Featured Poem


We still don’t know what it was,
the creature that lay here yesterday,
its wings spread out on the sand,
bulk almost too big for the day

but it lay on its side like a horse of
insane proportions that had charged at the coast,
a head like a house, the hide just as smooth
as an adder or toad, the eyes
almost sad, even closed.

It lay in the light of the north,
we stroked its skin until night.
We slept restless, unable to think.

Now there’s talk here of gods
and fables – who knows where it is.

Strange tracks lead down to the drink.

From Napkins at Half Mast, translated by Paul Vincent

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Ester Naomi Perquin
Paul Vincent
Original language:
2013 Number 1 - Strange Tracks

About the author

Ester Naomi Perquin

Original poet

Ester Naomi Perquin

Ester Naomi Perquin lives in Rotterdam. She worked in the prison service for a while to help fund her studies. Her début, Serv...

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Paul Vincent

Paul Vincent studied at Cambridge and Amsterdam, and after teaching Dutch at the University of London for over twenty years be...

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Sasha Dugdale

16th Apr 2013

We took the magazine title 'Strange Tracks' from this lovely poem. Ester is reading in Brighton on 4 May and we'll try to get a podcast of her reading online for anyone who can't make it. But if you are around tickets are on sale at www.brightonfestival.org


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