1st volume, no. 1, Page 6
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cover / introduction table of contents

Ghosts

When sometimes spoken
In a trusted circle
Of spirits and ghosts
Comes a memory

Directly in my thoughts
Of what I once experienced
And what now comes at nights
Sometimes gives me the shivers

I was in those times
A guest in Invisible Castle,
It couldn’t be avoided,
For otherwise I had to go

To the districts of the Krauts,
In the concentration camp,
It was not to be trusted,
And I escaped that disaster

By taking shelter
In the home of the Van de Weerds
Where good tea was still served
And whatever your heart desires,

Both drinks and food,
A table well prepared
And that means a lot
In these times of war.

Friend Hans, said friend Cornelis,
So all together
I think it’s a bit much
Sometimes you can’t handle it.

There’s no work to be done here,
Sometimes we play chess
And I am gaining weight,
If I continue like this.

That little bit of bean stringing
As the only task
Is not hard work,
I’m getting too fat.

The mood was not bleak,
When one was a guest there,
Laughter was the attitude,
One laughed unencumbered.

Yet when in the evening
One lay down to rest,
Then one was badly affected
And things didn’t go well for you.

Then evil spirits wandered
And ghosts throughout the house
And celebrated witches’ parties,
And it was very scary.

Do you want to wear
Your pyjama set,
Then these things seemed
Like a sewn-up sack.

Then we sat for hours
And undid that seam
You had to endure a lot
From spooks and ghostly companions.

Now as finally the knots were untied,
One has fallen on the bed,
Then one discovers the whole pillow,
Plastered with seals.

Through writing, the ghosts
Have performed a good deed,
The seal has spoken,
Demands warmth for your money!

You have then thought,
Half possessed and half furious:
What do I need to know
On a late summer night?

Amidst much yawning
You removed the seals
There you go! Now we’ll sleep,
Yet again failed.

Hardly had one lain down
And closed one‘s eyes,
It disappoints you again,
To see a ghostly face.

You see it with horror,
It pierces through bone and marrow
And all your hair stands on end
On your head like a mountain.

Moved by a spirit hand,
The window curtain closes,
The eye feels deceived,
Is it reality or illusion?

How can something like this happen
In our enlightened time?
One trembled in one’s feathers
And turned as white as chalk.

And in the morning upon awakening,
Was tired like a beast,
And was in a very bad mood,
And seemed like a ghost oneself.

Geertje asked at breakfast,
“And did you rest well?”
Hey, tell us, Van der Weerdje,
That sounds somewhat guilty.

So I say to myself,
If my suspicions are correct,
Then all those ghosts
Were conjured up by Geertje.

Post-Editing: Robert Saunders,Hanny Veenendaal