dedicated to Jan Contant, baker at Colijnsplaat *)


the blessings harbouring gloom

I told him of counters and counting

of the men of the parochial church council
counting the pennies
raised by poor people
in return for their blessings

of my baker
his expletives in the heat of the day
his workplace mirroring hell
counting these blessings
when speaking with his creator

His answer as dark
as the encircling gloom of these memories

But these people were simple honest men
so I met his urbane comment
with an ingenuous timespacing

thank you my friend
and thanks to my baker

Yes, Adam Smith knew:
the food is on our table thanks to calculating men
but my friend told me:
you can always ask the baker
he'll never fail you

My blessing

If my baker was right in his belief
he must be able to read these lines now

him knowing my gratitude
will bless my counting

*) This poem should be in Dutch. But it's based on a story I told in Open Salon ... and may your counting be blessed. I tried to answer a commenter (James M. Emmerling) and the words came spontaneously.

**) Etching, anonymous: Apen die hun geld wegen (Apes weighing their money) uit 't Aapenspel in de werelt in SPIEGEL VAN ALLEDAG (Mirror of everyday life) Nederlandse genreprenten 1550 - 1700