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15: The Bay of Uri.

The Bay of Uri

The slopes are lost in mist
and all we see is now and here –
the day will fade to dusk
and youth will age, and leaves will wear…

And yet it seems impossible
that any part of Nature, any place, could die!
But Nature’s seeming standstill that you see
is just a trick that’s played upon your eyes;
your vision blurred by speed; the shortness of our lives.

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2: Blick auf die Ostsee

Blick auf die Ostsee

My native ocean under skies
that, nearly overcast now shows
a timid spot of blue that grows
while all the rest in sunrise
is coated yellow, orange too.

Out on the waves I know so well
I see a ship sail past and soon
be hidden there behind the hill
and trees that here
obstruct my view –

my ocean; pale to distant lands
and share with them my
native sands;
my ocean, like you’ve
sung for me
sing too along your
distant strands
and add my voice there to
your melody.

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3: Abend am Ostseestrand

Abend am Ostseestrand

What an evening, what a sunset!
Skies that shine above and brood below
in deepest purple, pink and red
that deepen the ships’ silhouettes –
I’ve stood there too, there on that beach,
admired that same, well-known sea,
watched fire crackle by my feet
and heard the waves come roll to me –
what memories, what memories!
My native ocean calls to me
through canvas, paint and history.

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8: Ruine Elena

Ruine Elena

The midday shadow falls on walls
that’s weathered both by time
by nature and the hands of Man.
The empty windows oversee
the yellow summer grass and trees
from height whereunder we
inevitably end up feeling small
and times we haven’t known
that paradoxically
won’t make us feel young
but rather old.

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15: Felsental (Das Grub des Arminius)

Felsental (Das Grub des Arminius)

A weathered, nature-tempered rock
adorned by mosses, crowned with trees
stretching stiffened branches out to reach
the top that is withheld from reach –

A wonder to remember that
the treetops came and went and were
returned to their original state;
by technology transferred
when half the painting had been lost –
a piece of nature although not
made by entirely natural ways.

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24: Der Morgen

Der Morgen

Pine trees sticking out of mist
as floating in the air –
silence only met by birdsong
hovers everywhere –
sunrise on the water,
burning banks and sky –
a breeze will soon disturb it all,
the morning die –
the sound of paddling on the water,
smell of chimney smoke –
sensations of the highest art
the land awoke.

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28: Mondaufgang am Meer

Mondaufgang am Meer

Wall of clouds – I see you though
arise behind it –
torn by horizons seem the world,
yet ships transcend them;
I see them come towards you
as you rise to be
adored, above the cloud-wall
and beyond the sea –

sail on your way; sail moon
one way – ships; sail the other way,
and meet again somewhere
beyond my view
as invisible horizons will obstruct it…
well, that is nothing new.

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32: Das Friedhofstor (Der Kirchhof)

Das Friedhoftstor

Decay and transformation;
the world is based on these
as much as on creation
and therefore life must cease
and be restored in cycles
that we cannot explain
wherefore we make these stones;
so something does remain.

The gate is hanging,
walls are weathered;
nature takes its toll
as time goes by.
Yet memories are told
on every stone behind the wall,
on every one of the inscriptions –
that is all there is left
when the rest has transitioned.

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34: Der Watzmann

Der Watzmann

I only ever once saw
one other painting which
by sheer technique
would move me
as much as this;

I didn’t come to see it
but there it was;
and admiration caught me
while off guard;

These fluent handled brushstrokes,
all the tones of brown and green,
the highlights, shadows; they evoke
a simple beauty like I’d never seen.

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36: Wrack im Mondschein

Wrack im Mondschein

On the side it lies as if at rest after the voyage
and it seems so calm and peaceful –
were it not that I have learnt
in quite as hard a way as this ship
that the sea is treacherous
I should believe that it had fallen from the sky
all by itself –

And the moon shines and the water’s still
in calmest night
with not a member of the crew
anywhere in sight –