Grey Brother’s song for Mowgli

Grijze Broeders lied voor Mowgli, illustratie © Emily Van Overstraeten
© Emily Van Overstraeten, 2e prijs stArt Award 2017

Human arm has cradled you,
human voice sang you to sleep,
red flame-flower kept you warm
Mowgli, until tiger came.

You were reared on wolf milk after
searing flower’s scorching heat
bit into the tiger’s feet:
when we suckled, there was room
to feed you too.

Father wolf and mother wolf
licked you clean with velvet tongues,
living in our cave among us
you became our brother cub.

Mowgli, funny naked frog
without furry coat or tail,
short of snout but nimble-fingered,
panther (who knows humans) paid
a bull for you.

You are not like other creatures:
red spark-flower in your stare
makes us all avert our eyes
Mowgli, master of the fire.

Bear took care of you, he taught you
all the laws and master words,
languages of beasts and birds
and our jungle wisdom, too
as you grew.

All (except some monkey folks
who even kidnapped you one time)
respect you now as one of them
Mowgli, funny naked frog.

For a while you lived with humans,
learned to quack the way they do.
No one understood you there:
frightened of the magic things
you did and knew.

But we jungle-dwellers never
will forget how you came back
after you defeated tiger –
with me, grey brother from your pack.

Mowgli, Mowgli, which are you:
funny wolf or feral man?
Both are true.

Judy Elfferich | © vertaling: Vivien D. Glass

Nederlandse versie: Grijze Broeders lied voor Mowgli.

Met dank aan Vivien Glass (klik) voor haar toestemming om de vertaling hier te posten.

The Kraken

De Kraak, illustratie © Sebastiaan Van Doninck
They call me the Kraken
because I like cracking
the hulls of their ships
in my tentacles’ grip.

A monster of the deep
I drift into their stories
once a century, I think.

They shudder and scream
when we meet in their dreams.
I scare them half to death –
I can feel it in my ink.

Cradled softly by the pitch-black
water in my seabed home,
I’m hiding where they cannot go.

This is how it’s always been:
them, up high and dry,
me, asleep down in the deep.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.

But an ancient legend goes,
a fish of steel turned up one day
disturbing my repose.

A seaman came who had no name,
no wish of ever going home;
full of bitterness and hate,
he was tired of the world.

Peering through the porthole he
spied one of my giant eyes:
larger even than his head.

‘The Kraken, help!’ he cried,
and we got into a fight.
The story then goes on to say
that he murdered me that day.

Let them believe it if they like…
Here where it is always night
I am safely out of sight.

Waiting patiently until
they will all have gone extinct.
I can feel it in my ink –
tomorrow maybe, or tonight.

Judy Elfferich | © vertaling: Vivien D. Glass

cover BB sketchbook Jules Verne


Gepubliceerd in BoekieBoekie sketchbook:
‘The Amazing Adventures of Jules Verne’.



Nederlandse versie: De Kraak.

Met dank aan Vivien Glass (klik) voor haar toestemming om de vertaling hier te posten.

Vijfmaal de Kraak

Vijf illustraties van mijn gedicht over het zee­monster uit Twintig­duizend mijlen onder zee. Ze dongen mee naar de BoekieBoekie stArt Award 2016:

The Kraken, door Katja Golovanova
Katja Golovanova, Rusland

The Kraken, door Anna Smirnova (nominatie stArt Award 2016)
Anna Smirnova, Rusland

The Kraken, door Vica Stebleva
Vica Stebleva, Rusland

The Kraken, door Vasili Karmazin (nominatie stArt Award 2016)
Vasili Karmazin, Rusland

De Kraak, door Lien Ivo (3e prijs stArt Award 2016)
Lien Ivo, België

Dit voorjaar was het werk te bewonderen in de Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Lien Ivo won de derde prijs; ook Vasili Karmazin en Anna Smirnova eindigden bij de eerste tien. De roze Kraak van Lien hangt nu op de China Children’s Book Expo in Beijing.

Het gedicht De Kraak
(Engelse versie: The Kraken, vertaling Vivien Glass)
Over Twintigduizend mijlen onder zee van Jules Verne

De stArt Award 2017 staat in het teken van Kiplings Jungleboek. Ben je kunstacademie­student of beginnend illustrator (afgestudeerd na 1 augustus 2012)? Dan kun je meedoen. De opgaven en spelregels vind je hier (pdf).