This is a companion piece to Van Goor's Dictionary published in Pores 4, and in both cases the Dutch language is affected by its original co-existence and co-publication in Java.

Movement of 'o', or the 'oo', of the uncles. This language of double vowels, as if one vowel is not enough. What is the effect of this extra vowel? I am searching through the empty vowel, through so much loss, but also the 'oo' of the present indicative, the language of indicators, of pointers, of delight, of light through vowels. Correspondence from Eric Dickens: "There used to be more written long vowels in the 19th century, but since the spelling reforms that the Dutch seem to have every decade or so, they've economised on the spelling by knocking out certain of the written doubles, while still retaining the long sound."

Learning to recognise their sound, their shape on the page, and their colour. A limited number of colours can be used in the book: orange is one of them, which is appropriate for the House of Orange.

The two colours, orange and turquoise, are perfect complementaries and together produce 'white'. The after image results from areas of the retina becoming desensitized to orange and turquoise because you have stared at the picture for so long.

I was the lazy learner, when English was always enough. I did not learn my mother's tongue properly, although it is as familiar to me as English, perhaps more familiar as an ambience, an atmosphere, a sound.

More recently, there are fragments of a conversation with Hans Thill, whose harpo-poems Kuhle Religionen were published by Verlag 2003. And there are echoes of Johan de Wit's Monkey and Tiger (Kater Murr, 2004).

I have also been involved in the co-translation of Paul Van Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad, organised by Karlien Van Den Beukel and Elizabeth James. As well as struggling with the Dutch language, it reminded me of the power of children's books, as does the combined audience of India, Miranda and Alina Skelt.

Fraan Boogerd Presley