May 2022

Edwin de Groot was RIXT-poet of the month May 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘What Nr 14 already said’ – is published here in translation.

Edwin de Groot – What Nr 14 already said (click on the image to zoom in)

April 2022

Cornelis van der Wal was RIXT-poet of the month April 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘White houses’ – is published here in translation.

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

 

March 2022

Ina Schroders-Zeeders was the RIXT poet of the month March 2022. You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Cain’s wrath’ – is published here.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

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

February 2022

Bennie Huisman was the RIXT poet of the month February 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘the song of asking’ – is published here.

the song of asking

when will you be home? An everyday question
asked so easily yet behind what’s obvious
lie just too many assumptions to mention
what does ‘home’ even mean to us
is it a house, a yard, a town, a county?
another, a love, a mother’s hand?
is it a language, belief or just a story?
for king and country, earth’s greatest? our homeland?

they say ‘home is where the heart is...’
the place you drive to for Christmas
but what if it’s a wish to live,
somewhere that is safe and warless?
so many people have left their home
fleeing from poverty and violence
we have room, but just to let you know
you’re welcome ‘til you become a nuisance

for our own wealth we have looted and burned
our rubbish sent to wherever we could
and our human rights have to be earned
something they likely haven’t understood
we ourselves are often questioned
but we doubt another’s habits more
how much hope have we thus dampened
when someone knocked on our closed door
when someone knocked – on my own door

where is my home? after withdrawing
from what bore that name so naturally
since then, I’m searching, sometimes not knowing
if a border, a door is opened for me
hoping my soul will see – and open up to thee


© Bennie Huisman
Translation: Trevor Scarse

January 2022

Arjan Hut was the RIXT poet of the month January 2022. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Pop-up store’ – is published here.

Pop-up store by Arjan Hut
Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Pop-up store

It looks as if she’s sitting there alone, a
young woman on the floor of the pop-up store
with her back to the window
drawing, deep in a field of paper
she traces
black lines across black lines
Charcoal Forest. Twilight Woods. Wolf appears
Daylight reflects off of the glass – what percentage
of the light bounds back to the sun immediately?

Is it her back turned to me, her posture, delicate and
fragile like vinyl, or her isolation
that grabs my attention? Bend over paper. When I get
closer to the glass, balancing on
the edge of a word, I’m caught, from behind the counter,
by another set of eyes – they’re sizing me up
That’s when I move on.
Around us the city creaks,
and lonely I’ve never been
The city creaks and skids through a frozen dream
Old is the dusk and full of poetry
I’m looking for a wolf and find a rifle.


© Arjan Hut
Translation: Trevor Scarse

December 2021

Gerrit de Vries was the RIXT poet of the month December 2021. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Moth hunt’ – is published here.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Moth hunt 

my tool looks a bit like
a tennis racket
a light-green handle
with a small shutter
for the batteries
a light-green shaft

press the yellow button
like sparklers
on New Year’s Eve
the moth flickers gaily
on the wall

with supple arm movements
I direct letters of air

if you hit a moth
in mid-air
and you’re lucky
it’ll burst into pieces

with a loud bang
and a blue flash of light

in a shower
of satisfaction

I wish I could touch you that way


© Gerrit de Vries
Translation: Trevor Scarse

October 2021

Cornelis van der Wal was the RIXT poet of the  month October 2021. You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here. The translation of one of them – ‘Crystal radios for grandpa’ – is published here.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Crystal radios for grandpa

The light thundered above the glimmering flowers
of the old field, where the vagabond sang his songs,

the watchdog would sharpen his teeth with sour saliva.
Some of the farmers knew what to do, the hour when

grandpa came sailing into the black canal on his scow.
Due to their crystal radios everybody knew of his arrival.

© Cornelis van der Wal 
Translation: Trevor Scarse