When I shine my walking boots

When I shine my walking boots
everything is underway

I remember the dusty sand trail that I didn’t walk
for long, but they were so present,
like the big rocks lining the path
leading to the limestone hill
One proved enough, a rock the size of a tree trunk,
to sit me down.

My boots are older now,
they stand together on the rack
When I shine them for another mile
they remember me, and crack a smile

When I shine my walking boots was originally published on Meandering home


Reading: A Found Photo by Jacques Réda

Jacques Réda (b.1929) is a French poet and lover of jazz. His poetry often conveys small and innocent scenes. I read a poem about an old photo, wonderfully translated by Jenny Feldman:

A Found Photo
One day the three of us out in this boat.
The day black and white but clearly summer
For in the wavy-edged photo the trees
Stand full-leafed on the bank; and they’re all but
Naked, this trio, each with a paddle.
The air was hot, the light carefree, and where
The river’s now grey and inert, a breeze
Must have quickened its flow to a dazzle.
Kneeling astern, back arched and already
Womanly in the clasp of a swimsuit
There you are, Janine. And innocently
In love one boy looks cast in bronze, robust,
The other (me) a scrawny pale-faced kid.
Fifty years the scene has held unmoving
Though each day swept us further off. But I’d
Say they’re still aboard the skiff and drifting
On the spot, these three, radiant in the dull
Print where they squint against the sun and see,
On the other side, only my shadow
Through thickening time that has distanced me
So as to let this delight even now
Live on.

It’s an experience that may be lost to future generations: watching an old yellowing photograph after fifty years. There is surely some magic in there, some connection to the “other side” where we live on. The description of the three young people (I think of an French film by Truffaut but you can have your own visual association, not that this is necessary). The womanly girl kneeling astern in her swimsuit, and the two admiring boys (assuming the other boy was admiring her also. Perhaps this was not the case and he rather was in love with the me of the poem, so we have a love triangle here).

Time is thickening. I have such memories from when I was 16, or 23. No photographs, but I know enough to reproduce them with thickening confidence.

Reading: A Found Photo by Jacques Réda was originally published on Meandering home


When I was born, my parents planted a birch tree
in our back garden. I could not see it
from my room at the front of the house.

The room in which I read my Winnetou,
in which I touched a breast
for the first time.
The room I painted ocher,
and decorated with beer coasters.

The birch is gone now, and
I have lost my right to the room.

Uprooted was originally published on Meandering home

Morning Routine

I have the best morning routine. It’s an exceptional morning routine. It’s quick and new and ‘smart’. You do this morning routine, it will blow people out of the water. They’ll never see it coming! It’s the number one routine. The absolute best.

There is a healthy brain guru named Jim Kwik who is peddling his ‘amazing’ courses on the Internet for $399. I watched some of the man’s boastful videos, in which he explained the good old loci-method of memorization using healthy habits as an example. And it actualy worked. A week later, I still know what I had ‘put’ on my head, on my shoulders, in my ears, and so on. Great stuff.

And then there’s the a-ma-zing morning routine. Here it is in my own, compact, words:

  1. Remember your dreams (they can be really creative)
  2. Make your bed (organizing, getting-things-done mindset)
  3. Drink a glass of water (hydrate your brain)
  4. Exercise (when your body moves, your brain …)
  5. Take a cold shower (immune system boost)
  6. Brush your teeth with the opposite hand
  7. Drink energy tea
  8. Drink a smoothie
  9. Journal
  10. * Don’t use your smartphone the first hour of the day.

Why do I remember this list? Such awesome, mysterious memory magic! It is just great! Amazing! Wow, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to try this myself. Yes and, Steve, don’t forget that if you call now you get a $29 discount! Really? Oh, that’s fantastic. I already loved it. I guess you can say that I’m hooked. Hooked! It is absolute great and you know what’s the best part? I have learned the wisdom of self-irony.

Full disclosure: Jim Kwik pays me $999 for sharing this with you. Just kidding.

Morning Routine was originally published on Meandering home

To my child

today I stage a rebirth of my desire
to see the world through your eyes

if you see the flowers stare at you
from their blushing fields
you are like a sun to them
so I invited myself to your dream

and do you know mine
about the thankfulness of a well,
the divine right of water
to be drunk by your lips?

when will you feel the thirst of knowledge
like I did, and all the weirdness of being
so terribly alive?

will you play music, dance, wrap yourself
in the texture of all things?

read old books with the smell of centuries?

will you dream about the soft shapes of hills
and people falling in love behind them?

Here is what I said against the wind:
do not fear the same things
do not fear the new if you go out to the sea
you are not my idea.

To my child was originally published on Meandering home


In Vegas and Macau they have
fake Eiffel towers. Smaller of course
than the original in Paris.

They are there to invoke Paris.

The Eiffel tower is 324 meters high
I learned that number in school.

One day someone will build a taller one
in Shanghai or Dubai or Doha or such place

Years will amplify the whispers:
Paris is a replica.
Such is the triumph of steel over time.

(wikimedia commons)

EIFFEL TOWER was originally published on Meandering home

A sample meditation

I found this prepared on my computer today. Could you help me explain what it means?


You see the elements of your memory tumbling down in front of you, in a great column of swirling hot air. You can recognize people, scenes, ideas that have been important to you.See them all fall down. Seperate yourself from them all.
You are tumbling with them because you must be. No grip.
You see them moving upwards again: the smiling, loving faces, memories, ideas, all you ever lived for.Upwards or downwards movement makes no difference.