Cees van der Pluijm  -   RADIO KOOTWIJK



A heavy noise echoed from the hall
A hoarse rumble shook you to the bone
It was deathly hot there, despite the cold
Of marble, bakelite, concrete and steel

And at the top, your father made his home
He was God himself; the quirks and kinks
Of all channels, he knew them for you
He heard their protests and understood

The map of the world showed it plain as day:
This is the centre, the end and beginning
Here, where the masts go up to the heavens

In this building; a temple, where you heard
The meaning of life in humming, crackling, whistling
Until your ears rang from it


You wore short trousers and brought him bread
You were the son of God, you were born
Right there, by the car gate and the water tower;
The world around was tall and wide

If you were lucky, you could go up top
The pathway by the turret then, it always
Gusted there; you saw your house and waved
To all that looked so small; you wanted to think

That all this was yours, that nevermore
Would this paradise slip from your grasp

From within these grey and concrete temple walls
You beheld the heath, the woods, the clouds

This was your kingdom, creation of your thoughts
You peopled it with all your dreams


On every channel a name from afar:
Buenos Aires, Paramaribo...
Far away and beyond the reach of a boy
Of eight who had come down to earth

Wires ran down through a window frame
A transmitter, like a mighty radio
Where wailing high notes sharp-edged songs intoned
Sometimes something fluttered behind glass

What knew you of those handles and knobs
The switches that made the voices stop
The wheels that your father turned?

An arcane telephonic network
That opened doors to far-flung cities with
The sound of flamboyant parrots


This place is silent. The shutdown switch is pulled.
The hall is empty, the transmitters are no more
The Gods all dead or long retired
Wireless contact: this is where it all began

But not even an echo now. At most
You smell the sweat, the tension of the past
Of pioneers, of yesterday's miracles
Made real, where the impossible was possible

Today you wear long trousers and understand
That dreams are fleeting fancy

That marble, steel, concrete and bakelite
All will crumble, fail and fade

That nevermore will here the voices sound
From Bandung, Montenegro, Bloemfontein...


| index | actueel | curriculum | bibliografie | gedicht | column | foto's | reageren | sitemap |