Lot before dawn the man closed the door of his home softly drove for hours, looked in mirrors clouds gathered like smoke the sound was closing in a monstrous insect across the mountain ridge the land of the free did not come into view © Jetze de Vries translation: Trevor Scarse
Fedde Dijkstra was RIXT Poet of the Month September 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems from that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘CLOSE ENOUGH’ – is published here. Fedde Dijkstra is a guest poet of RIXT.
CLOSE ENOUGH in between the forest’s breaths cars rumble across the concrete a pigeon flaps out of a tree two clocks ticking at each other and through the French windows a cat traipses stealthily inside, nothing barring its way, through the corridor, up the stairs where it plays with a little ball which on its own accord ba donk a donk a donk bounces down the stairs a blackbird sounds the alarm the neighbour calls her kids inside and a siren comes in nothing is perfect but everything falls into place close enough for jazz © Fedde Dijkstra translation: Trevor Scarse
Nylân there I stood, for the first time towering high above everything I could even see far beyond the tracks the scorching sun beneath the tiles, the restless water the howling others the first steps easy-peasy halfway bit slower higher at the top the wet concrete and the jitters the eroding blue of the iron the rough plank underneath my feet doubt setting in behind me the bellowers “come on, hurry up…!” careful steps forward then hesitation and standstill, the rolling depths no way back into the void, arms flailing the crash and the bubbles then the howling others once more © Henk Nijp translation: Trevor Scarse
Preston Losack was RIXT Poet of the Month June 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘King of Fools’ – is published here.
King of Fools “Was there ever, once upon a time When things were mitrily in feign, A moment all were trying to find Some birds a-bluing in the train? Figgies felt so full of fitness Horny buggers thricemore high Gruff ol’ dingy doggo minace Huffing puffing trashing fly!” “What words get hewn when grouped in fours From tangents found but hours before Make some here and get some there Low in rank as scrivonaire Let’s dump all standards overboard And just write “shitty dentist gourd!” No need for proper, no need for prim: We make nonsense interim!” “Word for word we build up worth. Humbug held his heft in first, Frithay with but a Wednesday look, Hourly crample with your Sunday schnook! Listen crovishly! Cry on fowl! Read a helper in a trailer park And laugh when I get discomvowel’d! Stand upon my diction-ark! And knock on doors from thyme to time Whimsing of nauseating butterrhyme!” “No worries, man, if you don’t get it– Don’t be confused, don’t get frustrated, Can’t you hear how it sounds, my sons?” Thus speaks the King upon his throne of puns! © Preston Losack Translation: Trevor Scarse and Preston Losack
White houses White houses, in the woods cruel animals lurk. Bones lie in a circle around the city moat. The sun knows what the bones should think. Planes throw dead children like bombs on the white city. © Cornelis van der Wal translation: Trevor Scarse
Cain’s wrath a fratricide takes place in a sunny landscape where yellow flowers will grow down the line for now, the flight of innocence still holds sway the fear for the cruelty of a bitter despot now that the mad Eastern wind wreaks havoc nature holds its breath for when calm will return and Abel’s death is avenged by flowers a dull green helmet will swiftly rust and become a nest to a pair of lustrous doves © Ina Schroders-Zeeders translation: Trevor Scarse