To mark Easter Sunday I’m really chuffed to be able to showcase two unpublished poems by my wife, Stefanie Van de Peer who is a scholar in Film Studies. Stef has always been very self-effacing about her poetry and these are the only poems she’s published so far, although she was once highly commended in the Stephen Spender Translation Prize for rendering a poem by Belgian poet Herman de Coninck into English.
I am reading Calvino and the bus is going
North, passing the misty yellow fields.
I can feel the sea and you getting closer,
when an old man sits down next to me,
tired from an early morning in the city.
Soon his eyes close. His head drops.
He bobs in time with the bus, until
his rude phone rings, startles him awake.
He looks up embarrassed and yawns.
His wife wants to know if he found
whatever precious thing she needed.
Yes he did, but it was expensive.
She’ll see when he gets home.
He looks at me, as if to say this
is what you’ll be like in forty years.
I lower my gaze back to Calvino.
All I can think of is the yellow fields,
the sun and the sea, today and you.
Forty years is a lifetime away.
No one says a word. We are ready
for the impending miracle which –
because we expect it – won’t come.
Sun sets every day the same way
and we realise that being here
together, is the miracle for us.
Looking in the same direction,
we see infinity and its reverse.
Scared of our blazing ambition,
we practise our modesty and see
each other. On this hot red rock,
not the same, but together, here.