Twelfth Night, 1296 – Floris’ Epiphany in the Hall of Knights – As If Feasting

Floris V van Holland

Early in January 1296, Floris V leaves his court in The Hague for Paris, where – against his better wishes – he switches Holland’s ancient alliance with England to one with France. This sparks off treachery among some of Floris’ nobles, leading to his murder in June.


In his hall of knights –

Mental topers, tumblers, ravers

– Mad din of needy bingeing gluttons


Smoke-shrouds cling to blackened beams

Minstrels mock those braying, belching goblet-brandishers

Ranting voices drunk


Alone in that crowd

And at its centre, he sits

A silent moment.



Thoughts like words unborn

In a womb of forgetting

Flit through his spirit


Scared of too much thought

(Which drinking puts a stop to

– As if thoughts could drown):



Sacred hopes, our wished-for dreams

Float off like swans when we awake

They glide off on the glossy glassy lake


Worn out by living

(Which dying puts an end on

– As if our lives first wear, then strip us bare).


As if as if as

If, in drinking, sleep and dreams

And thoughts and words all drowned like shipwrecked memories


And yet and yet and

Yet we live and breathe and feed our fates,

Our lives float free of us.



He sits with his knights,

His ladies, fools, his dogs and serfs and clowns

One sated, bloated, slumbering moment


Comes as if to himself

In the din of that great hall

On his island in the lake –


Sees in that moment

The ghosts of future feasting,

Woken when he wakes.


Twelfth Night, 2018



Binnenhof The Hague in about 1290

Hall of Knights (Ridderzaal), Binnenhof, The Hague in the eighteenth century

new year 1296, the hague – floris wakes in the binnenhof (five haiku)

fazed, floris looks out

across the lake from his tower:

chilled, sluggish morning –


his household sleeping

off the feast, he’s alone, but for

the stork and the swan


one roosting above

on the roof, one swimming below –

fog-filled sky foreboding.


he rises from the bed

behind the banqueting hall,

kisses his lover –


blessing his domain

– his folk, that mindless morning –

his dark fate untold.

evening, munsterkerk roermond – seasonal remnants: four haiku


round the munsterkerk

the Christmas market’s dark, stands

and stalls shuttered up:


seasonal crowds withdrawn

– spaces of singular silence –

no one left but us


contemplating change

in the temples of our heart

where gods die and live


lamps hung from abbey trees,

spotlit abbey walls, cast light

over us remnants.

winter solstice: christmas blessing – five haiku

this winter solstice

as I love you, love me –

our Christmas blessing:

living loving both –

 if life means anything

let our thing be love.

longest, darkest night,

while Wodan hunts with ghosts all yearning

through skies of glowing spirits

may that night purge us all

those ghosts be at peace, in love

again with living


in shadowlands of love:

as I love you, love me

this winter solstice.

scatterseeded love – a sonnet


because I am a poet I love words
that cover up as much as they discover
my otherness, my flights so fanciful to you, my lover
whose wit and song and thought fly free like bees, like hummingbirds –

because you are my lover my true words
close in zooming close-up on our love, which uncovers
our inborn lusts, carnal nectars nestling embryonic deep in us – we lovers
so innerly loved – when up we pair in passion, flock as birds

to cling and fuck and flick like flames all through the sweet warm night
like lit, scatterseeded sex, love’s godlike joy’s in flight –

because our gods come multiply, we lovers
– synthesizing each in one, seedlings whose flowering recovers

lush, latent lyric life – transplant into our words
love’s being, life’s meaning – innate and fecund like nectar, bees and hummingbirds.

sex and being (three haiku)


Pulsing passion fills

Our veins – our bodies

Cleave together, one.


Now in our oneness

Grows a seed of otherness:

Each of us is both


Oneself, and a part

Of another being born

Of us, though not us.

 hollywood kilonova

in hollywood, our

sublunar gutter-cosmos,

the walk of fame shames


collapsed stars, black holes

collide, merge – an afterglow

of platinum, gold


counterstellar dust,

like that brute shapeshifter’s lust

ravishing Leda 


engendering shitstorms –

Iphigenia, Clytaemnestra

and Argos dead (the dog…)


this darkwebbed media:

supernova’d starfuckers

named, shamed, bollocked up


chorus of neutron sleaze:

lost starlets – tricked-, sucked-, fucked-up –

patriarch swansong


in our black hole of fame

everyone’s-got-it-infamy –

carry on hollywood.


october 2017

zuiderstrand, the hague

from boardwalks buried
in the bed of that steep dune

you step on the beach –


sandscapes shift, air-borne,

you’re a visitor here, as

timelessly moving


as sea waves wash off

infinite fictions of earth –

mere specks on a spot in space.

october 2017

1989 – everything is now – 2017

Photo by Filipe Almeida via Unsplash


our summer of love:

high on hope, hardcore uproar

remixing our lives


dance in those muddy tribal fields –

surging acid nights – wild orgasmic waves

entranced, crowdy hazy drums


all one together

when sunset shades to sunrise –

stay up forever!


heaven in a rave

morphing bodies, spaced-out time:

starstruck eternals


raucous, thrilled and chilled

travellers, mutating beings

stagger on the stars’ stoned threshold


in love’s euphoria:

kiss our forever lovers –

softcore love hardwired in all of us


heartbeat to heartbeat

ecstatic, loved-up pulses

– everything is now –

summer 1989 & summer 2017

         Photo by Muhammed Fayiz via Unsplash

sun, sand, sky and sea – haiku chain

sun, sand, sky and sea:

here i sit and write my words


as my dog chasing birds

– or their chatter when they flee –

sense is to words

seeking expression –

while we too might seek release

in sweet sensation

loving inner peace,

our minds, our bodies set free –

revel in release

merge into ocean

like a riff of poetry

in tidal passion

shore’s simplicity

sweet edge of comprehension:

sun, sand, sky and sea

zuiderstrand, the hague – 6 may 2017