Monday, June 30, 2008


Bart Stouten was inspired by a child crying on a train trip from Switzerland to Belgium. The poem just cried to be translated. Read more of his translated poetry here.


Dante walked, Odysseus made a raft,
Aeneas built a fleet and your fine train
leaves the station in failing light - -
this night the piercing look of old
longing for the road will do:
at every end of the world,
hidden deep inside,
a child dies in the morning hours
of a poem.
your fraternizing hands
bring water to his face.
listen to the last words,
how they moan to the rhythm of the train.
you are on your way to mythical places
of unexplored lunar feel
that wants to rule your silver past.
endgame without partner: feared destination
of such long unromantic now.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Colors at work

Did you know white containers contain perishables? White reflects the sun and keeps the containers cool. They do, so why don't we paint all the houses white in the desert?

Why do they make certain tools red, turquoise, blue, black and yellow...
I really don't know... Maybe it is part of the working conditions of the best dockers in the world so that they can keep a colorful outlook on life in view of the automatisation that decimates jobs. A few years ago there were still 140.000 dockers, today on this harbor only 70.000 found a hard but well paid job.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wind in your hair

Once in a while i just need a bit of wind in my hair, airing out my brain, chasing the cobwebs.

What can be nicer then than check out other people's tools. Cranes, fixed , automatic or movable. Bridges that open and the amazingly beautiful technical works, like a big clock.

The mysteries of chemical industry have a strange appeal. The space, masses of water, the wide gray, rainy expanse, so near the town defines what a port is, a city on a stream and many docks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Midsummer's night

Spooky dragged me to the last day of the big
fair on a pleasant summer's night, which happened to be on her birthday... I can actually see the three high attractions from the first and last picture from my desk. Yet mingling among the sounds hadn't been part of the experience: blaring boxes, the lights and smells of Waffles from 'Waffleland', and foods from all places in their greasiest forms, and all kinds of goodies to be won. We didn't go on any of the wild attractions: we had seen too many people being sick after they got out of them. The old carousel brought back childhood memories just as the big ferris wheel and the one old fashioned cakewalk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Article 301, continued

80 writers and journalists have defamation cases pending against them in Turkey, notwithstanding that the Turkish government had changed on April 30 the infamous art 103 about insulting the state. It was a beginning that sadly didn’t change anything. The publisher Ragip Zarakolu has on June 17 been sentenced to 5 months in prison, which could be commuted into a fine. Zarakolu has been at the forefront in the struggle for freedom of expression. The court hearings he fell victim to have been time consuming and expensive, harassing him for publishing the works he did about the Armenian question, Kurdish and minority rights.
Art 301 must be repealed or amended thoroughly to meet the norms of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Americans should be aware of these facts when advocating for the admission of Turkey. Internatonal PEN and WIPC Flanders work for this to happen.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Remember the post by Kelly demonstrating against the war on her own at a Mc Cain rally in Arizona. This brave friend of mine was photographed and the picture won a prize so her courage and outrage at the criminal war have received just attention.
We should be proud about all the brave women of Codepink and the women in black who stand always in a non-violent but forceful and strong way. And by the way I am also proud of Hillary Clinton, she has a made a difference for us all and her speech was moving and generous. We live in turn point times and that is when each one of us counts. Peace, civil liberties, equity is what we all stand for. By the way Dr Scarpone, I am also proud of the men who stand with us with us vitriolic anti-war signs...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

This clever book by Jonathan Safran Foer is shocking and moving, a hilarious book and a realistic book… The main character is nine-year-old Oscar who is trying to cope with the 9/11 disaster in which he lost his father. The character is honest and direct and the psyche of this character is truly believable. His world is disorganized and unhinged. The generation of his grandparents has gone through similar losses and has dealt with it in their way. So the main theme would be loss and the restoration of a kind of balance. The thoughts are logical in a quirky way, plausible in an unhinged world. The writing is sublime and the visual of the book functional, not as an imposed extra to divert the reader. Read this book at a slower speed than you usually do, every word counts, an article or not will change the meaning… Throughout the book you’ll find variations, allusions to the title, savor them!
Quotes: Just because you ‘re an atheist, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t love for things to have reasons for why they are.
I think and think and think, I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.
Whenever people cried themselves to sleep, the tears would go all to the same place, and in the morning the weatherman could report if the water level of the reservoir of Tears had gone up or down, and you could know if New York was in heavy boots.
I asked him if he was a racist. He said poverty made him nervous, not people.
I couldn’t tell what he was feeling, because I couldn’t speak the language of his feelings.
Really, try and read this book!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Free speech

We love to see Tom Cruise on the silver screen and we know he is very actively involved in scientology. Is it relevant? It became relevant to me because we have heard time and time again that scientology isn't just a 'religion'. It seems to have many telltale elements of a sect or a cult separating members from their families and indoctrinating them. When on May 10 in London a group of people protested against the Church of Scientology outside the church's £23m headquarters near St Paul's cathedral, they were banned by police from describing Scientology as a cult by police because it was "abusive and insulting". A teenager now facing court said: "I brought a sign to the May 10th protest that said: 'Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.' When I was told to put down the sign, I quoted a 1984 high court ruling from Mr Justice Latey, in which he described the Church of Scientology as a "cult" which was "corrupt, sinister and dangerous". In other cities of Britain, protesters using the same statements never have been stopped from doing so. What is the status of free speech in the UK? Liberty director, Shami Chakrabarti states: "After criminalising the use of the word 'cult', perhaps the next step is to ban the words 'war' and 'tax' from peaceful demonstrations?"
We need to defend free speech and freedom of thought, one doesn't go without the other.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nanish Shontee

A small group of people gathered to listen to Sky explaining about Nanish Shontee. This is an intertribal group steered by Mala and Sky. They try to teach people, showing by example how to live close to the earth and to think about the seventh generation in the decisions one makes. Sky, who is Tiklit, started the evening with a smudging and a welcome song. Then she spoke with shining eyes about the land. Mala her Western Shoshone/Cherokee husband had been stopped at the border for having been just a day over the legal limit in Fortress Europa that constitutes the Shengen area. Nobody knew. He was unceremoniously put back on the plane to the States. So this shy lady didn't have the speaking material and with some holiday pictures a visitor had made and a laptop and a technical wizard with a dog we got an impression of what they are trying to accomplish on their land near Blanchy in Oregon. A warm evening with food for thought. It was good there was a bunch of younger kids becoming more aware about their chosen responsibility on this earth.