Thursday 22 September 2011

A poem from 'The Landholder' by the Dutch poet Tonnus Oosterhoff

The water began to feel ashamed
of what it was and had always done.
On behalf of everyone a fish came to the land
to come to an arrangement.

The fish straightened its back:
‘Folks: three wishes.’

The shore was empty, only the shells
had the form of caps with ear-flaps under them.
The crafty creature had to stop itself from laughing.

I can promise what I like, it thought.
This won’t cost me a farthing. History hasn’t even begun yet.
I ought to be getting back through the breakers.

Or shall I stay here for a bit? After all, I’m dry now.
I mean it’s great, that sea breeze.

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