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zondag 26 januari 2014

Trees; snapshot poem

The shade of the road, the border of the lane;
birches stand straight and proud
with leafless branches reaching
for the blue of the sky
catching birds,

housing insects.





dinsdag 21 januari 2014

Borderline snapshot poem


On the edge of two countries
where both try their best
in parks, water and culture,
is where many walk and stroll
under rapid clouds...


Clouds that chase so fast
and never catch each other
but merge in one white sky
that bleaches the light
into various colors.


Into various shades and darks
as contrast where the two unite
in need of each other
because there would not be a border
if one of them not exists.


Farmland in yellows and greens
shapes the horizon of trees,
of a waterway that glides into towns
where ships never know
on which side they are.


To which party they belong; 
just where their home is,
is not here in borderland
at this unrecognizable borderline,
there where two countries merge.





maandag 20 januari 2014

Climbing that hill snapshot poem


In a distance, still on the road, a chimney smokes;
the little house all alone as a home
for a hermit with just a cat on his lap
wrapped in a blanket he stares outside
from his rocking chair.


The path slowly goes up, rises in soil
with trees as damaged wood, hit by lightning
stroked by thunder, and now...
a little paradise for shelter
the tiniest on the hill.


Far down in the valley, the town,
just a collection of buildings
that do not belong here, or do
An arrogant over-painting of the green
that always was...


Buildings; a farm, but the farmer has moved
to an apartment, a condo in luxury
bought from what his old housing brought;
too much or too little for them
who live there now, or do business.


Caves in the slopes, holes forbidden to enter
since men harvested blocks to build
and marl to grind.
In danger now, today it can collapse
on those who hide inside...


The valley, the fields from above
colors as a painting in the sun
Still farmland, but for how long?
Will it stay this empty, this loneliness
just for eyes to see and mouths to fill.


The cattle on the hill is gone,
back to the stables
afraid for Winter that does not come
that just Spring stays all year long
and no snow or summer sun...


There is still hope as long as rainbows form
and draw its colorful dome above the valley
and above the hill, in weed-brown autumn shades
catch the grass and trees by the light of the sun
but darkness too soon, too quick


At the top it is only going down;
the only way that is left
back into the next valley

and the village where I live




zondag 19 januari 2014

Snapshot poem: Bends the river


Just outside the river whirls around trees,
bushes in the meadows, as a place to drink
for cattle: the cows and sheep
and wildlife from the hills surrounding the valley.


A castle overlooking
and believes it is older,
but the river just smiles:
As old as I am, nothing is; 
not even the hills I created.


And it bends, whirls around another bush
and takes all within to her larger sister
and to the sea where she sweetens into salt
and a big pond where she cannot find

her own drops no more



vrijdag 17 januari 2014

Snapshot poem: Village in the valley


Rich mansions and fences, large dogs to protect
and small men as tourists snapshotting the little church
but just from the outside; the door locked
because of thieves steeling its statues


Farmers on their land gardening their crops
for food; looking sheep numb like cows
and hope for a bit of sunshine to color their wool
Along the river the banks of grass; so many want
to live here, more then a village can have


Or shelter, but they do not see the smell
when summer sun burns the water
and the rats out of their holes...
They only see the picture when the level is low,
before the drowning of heavy rainfall in the south


Farms cascading along shore at both sides
Water that floods land pleasures in the right season
But delivery is not always like it should;
running high above the thresholds; sink the kitchen
and washes TV, radio, everyone's lives


And there are no boats for such a small river;
just trunks of fallen trees and isles of grass
pulled from the land, where there was no water
the day before; just a lovely stream
meant for tourists to watch a romance

of a small village embedded in water




donderdag 16 januari 2014

Walking along the canal poetic snapshots


A long straight gap, filled with water;
float boats
sail ships
under bridges
to connect, harbour to harbour, town to town
and the banks pass...


High shores covered with weed and tiny trees
It is a hard life ashore,
grab the marl walls in wind and storm, and wave
Goodbye to the skipper, or Hello...


So long distance, white cloudy sky;
seems the world endless as it is.
Fierce woods walk over the ridge,
trees march upfront
Hurrah, I say, and lift my stick,
the mighty stick that walks me by


Dogs bark, a warning for me,
for the ships,
for all that passes
So you know where this town is waiting for
Not for me, not for its houses,
but for that what will be brought

and delivered


woensdag 15 januari 2014

Poetic snapshots of a hillside country


I climb from the village, steep uphill with three tops in front
and the weather is nice winter sun, some high clouds
white watching me as I go gasping for breath
in a breath taking landscape of fields and farms
A landscape that may disappear in future
Is it not even any more as it was.


Fences hang loose before the meadows
Are they still in use or useless, no cattle behind,
just grass and weed, dry spots and wet pools,
trees and hedges bordering where maybe concrete,
houses will be build and strollers won’t be welcome anymore.


What is happening with too many,
overlooking the valley from the highest point of the first,
we are in fact; so many walk the same path,
but not today. I’m alone and not lonesome
as I like the way I go, the way my boots follow.


The wine-farm will be there, for always? I don’t know.
As long as there is money in grapes
As long as men fills Cristal glasses on high heels
it will survive, and grow and be green as an oasis
in men made world where wild is rare


More and more buildings as culture, are the ancients
like natural marks, and I ask myself:
Will this be the same for what we erect today?
Will cities of now survive as the Romans did?
Will what we leave be seen as heritage,
or will we be damned in a future that no-one can see?


Another winery in the valley before I cross the river,
and slowly up to the next hill
Do I wonder who will be waiting there for me,

or what?

woensdag 8 januari 2014

Snapshots in Buckriders’ country

* source: Wikipedia


As the legend goes, the Buckriders were a gang of ruthless robbers who made the Overmaas region (the current South-Limburg and the Land of Herve) an unsafe place to live from the 1730s to the 1780s. It was said that the members had made a pact with Satan and rode through the sky on the backs of goats.

According to legends and superstition, the Buckriders were goat-riding spirits. This superstition was taken advantage of in the 18th century by a gang of thieves and burglars, so as to frighten the population; particularly in South Limburg. These "Buckriders" were a gang of robbers that terrorized the regions of Overmaas (now Dutch Limburg, Belgian border region and Land of Herve) and the region around Liège the areas just across the German border and roamed the Kempen. The raids were generally directed against farms and rectories.

The Buckriders were first mentioned in the book Oorzaeke, bewys en ondekkinge van een goddelooze, bezwoorne bende nagtdieven en knevelaers binnen de Landen van Overmaeze en aenpalende landstreeken (Causes, proof and discoveries of a godless, sworn gang of night-thieves and extortionists in Overmaas and bordering regions), written in 1779 by SJP Sleinada (a pseudonym of Father A. Daniels - read the name backwards). He was pastor of the parish of Schaesberg, now part of Landgraaf. He knew several gang members personally and was well aware of how their business went. Legend had it that the robbers had made a pact with the devil and moved around on goats at night. Allegedly, the goats would fly when they used this invocation: "Over house, over garden, over pole, and that to the wine-cellars of Cologne!" Once a year they rode to the Mookerheide (near Mook) to visit their master, the devil.

Later, all kinds of stories and mysticism surrounding the gang, gained the Buckriders a Robin-Hood-like status. Nowadays it is believed that there have been several gangs which committed burglaries and robberies. It is also thought that many of the 600 people arrested and convicted were in fact innocent, due to the fact that confessions were obtained by torture.

The Buckrides went to the cultural heritage of Limburg. The phenomenon occurred in the eighteenth century and especially in the Meuse shires: the old Duchy of Limburg, the Countries of Overmaas and the old county of Loon, what we now call the Euroregion.

The trials of the goats riders distinguished from an ordinary criminal procedure when a "wicked oath 'for came: I swear to god, and the devil ..." This "godless oath" in the tradition typical buck riders came in Overmaas (Henry Becx in Nieuwstadt 1743) and blew over to Loon. Here the name 'riders bucks "for the first time. By condemning people because of a godless oath or their alleged alliance with the devil, that one can speak of a late form of processes that resemble those of alleged witches appear. The prosecution was relentless, even by the standards of that time. More than 90% of those convicted received the death penalty. Most confessions were extracted under torture, or the fear of that.

Based on oath from the goats riders, there are seven distinct periods of persecution. The first dates from 1743 to 1745, the last from 1793 until 1794.


Apart from the processes in the process of 1774 in the Hesbaye Wellen, "buck riders' was first openly used. In 1774 John Muysen shoved letter under the door of farmer Wouters Ulbeek, saying his house was going to be burnt down. His house would be burned if he would get money. In that letter Muysen volunteered himself as a member of the goats riders, and three times he used the word devil. In Overmaase processes, the term "buck riders' very late for the influence of events in Wellen. Here emerges, however, the word 'goat' for the first time in the processes. Mathijs Smeets Beek claimed in 1773 that at night they agreed with 42 people to fly on a large goat through the air to Venlo, there to commit a crime.