You watch the blonde girl in  her beret and rain coat

borrow a bike and pedal along the canal.


She passes trees and old houses with open windows —

her body becoming a message board

for ghosts. Whatever airs in voice or scent

clings to her person

telling what must be written

of them in her  future stories or poems


She heads for  The Black Tulip.  A cafe

several blocks down  where young writers

still gather to discuss their ideas

and different genres mingle with blue

delftware cups of coffee or chocolate. Scenes on porcelain

inspired by a river, fields and windmills

an artist passed on his way to  work.

A man from the Guild of St. Luke —

you may remember from your art books


and this place — a pause  you entered after the war.

Long hair fell over  your left eye with a strong

will of its own. Something you could not always control

despite metallic pins


and the same for your writing. Characters

slipped out of place and caught  the light in their own way.

The  flavor of  a sweet beverage and polished wood

welcoming their presence.


The beautiful painting is by French artist, Marie-France Riviere.


  1. I see and feel the sights she passes on her bicycle. You have a marvelous facility for communicating mood and feeling. And it’s true; the characters we invent are not always content to simply play the scenes for which we created them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy,


    slipped out of place and caught the light in their own way.”

    I love everything about that line, about the whole poem, but
    that line is so extra special. One would have to be a writer
    to get the full thrust. It knows the truth. But, even if one didn’t
    understand the dynamics of creating, that line would still
    capture them. It makes its own music and the ears feel blessed
    to hear it.

    I love the atmosphere you have created. I’m seeing the Zuiderzee….

    Your pen makes magic!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michael

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting so generously on this poem! I am glad you enjoyed its contents and theme. And I think as writers we often start out with a certain aim or intention in mind for our plot, characters, theme etc. And in their own way, ideas become organic and have a will of their own. They lead us instead of us leading them into other corners and modes of thought. That has happened to me consistently over the years. Poet Donald Hall, once said an interview with PBS journalist Bill Moyers, that as we consciously row one way in the stream of thought , there are also undercurrents going in a different way as well. That, of course, is paraphrased, but I think it addresses the imaginative process and its aspect of wide possibility and unpredictability. And maybe that becomes the magic of writing.

    Hi Oneround corner

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this poem.. I really appreciate it! I love Delftware china and tiles. They are so beautifully unique and well crafted. They tell a story; and I am also fascinated by the “Guild of St Luke” where many of the artisans were trained was well as very famous painters.

    Hi Sarah

    So glad you enjoyed this piece and could relate to those words. As I said to Michael, it happens to me again and again. This poem was primarily inspired by the painting and the story line seemed to flow after watching a segment on the Netherlands on the House and Gardens channel. Namely a show on cable called “House Hunters International”. Your words are always so inspiring and keep me confident that my work matters. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful impressions!

    Hi Craig

    Thanks so much for commenting on this poem. I am glad you liked it and could relate to that line. Writing ,itself, as a process is challenging but also baffling. We never really know the outcome until it happens. As always, I appreciate your interest in my work.

    My best to everyone,

    Liked by 1 person

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