Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Carpe Diem #972 The Netherlands

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of Carpe Diem's Europe Ginko. Today we will visit the last of the "Inner Six" (the six countries who founded the EU) and that's my own country, The Netherlands.
During the existence of Carpe Diem (since October 2012) I told you all several things about my country and so it will not be an easy task to bring this episode of our Europe ginko. Because ... what can I tell you more about my country.

Of course there is that cliche ... the Dutch walk on wooden shoes, they have made the tulip one of the most beautiful flowers, the Dutch are specialized in creating new land through their windmills. Or those other cliches ... Van Gogh and Rembrandt ... or the freedom to use soft drugs ...

All those cliches are true, of course we not only walk on wooden shoes ... but we did in our history. The dutch were Always hard working people in constant battle with the sea, the water.

Dutch flag with the Orange pennant (symbol of our Royal family)

My country is very flat, but there are regions which are not that flat. For this part of our ginko I love to introduce to you the part of my country that is in the southeast point, this region is called "South Limburg" and it's one of the most beautiful parts of my country (in my opinion of course). There are hills and valleys, beautiful forests, thousands of small brooks and it's ... just beautiful ....

half-timbered houses (or in Dutch "Vakwerk-huizen"
On the above image you see the very specific 'half-timbered houses' of this region of The Netherlands. And you can see that this part really isn't very flat.

half timbered houses
abut the hill - an eagle's nest
full of family warmth

© Chèvrefeuille

typical South Limburg scene

walking through the hills
behind every corner new vistas -
the lowing of cows

© Chèvrefeuille

sandy paths
along fields of corn
the song of a skylark

© Chèvrefeuille

This is really the "other" side of The Netherlands, maybe you knew this already, but maybe you didn't, but my country is really beautiful.

As I do in every episode of our Europe Ginko I have a few haiku from one of my fellow haiku poets here in The Netherlands. Maybe you know this haiku poet, because he was also renown.

when you lie very still
and are almost asleep you are
my tender abyss

als je heel stil ligt
en je slaapt bijna ben je
mijn tedere afgrond

A salty summer;
every taste of the sea
in the niçoise.

Een zilte zomer;
al de smaken van de zee
in de niçoise.

A small line of sun
between the curtains:
dust on mahogany

Een klein streepje zon
tussen de gordijnen door:
stof op mahonie

Each time
I try to smile I also
show my teeth.

Elke keer als ik
probeer te lachen laat ik
ook mijn tanden zien.

© Willem Johan van der Molen (1923-2002)
Well .... I hope I have inspired youto create new poems. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 13th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Bulgaria, later on.


  1. Reslly like this posts based on nature. I didcovered something new about Netherlsnds, and yiur haiju matched so well. Makes me think, one month maybe could be based on Maausk. Edtinian religion about nature. In fact Lithuania also has a native religion based on nature, and Latvia, but of the Baltic states the Estonian one is growing, and there are many sacred places in nature within the country. They might make nice prompts, maybe not too difficult.

    1. Sounds great my friend. Can I find info on Maausk on the Internet?

    2. Weill send you URLs. 11 percent of Estonians firmly believe in this religion of nature. That is more than those who go to church in GB. Lithuania was the last country in Europe to switch from worship of nature to Christianity, but it is Estonia that this religion o1 nature is strongest. There are many things that are sacred to them in nature, and some man made, such as waterwheels at mills, or loguu cabins. I just think can be a lot of prompts. Will get URLs. (by the way, Estonia is a truly wonderful country, and very advanced now).

  2. Carpe Diem #972 The Netherlands:

    the Zuider Zee
    a black-headed gull's wing
    slicing sea spray