What’s in it?
I heard your name the other day
Mentioned by someone in a casual way.
She said she thought that you were looking great.
A waiter passed by with a plate.
She reached out for a sandwich, and your name
Went back from where it came.
But like a serious owlet I stood there,
Staring in mid-air.
I frowned, then followed her around
To hear, just once more, that sirenic sound –
Those consonants, those vowels – what a fool!
I show more circumspection as a rule.
I love you more than I can say.
Try as I do, it hasn’t gone away.
I hoped it would once, and I hope so still.
Someday, I’m sure, it will.
No glimpse, no news, no name will stir me then.
But when? But when?
Evening Scene from my Table
Evening is here, and I am here
At my baize table with a glass,
Now sipping my unfizzy beer,
Now looking out where on the grass
Two striped and crested hoopoes glean
Delicious insects one by one.
A barbet flies into the scene
Across the smoky city sun.
My friends have left, and I can see
No one, and no one will appear.
This must be happiness, to be
Sitting alone with birds and beer.
In a brief while the sun will go,
And grand unnerving bats will fly
Westward in clumped formations, slow
And dark across a darkened sky.
What can I say to you? How can I retract
All that that fool my voice has spoken –
Now that the facts are plain, the placid surface cracked,
The protocols of friendship broken?
I cannot walk by day as now I walk at dawn
Past the still house where you lie sleeping.
May the sun burn these footprints on the lawn
And hold you in its warmth and keeping.
in de aanhanger met dekzeilen en touwen / rammelen ze het kleine stadje in
gaan doordrenkt het café binnen / te goedkope chocolat chaud
uitzicht op de rotonde
naar beneden naar het toilet / langs verpakte goederen
snellen de ogen vooruit / stoppen suiker onder het shirt
noodproviand voor onderweg
gepolijste pleinen bij de supermarkt
bedelen ze of stelen.
Vertaald door Frans Roumen