September 2020

Peter Vermaat was the RIXT poet of the  month September 2020. You can read his original Dutch poem of that month – ‘Ode to the storyteller’ – here. The translation is published below.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar


Ode to the storyteller

                            for mindert wijnstra

he makes fluid what had been discarded
congealed in the bin of time for years
he can resurrect the ladies of the sea
knows where the devil dances in the dark

put on top of a horse by an old pack rat
he leads you into the forest of imagination
where the white lady restyles herself
light he sees, yet it chafes with the bodach

born and raised in a village the heath 
caused an uproar with foresters aiming rifle
that’s the birthplace of a great storyteller

as a teacher he knew how to form everyone
let the children dream beyond fish and cattle
now the sky brings setbacks and sorrows

© Peter Vermaat
Translation: Trevor M. Scarse

RIXT poets at SatelLiet in Aldebiltsyl

Friday evening, 19th of September, SatelLiet was held in Aldebiltsyl. SatelLiet was set up last year as warm up for the Frisian/ minority songfestival LIET.
SatelLiet was held at three locations: the Aerdenplaats, the Julian church next to it, and the Schuilschuur of villager Neeltje van den Brand

At Neetltje, RIXT poets Christa Niklewicz en Geart Tigchelaar perfomerd twice. They did so in company of musician and poet Lukas Graff. Tigchelaar read from his coming poetry volume, Ommers. Niklewicz read and sang poetry of hers. Graff accompanied both poets on his piano, and also read own poetry.

Christa Niklewicz with Lukas Graff – Photo: Geart Tigchelaar


Lukas Graff – Photo: Geart Tigchelaar


Geart Tigchelaar – Photo: Syds Wiersma


Hostess Neeltje van den Brand welcomes the audience and poets – Photo: Syds Wiersma

Waailân:dichters op it eilân – the weekend illustrated

In the weekend of September 11 to 13, poets of Frisian poet pack and island poets met on the island Skylge/Terschelling, at the folk high school Skylgeralân.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

There, they met and formed groups of two or three to explore the island and their poetry together. During the exchange, the creativity and inspiration were endless, because of the good company and the beautiful surroundings.

The poets at the Folk High School. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Nienke Zorgdrager, Dirk Geerdink and Tryntsje van der Veer on the island. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

On Saturday evening, under a starry night in the amphitheatre de Rûnte, at the folk high school, the poets read their work made during the day. Poems were written collectively or indivually, but always inspired by the good company.

The poets performed in their respective groups.

The first to read were Ilse Vos, Jolanda Gooiker en Simon Oosting, with a relay of the day.

Ilse Vos, Simon Oosting and Jolanda Gooiker. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

The second performance was that of André Looijenga, Ina Schroders-Zeeders, and Simen de Jong.

Ina Schroders-Zeeders. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Third were Janna van der Meer and Carla van der Zwaag, with their collective poem “Duet or duel”

Carla van der Zwaag and Janna van der Meer. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Fourth came Nienke Zorgdrager, Tryntsje van der Veer, and Dirk Geerdink, with their performance called “Eindland/Einlân”  (Endland).

Nienke Zorgdrager, Tryntsje van der Veer, Dirk Geerdink. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Last but not least was the closure with “Skylge” made by poets Syds Wiersma, Ruud Knier, and Yva Hokwerda.

Ruud Knier, Yva Hokwerda. Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

On Sunday, it was time to leave the island again for the RIXT poets, though we hope to  meet each other again, and poetry of the weekend will be published in due time.

Photo: Geart Tigchelaar

Frisian Poets Pack RIXT – ‘The Storm’

From the 1st of August to the 7th, the Frisian Poets Pack RIXT convened at the Writer’s Ark of Rink van der Velde near the village of De Feanhoop. Every day a duo came here to work on a new verse for a collective poem.

The poet of the month, Cornelis van der Wal, had the honour of writing the first verse, and started the poem with the line ‘The lake doesn’t take the storm’ from the novel De nacht fan Belse madam by Rink van der Velde. This Line of Rink thus set the tone and direction for the poem and the week itself.

The regional broadcaster Omrop Fryslân called in every day to hear that day’s new verse. Thus, listeners of the afternoon radio programs ‘De middei fan Fryslân’, ‘Sneon yn Fryslân’ and ‘Snein yn Fryslân’ were able to follow the evolution of the poem. The week was capped off with a performance of the complete poem in the former haunt of Rink van der Velde – Café Marktzicht in Drachten – on the 8th of August.

The participating poets were:

Cornelis van der Wal
Janneke Spoelstra
Rein de Lange
Kate Schlingemann
Edwin de Groot
Anne Heegstra
Simen de Jong
Tialda Hoogeveen
Carla van der Zwaag
Ypie Bakker
Tsjisse Hettema
Syds Wiersma
Dirk Geerdink
Yva Hokwarda
Jan Kooistra

The storm

The lake doesn’t take the storm

and you won’t answer me back.

Above the both of us drift

clouds that want to cry.

Underneath us the peat fire,

your eyes wander off.

I’m asking the reeds for guidance.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.

Perhaps I should take my leave of you.

Let the lake for what it is and might

a clean request hide in valleys far away

where thunder grumbles in another tongue

from the one I let myself be scared by.

Do I want to exorcise the fire

while it’s anchored within my being,

or does the heat crackle the stump in twain?

Do you still love me I asked you

your silence is the answer that unsettles my soul

the lightning forces a break line

and splits the lake clinically into chaos.

Sky fans out every which way.

I no longer want to run in circles

on still water like a pond skater

waiting for a wave from you

I leave everything behind. Cleansed

it’s clear to me. The lake doesn’t take the

storm but you should take me as I am.

If only you’d taken me. You termagant,

I push off our water soldiers. A damselfly

stirs the empyrean skin across the plunge.

The sound of the quant laughs. I’ve seen us.

I saw your eyes no longer asking,

I saw the lakes that won’t take.

Once more I write light from stillness,

know that I’ll drift with black swans.

Watch the video for the poem ‘The Storm’ and an insight of the week at the Ark.

Translation by Trevor Scarse
Video made by Geart Tigchelaar