by a river in a green shirt and holey trousers,
the heat is wounding my back,
the leaves are rustling, a bird’s crying,
the tall oaks and shady willows astound me,
a herd of deer gallops past.
This poem came out of an exercise where I asked the students to picture themselves somewhere outside in a landscape and then asked them questions about it – where are you? What are you wearing? Six questions later a poem sometimes emerges.
What I like about Nicolaas’ poem is that he brings you into the forest with him. He really catches the mood, you’re there looking up at the trees with him, before that sudden dramatic ending with those galloping deer.