| ART & POETRY |

FOUR POEMS, FOUR PAINTINGS

By Arjen Boswijk and Uko Post

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The Montréal Review, March 2024

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BLIND NIGHT

And I saw this view
a place above the cold earth
a blind alien butterfly
with red eyes like old light
on delicate wings
in the early night
living on dead wood
and the night showed
her true form
like vague autumn mists

Motionless leaf moved
in the sighing of the wind
a hairdryer passed by
dry, almost decayed oak leaf
and nothing moved nothing
and all waited in vain
I thought that morning

Waited for the old life
started again
until the sun is the day
would give new life

THE EARTH PETRIFIES

After the anger
of the old fire
came the cooling down
and the petrification

There was lava on the crust
in black formations
waiting for life
but stones are inactive

Reflect light and will
are sometimes found
and all the sand
in every desert
on every empty beach
is as old as stone

As old as the earth itself
that pulls on us
loves and repulses us
until there is nothing left
until we´re gone and over

DEAD WANDERER

He lies still on the earth
in the winter of death
flew away in vain
from the vanished time
the plumage already dull
no more light in the eyes
beyond the forgotten life

Perhaps a distant wanderer
came from behind the hills
still whistling and singing
hoping for a new spring
but the long icy winter
was harsher than the hope of life

The feathers will blow gently
will disappear into new nests
and everything always returns
until a new clutch becomes a messy nest
high in a safe tree

MYTHICAL HALF-WIVES

The eroded triplets
rises like pole heads
from the water of a sea
telling invisible chains
of the mythical women
who chained themselves here
according to Saint Adelmus

But it was Odysseus
who was bound
for fear of temptation
for the irresistible charms
of the mythical mermaid
afraid of devilish evil
of the wicked temptation

The half-woman-fish, siren
of pre-Christian enchantment
was the shock
and the deep longing
of every sailor from Ithaca

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Arjen Boswijk is a Dutch poet and primary school teacher. He has published more than 20 books of poetry written with children and his two daughters. He has also worked for radio, television and the press. He often combines his poetry with the work of contemporary Dutch artists.

Uko Post is a Dutch Northern Realist painter. An interview with him can be found here.

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