New Photography Work

Photo made by Zatarra Rafaël called Light coming in to play. The photo has a dark background where a ray of light comes in to play.
Photo made by Zatarra Rafaël called Lighting up the mind.  The photo has a dark background with a brain-like shape is lighting up in the middle.
Photo made by Zatarra Rafaël called Light-stairs.  The photo has a dark background with some imagination, a stairs shape where a light is moving up through the middle of the stairs.

When dark is a playground for light … an exploration, to be continued …

Morning Orchestra 1064

A short report in words and images of the festive opening of the exhibition Florilegium Amsterdam 1064 by IJda Smits, in New Metropolis Nieuw-West.

It was a rich program with an opening speech by Rosa van Rumpt, who is program coordinator at the Van Eesteren Museum. Hereafter the third book with a handmade cover was presented.

This was followed by the poetic recitations by me and Azar Tishe.
As promised during the opening, below I share the poem: Morning Orchestra 1064: Rising Harmony, which I wrote especially for and inspired by the Florilegium Amsterdam 1064.

And last but not least, IJda had a surprise for us in store, as we received a crash course in cyanotyping. Awesome! The results were diverse. Here’s my result:

Afbeelding van Cyanotype van een hand.

Missed the opening? You can still admire the beautiful cyanotypes and the Florilegium book until July 1st. Check the website of IJda for the dates and times.

NOTE: the exhibition has been extended and the finissage on July 1st has been postponed to later in July! The exact date will soon be announced.

Afbeelding van Poëzie Voordracht Zatarra Rafaël tijdens opening expo Florilegium Amsterdam 1064.
Afbeelding van Poëzie Voordracht Zatarra Rafaël tijdens opening expo Florilegium Amsterdam 1064.

poetry recitation by Zatarra Rafaël
while making a cyanotype

With many thanks for the photos, which were taken by Michiel Wijnbergh.

Afbeelding genomen door Michiel Wijnbergh tijdens mini cursus cyanotypen door IJda Smits tijdens de opening van haar expositie Florilegium Amsterdam 1064.
Afbeelding genomen door Michiel Wijnbergh tijdens mini cursus cyanotypen door IJda Smits tijdens de opening van haar expositie Florilegium Amsterdam 1064.

Morning Orchestra 1064: Rising Harmony

It’s a quiet morning
Fog whisper evaporates gently
in the whooshing, ever-present
undertone of the traffic

The whistles started late this morning
a heron keeps an overview in the dawn
where the orchestra of 1064
start slowly

The first choir members make themselves heard
the percussion has also been awakened
allowing front & rear doors to sound
car doors and a single bicycle bell also participate

The wind sighs, in its deep sleep
a few twigs move silently, back and forth

Then the heron raises its baton
the thistle nods
the white clovers start gently

Ooh dear, what was that…
the doubtful knight’s spur out of tune,
the violets help everything back on track

the shepherd’s purse makes the rapeseed rustle
the ground elder adds a jazzy note
and starts to swing, together with the wild hyacinth

the wind wakes up and allows
the last dandelion fluffs to dance along

the catchweed brings everything together for a conclusion
where the windflower and the arum
close off warmly

Now the throats have been lubricated,
the stems are flexible
and everything is firmly rooted
may the loving noon lake commence

Zatarra Rafaël

Ingekleurde Cyanotype van een knikkende distel door IJda Smits.
Ingekleurde Cyanotype van zuring door IJda Smits.
Ingekleurde Cyanotype van kleefkruid door IJda Smits.

From the top down:

the nodding thistle
the shepherd’s purse and
the rapeseed
the catchweed

Cyanotypes by IJda Smits

Poetry Performance, New Metropolis at Opening of Exhibition of IJda Smits

On June 10, 2023 at 4 p.m., the exhibition of IJda Smits will open, Florilegium Amsterdam 1064 in
New Metropolis Nieuw-West.

For her project, IJda made a book in two versions, a printed and a handmade version for which she made many blueprints of plants in her area, also known as cyanotype, an old photographic technique, discovered by John Herschel in 1842. Although, it was Anna Atkins who applied it in photography and published it in book form. More about the Florilegium and cyanotypes can be found on the website of IJda.

In March 2019, IJda and I started a poetry exchange. For the opening of her Florilegium project she asked me if I would like to recite a few poems? Of course!

Would you like to be there? Sign up via the New Metropolis website.

Ingekleurde Cyanotype van daslook door IJda Smits.
Ingekleurde Cyanotype van een akelei bloem door IJda Smits.
Ingekleurde Cyanotype van Doorwaskervel door IJda Smits.
Ingekleurde Cyanotype van zuring door IJda Smits.

Poetry festival Haarlem 2023

On Ascension Day, May 18, 2023, the poetry festival of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn will settle in and around the Verhalenhuis in Haarlem. The program provides parallel programming over three rounds, spread over 4 stages.

Joshua Baumgarten opens the festival at 1 p.m. Door open at 12.30 p.m. Renske Leijten receives the first copy of the festival bundle. The presenters for this edition are: Ingrid Elsing of the poetry club of the Kennemer Boekhandel, Yvonne Weijers, interpreter of sung poetry by Emily Dickinson and Elly de Waard, Jan Hoekema, debate leader at the Pletterij, and city pastor Tom de Haan.

I myself have been assigned to Jan Hoekema in the 1st round and Tom de Haan in the 2nd round.

Visiting the festival is free, but reservations are required. You can order a zero-euro-ticket on the Verhalenhuis website, click here.

Poetry bundle

Also this year, especially for this occasion, a beautiful festival bundle will be published, in which a new poem is included by each participating poet.
You can purchase the poetry bundle during the festival. Herewith you support the festival, so the festival can be organized next year as well and you take home a beautiful memory.


The theme this year is: plot… (as in the plot of a story). Nonetheless, the poets are free to make their own poetry. During the festival, there is room for each poet (per round) to recite three poems.

Yes, I’ll definitely recite the poem that is in the bundle! For now, I’ll keep the other poems to myself, but they will also be poems that I haven’t recited before. Come and let yourself be surprised!

Click here for the published poem.

Traveling by public transport?

From Haarlem CS station, take bus line 3 towards IJmuiden, get off at the Spaarnhovenstraat stop. Cross the road to the Verhalenhuis (Story House).

Foto van voordacht tijdens poëzie podium van oktober 2022 van de Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

Recitation during the poetry stage of October 2022, Haarlemse Dichtlijn, in the Verhalenhuis.

Photo by Geek Zwetsloot.

Online publication

In March 2023 I participated in the poetry carousel of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

A beautiful poem by poet Maria Barnas as inspiration and start of the carousel.
My reaction to her poem, as well as all reactions from all other poets, can be read for about 1 month on the website of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

It has become an interesting carousel from various perspectives. Get inspired. Click here for all poems, as long as the publication is online. A new carousel will follow in April.

For my poem click here.

Haarlemse Dichtlijn, Open Stage October 11, 2022

YES, I’ll perform my poetry once more in Haarlem!

Almost every second Tuesday of the month, the Haarlemse Dichtlijn organizes an open stage for poetry. On October 11, this will be at the new location: Het Verhalenhuis at Van Egmondstraat 7, 2024 XL in Haarlem. The program starts at 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Entry starts at 7:30 pm.
Admission is free, but for the number of seats, it is necessary to make a reservation on the Verhalenhuis website.

If you want to be there, don’t wait but book immediately, and we’ll see each other on October 11th. What I’m going to present … come visit and you’ll find out ;)!


From Haarlem CS station, location can be reached in about 10 minutes with bus line 3 in the direction of IJmuiden, get off at bus stop Spaarnhovenstraat.

Poetry Festival Haarlem 2022

A successful festival

For those who were not there and for those who were there and want to reminisce…

Below you find my poem, which is published in the poetry collection Vicit, Vim, Virtus. The English translation you can find below the photo.

Vicit, Vim, Virtus is a publication of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn, published on the occasion of the annual Poetry Festival, on Ascension Day.
The bundle is for sale during events of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn. More information and the agenda for future events can be found at the website of the Haarlemse Dichtlijn.

On the front-cover we find the specially designed illustration by Ben Imhoff.

Overall Design by Lizeanne Voorhout.

Cover of poetry collection: Vicit, Vim, Virtus.
Image of poem by Zatarra Rafaël for poetry collection Vicit Vim Virtus
Image of the back cover of poetry collection Vicit, Vim, Virtus.

I finally got there,
the journey has been long
Clarity and Consciousness as companions
can burn and shatter
Ask Icarus, he knows all about it…
Can clarify reality
so that beauty becomes visible

experience after experience

life after life
cycle after cycle

Words can cut
like knives in hearts
Words can connect
like a boat two shores
Words can love
like roses, velvety soft
Words can remind
of what you really are

Experience remains Master
Wisdom the insight

Are you ready for it?

© Zatarra Rafaël, 2022

Vicit, Vim, Virtus

courage has overcome violence

Performing Poetry, OBA, Open Stage

A year later than the original planning, it finally will happen.
On June 25, 2022 I will return to the Open Stage in the Central Public Library at the Oosterdok in Amsterdam (OBA). We will start at 2 pm. I’m really looking forward to it and would love to meet you!

Entrance is free, you can order the free tickets from the OBA via the link below: Please note: this event is in Dutch.