late autumn in the autumn I’m able to write if writing is a form of dying until the telling turns it into a feeble infatuation I prune wild imaginings cleanse my eyes bloated from drawn-out days the ambition burns brightly for a moment, then lets go sinks into a swoon after a sprinkling of frosty and white in the autumn I’m able to write if writing has to be an act of consolation © Syds Wiersma translation: Trevor Scarse
apostate once the national coach was a pious, loyal church attendee, until his first wife passed away he turned away from his belief, did not set foot in a church anymore strange, when you think about it all the misery in the world, the famine and starvation of millions of small children in Africa, the enormous slaughter in his own country’s bioindustry, Auschwitz and you name it none of that was a reason for him to leave the church, but when his own wife passed, he was so incensed, that he wanted nothing to do with God anymore fortunately for Dutch football he does know a lot about the game © Sipke de Schiffart translation: Trevor Scarse
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