Simon Oosting

Lives and works outside Fryslân, sometimes performs abroad as well. He has written the collections Rauwe fisken op wynfearwolkens (2007), that yielded him the Fedde Schurer public prize 2008, and Hûnewacht (2012). In 2004 he won a Rely Jorritsma prize for his poetry cycle Yn ’t foarbygean. Recurrent themes in his work are the frictions between close by and far away, between staying and leaving and between past and future.

Submitted poems
Suckers and stooges


I wait for the eight strokes in the passageway
full of light and warmth since outside at the helm
is cold and a northern storm will come they say

on pegs jutting out of the wall of steel
the coats hang of those who went
through the door and did not return

I take an old captain’s coat
the smell coarse cotton
the scratching canvas

the bell sounds the watch begins
I go on deck and the helmsman
a moment I see the light

on his pale face his hollow eyes
he wishes me a good watch
keep to this course

and away and closed the door
the dark
the helm

© Simon Oosting, Hûnewacht (Afûk 2012)
Translation: Sara Butler

Simon Oosting reads his own poem ‘Hûnewacht’ in the original Frisian version.