Monday, November 11, 2013

thanks to Phil Dutton for this photo of Tim Cervera (l.) and Henry Gough in The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged, which just completed a fantastic run at The Gunnery. Bravo to everyone involved in the production!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Two poems by Laura-Delight van Tartwijk

They Died

It is as though everyone stopped believing,
But me. They are not bothered by their
Accents becoming heavier day after day, their tulips
Dying in the garden, and our anthem that has
Become a distant melody. The cheese in
Their shiny kitchens isn’t even real any more.

I am the only one who still loves
Those foggy days that smell like grass. During
Which you want to roll around in that grass, the
Dew drops making you soaking wet. Your boots
Becoming invisible and it seems like you are walking
To nowhere.

I would catch a raindrop, while passing the old
Windmill. The drop, following the lines of
My hands, always made me realize how young I am,
Yet how old I feel. My thin jacket did not do
Much to protect me from the rain, I would
Shake it off, exactly how my dog used to.
She died.

They should try catching a raindrop to realize how
Old they have become. I am sure that they
Will be able to see the faded pencil marks left
Behind in their minds, and they will remember
That if they do not water their tulips, they

Will die with them.


After the men knocked on our door,

Mother forgot to water the
Tulips in the garden. Their once
Playful colors, dancing with the soft, Dutch winter winds,
Now look more like my despicable grandfather:
Old and wrinkly, fragile and grey,
Purposely forgotten in his rocking chair.

The roses on the other side, however,
Were looked after with great care, never disregarded.
Mama loved their color:
A red resembling the red of the stripes on her country’s flag,
“So very lively,” as she would say with her thick American accent,
Looking out of the window, while making
Me a sandwich with appelstroop.

But I could still not understand,
While picking up the ashes of my favorite flower,
Why she did not want to see their enchantment,
The way the tulips were in perfect harmony with the robins who
Whistled “Nederland, oh, Nederland” just before dawn.
How couldn’t she love the reflection of the tulips
In the lake we skate on during the winter,
And how their colors complemented the colors of my flag perfectly?

I did not understand until I realized
That the men who knocked on our door that day
Took everything away: not just every book in our library,
Grandma’s favorite painting, and our family’s reputation,
They took away my father’s wonderful, soothing smile,
My sister’s naiveté, my mother’s love for tulips,
And my surrender.