Freiburg_Kappel , Germany
Satis Shroff is a prolific German writer and poet and received the Neruda Award 2017 in Crispiano, Italy. He is a published writer, poet and lecturer based in Freiburg (poems, fiction, non-fiction) who also writes on ethno-medical, culture-ethnological themes.
He has studied Zoology and Botany in Nepal, Medicine and Social Science in Germany and Creative Writing in Freiburg and Manchester. He describes himself as a mediator between western and eastern cultures and sees his future as a writer and poet.
Satis Shroff was awarded the German Academic Exchange Prize. He is a lecturer in Basle (Switzerland), at the Akademie für medizinische Berufe (Uniklinik Freiburg)and the VHS, Freiburg. He was awarded a Culture Prize by Green City Freiburg for his social engagement with the asylum seekers and refugees, and also nominated for the German Social Engagement Prize. He sings German and English songs in a men’s choir (mgv-Kappel) in Freiburg.
A TRAIN JOURNEY
A screaming train,
Billowing smoke and sparks,
As it reaches Ghoom hill,
Descends to Darjeeling
Looping its way to lessen its speed.
What unfurls is a memorable Bergblick:
The majestic panorama of the snown peaks,
The Kanchenjunga in all its splendour.
The summits like a jewelled crown,
Bathed in golden, yellow and orange light.
A moment of revelation in life,
Shared on a particular evening,
As the sun goes down slowly,
The mountain range is glowing,
A Himalayan glow.
A feast for the eyes of the beholder,
The play of lights
Evoked by the dying sun,
Upon the massif.
(C) Satis Shroff
CHIRPS IN MY GARDEN
To lie in bed
And listen to the birds sing.
I peer at the pine trees above,
Heavily laden with fluffy snow,
Like sentinels of the Black Forest.
I spy something moving:
Three deer with moist black noses,
Sniffing the Kappler air,
Strut among the low bushes
In all their elegance,
Only to vanish silently,
Into the recesses of the Foret Noir.
I hear the robin,
With its clear, loud, pearly tone,
As it greets the day.
Just before sunrise the black bird,
Which flies high on the tree tops,
Delivers its early arias.
The great titmouse stretches its wings
And starts to sing.
The brown sparrows turn up
With their repertoire,
Rap in the garden,
Twitter and chirp aloud.
All this noise makes the bullfinch alert,
For it also wants to be heard.
It starts its high pitched melody
With gusto in the early hours.
The starling clears its throat:
What comes is whistles,
Mingled with smacking sounds.
Isn’t an early bird,
Starts its day late.
Pecks with its beak,
At a hurried tempo.
If that doesn’t get you out of your bed,
I’m sure you’re on holiday,
Or thank God it’s Sunday.
Other feathered friends
Who frequent our Black Forest house,
Are the green finch, the jay,
Goldfinch which we call ‘Stieglitz,’
Larks, thrush and the oriole,
The Bird of the Year,
On rare occasions.
(C) (Satis Shroff)
THE DANCE OF THE BIRCH TREES
The naked white birch trees
Stand close to each other,
Waiting for the music
Of the Dreisam Valley wind
A gust comes,
Followed by another,
Making the trees sway,
Like a wise white woman’s long tresses,
The thin, supple twigs
That almost reach half the size of the trees,
Have a faster rhythm of their own.
The hurricane-like wind
Gathers its energy for the finale.
Ah, the upper branches
With capillary-like twigs,
As they anastomose,
Developing into a canopy,
In their movements to and fro.
In the background you see
The blue Black Forest hills,
With homesteads like dots
On the snow-covered hillsides,
That are lit now.
The bluish-grey clouds which were on the move,
Have taken a Prussian blue hue.
A weak yellowish light,
Manages to break through,
Above the snowy-clad peaks.
A semblance of a sunset
In the Schwarzwald.
(C) Satis Shroff
Ach, Gloomy Autumn
The intensity of the sun
A mellowness shrouds the land.
The leaves have turned yellow, russet, crimson and brown
Alas, the once rich foliage
Has begun to die under the October twilight,
A natural end.
But there is hope
For life begins anew next spring.
The fallen leaves
Are an exercise in letting go.
To think that those very leaves
Were so green and gaudy,
In the summer months.
Now everything seems to be deceasing.
Leaves stiff and drooping,
Dead leaves, twigs and branches,
Are ablaze in the autumnal bonfire,
On hillsides, homesteads and gardens.
Out of the memories arise wisdom,
Like the Sphinx born anew
From the ashes of the old,
Year in and year out.
Doesn’t power have the stain of blood?
Ah, my grape vines are gone,
Shared by visiting blackbirds and me.
So sweet and such a delight,
As the juices trickle down your throat.
Some elderly storks have lingered in the Schwarzwald,
And are seen on the Dreisamtal meadows.
Too weak for the long journey with the flock,
To far off Africa.
A wise decision for survival,
As they listen and stare solemnly.
The early morning sun
Is a thing of the past.
No more English breakfasts
With scones and jams, confiture on the terrace.
A gloomy sky hangs overhead,
The white mist rises languidly
From the valleys and spurs of the Schwarzwald.
The faint blue peaks
Hover above the veil of mist.
An ever changing scenario in the Black Forest.
After the depressing rains,
The earth is wet, crunchy and soggy with leaves.
People feel sad and depressed,
In the months to come.
Walks in the countryside,
Gemütlichkeit in the cosy living rooms,
Time to do creative things,
Feel blessed and bless others.
‘Thulo hunu’ the Nepalese words
For ‘May you grow big.’
Beautiful wild birds that haven’t been caught,
Still hover happily in the sky.
With a joy that is universal.
The song lives still,
Though the poet passes away.
(C) Satis Shroff