Tag Archives: Joop Bersee

Once I followed

by Joop Bersee

Once I followed my father’s
rapidly disappearing footsteps
on the white sand of a beach.
I held that day in my hands
as if I had daughters, and
sang them a song to stay calm.
I heard my voice singing to
me: ‘just close your leaden eyes,
and grass and the trees will talk
to your softening skin, insects
drawing a bridge, raining eat.’

I heard his voice beneath the
lake of blue with its white lines,
the white hair of his lost skull.
I wish wish like a strong wind.
Someone’s unseen arm of flesh.
Have you met the starfish, shells?
You left a girl, a daughter
between the ruin of walls.
Do you want her to swim, crawl
to the horizon of love,
where your outstretched arms lie dead

in a box with stained photos?
You switched off the car’s engine
and entered that box, breathing.
It will never be a shrine,
an altar where we can meet;
a hermit-crab, drag artist,
carries your skull like a shell
across the ocean’s floor, a
Halloween child, the silly
bowl, few teeth’s grin unanswered.
Crawl till the animal dies.


They put me in a folder

by Joop Bersee

They put me in a folder.
They put me in a wooden
drawer and there was no reason.
They lifted my fingers, they
lifted my skirt and their arms
stung me as they turned on their
lamps. He would not have
believed me. Walk away
I said. He left me with his
suitcase in my hands.
He had the money. I had nothing.
The door has done things to me.
Day and night have done
things to me. It will never be the same,
my house with damp like a paste
on walls. I listen all day for
the sound of feet. My heart gives
me the flowers to run, what he
would give me on my bed,
what he would leave, the smell
of his bowels inside me, the
warm, kaleidoscope with his fingers
inside me, touching, drilling a hole
into the wall of the room of my
mother and me.


by Joop Bersee

I sit as transparent as.
My hands have never held.
I could not see.
It was a white day.
I heard voices and they.
I dare not ask.
I dare not speak.
They know my language now
from inside.
They have folded the way of doing things.

They answered me.
A handful of coins
and plastic to cover.
It rains bad sandals all the time,
the road is in need of a woman,
such a long time to go.
How would it have been-
There were no windows.
‘This friend will kiss you and close both shutters.’
Yellow sand in my hair. I’m home.

In Its Shade

by Joop Bersee

The weeds grow and grow,
spring summer,
fighting for the sun,
growing drowning other plants
in their shade, darkness,
survival, to survive.

This force, like arms hands
stretching for a piece of bread,
the secret code of life and light,
force beating us, now and always,
because its law rules, stirs,
carries us through our childhood,
love, endless garden, to the message

of our last moment,
seconds or months, weeks
into the steel grip
of spring summer,
fighting for the sun, light,
now bent footsteps.