About the Poem
About the poet
Born in The Netherlands, Riemke Ensing moved to New Zealand in 1951. A distinguished poet,...
War - Biography
War – Biography
Always the tongue of sadness
rolling back memory
mournful with meaning. A whole life
changed in a few hours and for ever
stories continually making. The war
never ending. A hyacinth blooms.
Its curls trapping together light and shade,
blue darker than doleful sky
or windows painted against extinction.
Distance grows immediate. The past
more talkative. Night dreams
in another country, another time. Graves open
and a procession of family seat themselves
at the table. Daffodils trumpet their cheer
in jubilation of yellow. The view is mountainous
and blue. A lake perhaps,
or a window.
‘War - Biography’, published in JAAM 17, May 2002, © Riemke Ensing 2002, used by permission of the author Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.