Thursday, 21 January 2010

A poem from 'Lyrisch van Rembrandt' by Jan Erik Harmens


on looking at The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh make ready to march out, better known as The Night Watch

I grasp my gun and I fill it with powder and I aim and I shoot

this is me paint me
let me come out into the light name your fee
we’ll palm off or pretend something that
make you scurvy-scudding wet

what are you doing with your hand you’re waving
quit that
musketeers aren’t sailors

we’ve just been sort of plonked down
and dram here steers things with his brush
from neck right shoulders right flag right
as if everything on the canvas is at a slant
and from that drummer at three o’clock not a stroke’s expected

and all of us are that drummer
boom! boom! time for brandy wine
happiness is missing something and killing it
and therefore lingering and a cask of consolation

shoot aim powder feel my gun and grasp

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