Sunday, 24 April 2022

Cees Noteboom: 'Uil'




Now, by degrees, I no longer listen to anyone.

For a conversation I wait for the owl

that measures time. The time between its words

are counted, a metronome that measures

the value of the words – word, silence, word.

And then the following word, also just one.

The two of us alone between

the well-nigh swaying,

man and owl.


Is it off hunting?

I do not know.

Owl, night, man, time,

I hear the sound of its wings,

the sound of my breath,

the shriek of the prey,

then silence.


I no longer listen to anyone.


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