Rozalie Hirs

a day


flying eyes with springy wings lights shed
on a map sketched in hands flaming
wide-awake I didn’t say that a breathless featherweight
nectar guide and pollen of living poppies blue
fields of cornflowers like heads popping out a one-eyed
cloudless sky that dreams emerge from
silkworms in thousands of yards
spinning languages on green-grey mulberry leaves covered
with hairs revealing threads come to meet
an amorous sun just like that uninvited or rain
stretching antennae for just a moment a touch
of unfolding wings towards what is (a day)


where do butterflies come from that invasion of springlike
sensitivity to light unbearable off-white spotted
wings woken from a dream night so early
a handful of morning dew drunk from shining
leaves of grass and a few hours that sounded like deep bells
in a village between non-specified mountains
where people live somewhere on earth harvest leaks and onions
in the crevices apples in an orchard and trees blossom
grapes burst for fermenting in stainless steel barrels
soon tantalize a nose the palate then
slide over the tongue as a foretaste of who tonight
in a few hours prelude to once more (a day)


is a country of kingfishers revealed in the window
then frost flowers crackle on warm breath towards lips
move like memories, loosened hair past clouds
paths not visited by spotted butterflies or the wind
a house the brushwood rainwater frozen in a roadside verge
earth vanishes under a white glittering expanse
wrapped in rays of light the same clouds sketch
again some mist past the chilly morning
flakes spring into the light an arching
of horizons lets shadows finger by finger
glide past trees wakeup repeat oneself
word for word a breathing into (a day)


Rozalie Hirs (*1965) has written five books of poetry, Locus (1998), Logos (2002), Speling (2005), Geluksbrenger (2008), and gestamelde werken (2012), all published by Querido in Amsterdam. Hirs studied composition with Louis Andriessen and Tristan Murail at the Royal Conservatoire, Netherlands, and Columbia University. Her recent musical works have been performed by Asko|Schönberg, Percussion The Hague, the Bozzini Quartet, and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. She performs her own electroacoustic text works internationally, and has released two CDs. Platonic ID (2007) features instrumental works written for Asko|Schönberg, and Pulsars (2010) features electroacoustic compositions with text. Both appeared with Attacca Records, Amsterdam.

Rozalie Hirs

(photo) Rozalie Hirs in portrait by Richard Ayres.