Gerrit de Vries

Gerrit de Vries (Leeuwarden, 16 May 1969) spent his childhood in Menaam. After finishing his secondary education at the Christian Grammar School in Leeuwarden, he moved to Delft where he studied Mining Engineering and Petroleum Extraction at the Technical University. He obtained his engineering degree (with a specialisation in Engineering Geology) and started working as a specialist in GIS and databases. From 2007 onwards he is the head of a small company specialised in worldwide offshore geotechnical analysis.

After his studies Gerrit went to live in Schiedam, where he still lives with his two children. He has written poems from 1989 onwards. In recent years he has published poetry in the Frisian literary magazine Ensafh.  His first collection of poems, Unlân, will be presented in June 2019 .

Submitted poems

Concerning canaries (poem of the month April 2019)


concerning canaries

back then in the coalmine
a cage was hung in the gallery
behind bars sat a canary

carbon monoxide
lack of oxygen
mine gas was a hazard

the miners knew
when the whistling ceased
they could no longer be at ease

grandma had two canaries
Tom and Joy
until one day her tomcat
she fed Tom bird seed

rejoicing he sat sated
on his bar
when both were old
he just fell off

a godwit thrashes
his pecker to bits
looking for food
that no longer is

on the withered green
monotonous wasteland
a fleeing chick is running
out of breath

just pretend
all is fine
a meadow is no coalmine
a godwit ’s no canary

© Gerrit de Vries
Translation: Trevor Scarse