Bohemian Boudoir

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I moved house today
the old place I couldn’t stay
Well actually, not really
I just lowered myself, you see?
Closer to the outside world
further away from inside hurt
down into my rabbit’s hole
and deeper in my soul

So now I live ce soir
in my Bohemian Boudoir

I left my place today
twenty steps down and away
a larger place, surely
I just lifted life, you see?
Right into the light of day
with something I had to say
but no one listened to me
or saw my captivity

So now I stay ce soir
in my Bohemian Boudoir

I escaped my tower today
simply had to break away
to another time, more free
lost my feelings, you see?
But then on the street today
she made me laugh an play
came into my rabbit’s hole
and dug herself in my soul

So now we love ce soir
in our Bohemian Boudoir
now we love ce soir
in our Bohemian Boudoir

© 2013 Alice Anna Verheij

Advertenties

Old poetry brought back to live, in songs.

I love the music of Natalie Merchant. I have done so since the first time I heard ‘Thick of Thieves’ that is in my opinion still one of the most complicated lyrical songs around. It has amazing poetic quality and Natalie sings it with unmatched intensity and honesty. Her music has been progressing slowly in this overhyped, short lived world of ours. It hardly gets any airplay at the main radio stations in this country and is hugely underestimated. National radio seems oblivious of what happens elsewhere and solely focussed on the rather limited musical styles of the Dutch music industry (apart from a couple of white ravens).

natalie merchant

So I just have to search for great music on the international scene and YouTube. Which is how I found Natalie Merchant a couple of years ago. Even so, it did take time for me to comprehend the value and quality of her music. I heard the lyrics, partly understood them but they didn’t quite sink in. Until ‘Thick of Thieves’ from her 1997 album ‘Ophelia’. The first lines of the powerful lyrics caught me by the throat:

Remember how it all began
The apple and the fall of man
The price we paid
So the people say
Down a path of shame it lead us
Dared to bite the hand that fed us
The fairy tale
The moral end
The wheel of fortune
Never turns again

I know the lines by heart and whenever someone rings me at least the first four lines sound as a constant reminder of the demise of this world and the deceit of mankind. Even for these few ringtone seconds it alerts me. A while ago I got some tracks from her 2010 album ‘Leave your sleep’. Every song I heard captivated me. I did not understand the title of the album and took no time in researching it. Until last night.

I couldn’t sleep. Probably because of the difficulties of life that are continuously challenging me because I really am struggling to survive. Possibly because of a love inside me that is bound by the impossibility of sharing and may or not may flourish one day. Maybe because I’ve been isolating myself too much to work on this novel that is both a miracle to write as a Hercules task and which is tearing me apart every now and then. It really is not an easy (or safe) thing to turn myself inside out and dive into the dark corners of my life, finding words and sentences to transform what’s found there into the scenes in the life of one of my main characters. Writing does hurt. But the hurt can be soothed by this:

leaveyoursleep

My insomnia forced me to write poetry, with Natalie singing in the background. The lights low, the mood heavy. All of a sudden I just had to cry. For no obvious reason but it was unstoppable. ‘If no one ever marries me’ broke me in the early hours before dawn. I searched for the lyrics to read as they are both poetic and sad but strong. The latter I am not. I searched and found and found something else too. At the TED Talks Natalie explained during a concert about the “Leave your sleep’ album (TED Talks in the US really is something else than it’s rather meager Dutch version). She tells about how she made this album and about the poets it is dedicated to.

And I finally understood.

I understood why I love her music so much these days and how that intensified in the past month. Why I listen to it every single day while writing and why I cried listening to ‘If no one ever marries me’. Because it’s the old childrens poetry that awakens me. A poetry that is out of line with this rough and ruthless world, forgotten poetry of sometimes forgotten emotions by forgotten poets. Nineteenth and early twentieth century poetry and as such written in an era I am writing about and researching on every day now. As if I am looking at my lost childhood and youth. The tragedy of the daughter of the great painter Alma-Tadema who after his wife’s death emigrated to England with his children and became famous and wealthy. A daughter who at an early age unwantingly predicted her own life. She never married and died surrounded only by books and her friends. Alone. And yes, that is both my greatest fear in life as a strange desire.

I love this poetry which is way more adult than the label ‘children’s poetry’ suggests. I love it because though written in another time and place, it connects with me and sometimes describes me and my life and desires. It brings me back to a time where people were in less a hurry and gave more attention to what they were doing. Something quite impossible today for most people. Again, with the exception of a few white ravens. It explains to me why it is a good thing that I have to struggle for life and can only write a few lines or pages a day for ‘Lachrymae’. As I am slowly getting to the point where time is of no value to my work and true dedication to my writing is the essence of me.

leaveyoursleep 2Natalie Merchant’s picture book including the cd. I wish I had it!

Maybe this is all nonsense for who reads this and maybe people cannot understand what I mean with what I write here. I suppose in such cases I’ve then proven to be incapable of formulating my feelings and thoughts. But the fact that I had to cry this early morning really comes down to finally understanding why I do all this, why I share my thoughts and writings here and in my books. Why I write this new book. Why I allow people to see through me via my work. Music does make that clear, so please listen to this amazing singer who is not only immensely talented but also a woman of unmatched beauty and a true inspiration for me. And yes, the lines of Laurence Alma-Tadema’s poem do define me somehow for I am still only a child.

Laurence Alma-Tadema (1865 – 1940)

If no one ever marries me,—
And I don’t see why they should,
For nurse says I’m not pretty,
And I’m seldom very good—

If no one ever marries me
I shan’t mind very much;
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage,
And a little rabbit-hutch:

I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own,
And a little lamb quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town:

And when I’m getting really old,—
At twenty-eight or nine—
I shall buy a little orphan-girl
And bring her up as mine.

© 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

Now

featherphoto: ‘Birds of a feather’ (Reims Cathedral, France) © 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

Now
Listen
I woke up
Had to weep
Don’t know why
So I wrote a poem
And went back to sleep
For another couple of hours
Killing my wretched nightly doubts
About this unanswered love
My hopes that leave me
Without the words
I wish to say
Or shout
To you
Now

© 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

In the nightly hour

dawnphoto: ‘Waiting’ (Picardie, France) © 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

In the nightly hour

The night may be dark
but that doesn’t mean
words aren’t sentences
or dreams have no place
in my distorted ways

Past hours may be few
yet in this natural day
but that will not mean
words will go astray
or feelings go away

Daylight may not be there
and sounds still hushed
still my flesh is not silent
my desire not speaking
or my heart not beating

You may not be here
my yearning still untold
but distance is artificial
for our hearts to meet
in long postponed deed

I may not say the words
or gaze at you today
even write another letter
cause I’m sure you know
my words will simply flow

Dawn may come soon
after these nightly hours
light washing thoughts
I wish mine could stay
and you think of me today

© 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

Farewell

Something happened today. Or more precise: someone happened to me today. As a result I wrote a poem in Dutch. But as it is so very important for me I want to share it with my English readers. So I translated it. This is what became of that.

Slowly I bid farewell
to the unrest in me
and the violence in my heart
which I do not endure.

Quietly I leave the crossroads
because I chose the way before
and a compass is not needed
for the right course.

I know that I know and see
see, hear, feel, move and breath
pick up what I find on the road
and know when to embrace.

There is no route, no map
no defined path
no desired goal
only uniform motion.

Confrontation was an abstraction
of needless thoughts
and unasked questions that
did not allow answers.

The theme was the mirror
that hid love until
I understood that it can only be there
if I allow that myself.

I am my alternative
my reason for rest
because the path leaving the crosroads
is in me. Invisible visible.

© 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

Give me a reason.

Some time ago, this song helped me. I don’t know why because a few years later I feel even more worn out. Actually, I guess I am. What’s left of me is my ability to write the book I’ve been compelled to write for such a long time. So I can close it, no matter what. I am sorry, It will not be a nice story.

Give me reason
to go on and on
a reason to fight
a straw to hold

Give me a reason
to keep trying
against the odds
and in the cold

Give me a reason
to live a dream
a cause to chase
a path to walk

Give me a reason
to not give up
and try again
and to grow old

Give me a reason
to love this life
for what it is
a life too bold

I guess I am like Kerouac’s fabulous yellow roman candle. Mad to talk, mad to llive, mad to be saved. Burning candles will some day extinguish.

© 2012 Alice Anna Verheij

De weg naar de hel.

Vanmorgen kwam op Facebook een oude kraker van Chris Rea langs. Ik hou van zijn muziek die staat als een huizenblok van zwaar beton. Onverzettelijke beat en strakke teksten. Deze had dan ook nog eens een tekst die – thanks Floortje – nog een diepere laag in zich heeft die misschien niet eens zo bedoeld was. Maar wel zo uit te leggen.

The Road to Hell knalde niet veel later uit de speakers en ik kon mezelf niet tegenhouden een vertaling van dit donkere lied te maken. Chris Rea heeft veel donkere maar ook romantische songs. Zijn bijna Victoriaanse blik op het leven is misschien deels gevoed door de ziekte die hij moest overwinnen maar ik zie hem vooral als een onverbeterlijke romanticus. Daarom vind ik zijn muziek zo mooi want daarin herken ik hem. Het is bijna onmogelijk om niet mee te zingen met de prachtige teksten.

Dus hier is dan, de volledige, The Road to Hell met de geweldige intro die de toon zet voor het onverwachte rockende tweede deel. Zo hoort een song in elkaar gezet te worden wat mij betreft.

En dit is mijn vertaling:

Stond stil op de snelweg
Ik zag er een vrouw
Langs de kant van de weg
Een gezicht als dat van mij
Reflecties, in mijn voorruit
En ze liep, naar mijn auto toe
En boog, heel erg traag
Een angstig gevoel, verlamde me, in mijn schaduw
Ze zei ‘kind, wat brengt jou nou toch hier
Mijn angst voor jou draaide me, in mijn graf’
Ik zei ‘mama ik kom naar het dal van de rijken
verkoop mijzelf’
Ze zei ‘kind, dit is de weg, naar de hel’

Op je reizen, door de wildernis
Van de woestijn tot aan de bron
Ben je terecht, gekomen op de snelweg, naar de hel

Tsja ik sta hier bij de rivier
Maar het water, dat stroom niet
Het kookt van al het gif, dat je bedenkt
En ik sta onder de lantaren
En dat licht, ken ik al te goed
Doodsbang weggedoken, diep in de schaduw
En de perverse angst voor geweld
Veegt de lach van elk gezicht
Gezond verstand rinkelt, elke bel
Dit is geen technisch mankement
Oh nee, dit is de weg, naar de hel

Alle wegen verstopt met krediet
En er is niks dat je kunt doen
allemaal vodjes papier en helemaal niet van jou
Oh pas op wereld, kijk nu goed uit
Waar het op neerkomt
Leer deze lessen snel en leer ze wel
Dit is geen opgaande mobiele snelweg
Oh nee, dit is de weg
Hey, dit is de weg
Dit is de weg, naar de hel

Tekst: Chris Rea
Vertaling: Alice Anna Verheij © 2012

Insomnia Nights.

I fought my fight
in darkness I cried
through insomnia night
insomnia night

Touching hands, leading nowhere
and my lovers, really don’t care
I’ve seen them all in my days
kissed them a million ways
Lost them all, in the process
But they really, didn’t care less
They’ve vanished, into my dreams
my lover’s cries, my lover’s screams

I fought the fight
in darkness I cried
through insomnia night
insomnia night

Losing my mind, nothing to share
don’t know why, don’t no where
You’re crazy, is all she says
pretends love, on loveless days
It has ended in a terrible mess
and she? She couln’t care less
I’ve lost her there on the way
I was awake but she didn’t stay

I fought a fight
in darkness I cried
through insomnia night
insomnia night

It’s the dream, in which I don’t dare
my daily fight, my nightly scare
We’ve been there all in our days
kissed each other, so many ways
Broke our hearts, tore your dress
and I? I really did my best
You’re now vanished, into a dream
my love I cry, my love I scream

We fought our fight
in darkness we cried
in insomnia night
insomnia night
all that is left now
is insomnia night
is insomnia night

© 2012 Alice Anna

Ich liebe jeden, der mich gefällt.

There are woman from long ago that I admire. A few years a go a dear friend gave me a framed photograph of one who has become some sort of muse for me: Zarah Leander. The strong hearted and beautiful Swedish actress and singer who made such brilliant performances in German films in the early 20th century. Her real name was Sara Stina Herdberg. During the second world war she decided to stay in Berlin as she worked for Hitler’s regime albeit without publicly taking sides. Early in her career and even during the war she did however publicly denounced the Nazi’s by singing strong anti Nazi songs in a cabaret. But she was contracted by UfA, Hitler’s propaganda film company, a contract she took for the money. In 1943 however she returned to Sweden and was possibly unjustly controversial for the rest of her life because of her decision to stay in Germany during the war in the city she loved so much. First and foremost she was an actress, secondly Swedish and thirdly a Berlin woman who could not drag herself away from Germany that had been so good for her in the 1920’s and 1930’s. A choice that did not turn out well for her but in which she was not unique.

In spite of her disputable choice to stay in Berlin it is very obvious that she was a great actress and singer and her performances were no less that Marlene Dietrich’s who was in many aspects comparable except for the wartime choice they made. Zarah Leander lived until the end of the seventies and her career never really took off after the war, she was tainted in the eyes of many.

Zarah Leander, 1936

Still, I see and hear an actress with a great voice and a woman who was in her own right strong. Some of the songs she sang in films are amazing. Particularly this one where a woman takes position and denounces dependency on the love of only one (man). She tells the audience that she decides to choose her lover in spite of the heartbreak the previous one caused. She is the one who decides and she does not become dependent on that single person because ‘there are so many in this world and I love the one I like’. It is this attitude that the song reflects that is close to my heart and the very reason I will always permit myself to fall in love. And honestly, I love the songs of Zarah Leander. This one by the way comes from the film ‘Es war ein rauschende ballnacht’ made in 1939, the lyrics are by Theo Mackeben. I’ll guess I’ll translate it into Dutch some day soon.

Alice © 2012

Es ist ja ganz gleich, wen wir lieben
Und wer uns das Herz einmal bricht
Wir werden vom Schicksal getrieben
Und das Ende ist immer Verzicht

Wir glauben und hoffen und denken,daß
einmal ein Wunder geschieht.
Doch wenn wir uns dann verschenken
Ist es das alte Lied

Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen
Es gibt auf Erden nicht nur den Einen
Es gibt so viele auf dieser Welt
Ich liebe jeden der mir gefällt
Und darum sollst du heut mir gehören
ich will dir Treue und Liebe schwören
Wenn ich auch fühle, es muss ja Lüge sein
Ich lüge auch und bin Dein !

Wir kamen von Süden und Norden
Mit Herzen so fremd und so stumm
So bin ich die deine geworden
Und ich kann dir nicht sagen warum
Denn als ich mich an dich verloren
Hab ich eines Andern gedacht
So ward die Lüge geboren
Schon in der ersten Nacht

Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen
Es gibt auf Erden nicht nur den Einen
Es gibt so viele auf dieser Welt
Ich liebe jeden der mir gefällt
Und darum will ich heut dir gehören
Du sollst mir Treue und Liebe schwören
Wenn ich auch fühle, es muss ja Lüge sein
Ich lüge auch und bin Dein !

The benefits of being ill (for a while).

Sometimes life travels at lightspeed for some. The reasons why are usually a totally unpredictable combination of events, challenges, situations and probably more known factors like character, emotion, personality, ambition and health. For me it’s not difficult to attach something personal to all of these words but the last one has, for the time being, become like the sand in the machine. And that was about time.

There’s no need or ambition in me to go through that whole string of words but a few things are at this moment determining my life in the short term. That is until expectedly the end of this year.

So I fell ill. An intense flu crossed my path and although that is no drama at all for me it meant that I for the first time in many months was forced to take a break. If only for a week or two. And taking a brake from work, obligations, efforts and ambitions forces one to think. Usually.

In the coming months is a lot of work waiting for me and with a lot of luck I’ll be able to get it done before summer. The long awaited novel is getting printed and so are two photobooks. The latter two however still have to be produced from ground up and that is quite a job even for someone like me who is able to make beautifully layouted work in a relative short timespan. And then of course there’s the big one. The film. Still so much to do and so much of it only possible to be done by me. It was, is and will be the biggest time consumer for at least another couple of months. That isn’t everything on the agenda. Because I am turning this work of writing, filming, photographing and publishing my profession rapidly. I know exactly what I want to do in the next part of my life and in fact I have been doing that already since about two years. It feels good, it is me out there doing what I love.

But there’s also the demonic shadow of the past preventing me to build a business of it in my home country because of a business past gone bad (nothing special there either but the left overs are still quite unmanageable). So if I want to do what I do on a solid basis I will have to work internationally. The good news is, I love that. Still, being stranded by illness for a while does force me to revise plans. Not in the least because when out of the performance loop the mind starts asking questions. Making reality checks. And so plans change.

Sure, I still will start to work from abroad for a large portion of the year as soon as it can be arranged. Economics will decide when, I decide if. But the timelines and the way this will happen shift, turn and change. It is not realistic for me to work from Nepal as a home base. I will however keep visiting the country I love so dearly and keep following, filming and reporting the fate of my Bhutanese friends in and around the refugee camps. Not because I promised but because I see that as an obligation to do so. There are more angles to the Nepalese society and the developments of Nepal that I want to report about. But it will never be my only world.

I am still a novel writer and that will not change, just like my love for writing poetry and songs for entertainment. So there will always be times when I am not in Asia or anywhere else for local reporting or filming but in stead I’ll be somewhere, anywhere, writing a novel. And the topic will not necessarily be connected to previous work because my very being as a literary artist doesn’t allow fixation.

So what does all of this mean for the plans I had and for a part still have?

Well, I am the journalist writer, photographer and filmer interested and focussed on human and women rights in South Asia. No doubt about that. But maybe after finishing the film not for this year anymore. Probably if not almost certainly next year again. But I am also the heremit writer in a soft spot somewhere writing that next novel. The sort of novel is already decided and quietly I am starting up research for it already. It is going to be very different from previous work, a challenge to write (that’s never a surprise) and a very special book. And I will also every now and then take the stage with a song or a short story in whatever show with dear theatre friends.

It will mean that I will not leave my country permanently. It will mean that I will leave my country intermittently, sometimes for long periods. But I’ll always be back for long periods. Like this year. Because this year, after the dust has settled of the books and the film and the two years of work involving the Bhutanese exiles issue, I will take a break for something very different, to keep myself in shape and not loose myself in one topic to work on and to take care that my mind stayes free. (I will not drop the topic of the Bhutanese, I can’t but it will be not the main focus for some time.)

Sometime this summer the real work on my new novel will start in traditional writing style. Designing the essence of the story, the plot if there is one to be, the characters, events, images and emotions. It will be England from roughly the end of the 19th century until the 1930’s. It will be distiguished romantic painters and one specific exquisitly beautiful model. A girl who became a model by fate and lost that work also by fate, never known by the public by her real name because she was not so high class savvy as that other famous painters model in that time but by the names of Greec goddesses or biblical Heroïns and who faded away in history but by her image remained unforgettable. I long to write about the life and loves of that woman who was once ‘Flaming June’. And this novel is one that will take quite some time to write wether I am in the flow or not. But it is a certainty that this will be my next major work.

Alice © 2012

Loosing technology.

At my lost home in my lost paradise (photo: A. Dahal 2011)

I want to loose technology
and vanish some place far away
in a place where I can just be
and not think wether I should stay

to write a book
with a pen
on paper
to be printed
with ink
on paper
to be read
and held in many hands
by people with smiles
at armslength distance
at the most

I want to forget so I can see
again with newborn eyes
and be alone with myself and me
do away with all the lies

and listen
to a song
sung by a real human
without a microphone
or an amp
pure
clear
undistorted
singing
a love song

for

me

Alice © 2012

Dancing on the vulcano.

Today I dance on the vulcano
with the heat just underneath me
making dance steps to show
how wonderful dangers can be

Today I sail on the westwind
with heavy clouds passing me by
flapping wings of cotton ginned
far away from every days lie

Today I ride the eastbound train
shifting coal into the engine
rolling fast away from pain
right into the garden of Eden

Today my ship sails far away
taking me with it on a quest
cause I don’t know how to stay
I just have to leave the west

Today I just walk in my street
think about you while I cry
about love lost and soft deceit
not knowing whose was the lie

Vulcano dances will never end
as winds will always blow again
trains will vanish in the distance
a ship might bring me to a friend

But in the end vulcanos die

Alice © 2012

I don not want to live in the Netherlands.

My dearest friends in the Netherlands know it and a few even understand it. Most of my Bhutanese and Nepali friends do either not know it and when they do they certainly do not understand it. The fact that I do not want to live (or die) in the Netherlands, the land I was born and raised and have lived for almost all my life.

Jan Jacob Slauerhoff

Many years ago a great Dutch novelist and poet wrote a poem explaining his feelings. His name was Jan Jacob Slauerhoff (1898-1936). A writer who studied medicine, became doctor and started writing. He later enlisted as ships surgeon at a Dutch boat company and made many journeys to the far east. He’d seen China, Japan, Hong Kong and the Dutch Indies (now Indonesia) many times. His confrontation with Asia changed his life to the extend that he in the end detested the land he was born and raised in. Much the same like me at this point in my life. He returned to the Netherlands, went to South America, returned again. To Italy, to Tangier, to South Africa. He got malaria and tuberculosis and returned to the Netherlands in stead of Italy again and died in a nursing home in a small town in the middle of the country at the early age of 38 years. And although he had desired a seamans grave he was cremated at a cemetary where many literarians were either cremated or buried. Jan Jacob Slauerhoff was one of the last true Dutch literary bohemians and was for many years an inspiration for me in both work and life. He still is now I am slowly becoming yet another bohemienne who is detached from her motherland.

When people read and understand his poem ‘I don’t want to live in the Netherlands’ they might very well understand me. So here it is in English translation. Or at least my attempt to that which is by no means easy to do. Underneath the English version one can read the Dutch version which is extremely poetic and intense and shows the feelings of someone touched by travel to the far east and observing the ignorance and stupidity in the Netherlands. If I would have had the talent to write like him it could have been my poem. The rhyme didn’t survive translation, the intentions and intense feelings however did. After all I might be a novelist and a poet but I am from another time and another quality. I wish I would have been able to talk with him sometime.

In the Netherlands I do not want to live,
One has to constantly fulfill ones desires there,
Because of the neighbours,
Who eagerly peep through every hole.
I’d rather go living in the steppe,
Where one is not hindered by his next of kin:
For the crying of my lusts no heron will hasten itself,
No fox will accelerate its pace.

In the Netherlands I do not want to die,
and putrify in wet soil,
On which one never has lived.
I’d rather wander aching
And end up with the nomads.
My compatriots mock me: “He is a failure.”
Yes, that I could not damage them (any)more,
Has in liberty dejected me too often.

In the Netherlands I do not want to live
One always has to strive for something,
Think of the well being of ones fellow-creature,
Only in hiding one is allowed to affront.
But not thrash a face so it clatters,
Just because I don’t like that feature.
Abuse someone without a reason
Testifiess of loose morale.

I do not want to live in narrow houses.
That have thrown uglyness in towns and villages
by the thousands…
There they all walk with a stiff collar
– Not from style, but to show off
That one knows how it should be –
On Sundays to greet each other
Through streets in black parades.

In the Netherlands I do not want to stay,
I would grow fat and stiffen up.
It is too calm there for me, too dignified,
One speaks slowly there, never gets vehement,
And never dances on the feeble rope.
But the defenceless are tormented,
Never is such a lumpish farmers head decapitated,
And never, no never happens a great crime of passion.

J.J. Slauerhoff – translation Alice Verheij © 2012

In Nederland wil ik niet leven,
Men moet er steeds zijn lusten reven,
Ter wille van de goede buren,
Die gretig door elk gaatje gluren.
‘k Ga liever leven in de steppen,
Waar men geen last heeft van zijn naasten:
Om ‘t krijschen van mijn lust zal zich geen reiger reppen,
Geen vos zijn tred verhaasten.

In Nederland wil ik niet sterven,
En in de natte grond bederven
Waarop men nimmer heeft geleefd.
Dan blijf ik liever hunkrend zwerven
En kom terecht bij de nomaden.
Mijn landgenooten smaden mij: ,,Hij is mislukt.”
Ja, dat ik hen niet meer kon schaden,
Heeft mij in vrijheid nog te vaak bedrukt.

In Nederland wil ik niet leven,
Men moet er altijd naar iets streven,
Om ‘t welzijn van zijn medemenschen denken.
In het geniep slechts mag men krenken,
Maar niet een facie ranslen dat het knalt,
Alleen omdat die trek mij niet bevalt.
Iemand mishandlen zonder reden
Getuigt van tuchtelooze zeden.

Ik wil niet in die smalle huizen wonen.
Die leelijkheid in steden en in dorpen
Bij duizendtallen heeft geworpen…
Daar loopen allen met een stijve boord
– Uit stijlgevoel niet, om te toonen
Dat men wel weet hoe het behoort –
Des Zondags om elkaar te groeten
De straten door in zwarte stoeten.

In Nederland wil ik niet blijven,
Ik zou dichtgroeien en verstijven.
Het gaat mij daar te kalm, te deftig,
Men spreekt er langzaam, wordt nooit heftig,
En danst nooit op het slappe koord.
Wel worden weerloozen gekweld,
Nooit wordt zoo’n plompe boerenkop gesneld,
En nooit, neen nooit gebeurt een mooie passiemoord.

QR Poetry

Old work but still worth a dedicated place on this site.

My favority short poem in QR code.

Alice © 2012

Half of me in half a home.

The street where half of me lives – Photo © 2012 Alice Verheij

Half of me in half a home

 

I live in half a home, the other half not being there

with a mind that is gone and wonders for so long

if I walk I’m only half, the rest is on another path

feet trying to go and flee cause it’s there that I should be

the other world pulls strong it does that for so long

to drag me away from this to grounds I so much miss

to a home that’s not here, not there but anywhere

I have no mental home as I’m on a quest, alone

so when we accidentally meet on an occasional street

remember it’s only half of me, the better half hopefully

and when I leave you then, the other has never been

your companion alone, that one was in another home

Alice © 2012

Disagreeing with Hamlet.

William Shakespeares Hamlet is a guy I kindly fight a battle with. Or at least twist his words to suit my feelings better. I would of course approach my Ophelia in a different way. It’s not arms or violence or quarrel or anger that shapes my way of dealing with bad tidings, it’s making front against the cynicism of people telling me not to love. So maybe my dear friend Hamlet, you should have said something like this…

To love or not to love – that is the question:
Wether it is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous feelings
Or to form front to a wall of cynicism
And by opposing end them.

Because, countering the views of some people around me, love is not a feeling or mood or a fling or something I take lightly. It is not just a part of my life. It is part of me, inseperable from my being and if it would die I would as woman no longer breath. To imagine a life with love not being part of it is something I can’t comprehend. I would become cynical and that is exactly what I hate so much about the society I live in which has become in it’s core a cynical society.

I will hopefully never lose the ability to love and fall in love. Even if it means my heart will be broken many times.
So whoever this applies to: please never tell to bail out of love. Because a question like that I cannot answer.

Alice © 2012

In the dark of night the mind wanders.

For my 1250th post I wrote a poem.
It obviously is about the night, the most beautiful and the most horrendous hours.

In the dark of night the mind wanders.

The night called me but I could not reach her
As if a gulf separated my head from sleep.
Like a gaping depth of sunken thoughts
that grind like slowly turning millstones,
forcefully circulating crushing rest.
A concept that my mind seems no to understand
but what my heart foolishly longs for.

And even though the call gains force
the battle to resist her does not weaken.
No matter how tempting, I lack the strength
to surrender the fight and let myself go
without notice and being unnoticed.
Not strong enough to allow tears to flow
or simply just be unwillingly unhappy.

The night, I hate her for her beauty
and like with every lover I ever had
I cannot live with her taunting embrace.
I never answer her, she’s to dangerous,
because if I would, my head would leave me.
My mind would be dimmed and my voice silenced,
not strong enough to give in to eternal desire
to die in a slow and wordless embrace.

It’s a good thing that some wishes
remain as they are:
unchanged
remote
unreal
im – possible
hidden

Alice Anna Verheij © 2012

Tweet!

Just a little ‘day after’ poem for someone special,
because I like writing little poems
on special little days and not on just one day in the year.

Alice © 2012