Georgia O’Keefe’s Mountain
As I sat listening, eyes sometimes
closed, to young writers read songs
they heard wanting to be sung,
I suddenly looked up and saw,
through the window, the flat-
topped mountain called Pedernal
that Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint.
“If I painted it enough,” Georgia
said, “I thought God might give
it to me.” And She did.
The mountain became Georgia’s
because she gave herself to it
and recreated it for all of us.
Georgia’s eyes and brush
created a Pedernal that
became ours to behold.
As I gazed at that mountain
that God gave to Georgia
so she could give it to us,
I noticed close to the window
light-filled, heart-shaped leaves
on a cottonwood, rooted in winter
sunlight, ablaze as if in a vision
of medieval mystic Hildegaard
of Bingen, who gives us the power
to open our eyes to everyday
beauty waiting to be seen,
cherished, and shared.
Garip and the Clouds
for Helmut and Garip
In the back of his Erlangen grocery store behind
a screen at a table with a miniature Turkish
carpet and a dish of figs, dates, apricots and grapes
Garib reads, at our request, a poem. He tells how
he came into the world buck naked and so
he would not freeze, his mother reached
for a tattered blanket, found none, and wrapped
him in clouds. Ever since then, the clouds
have pulled him along and he is somewhere
between clouds and deep blue seas, between
Asia and Europe. “Don’t ask me about home.
Do the clouds or the deep blue sea claim me?
Do I belong here or there?” He brings us a bottle
of Turkish wine called Villa Doloca made of a grape
named The Eye of the Ox, and we drink until we float
between continents like clouds drifting in the wind.
Together we toast a life lived between continents
and countries where wine and poetry and music
and food bring people together and make time
stop at the intersection where human life begins.
(naar Matthias Claudius, 1740-1815)
De maan is opgekomen,
de kleine gouden sterren schijnen
helder en duidelijk in de hemel.
De bossen zijn zwart en stil
en de witte mist stijgt mysterieus
uit de weilanden op.
Hoe stil is de wereld
en knus en lieflijk,
beschut door de schemering,
als een stille kamer
waar je rustig in kunt slapen
en de ellende van de dag vergeten.
Zie je de maan daarboven?
Je kunt er maar de helft van zien,
toch is zij rond en mooi.
Zo zijn er eigenlijk veel dingen
waar we te gemakkelijk om lachen,
omdat we ze niet kunnen zien.
Vertaald door Frans Roumen