Eeltsje Hettinga 19/03/2019

Ship bird land

‘Substitute’, The Who


Sliced open, my body lay on the coast
below the foaming, scud-spitting horizon.

I was a treasure trove of junk and rubbish.
Stomach bulging with everything

that has an indestructible forever:
all plastic, so that I was stuffed

from head to tail and wing to wing
before I’d ever taken flight.

It was to the tolling of the bell that
rings out over the mud flats at Wier

that I woke from my dreams with a start,
aghast at the driving snow, grains

with no more soul than mindless oil.
And as the rolling white hail swept

the fields, I knew: We’re all born
with plastic spoons in our mouths.



Translation: David Colmer