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(to our daughter)

What matters

Small things remain:

the peace of rustling poplars,

the yellow of buttercups and grass growing green,

the smell of woods after vernal showers,

the smile, the blush on a girl’s cheeks,

the warmth of your name,

the child’s hand at the window,

the tear that makes you understand:

“I’ll be there.”

Ukrainian diatribe

How long*, malicious Putler,

will you defy humanity?

With your filthy oligarch clique

you make the whole world sick.

How long, phoney Putler,

do you send bombs and missiles?

Democracy and freedom are slain

and we just buy oil, gas and grain.

How much longer, rotten Putler,

do you keep lying, threatening,

at giant tables in palaces?

Europe will pay the price,

trembling behind Uncle Sam's back:

all those killings, millions on the run.

* Cicero: Catilinarian Speeches


Leaves still hanging on trees

and asters they stand dreaming.

I still taste autumn raspberries

and look at late pink roses.

The horizon still orange-red

and the daylight slowly dying.

Still grow the white anemones,

and vine driving out the demons.

Winter cherry trees will still bloom

at the end of way too short years.


Nog hangen blaren aan de bomen

en staan er asters vaag te dromen.

Nog proef ik herfstframbozen

en keur ik de late roze rozen.

Nog kleurt de einder oranjerood

en gaat daglicht langzaam dood.

Nog groeien de witte anemonen,

en verdrijft wingerd de demonen.

Nog zullen bloeien winterkerselaren

aan het eind van veel te korte jaren.

Translation: Z. DE MEESTER