F.L. Billows

At a window in India
A blue handkerchief
Useful I should like to be
Happiness is not to be chased

At a window in India

Your eyes are like adjacent sunny glades
That draw the footsteps and alert the skin,
That shadows cross and breezes ruffle matt,
That cows crop golden pasture in, which fades
As clouds pass over, making those look thin
That in the sun's gold benison seemed fat.

Your eyes glow like adjacent sunny glades
That lure me urgently to tread the gold
Ethereal pasture round that pool so deep
Where I may see myself till sunshine fades
And leaves me feeling lost and cold
With cows like those in Pharaoh's dream to keep,
Madras, 1958

A blue handkerchief

There's a blue handkerchief I have,
Which since yesterday's been holy
From waving good-bye to my love, .
Leaning from a train that moved out slowly.

Blue's for hope increasing distance
Drawn out taut will stand the tug,
Anchored to ensure persistence
In the parting kiss and hug.

There isn't much to have or give,
I beinq old and she still young,
But a kiss now and then and a hope to live
in her heart like a song that's sung and re-sung.

Useful I should like to be

Useful I should like to be, but now
There seems no reason to prolong
Existence; near its end, but when or how?
Precious thoughts that once had seemed to throng,
In card-board boxes now, loathsome to the eye;
Energy only partly meets my aims,
People, mostly shrunk to lists of names,
Hardly ever write, still less come by
Or telephone; some of them even die.


Last updated 19.3.2007
Burkhard Leuschner