Eeltsje Hettinga 12/07/2018

Nij Hiddum & the trade ad infinitum

On drawing boards the turbines rise, higher
than Babel in the Nij Hiddum sky, playing a trick
on the landscape that is too much for the horizon
– open and wide as the birth of the world – to swallow.

In the polders, sown with meat and feathers,
Cornwerd’s blue dog indulges its desires
like a messenger from Hades’ realm. A keen wind
whistles whosewhosewhose over the bare sea dike.

O, manna, manna, go to hell, Salverda cries,
I saw the sun, a bloodbird in a throbbing sky
full of slashing blades. What a racket! Don’t tell me
the money here is not as black as crows over

the fields or the souls of the grand windfarmers.
See them hoofing it over the dike, pointing at their
wind business ad infinitum with their golf clubs.
Listen, who’s that singing The Wind Cries Mary?

Later bythe Kornwerdervaart I beheld the land,
a dream, flowering like once the gardens
of Babylon. The age-old channels reflecting
the dance of a small nineteenth-century post mill.

Will the wind turbines that tower over the land
one day be as magnificent as Monet’s mills,
painted near Zaandam? A keen wind whistles
whosewhosewhose over the bare sea dike.



Translation: David Colmer