Syds Wiersma – May 2018

Syds Wiersma was RIXT-poet of the month May 2018
You can read his original Frisian poems of that month here.
One of them is published here in translation.

In the Netherlands the 4th of May is commemoration day of the victims of the Second World War and Dutch victims of wartime violence. The 5th of May is  liberation day.


REAL HEROES
May 4-5, 2018

Froubuorren engulfed by the sun’s fall
as I take the Alde Leie exit.
The 4th of May, another visit
of the cry, I saw them against the wall

and didn’t know who I was, the scared man
before the firing squad or that coward
who as soon as his boss gives the razzia word
starts with the formulation of a plan.

Injustice boils the blood, but would I persist
with hangmen hunting me tirelessly?
Real heroes are a rare breed, you see
never know who’ll shy away and who’ll resist.

On ‘t Bilt the sun now lies under the lea.
Old dikes crisscross the open country.

© Syds Wiersma
Translation: Trevor Scarse

 

ECHTE HELDEN
4-5 maaie, 2018

De sinne sakket happich oer Froubuorren
wylst ik de ôfslach Alde Leie nim.
De jûn fan fjouwer maaie, wer dy stim
dy’t seit, ik ha se stean sjoen tsjin de muorren

en wist net wa’t ik wie, de bange fint
foar ‘t fjoerpeloton of dy oare skiter
dy’t as syn baas blaft as de soademiter
mei ‘t plennen fan in razzia begjint.

Fan ûnrjocht siedt it bloed, mar wat soe ‘k dwaan
as boalsfeinten my op ‘e bealch sitte?
Echte helden binne seldsum moatst witte
witst noait wa’t swije sille en wa’t slaan.

De sinne leit bedobbe op it Bilt.
Ald diken fykje troch it frije fjild.

© Syds Wiersma
Lân sûnder ljurk (Hispel, 2019)