Piet Nieuwland – Alianza

Nieuwland LE P&W February 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing February 2024.

Alianza, poems by Piet Nieuwland.


From gravel heavy stares, spilt on lino,
or silent trash decaying
of rusted iron, with the nausea,
with the day extinguished, carbonic
at arm’s reach the glitter glare of Lepidoptera
monarchs spinnaker in endless irradiation

You were trustee to the lights inscription, of vaporized beings
that the late lazy sun tossed at steeples,
glass polarized, with the pollen of bees
your flesh fleeing from unseen balls of fire
prior and subsequent to the day, his Aztec children
Days pass dressed in CIA overcoats
but are snared by your chant beating
Oh woman, in your relax
I planted my hope, my quiet anticipation

With your supple touch digitized pointillist, filling head on out
into the quantities that define the earth,
distant from the ferment of sterile rooms in empty matter
ice with no heartbeat and fading baits,
I examine your tummy combusting and your tangled salivating
tongue receding
like falling larks in my sleep

times are when what your salty prisms of sadness may be
like lines chewing into my brow-
there, surf is convulsing itself to spray
the action wet exhausted final

Thanks to Pablo Neruda

When there is no room for

Sorrow to stand and braid her hair
On nights of weeping children
When the map of stars shatters / ending all distances

A cascade of blue syllables fall from the fountain
I am alive between two commas
a ridge defining catchments
in summers blush of leaves on a kauri ricker
tui in a blossom burst pohutukawa
warming soil
tomato roots extruding through
like old friends meeting in a café

Point Te Ake Ake

The beach explodes in treasure
each stone flashes, glows, suspended
from night stars, shells nuate shells,
exposing, exposing, till the certain
moment, when all is lost, to the sea,
to the sky, the vortex
that draws day from night, existence from
essence, being from nothingness, this bay
envelopes as the curve of your shoulders, back,
buttocks lie exhausted on the sand.

The wind splays out through the lips
of a lone pohutukawa, turns full circle, left,
right, north, south, as my gut when I reach.

Sitting here in this cabin looking out,
mind taking the shape of these islands,
peninsula, reefs, been fought over,
shed blood for, died for, made love for,
remain in double spangled light for,
by the activities of men foolish,
greedy, happy or mad.

So we travel across this filmy surface,
sometimes meeting a part of ourselves
in a gulping bay, on rocky cliff,
or windswept saddle and make our fortunes
on a beach grinding at the shells beneath,
within, till all light fills us and these
islands, atolls, the world,
becomes our own.

© Piet Nieuwland

Ian Watson is originally from Belfast but lives in Bremen, Germany. He is the author of two poetry collections in English, the latest being Granny’s Interpreter (Salmon Poetry 2016); a further collection with Salmon, Somewhere, Far Away, a Radio, is forthcoming. His recent German-language non-fiction includes Spielfelder: eine Fußballmigration, on football and identity, and Bremen erlesen, a literary and cultural guide to his second-home city in Germany (both with Edition Falkenberg). He also publishes translations of poetry from and into German and English. He has worked regularly for radio and also made the film Cool to be Celtic for German and French television (arte 1999). He is a steering committee member of the Literaturhaus Bremen.

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