‘Nijmakke-âld’ – ‘Good as New’

(09-03) Nijmakke-âld

Almost blue, Chet Baker

Nijmakke-âld herberget dyn hert
in lytse jazz ûnder jong febrewarisljocht.

In frou (it brein dea, de siken derút)
joech dy it lichem syn tiid, gong en slinger werom,

do, fluitsjend no de grêften del, it hert
in triljen sûnder roai, tromjend as gjin oar.

Yn de kroech by de Aldehou, earder
in roukeamer, wurdt frege: En

fielsto har ek, djip yn murch en bonken,
en hearsto ek de neigalm fan

har herteklop, bywannear’t
de Dode Zielen oer de loften gean, want

miskien wol net wérklik it brein dea?

Sst… se is my de beker fan âlde tabernakels,
har wetter, myn wyn.

Hear hoe’t ûnder yn it kafee Chet Baker
traach, omtrint ûnderierdsk,

it liet blaast dat yn de ein syn begjinnen fynt.
.

Eeltsje Hettinga

.

Good as new 

‘Almost Blue’, Chet Baker

As good as new your heart has room
for jazz in young February light.

A woman (braindead, last breath blown out)
gave your body back its time, beat and swing,

you, whistling along the quay, the heart
a mighty trembling, percussion like no other.

In the bar near the Oldehove, a former
funeral parlour, they ask: And

do you feel her too, deep in your bones,
and do you hear her heartbeat

echo when the souls of the dead
pass through the sky because

perhaps a spark was still there when…

Shh… To me she is the chalice of ancient tabernacles,
her water, my wine.

Hear how downstairs in the bar Chet Baker
plays the slow, almost subterranean

song that finds its beginning in its end.
.

Translation: David Colmer

(*) The Oldehove is a tower in Leeuwarden

 

 

.

Text, written after a debate on organ donation.