Toby Martins
• biography
• reviews (in German)
• sample reading
H. van de Slootsbo
• biography
• poems
Arthur P. Zapf
• biography
• pictures


The sun is casting longer shadows,
the narrow path is cold and rocky
and meagre branches barren trees
reach down onto my lonely path.

Today was just a heavy burden
and my slow trodding’s just a pain
I know though that this path is right
and must keep walking without rest.

Sometimes I still dream of you,
especially when I’m dead and tired.
Its then I see your eyes and hear your laughter
and all those memories hurt me like hell.

I take things simply as they are
and don’t look back on any yesterday.
Although my life, completely without you,
is barren like the coldest desert.

What waits for me tomorrow I don’t know
and honestly it doesn’t matter any more.
My laughter and my happiness are gone with you
and my bare feet take me into the darkest night.

Translated from the Dutch by Dorothy Witherstone
© Hendrik van de Slootsbo, 2004


Its autumn once again and I keep travelling.
The landscape quickly passes by my carriage windows.
I see so many trees fly by in all their golden gowns.
A tunnel suddenly brings darkness like the night
and I want to remember what I’ve seen before.

I realize all of a sudden
that I know nothing anymore.
Was I a good son, husband father
or just a selfish puppet on a string?

I’m getting old and all my bones begin to ache,
My eyesight’s getting weaker and I smoke too much.
The mist that’s suddenly arising from the fields
creeps slowly in my tired, burned out brain
and nothing seems to matter really any more.

Have I lived up to expectations,
have I accomplished anything?
Is my life not an autumn leaf
blown up and down, gone with the wind?

I see farm houses passing by so quickly
and children playing happily with dogs.
I see strong stallions roaming wild and free.
The train runs slower now and shows me pulchritude
and suddenly I see how ugly my selfpitty was.

Translated from the Dutch by Dorothy Witherstone
© Hendrik van de Slootsbo, 2006

Summer evening

Wind blows in trees, bringing the leaves to whistle.
Its getting dark and cold on my old porch.
I’m sitting at the empty oval table
and gaze out beyond large fields and meadows.

Another day is coming to an end somehow,
having been full of duties, dates and rushing.
My thoughts are wandering back afar
to all those days you were with me.

I see your laughter your big eyes,
I feel the pressure of your loving hand.
But now my fingers touch the empty glass
which I feel much too tired filling up.

Soon I will hide again in bed
and hope that sleep will reach me soon
because tomorrow is another day
as full and strenuous as the one today.

This is the way, days will pass by
and hours run in the same way
because without you, life is meaningless
and all my love and happiness are gone.

Although moments of laughter sometimes
let me seem happy for a moment
I feel as empty as the glass in front of me
and know that it’ll stay that way forever.

What is a torn book, half a chair?
They’re thrown away as they’re useless.
Without you I’m only “half” myself
and live a senseless, shattered life.

Its getting dark now and I’m cold.
I take the glass and step indoors.
Inside its dark and I am shivering.
I’ll go to bed and wait to see the other day.

Translated from the Dutch by Dorothy Witherstone
© Hendrik van de Slootsbo, 2002