By Karen Hayes has won the Foreign Voices Poetry Competition
This competition ended on 30 November 2017 at midnight GMT
In the Netherlands, if I say I’m a writer, they look at me with concern. ‘Does it pay?’ is one of their responses. Another one is: ‘I’ve never heard of you.’ It’s quite different in the British Isles.
I was in London with E on the weekend before the terror attack. She was visiting for the first time. I had made up my mind to show her as many sights as possible within three days. In my city. I may have moved from London to the countryside but still London remains my city.
Prince Charles wants to do battle with the grey American squirrel. There are too many greys in the UK and this is to the detriment of the native red squirrels, which are threatened with extinction. Prince Charles wants to attack the grey squirrels with Nutella. This prompted the locals to start talking about Nutella & Camilla.
As you may know, I’m no longer living in London but in Malmesbury. It is a picturesque, yet quite a lively town. That’s because of Dyson, the hoover specialists: their head office and research lab are located on the edge of the town.
Als ik in Nederland zeg dat ik schrijver ben, kijkt men mij vaak meewarig aan. ‘Kun je ervan leven?’ is een reactie. Een andere is: ‘Ik heb nog nooit van u gehoord.’ Hoe anders is dit op de Britse eilanden.