Yva Hokwerda is RIXT-poet of the month June 2019.
You can read her original Frisian poems of that month here. One of them – Transcycling – is published here in translation.
Whoever sees me cycling
– winding around Sneek the meadows
and the low-lying hay fields in-between,
reading the landscape, shouting “bloody cat!”
at the furtive prowling monsters
which cat ladies
love so dearly, petting them in the evening
after which those pesky pookies
go trawling for chicks in the night –
should know: I don’t cry about that.
Whoever hears me cycling
should know: that’s not me.
On that bike
my handlebars are a silent mouse, my saddle
the chair in front of my desk in the office
unable to make any difference, because
nobody dares to sing,
laughter is stifled,
chitchat becomes muted and
words grey like mice-
On that bike
my distress doesn’t hear birds anymore
as ears ring from the silence
of concrete in carefully filled up
pots and pans, too heavy
from the sewn-on ears
to grasp the enclosed contents.
Whoever sees her cycling
behind my sunglasses
– that I’ve already put on at first rays
against flies, of course –
out of a crooked eight,
along an old field filled with new houses
– pretty detached
in rows and a boat
in the canal in front of the house –
should know: I’m not there.
This is my saddle,
but I still have to get home
– you can’t lie down comfortably on only
one herb-filled bank, lounging in the countryside –
and I haven’t found them yet,
the true stewards, the wise women
the people who really know
what has to be done.
Whoever hears me cycling,
may know, it’s not me
because I’m crying
about the playful hares in the land
and I’m rushing in my search
for the Green Dike.
© Yva Hokwerda Translation: Trevor Scarse