Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Hans Verhagen

PRAYING MANTISES ON THE WIND

Against the current but music backing us full blast
we fall like praying mantises on the wind
to the long since past
where the resurrection begins

You can’t be in on every line at once
so followers who resemble you
are sent in all directions;
now everyone takes you for your own follower

The leak we trace by chance
just let it lie leaking
the origin is what we’re seeking
or a new cycle to conceive

Everything goes on with endless dawdling, yammering, nagging,
the Lords of the free world are burdened with
the terror of their own tremendous greed
The bosses have enslaved themselves

Cute candied babies are fatted
and then heavily armed
deployed for a violent yet noble universal cause

When you’re thrust into the role of Leader
hell-bent you dive into the largest bottle bank in town
you ruin your chances properly
If you’re quick you’ll do well
The west waltzes ’cause it cannot dance
because you learn to dance in hell

Those who contemplate death their entire lives
missed out on something about their birth
Catch a dose of candy floss, for all it’s worth

But we can’t survive on peace alone

We always learned the wrong things
We never knew what we did
We lived in the grip of Christians

BIDSPRINKHANEN OP DE WIND

BIDSPRINKHANEN OP DE WIND

Met de stroming tegen maar muziek hard in de rug
vallen we als bidsprinkhanen op de wind
naar het lang voorbije terug
waar de wederopstanding begint

Op alle lijnen tegelijk kun je niet van de partij zijn
dus worden volgelingen in het rond gezonden
die voor jou doorgaan;
nu ziet iedereen je ook nog voor je eigen volgeling aan

Het lek dat we per ongeluk traceren
lekker laten liggen lekken
om de plaats van oorsprong te ontdekken
of een nieuwe cirkelgang te concipiëren

Dit gebeurt met veel gezever en getreuzel en gezeur,
de heren van de vrije wereld gaan gebukt
onder de terreur van eigen hebzucht
De bazen hebben zich geknecht

Snoezig geglaceerde baby’s worden vetgemest
en vervolgens zwaar bewapend
voor een nobel en misdadig universeel streven ingezet

Wil men jou tot Leider bombarderen
duik je als het weerlicht in de grootste glasbak van de stad
zo verkwansel je je kansen
Doe het snel
Het Westen walst omdat het niet kan dansen
want dansen leer je in de hel

Wie z’n hele leven stil staat bij zijn dood
heeft van zijn geboorte iets niet helemaal begrepen
We hopen dat je er een suikerspin van oploopt

Maar van enkel vrede kunnen we niet eten

We leerden altijd het verkeerde
We wisten zelf niet wat we deden
We leefden in de greep van de gereformeerden
Close

PRAYING MANTISES ON THE WIND

Against the current but music backing us full blast
we fall like praying mantises on the wind
to the long since past
where the resurrection begins

You can’t be in on every line at once
so followers who resemble you
are sent in all directions;
now everyone takes you for your own follower

The leak we trace by chance
just let it lie leaking
the origin is what we’re seeking
or a new cycle to conceive

Everything goes on with endless dawdling, yammering, nagging,
the Lords of the free world are burdened with
the terror of their own tremendous greed
The bosses have enslaved themselves

Cute candied babies are fatted
and then heavily armed
deployed for a violent yet noble universal cause

When you’re thrust into the role of Leader
hell-bent you dive into the largest bottle bank in town
you ruin your chances properly
If you’re quick you’ll do well
The west waltzes ’cause it cannot dance
because you learn to dance in hell

Those who contemplate death their entire lives
missed out on something about their birth
Catch a dose of candy floss, for all it’s worth

But we can’t survive on peace alone

We always learned the wrong things
We never knew what we did
We lived in the grip of Christians

PRAYING MANTISES ON THE WIND

Against the current but music backing us full blast
we fall like praying mantises on the wind
to the long since past
where the resurrection begins

You can’t be in on every line at once
so followers who resemble you
are sent in all directions;
now everyone takes you for your own follower

The leak we trace by chance
just let it lie leaking
the origin is what we’re seeking
or a new cycle to conceive

Everything goes on with endless dawdling, yammering, nagging,
the Lords of the free world are burdened with
the terror of their own tremendous greed
The bosses have enslaved themselves

Cute candied babies are fatted
and then heavily armed
deployed for a violent yet noble universal cause

When you’re thrust into the role of Leader
hell-bent you dive into the largest bottle bank in town
you ruin your chances properly
If you’re quick you’ll do well
The west waltzes ’cause it cannot dance
because you learn to dance in hell

Those who contemplate death their entire lives
missed out on something about their birth
Catch a dose of candy floss, for all it’s worth

But we can’t survive on peace alone

We always learned the wrong things
We never knew what we did
We lived in the grip of Christians
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