Emsland Poem by Clive La Pensée

Ascension Day - 1975. Also Fathers’ Day, when real men load beer and Schnapps (Korn) into a cart and pull their drunken way through the flat sands of the Emsland. Thirsty work! On that day - wet, cold work.

By around 3 o’clock, they are drunk, hot/wet, tired and belligerent, because this is a man’s day out and one had to enjoy it.

That day, it rained, rained and rained some more. Those who valued their safety stayed at home. Those too drunk to notice the weather, walked or took a steam train (Bimmelbahn) laid on for the purpose.

Haydn’s “Seasons,” was performed on the radio. I wrote a poem for the event.


A song for Himmelfahrt in the Emsland. (Inspired by and with apologies to “Die Jahreszeiten”).

When Hayden wrote his “Seasons”

He never had to fear,

That it would rain in Eisenstadt

Like it is raining here.


The sky is grey, the earth is green,

The Ems is in full flood.

There’s so much sodden water here

It gets even in the blood.


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