3 poems by Lucebert, for soprano & soundtrack

Composed 1987 by request of Herfstschrift Groningen and commissioned by the Dutch Fund for Performing Arts.

Dedicated to Djoke Winkler Prins. Dutch premiere Nov 1 1987, Kruithuis, Stadsschouwburg Groningen

US premiere by Maggie Finnegan at  {Re} Happening Festival at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, March 2018

CD recording - Jacob Ter Veldhuis - Van grote en kleine Vogels, BVHaast 9606


1. De Staat van Eendracht 8:59

2. Doodlopende Weg 4:35

3. Van grote en kleine Vogels 9:32





Fingers like drunken worms of determination

have been squashed tortured and turned around

everywhere on this chaotic platform it turns into grease

a cloud also wallows a dog on fleas


This way, a compact god arises, from weeded out thoughts

under the immense sun once a cored eye or laughing glass

released from cloudy sorrow in the dry valleys

where sleep - oh reign of terror - burns grey fire

on the blue lips of the throat-cut lamb


For people nature is still fiercely united

their mouse holes in the ground just wet seeds spread around

and when they look up there stands high their own moon the last

shining thumbprint on the hoarse forehead

of the universe a universe full I of pain and fear


Far away and almost arrived they have already seen it

the desperate dawn of the inside out

decomposing flesh and rock that melts quickly


Just a moment everything counts soup made from children

science like sausage and the obstinate fearless

highly decorated ape who hunts all the heads






Along a swearing wall

and many join me to a field

covered with junk and the thoroughly spoiled



On their way they did not want

children to be dead yet

and fondling precious instruments

but it was forgotten


Bright thoughts lay

on serious tables

untouched the triangle behind

the big circle in front of square against


The barley grain in the throat

prevents singing and the bag

of infinite sleep

the dance


Mumbling stumbling in

empty hands arrogantly

the glue of persistency

and hope rat in the hole of time


No language and no secret

but silent between rags

maybe for others

who are different tomorrow will come








Everywhere across the dying land

frivolous smoke and dots of people hopefully

shuffled here and there in skittish mist

like hesitating skaters hearing rumours

about an ice hole - but is this true


Have the big rivers not been made to carry light

stately and steadily back to the sun

and have we ourselves not been founded for that

with eyes on which the misted horizon

dries itself to be a cool and clean universe


Then why do walls now stand like irons

on the heads of tramps and sparrows

and does paralysis disguised as abundance mess around

together with ‘john precise’ with the last cave the bunker


You may now go dancing in front of the world door

the door that not even allows through a mosquito

and open golden taps over a delirious bath-tub

that empties for a mukkerd right away


Yet all this remains vain and gloomy

and shabby too: your fear an eyewitness of your illiberality

painfully crumbling increasingly whiter bread as clammy

as the slippery pooped palaces of your avarice


Yes you have failed - it snows inside - but you don't sweep

yourself aside

no, more and more you seek comfort with the small birds

who in their nests day by day hour after hour

seek a place for death the blessed


translation by JacobTV © 2018