Margreet Schouwenaar (Netherland)
Since 1992, Margreet Schouwenaar (1955), poet from the Netherlands, has published 13 albums. Her collected works ‘Words put into Senses’ were published in 2016. As city poet, Schouwenaar wrote works inspired by the Dutch city of Alkmaar between 2009 and 2018.
Schouwenaar is also a children’s books author.
NO LONGER AMAZED
As democracy screams no more,
and humans are made into models for
the eyes of the world, and models into humans,
I am no longer amazed when mouths are lost in
the stucco of yet another housing project.
People don’t walk alone anymore, hands
folded on backs, staying there;
happiness scales are stored in a safe
and doves flying by, green twigs
clasped in beaks. Curtains closed, land
People no longer bloom, nor do they walk
down the riverside to meet the only one, and just once
in a while does one see a man or woman
with hair freshly done, noses up against
the window, staring, waiting for wings and sometimes
thinking …. but then
to realize: it is just a garbage bag,
dancing to the breath of the wind.
I AM NOT HERE
I’m not alone, I see rummaging
sparrows, a woman without a coat.
I wonder what man would be
without a hand of clothing.
Thoughts of cold, no words, loneliness,
sticking like band-aid on
a wound that fails to heal. I am here in
words, before and after; in
language tending to the present, to a
today, and to the sparrows,
maybe closer, feathers
meaningfully closed, yet without a coat, somewhat like me with two coats in a closet, one for summer, one
for winter, and with some shoes
in which I used to be.
From how much fear is love created,
from how much missing existence?
Street calls echo. Sparrows lecture
in my absence. What I see is a
faded coat over worn shoes, and
I am not there. It is my head that
prattles, chirping for ground and wishing
for hands to spread feathers. I am not there.
© Margreet Schouwenaar