Dichtend aan de rivier

Het stroomt te snel
Dus zwemmen we op het droge
Temidden van gedruis
Druist de nacht ons tegemoet

Haar neus wipt ongeduldig
Verlicht door korte knallen
Mondhoeken, lippen getuit
Houdt ze haar mening voor zichzelf

Ogen gericht op mogelijkheden
Oren gespitst op liefde
Dringt haar stem tussendoor
Begeeft ze zich in het heden

31.07.2014
Basel

Credits: Jim Batcho
Credits: Jim Batcho

I am white

I wish I were of native American descend
to weep and wail over crushed hopes
the disease and killing of our brothers and sisters
to sing and dance on the soil that belonged to my fathers
but I am carrying the white man’s burden

I wish I were of Jewish descend
to weep and wail over past and present
balancing the whole world’s sins on my shoulders
to sing the psalms from the time of my fathers
but I am carrying the white man’s burden

I wish I were living in a time of war
to fight and be strong in the face of peril
giving up my life for a future in liberty
to sing as to keep strong body and mind
but I am carrying the white man’s burden

I wish I could face a visible enemy
to fight and unite and act and be strong
giving up my life as righteousness demands
singing songs of truth and splendor
but I am carrying the white man’s burden

I live in a world where I am successful by birth
white, female, European, highly educated
never will I find myself to be black, yellow or brown
I have to face that if I fight for someone else
I will still be carrying the white man’s burden

I live in a world made by people like me
at the expense of people who are not like me
I am to blame for none of it, as history has passed
yet all I do and like is a product of domination
I am carrying the white man’s burden

I live in a world in which I can change my perspective
I can defend the weak and the strong
I am free to choose the life I feel is worth
yet while I’m doing good and showering harmony
I will still be carrying the white man’s burden

I live and my skin colour is white
I live and my thoughts are green
I live and my feet are brown
I live and my eyes are red
I will carry humanity’s burden to care

Nicole des Bouvrie
26 October 2010

Little Bird…

I’ve started a new phase in my life, as you might already know. So I decided to start with another try of the poem-a-day… the idea is to write a poem every day, very simple. I’ll stick to the 4×4 scheme this time, to spend less time thinking about form, and more on sound and interpunction… It is a nice way for myself to see how the things I read influence my use of words and my thoughts – so if you recognise Walter Benjamin, I’m not sorry…

A little bird told me
Nothing – language-less
As it was me listening
Naming the created

I am inextricably
Related, confined, bidden
To my self, my desire – for you
You impossible, unfindable self

I can tell myself everything
Including lies about you
And I do, constantly,
You amazing, wonderful self

A little bird told me
Everything – in a song
And as I listened
You became real

~ Nobyeni

Philosophy’s Curse

It leaves you breathless on a cloudy afternoon
It silences you whenever you’re supposed to talk
It distances you from everything sane and sound
Philosophy’s curse

Of course there are times when you can relate
When you nihilistically existentially circumspect
When red is just an ordinary colour – no Wittgenstein
Until it hits you – philosophy’s curse

It creates endless shudders and abysses alike
It focusses on what was previously obviously general
It is like American spell check on the British Isles
Philosophy’s curse

Let us revolt and deem unnecessary this ‘thinking’ business
Let us fall prey to the economic and practical alike
Let us be slaves of the system that cannot be undone
But then, there is no way out – philosophy’s curse

It leaves us no other option, to think or to perish
It makes us skeptical about our own existence – and humble
It takes us beyond the so-called freedom of choice, popular mauvaise foi
Philosophy’s blessing

 

[With thanks to Gabriel Yoran and Kat Mandeville]

Death Untold

I wonder from time immortal
Until life is drenched to naught
For all those who have embraced me
Although I’ve never been caught

I wish there was a lullaby sweet
Enough to end my unpleasant thought
As I intend to follow the rhythm of my soul
And not listen to all things I ought

Be brave, scolding soldier of bloom
And light-heartened scent away the day
As life is early to wither once begun
Skin and hair evenly grey

www.nobyeni.nl