Great gray shrike, wren and poetry


This is a 2007 Dutch video on the Oude Buisse Heide.

This video is the sequel.

After 23 January 2018 came 24 January. Our final full day at Oude Buisse Heide.

Early in the morning, again a nuthatch at the feeder.

Atelier, 24 January 2019

This photo shows the Oude Buisse Heide atelier building, where poetess Henriette Roland Holst wrote poems and her visual artist husband made his art.

Atelier, on 24 January 2019

This photo shows the atelier at a closer distance.

Richard Roland Holst, 24 January 2019

Inside the atelier there are these words by Henriette, commemorating her deceased husband Richard (Rik).

Henriette Roland Holst, 24 January 2019

And also these lines by Henriette Roland Holst about friendships.

Two stock doves sit on the roof of the Angora farm.

De Reten, 24 January 2019

We walk from the Oude Buisse Heide north to nature reserve De Reten; which became a nature reserve only recently.

Arriving at De Moeren woodland, we turn back.

Many roe deer footprints.

Just after passing the border between De Reten and Oude Buisse Heide, a great grey shrike sits on a treetop.

De Reten-Oude Buisse Heide border, 24 January 2019

A bit further, a wren.

This was our last Oude Buisse Heide day. We will not forget it!

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Poetry, snow, blackbird of Oude Buisse Heide


Heideliedje, 22 January 2019

In my earlier blog post on walking in Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve, the last photo about the poetry path there showed a sign covered with snow. Which poem by Henriette Roland Holst was underneath the snow? After wiping, it turned out it was this poem.

Its title is Een heideliedje, a heathland song.

Ms Roland Holst wrote it in 1884, when she was only fifteen years old. It is about her joy at the Oude Buisse Heide, hearing skylark and bees sound.

On the right of the sign, photos of a blue butterfly and a brimstone butterfly, which one can see at this heathland (not now in winter).

We continued along the path.

Blackbird poem, 22 January 2019

The next poem was from 1949, when Henriette was much older, eighty years. It is about a blackbird: as soon as it begins to sing, the poetess’ sad mood is gone.

Blackbird poem, on 22 January 2019

Our next stop was at a lookout point.

Lookout point, 22 January 2013

It had a fine view of the heathland. And a sign, with part of a 2003 poem on the heathland by Ms Roland Holst.

1903 poem, 22 January 2019

It says, in my, not so poetic, translation:

Small paths zigzag across the heathland
and arrive at the poor people’s huts:
they are the only ones which have compassion
with the loneliness of humans suffering here.
On the heath, the emaciated sheep graze,
while bleating, they are in search of a new area
of tastier plants and watery brook
dogs and shepherds are tired and sleep …

The complete poem is here.

Lake, 22 January 2019

We continued. Again, a frozen lake. The wind had blown some snow off the ice.

Willow tree, 22 January 2019

Finally, we arrived back where we had started. Not far from there, this old willow tree.

Stay tuned; as after 22 January came 23 January at the Oude Buisse Heide!

Poetry, winter and nature of Oude Buisse Heide


Snowy path, 22 January 2019

Still 22 January 2019 at Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve. We were still walking on poetess Henriette Roland Holst’s path, amidst much snow.

Frozen lake, with snow, 22 January 2019

We passed another frozen lake.

Poem sign, 22 January 2019

And, on the border between forest and heathland, we arrived at another sign with a poem by Ms Roland Holst on it.

Poem, 22 January 2019

This poem is a sonnet. It is about the beauty of the Oude Buisse Heide, with its sounds of jackdaws and other birds.

Path, 22 January 2019

The path continued. Woodland on one side; heathland with some trees on the other side.

Snow on branches, 22 January 2019

Snow on the tree branches.

Snow on poem, 22 January 2019

And snow on another sign.

Which poem by Henriette would be underneath the snow?

Stay tuned to know!

Poetry, snow and nature at Oude Buisse Heide


This 2013 Dutch video is about Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve and its biotopes (not during winter)

Still 22 January 2019 at Oude Buisse Heide; definitely in winter.

Today, we walked, as snow was falling and eventually covering everything, along the poetry footpath. It has signs with poems by Henriette Roland Holst besides it.

Old trees, 22 January 2018

Close to the beginning, these old trees.

At first, we missed Henriette’s poetry footpath (which she walked herself day after day when she was alive).

Frozen lake, snow, 22 January 2019

We arrived at this frozen lake.

Frozen lake and snow, 22 January 2019

It kept snowing, as this photo shows.

We continued, and arrived at the border between woodland and heathland. However, the path stopped. We had to go back.

At the crossroads, we found Henriette’s poetry path which we should have taken before.

Frozen lake and tree trunk, 22 January 2019

We arrived at another frozen lake. No little grebes here now, like sometimes in summer.

De Vrouw in het Woud, 22 January 2019

We arrived at this sign. After wiping off most of the snow, this poem by Henriette Roland Holst became visible.

It is the poem De Vrouw in het Woud, the woman in the woodland. It describes how in woodland, there are dark, somber parts, but also beautiful lighter parts. This poem is from the 1917, third, edition of her poetry book of the same name. That book was originally from 1911, when she was sad after a conflict with the social democrat party leadership, which had failed to support a transport workers’ strike. The beauty of nature may help the poetess overcome the sadness.

Leaves, 22 January 2019

There were still a few leaves left in the woodland, even though autumn was over.

Branches, 22 January 2019

There probably had been autumn storms, as there were branches on the forest floor.

Voorbijgaande schoonheid, 22 January 2019

We arrived at another poem by Ms Roland Holst. She wrote it in 1945, when she thought she might die soon. The poem describes the beauty of summer. Which, however, will not last long, ‘and, like with summer, it will happen with me’.

Stay tuned, as there will be more about poetry, snow and wildlife at Oude Buisse Heide on this blog!

Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve, first day


This November 2015 Dutch video is about the nature reserve Oude Buisse Heide and the nature reserve Wallsteijn next to it.

Today, 21 January 2018, we traveled to the Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve in the Netherlands.

This area is property of conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten. It was transferred to them by famous Dutch socialist poetess Henriette Roland Holst.

Henriette Roland Holst

She wrote many of her poems at Oude Buisse Heide.

Atelier Oude Buisse Heide

In the atelier, built for her and her visual artist husband in 1918, by Margaret Staal-Kropholler, the first ever female architect in the Netherlands.

Margaret Staal-Kropholler

Here, she also wrote four poems in 1944, as the World War II front line was close to the Oude Buisse Heide. These four poems are in the poetry book De loop is bijna volbracht (The journey is almost finished).

Ms Roland Holst had helped the Dutch anti-nazi resistance, eg, writing anti-occupation poems and hiding fugitives from the German secret police at Oude Buisse Heide. She thought the nazis might soon come and kill her for that. She was already 74 years old, so she thought she might die soon anyway.

The last lines of the first poem in De loop is bijna volbracht are (my translation):

I want to stay a little while
in order to, in the dying light,
weave the spicy and sweet smells
and the fading colours
into a last poem.

These lines are about the beautiful nature of the Oude Buisse Heide.

As we arrived late in the afternoon, we saw and heard only a few sides of that beauty.

We did hear a nuthatch calling and other bird sounds. A carrion crow sat on a tree, then flew away.

German far-right politician’s daughter’s nazi poems


Girl reads nazi poetry in Speyer, Germany

The background of this photo from Speyer city in Germany shows a sign, saying ‘Speyer without racism’. Unfortunately, Speyer is not yet completely without racism. As the person on the foreground of the photo, the daughter of a neofascist politician, showed.

Translated from Dutch (right-wing) daily De Telegraaf today:

German teenage girl shocks with Nazi poems

By Sander Tromp

A fourteen-year-old girl from Speyer in Germany caused a huge uproar by declaiming racist poems during a poetry competition for students.

Each participant in the contest was given a maximum of five minutes of time and the person who would receive the most applause was allowed to continue to the next round.

After Ida-Marie Müller (not entirely coincidentally the daughter of Nicole Höchst, politician of the extreme right-wing party AfD) stepped on stage for about a hundred listeners, she fiercely attacked foreigners. She recited a poem in prayer form with striking sentences like “multiculti[ral] tralala, hurray, the whole world comes here” and “see the hypocrites in the mirror and love your neighbor, the murderer.”

Bizarrely enough she got the most applause, so she was allowed another round. The adolescent girl then doubled down a little bit more.

“The negro is no longer a nigger, you can not say gypsy [about Roma] anymore. They are both racist, that’s what people hear every day. Whoever dares to do so is booed.”

Microphone off

The organization then switched off her microphone. Then, they gave the girl another chance, but as she kept going with her Nazi talking, the jury finally decided to get her out of the competition.

According to Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws, Ms Müller said the, anti-racist, poems by the other competitors, were ‘for arseholes’. One of her poems said that refugees cannot get women, so they rape German women at knifepoint. And, she said, trade unionists and left-wing parties, shouting: nazis out! are supposedly complicit in these knifepoint rapes, ‘usual in the east’. She also attacked ‘towelhead’ Muslims and anti-fascists.

See also here.

Ms Müller’s mother is an AfD member of parliament. She is notorious for her attacks on LGBTQ people, whom she blames for child abuse, and on disabled persons. According to her, Muslims should leave Germany. Women, according to Ms Höchst MP, face no discrimination problem in Germany. ‘Islam is their only problem‘.

The AfD, according to the German government commissioner on anti-Semitism Felix Klein, promotes anti-Semitism. Over 90% of anti-Semitic crime in Germany is by the German nationalist far right.

Islamisation of Birmingham, England, satiric poem


This 2007 video from England is about Irish poet Kevin Higgins poetry reading for Oxfam.

By Kevin Higgins in Britain:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Poetry on the Picketline

The Islamisation of Birmingham

Most reckon it was the day Ozzy Osbourne
walked out the gates of Winson Green Prison,
ready to commit acts of musical terrorism
in a desperate effort to undermine Christ,
that the City began turning instead
to Mecca. All agree

the situation grew
more serious each time Roy Wood sang
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
in the hope we wouldn’t notice
the big mad beard he got
at a training camp in Pakistan.

Spaghetti Junction was already
jammed with Muslim-only vehicles,
the night the Mulberry Bush
and Tavern in the Town
were blown up by Muslims
disguised as IRA men.
Since then every nil-all draw
between Aston Villa and Birmingham City
has been celebrated by stadiums half-full
of nothing but Muslims.

Truth is, it started way back,
the night Chamberlain signed
his secret treaty with Adolf, agreeing
in the event of war with Russia to hand
the birthplace of Enoch Powell
over to the Islamists.

These days the local economy is mostly
Jaguar Cars and Cadbury’s chocolate
being secretly manufactured by Muslims
for export to terrorist countries busy
thinking up new ways to kill us.

This is a satire on the remarks of [Rupert Murdoch-owned] Fox News commentator Steve Emerson, who said that “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go.”

Note: All people, pubs, companies and football teams mentioned in this poem are native to Birmingham, with the exception of the late Adolf Hitler, who was born in the small Austrian town of Braunau am Inn, though his people did visit Birmingham from 1940 to 1943.

Poetry on the Picket Line is a squad of like-minded poets putting themselves about to read their work on picket lines, in the spirit of solidarity. Invitations to rallies etc. welcome, contact facebook.com/pg/PicketLinePoets.