
 
glow transparent. Gibbering green leaps up from the compost.                             
The ground is dry-nursed. Everything sounds, is yet without a name.
Then it flings itself around our necks once more. It is water flowing
into the fountain’s stream. You watch it slowly escaping
 
from the cup of your hands. It splashes and splurges, translucent
with the first notes of spring. It takes its time to look about.
And what lies ahead is never far away. It recovers from its shadow
on your shoulder. How tellingly similar its kind is. It came,
 
it returns. It begets us every day.

Het rooft ons, verdooft ons, het sleept ons mee naar

Het rooft ons, verdooft ons, het sleept ons mee naar
zijn nest. Het legt ons op zijn plaats. Beademd staren
we naar wie naast ons waakt. Is waaraan het zich laven wil
onvindbaar, bedrinken wij ons aan uitzicht, schokschouderen

van een den en druppelend licht erdoorheen. We werpen
het laken van ons af, zoeken naar wat ons scheidt
en banen ons een weg naar buiten; de aarde ruikt naar beschuit.
Het is de jongste dag; in dit voorjaar zien we de grond

doorzichtig worden. Uit humus springt bibberig groen.
De grond is gebakerd. Alles klinkt, maar heeft nog geen naam.
Dan valt het ons weer om de hals. Het is water dat overloopt
in ander water van een fontein. In de kom van je handen

kijk je of het jou ontglipt. Het klatert en klinkt, het is helder
als het van de voorlente drinkt. Het neemt de tijd om te kijken.
En wat het voor zich heeft, is nooit veraf. Het rust op je schouder
van zijn schaduw uit. Hoe sprekend gelijk is zijn soort. Het kwam,

het komt terug. Het brengt ons dagelijks voort.
Close

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.
It lays us down in its place. We stare at who wakes over us,
who breathes over us. What it wants to quench
is unfindable, we get drunk on the view, shoulder-judder
 
at the sight of the light dripping through a pine. We toss
the blanket to one side, search for what separates us
and clear a path outside; the earth smells of rusk.                         
It’s the youngest day; this spring we watch the ground
 
glow transparent. Gibbering green leaps up from the compost.                             
The ground is dry-nursed. Everything sounds, is yet without a name.
Then it flings itself around our necks once more. It is water flowing
into the fountain’s stream. You watch it slowly escaping
 
from the cup of your hands. It splashes and splurges, translucent
with the first notes of spring. It takes its time to look about.
And what lies ahead is never far away. It recovers from its shadow
on your shoulder. How tellingly similar its kind is. It came,
 
it returns. It begets us every day.

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.

It robs us, numbs us, it drags us back to its nest.
It lays us down in its place. We stare at who wakes over us,
who breathes over us. What it wants to quench
is unfindable, we get drunk on the view, shoulder-judder
 
at the sight of the light dripping through a pine. We toss
the blanket to one side, search for what separates us
and clear a path outside; the earth smells of rusk.                         
It’s the youngest day; this spring we watch the ground
 
glow transparent. Gibbering green leaps up from the compost.                             
The ground is dry-nursed. Everything sounds, is yet without a name.
Then it flings itself around our necks once more. It is water flowing
into the fountain’s stream. You watch it slowly escaping
 
from the cup of your hands. It splashes and splurges, translucent
with the first notes of spring. It takes its time to look about.
And what lies ahead is never far away. It recovers from its shadow
on your shoulder. How tellingly similar its kind is. It came,
 
it returns. It begets us every day.
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