Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Philip Meersman


Words are weapons & images of a(n un) certain meaning

First of all:

After WWI, everybody said "no more war" - this is written, carved,... on many papers, buildings, monuments and in the minds of the Flemish people.

After WWII, everybody said that again

Look at us now, still fighting.

Still trying to survive, to blame one another

Eyes for eyes, teeth for teeth, throats for throats, children for children, men for men, women for women, buildings for buildings, land for land, sea for sea, border for border, me for you, you for me and for what? To just piss along the borders of the (new) territory and to bark and bite at the other dog?

I don't have answers, I only have questions

I don't have reasons, I only have understanding

I don't have a point, I only have history

I'm not right, I'm not left

I'm not centre, I'm not wrong

I'm human, so I crave

I crave for love, for friendship, for words, for a hug, for freedom, for my mind to speak without the fear (or even existential angst) to die because I speak or because I am what/who/how I am.



Four poems to consider


Look dad !


Look dad,

I've learned a lot today!

How to die for instance




It was interesting

but a bit spooky

we laughed a lot

It was shown to us

and afterwards

It was our turn

It was fun!

Can I have an ice cream, dad?


(info about the poem: “Look dad !” was written after seeing kids with giant cardboard keys in their hands running through minefields to clear them during the Iran-Irak wars in the 1980s. )




a permanent population in a defined territory

a government and the capacity to enter into relations with others

a declared independence which is recognised

a shuttle service

a city without smooth, measured, curved lines

"land belonging to no one"

characteristics of the urban picture

Capricorn One



Glenn Miller

Aleksei Ledovsky


News of the World






the king

the queen

the president









(info about poem: see statement above)



Reflection on these new times (poetry post 9/11)



CRIEs the mirror crack

ICEsssjsjsjsjjCOLD WATER-GUSH-wsjwusjwusjsjsjsj-ES-es-es-es

designed guilt out of - over - in - past

my wrong rubbing

wash wishing

foam fumbling

soap scrubbing

red knuckled hands.

A bubble vomiting current

creates 380V images onto

my retina which is detaching

But I cannot

I cannot detach

I cannot stay on the side, watching

no neighing

I can do nothing

doing nothing = criminal

Mathematical fact.

Nothing changes!

Everything is and will be

Nothing has changed.

The Animal Farm gobbles on

ever equal

Jerks are rubbing backs filling bags

rubbing backs filling bags

rubbing backs filling bags

rubbing backs filling bags

on and on.

Tell it to those tremble thrilling corpse remains

– once (just now) human –

squashed onto

car wall wreck fence man woman pole road


You’ve got his/hers

(cause that isn’t distinguishable anymore)

everlasting gratitude.


(info about this poem: what we see on TV, how we are fed with images since 9/11 on how "wars are won" and on how collateral damage is just collateral damage, oups, sorry...(sic))



Ecce Homo

Hard iron nails run into my hand

recipe for unbearable aching and loud cries


Take your (s)words, charge into the battlefield

Fight or die, no prisoners taken, no mercy, no clemency, no Geneva convention

Beware of foes and fakes


It is time to take leave of my circle of intimates

the barren wasteland smiles at me

it wants to hold my water, my goo, my dust

feed the scorpions, the serpents, the vultures


My crown of thorns awaits me

before the end even

at the bus stop where the bus never seems to stop

high pitch sounds escape my tension spanned larynx

down to earth growls follow


I didn’t want to lead a people into its oblivion

I wanted the children to come to me and learn

naivety to be countered with knowledge

not with deflowering pumping rods


One day institutions will be needed in which men will live and teach,

as I understand living and teaching.


Fasten the nail heads onto my hand bones

all heads are susceptible to errors and erosion

Why do tiara’s molest the uttering of my thoughts into Truths with capital T’s


It is time

A battlefield of thoughts clash over the syntax of ideas

Grammar goes into a square to defend itself from the overwhelming force of vocabulary


When you leave the T-bag too long into the boiled water, bitterness will prevail

all sweet and flowery tastes of blossoming thoughts are long gone and drowned


Flee to Mars to plant your flag on a barren rock

Go find your own followers midst bacterial inconveniences

Thorns scrape skin strips, a migraine bombards nerve tips


The lashing of the whip excites the crowds coming to see me suffer

they voted to wash their hands into innocence

they didn’t know

One of them offers me a mass produced T-shirt to wipe my sorrows and tears.

Jerusalem is forever our capital” is printed upon it.


A war of attrition is fought through lashings and thorn invasion into my weak skull that doesn’t want to do things for the sake of which it existed.

Hedgehogs prickle the mind by hiding themselves


Scorched earth

Dry is my tongue that isn’t allowed to speak anymore

Although there are still sounds to be uttered, vowels to be formed, consonants to be constructed through tooth-tongue action

But there isn’t any saliva left to water the words


Let’s colonise Mars, like we did the Americas, the Antarctic and the moon

we will pee, claiming our territory

the mass will eventually follow, like locusts


The last non genetically modified field will be devoured

not by reason

but by parasitical pests


Thorns have shattered my skin into a designer headband with moistened strips hanging over my eyelids.

The world looks like a bleak minestrone, but without the diced vegetables

The fact that no one listens to me is not only comprehensible,

it seems to me quite the proper thing.


Pray with me so I can die with the fear of purgatory

Pray with me so I can assume there is a life after this hell


My proud flesh will manure the fields in which I will be left

life will grow from it

rebirth of plant life by images and maggots


Behold a man

a waste of time and material

a fruit of thoughts

ripened to rot

into a figment of the imagination

a means to an end

an end to all means

(info about poem: (almost) all beliefs are represented on such a small piece of land, and all want to be the true believers and the true children of God, but isn't it (wo)man who has received the Word and wasn't it man who interpreted what this Word meant? And what has become of that? Perhaps we should leave Words to the linguists and the earth to the believers and hope we can for generations still live and love what is our true place of belonging, this blue (coloring ever more grey and black and brown) planet?)

Thank you and looking forward to any reactions.

Philip Meersman


Some of the poems are included in his most recent publication:

„This Is Belgian Chocolate: Manifestations of Poetry“

by Philip Meersman 

(ISBN 978-1-941110-01-0; 120 Pages; $15.95; Poetry/Language Arts)

Cover: Le Témoin by René Magritte (© Ch. Herscovici - SABAM Belgium 2014)

Three Rooms Press Original Trade Paperback; November 11, 2014





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