North Sea Storm Zuidzande, Zeeland, August 1993

“North Sea Storm Zuidzande, Zeeland, August 1993″
For Marleen van Cauwelaert

The wind that blows across the polders blows
The end of one age, the birth of another.
Turn of the century weather.
It blusters by the eaves and throws
A scarred branch at the chimney-stack
Over and over.
We hear it in the attic bedroom, twitch and crack,
Secret, invisible, speaking of the sea.
The mourning doves take shelter in the lee.
Over and over they repeat the track:
It’s too true, Tookturoo,
It’s too true, Tookturoo.
My friends and I are plotting the next century.
The wind that blows across the polders blows
A branch of ripened pears across the sky;
Hesitates, rises, swings across and falls.
The overloaded apple-tree
Can only jerk and shake.
In all this dreadful pother
Something must surely fall and die;
Something must surely come to be.
The storm is whining at the walls.
The grasses on the dyke are all bowed one way.
The little orchard glows
With green, with green beneath the cold grey sky.
It’s too true, Tookturoo.
Something is stretching itself awake.
The wind that blows the northern sea
Will blow us all away.
The wind that blows across the polders blows
Day into night, night into day.
It’s too true, Tookturoo.
It’s too true, Tookturoo.