Total failure or cozy focus? || Arno Bohlmeijer

It was supposed to be
a full, superb writing day
in this early and pure nature:
luxurious and broadly abundant,
with a brook by perky-bird woods,
colorful blooms in unmown grass,
and funny frogs in some numbers.

Dumb: I’ve left my notes at home,
and the umbrella for big showers.
But a thousand flowers are out
and a bunch of duck chicks 
love my friendly presence,
or splendid food I brought
for this pleasant, endless day.

Plenty tasks: my phone is gone.
Has it slipped into the tall grass?
If only this land was less vast 
and desolate: there’s no one 
at all, to call and locate the tone.
It could be, though, behind me right now,
that a chick or cricket gets the fright or surprise of its life.

Arno Bohlmeijer is a poet and novelist, writing in English and Dutch, winner of a PEN America Grant 2021, published in five countries (US: Houghton Mifflin) and in Universal Oneness: an Anthology of Magnum Opus Poems from around the World, 2019.


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