Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Carola Eijsenring

Jan 29, 2021 | Poetry | 3 comments


The moment the glass is splintering to bits, I am smelling
a slight perfume of a lost past.

Years of survival are blowing themselves free, blend with
the scent of the room in which I calmly dream back to places
where I have never been before. Surely, it wasn’t me, but it
was them, moving out from thére and starting new lives
hére, in tough pains of hard labor.

– Yet, one day, I shall return with in my arms my worn out
soul. Rusty twilight shall be doubting, tinkling in the pits of
overgrown tree tops. Abundant as they are, their leaves shall
reveal their secrets, swallowing their sadness. And I .. –

Black is the earth from where we once have been uprooted.
Ancient remainders darken deep down without any connection
with the actual presence of today.

Nevertheless, the same fibers, the same genes, the same smells.

The connection became thin, tatty, damaged, even cut to pieces.

No, not all the way.

But not a matter of fact anymore.

– There I shall creep around, afraid of the dancing sun,
intensely burning into my eyes. Protected by dusk, I will be
rotated in the perpetual turmoil of how it always has been.
Pain and anger will crash like pebbles in my skull.

While making the inevitable tour around, I shall finally find
the courage to caress my blessings, one after another, and let
them dance in my hands like crystals, until they’ll catch some
light and I won’t shut my eyes any longer.

Somewhere beyond the whispering woods, a bird
shall fly up, out of her flock –

Ground of birth we’ve been given, under our feet, in our
memories, warm smothering steams from the deepness of
our existence.

And I do realize, I’ve got to tear myself loose,
make myself free from pitchy, punchy, sticky strings,
judgments and greedy tie ups.

Without a stir, my navel cord re-establishes itself
and in a modest way gets liberated again.

And I ..

I gasp


a bit of breath.



I look in the mirror, watching my long dress,
covering me like a second skin, weaved smoothly
in undefined mixed colors.

With a glance I check shoulders, hips, ankles
hamper for a moment.

Then I close my eyes and
drop down into my inner self.


So many yarns carefully knotted by patient
mothers into complicated patterns.

So many tears and silent secrets quietly hidden
away in loose folds.

How they observed the offspring of their kin
growing up in mysterious land.

How they fed them with flavors of old
native folks.

How they survived their nostalgia.

Carefully my fingers pull up the pliable cloth,
revealing sharp scars, old wounds from a far and
foreign past. Shivers shake my torso, explode into
powerless rage.

In an impulse, I throw the hindering coverage
away from me.

I tremble.
Suddenly aware of my nakedness.
The rags of terra, ocher and faded indigo at my feet.

Shame is raving up and down in my chest.

Forcefully, I push myself to watch.

Bitter burdens.
Beautiful bonds.

From sole to top signs
are lighting up, strap down,
set free.

I straighten my spine
and stride off.


Carola Eijsenring

Carola Eijsenring

Carola Eijsenring (The Hague, 1954) is the second of three daughters of her Indo-Dutch parents. She grew up alternately in the Netherlands and Suriname, back and forth. Because of the many wanderings in the family, there were always stories to share. She started writing her own stories from this storytelling tradition. In the nineties poetry was added.
In 2004 she received the Dunya Poetry Award in Rotterdam. From then onwards she started reciting her poems on different stages. Some of her poems were chosen for poster presentations in different places. From 2012 she created her first music & poetry show ‘Als het glas scherft’ (‘When the glass shatters’), accompanied by musicians. In 2007 and 2008, she received an Eindhoven Literature Award for her short stories. In 2014 she started her own Burning Bood Group, which has produced the one-hour-shows ‘Burning Blood’ (April 2019), ‘Life Lines’ (Nov 2019) and ‘Essential Calling’ (Oct 2020).


  1. David Easter

    Carola has a way of looking inward and outward through her poetry. Thank you for posting.

    • Carola Eijsenring

      Thank you só much dear David, for your heartwarming words!!

  2. karin Miedema

    I didn’t know the pain and rage has been so strong. Very glad tot Read the Happy end is free ??❤️


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