Evenzeer als wij het nauwgezette
zwemmen en metallic blauwe
van een kleine Afrikaanse vis
te Emmen vanmiddag, waterlelieblad
dat zich met rode kop optrekt
een dagpauwoog in de vlindertuin
die mijn hand voor wilde orchis
aanziet en heel Drenthe buiten
Hevige aandrang te eggen of te gieren?
Een tractor te kopen? Nuchtere
kalveren voor de mesterij?
Red één ongeschoren schaap
bij nacht en ontij uit de sloot, bekijk
het liefste varken op worstkwaliteit, eet
twaalf sneeën zelfverbouwd roggebrood.
En vergeet niet bij rooien of poten
op klompen te lopen en overal bij.
Meestal waait het dan wel over.
En anders ben je onherroepelijk
geboren voor de boerderij.
Erik Menkveld (25 april 1959 – 30 maart 2014)
A Room in the Past
It’s a kitchen. Its curtains fill
with a morning light so bright
you can’t see beyond its windows
into the afternoon. A kitchen
falling through time with its things
in their places, the dishes jingling
up in the cupboard, the bucket
of drinking water rippled as if
a truck had just gone past, but that truck
was thirty years. No one’s at home
in this room. Its counter is wiped,
and the dishrag hangs from its nail,
a dry leaf. In housedresses of mist,
blue aprons of rain, my grandmother
moved through this life like a ghost,
and when she had finished her years,
she put them all back in their places
and wiped out the sink, turning her back
on the rest of us, forever.
If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
as if I’d opened it a thousand times
to see if what I’d written here was right,
it’s all because I looked too long for you
to put in your pocket. Midnight says
the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
by nervous fingers. What I wanted this
to say was that I want to be so close
that when you find it, it is warm from me.
Ted Kooser (Ames, 25 april 1939)
At the Kerb
Grief to bestow, where once they bestowed their beauty,
Who are these mourners processing to the grave,
Each bearing a history like a precious ointment
And tender on their sleeves the wounds of love?
Brutal disease has numbered him a victim,
As if some unmarked car had appeared one day
And snatched him off to torture and confinement,
Then dumped him by the kerbside and sped away;
As if they stooped now at the kerb to lift the body,
As if they broke the jars and the unguent flowed,
Flowed down the sleeves and wounds, ran down the kerbstones,
Grief to bestow what beauty once bestowed.
Looking into the vase, into the calyx, into the water drop,
Looking into the throat of the flower at the pollen stain,
I can see the ambush love sprung once in the summery wood,
I can see the casualties where they lay, till they set forth again.
I can see the lips, parted first in surprise, parted in desire,
Smile now as the silence falls on the yellow-dappled ride
For each thinks the other can hear each receding thought
On each receding tide.
They have come out of the wood now. They are skirting the fields
Between the tall wheat and the hedge, on the unploughed strips,
And they believe anyone who saw them would know
Every secret of their limbs and of their lips,
As if, like creatures of legend, they had come down out of the mist
Back to their native city and stood in the square,
And they were seen to be marked at the throat with a certain sign
Whose meaning all could share.
These flowers came from a shop. Really they looked nothing much
Till they opened as if in surprise at the heat of this hotel.
Then the surprise turned to a shout, and the girl said, ‘Shall I chuck them now
Or give them one more day? They’ve not lasted so well.’
‘Oh give them one more day. They’ve lasted well enough.
They’ve lasted as love lasts, which is longer than most maintain.
Look at the sign it has left here at the throat of the flower
And on your tablecloth – look at the pollen stain.’
James Fenton (Lincoln, 25 april 1949)
The Corner Stone
Sterile these stones
By time in ruin laid.
Yet many a creeping thing
Its haven has made
In these least crannies, where falls
Dark’s dew, and noonday shade.
The claw of the tender bird
Finds lodgment here;
Dye-winged butterflies poise;
Emmet and beetle steer
Their busy course; the bee
Drones, laden, near.
Their myriad-mirrored eyes
Great day reflect.
By their exquisite farings
Is this granite specked;
Is trodden to infinite dust;
By gnawing lichens decked.
Toward what eventual dream
Sleeps its cold on,
When into ultimate dark
These lives shall be gone,
And even of man not a shadow remain
Of all he has done?
Walter John de la Mare (25 april 1873 – 22 juni 1956)
Uit: Raintree County
“Then there was the MGM movie that appeared in 1957 with the billing that here was an epic to out do Gone with the Wind. The novel had won an enormous prize given by Loew’s Incorporated in 1947 but was shelved in 1949. With the advent of TV and other problems, the company went into a disastrous slump in 1947-48. They were also having trouble coming up with a script, and the young author’s suicide may have been a damper of sorts. In 1954 it was dusted off and the task of writing the script was given to Millard Kaufman, creator of the cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
In late August of 1956 my mother invited herself and the kids down to Danville, Kentucky, where an army of movie staffers was encamped for a summer of shooting. Indiana no longer looked enough like itself and to its dismay had been passed over in the location search. Montgomery Clift was still recovering from an automobile accident in May that interrupted shooting for six weeks. Leaving a party at Elizabeth Taylor’s home in the Benedict Canyon hills, he had driven into a telephone pole, losing two front teeth, cutting a hole through his upper lip, and breaking his nose and jaw. He refused to drop out of the film, and, in constant pain, kept a gray satchel full of pills by his side. He stumbled through the rest of the film mostly in right profile; the left was lumpy and inert. In his off-camera life in recent weeks he had faked his own bloody death, run naked into the streets of Danville after a nightmare, broken a toe, and badly burned two fingers with a cigarette while out cold from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
Enter the Lockridge family hopeful of finding in Clift someone capable of playing John Shawnessy, who in many ways resembles his creator. I shook the hand of someone bent over, fidgety, gaunt, bloodshot, and much older than his thirty-five years. His efforts were heroic, but still the great actor mumbled, moved his wired jaw with difficulty, forgot his lines, and seemed by turns manic and drugged. The crew was shooting a scene that featured Shawnessy and Susanna Drake, the neurotic heroine played by Elizabeth Taylor. Both were lying drunk on the banks of the Shawmucky River following Shawnessy’s great victory in the Raintree County footrace.”
Ross Franklin Lockridge Jr. (25 april 1914 – 6 maart 1948)
Hier met echtgenote Vernice en zoontje Larry in 1943
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 25e april mijn vorige blog van vandaag.