Monday, 16 May 2011

A poem by the Dutch poet
Joop Leibbrand

Spirit level*

I was just lying outside, thinking of
nothing but myself, one of those bottomless
days when you think could be I’ll
experience not being there any more.

I saw the dragonfly on my foot without
feeling it, its wings lifted the colour
of its own weight, gossamer proof of
god’s existence, the cat ate it every evening.

Then there was the resistance of a simul-
taneous second one, identical. On smooth bearings
the head turned, the small eyes twitched.

My legs tensed up from carrying
so much attention, from so much equi-
librium that you cannot stand outside.

* The Dutch word 'libel' can mean both 'spirit level' and 'dragonfly'.

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