Sunday 18 September 2011

Two poems by the Dutch poet Peter van Lier



standing it persists as a

staying in clusters, munching at grass as

a happy whinnying that causes tails to swish: nothing
exceptional, it could be said,
until –

the farmer with the forage bin on his back (‘giddy-up’)
turns up, recognised already by every horse at a distance
as a
forerunner of what every horse’s heart is longing

for: end of period working at a trot; away with the concentrates,

        ‘luscious farting on sorrel and clover’?



back to back, in clusters,

‘something a horse rarely indulges in!’,

is seen by farmers as a high point of agrarian existence,
even to such an extent
that –

in many a country marriage
the decision’s
taken that ‘the small hoofs (‘gee-up’)
must kick the air just one more time’,

especially after that long period of darkness: full of deep silence and

        labour of sweating horses.

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