Belgian dove trilogy 

translated by Willem Groenewegen. Original title 'Belgisch duivendrieluik', by Bart FM Droog

    back to list of all translations




Behind the Minor Beguinage
the Dijle river rushes on, the waste
filtered through a crooked dam

yes, it was hot, I cast
furtive glances on water surface
and saw my first swimdove

like a duck, slightly surprised
but still proud he looked up
and spun round, the current

carried him along, past three ducks
sunbathing on a sandbank
in rage honking after the dove.


The N34 between Ostend and Wenduine
had hot asphalt that day, so hot
a dove nestled itself on it

saw the beast too late, braking or
swerving would bring disaster and
death for me and mine, made

the only choice saving all
straight across the feathered friend
and just prayed the animal would stay put

in the mirror I saw the bird
cooing merrily, a wink of an eye and a sigh
next car in line had wide tyres.


Tropical heat had driven us to the sea
the slender youth thrashed about, his
shoulders sparkled with salt

every dive at him, he dodged
laughing out loud took two steps back
and then three forward

I understood those doves, doing
what they did and what nothing
else would ever do

mocking mother nature
for the sake of it.

© Bart FM Droog, 1998
© translation Willem Groenewegen, 1998
original title: Belgisch duivendrieluik, from Deze dagen, Passage Publishing Company, Groningen, 1998
Translation previously published in Definitely - Dutch poetry, Rottend Staal, Groningen, 1998.

© Bart FM Droog & Willem Groenewegen 1998/2001. Auteursrecht berust bij de auteur en vertaler op basis van de Auteurswet 1912. Er mag niets uit deze website worden overgenomen, opgeslagen op media ter verspreiding onder derden, gepubliceerd of anderszins verveelvuldigd zonder uitdrukkelijke, voorafgaande schriftelijke toestemming van de auteurs.