Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dichten Gedaan

Is het dichten gedaan?
Ligt de pen stil neer?
Gaat de lamp niet meer aan?
Lukt het morgen pas weer?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Chickadee's Warning Call

Scientists have discovered that chickadees have their own codes of warning each other in case of danger. So we are not the only ones with a spoken language after all!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


All the anger of a lifetime has unleashed itself in him.
It is a living hell of fire and fury.
The experts are trying to find the right medication to calm him down.
They haven’t found it yet.

We are wearing capes and wellies in the rain. His face is like a window in a house. His eyelashes are wet and there is a drop of water hanging from his nose.
“You look like a gnome in a tree hole.”
“I can hear the rain on my roof.”
His eyes look up and the drop of water falls from his nose.
“I’m going to visit you.”
“Knock, knock?”
“Who’s there?”
“It’s me. Can I come in?”
His hand in mine feels rough and dry. We are walking close together to prevent leaking into our nest.
It’s a long way to school in the rain.

Monday, June 27, 2005

De Wijfjes

De wijfjes zitten met barokke handen in het café.
Hun hoedjes tintelen linten en kantjes.
Fonkelende wijn sprankelt spraakwater.
Roodgestifte lippen dwarrelen hun lachjes.
Hoofdjes knikken bevestigend erachteraan.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Ik laat haar voor me fietsen. Haar blote benen strekken zich trappend naar omlaag, één, twee, één, twee. Het ritme van haar paardenhoeven op de pedalen. De kuiten glad en strak. In de holtes van haar knieën springen telkens twee spierbanden op. Haar gladde kuiten. De holtes van haar knieën die zich krommen en strekken. De hoeven op de pedalen. Om te janken, zoals ze dat doet.
Ze weet het niet. Hoe haar benen op en neer gaan. Hoe de kuiltjes in haar knieholtes zich verdiepen en weer glad strijken. Hoe haar shortje geplakt zit aan het zadel. Haar ene arm hangt er doodleuk naast te slingeren. Naast het trappen van haar dijen. Naast het ritme, op en neer, op, neer.
“Hé, kankerlijer! Ka’ je niet uitkijken!”
Ik hengst op mijn rem, mijn stuur tegen een proletenbak.
Aan de overkant van de straat is ze blijven staan, haar fiets bungelend tussen haar benen. “Kom je nog?”

Thursday, June 23, 2005


klanken met geuren,
lijnen in tonen,
vorm tot kleuren.

ver gezicht
naar schelp
op je hand.

tot korrel.

Geel gedicht
ruikt ruisend
als zee,
zout en rond.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Lover

Sixty years old. Dressed all in white, except for a large hot pink straw hat and ditto scarf around her neck. Rings on her fingers, eye shadow glaring from afar. She circles the café table, and chats to the young waiter before she sits down. He brings her two glasses of champagne.
She sips from one, looks at the place across the table and smiles.
Flirts with the waiter.
Turns her head this way and that.
Another look at the empty chair. Another smile.
She lifts her glass. Over the rim she surveys the terrace with a twinkle in her eye.

Fifteen minutes later she gets up. She waves amicably at the waiter and struts away, swinging her handbag.
Both glasses on the table are empty now.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Mix in a foodprocessor: one or two cloves garlic, spring onions, a chunk of hot pepper to taste, chickpeas from a can, tahini (sesame paste, available from health food stores), lots of parsley, salt and pepper, lemon juice and as much chickpea juice from the can to make a smooth paste.

Dip into it: raw veggies like red pepper, carrots, florets of cauliflower and broccoli, cucumber and courgette. For starches: nutty chiabatta or toasted (wholewheat) pita bread, cut in wedges. Turkish bread or naan are other options.

A Middle Eastern vegan feast for a hot summer evening in the garden with friends!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Casper en zijn Moeder

Ik sta met mama bij de lift en houd haar hand vast. Casper loopt over de galerij met zijn moeder. De liftdeur gaat open. We gaan erin. Mama leunt tegen de deur en wacht. Caspers moeder kijkt er niet naar. Ze trekt hem opzij naar de trap. “Dan niet,” zegt mama. Ze drukt op het knopje.
Wij zijn eerder beneden dan zij. We horen hun stappen klossen in het trapgat. En Caspers stem, die galmt: “Wanneer zijn we er nou?”

Hij bungelt met zijn benen aan het klimrek, zijn hoofd ondersteboven. Ik klim op de stangen en spring eraf, vlak naast zijn hoofd.
“Ik mag niet meer met jou spelen,” zegt het, terwijl het rood wordt.
“Waarom niet?”
“Omdat je moeder een hoer is.”
“Niet,” zeg ik, want mama is geen boer.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Het Groene Hart

Het Groene Hart
klopt gloeiend rood.
Aorta’s snijden
er doorheen.
Zéng, zéng.
Pukkelende gezwellen
vreten het aan.

Het Groene Hart
bloedt dood
uit aderen van groei.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fatma and her little boy

I communicate with Fatma in gestures – signs and touching – and a few words. The other day I took her to the park with her youngest child. Although he is only two we did not take the stroller. Fatma was holding his hand. “Can you let him go?” I asked.
When she did, he took off into the open space. He climbed the fence and fed grass to the ponies. He giggled. We picked daisies and walked among the blooming rhododendrons. The air smelled sweet. The boy’s short legs ran and ran. Then we sat on a bench under the trees until it was time to go home.
On the way back in the bus he fell asleep on his mother’s lap. She tilted her scarfed head like a little bird and smiled coquettishly.
Her headache was gone. So were her palpitations.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Dust if you Must

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
To paint a picture or write a letter,
Bake a cake or plant a seed,
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
Music to hear and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

author unknown

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Medical doctors who feel threatened by alternative medicine like acupuncture and homeopathy, have tried try to disprove their effectiveness by testing it the way they would test new allopathic medication. Thus they find what they are looking for: alternative medicine does not work (the way traditional medicine works.) That patients get well is irrelevant.
These doctors do not see that in different fields of science different sets of laws are applicable. Their method of testing is like proving eye contact is not a form of communication, because it does not obey the rules of grammar!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Monday, June 06, 2005


ze staan te kleumen
bij de tram
druilerig als de stad,
hun jassen nat

geen vat
op voor of tegen,
eens of later

wat mensen in de regen
wachtend met het water
aan hun neus,
hun voeten in
een smerig schoenenbad.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Her name is Fatma. She comes from Morocco. She followed a much older husband to live in an apartment in the inner city of a strange land. Her native tongue is Arabic. She is illiterate.
She only leaves the house to pick up the children from school and to go shopping. She does not travel on the bus or the streetcar, afraid that someone will accost her in Dutch, and she will not know what to say. She went to language classes but fellow students laughed at her stupidity – she thinks. So she hides in her apartment.
Her children speak Dutch, of which she understands very little. She thinks they despise her for not speaking the language of the country. She feels their disrespect – she says.
Her husband is fed up with her fear of the unknown world around her – she thinks.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Caramelized Carrots

Fry one or two shallots shortly in a wok or similar pan in oil. Add scraped, diced carrots and cook and stir until soft and brown. Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley, if you like.

This way of cooking carrots intensifies their sweetness, and makes the sugar that my mother-in-law used to add totally superfluous!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

European Constitution

What a farce, all that outcry on the European Constitution! What a debâcle! How can my faith in potiticians ever be restored?