Château de Monségur

Château de Monségur
Distant view of the famous castle of Monségur, in the South of France, on the threshold of the high Pyrenees.

In Monségur the Cathars found their last refuge and stronghold, but they were besieged by the Royal French army and in 1244 they were defeated and many of them were burned in a bonfire at the foot of the ‘pog’.

Photos were made while hiking on the ‘plateau de Sault’, altitude 1250m.) not far from the village of Comus.


Camurac revisited

camurac revisited

now there’s a dog that barks at the freezing cold.

the air is filled with one word

which blares to country folk,

wide borne by the mists, would that be radio signals

from distant lovers? soon the earth

sinks in its other darkness, as pure as

good, clear water: you found it in sources

like gold, only in spring, or in fountains, from the mountains

descended, I had no other explanation.

Godenkind, on December the 4th, 2016

Dutch version:

terug naar camurac 

nu verschijnt een hond die op de vrieskou blaft.

de lucht staat bol van één woord

dat schalt voor buitenlui,

wijds gedragen door de nevels, radiosignalen

van verre beminden? straks daalt

de aarde in andere duisternis, zo zuiver als

goed, helder water: je vond het, na de regen, 

als goud, alleen in de lente, of in fonteinen, uit de bergen

neergedaald, ik had geen andere verklaring.

Godenkind 04-12-2016

I wrote this poem today. It is about winter being suddenly here and also about looking back to some good moments in the French Pyrenees, last summer.

I wrote it in Dutch, but I added an English version almost instantly. The two versions got intertwined because I found myself making changes in English, which was weird, being a native Dutch speaker.

Photo: 3 month ago, in the village of Camurac, high on the Plateau de Sault, French Pyrenees.



Ruins of a mysterious structure deep down in the “Fôret de Sainte-Colombe”, close to the village of Nébias, at the foot of the French Pyrenees. (Aude region)
This Henry Cow link probably fits in. (‘Ruins’ on their ‘Concerts’ album, this track is on their magnificent 2nd studio album called ‘Unrest’):

Photo: about 75 days ago.


Borde de Brézilhou

Borde de Brézilhou
I found this abandoned house, the “Borde de Brézilhou”, in the “Forêt de Sainte-Colombe”, close to Nébias, in the Aude region, in the South of France.

The house was built deep down in a gorge, far removed from the village of Nébias. 

It is not far removed from a bizarre labyrinth of massed rocks called “Le Labyrinthe”.

It is said that the place was still inhabited at the beginning of the 20th century. 

It remains unclear (to me) what the purpose of the site was. Who were these people? Were they hunters? Forresters? Or border guards? Or is it only one ruined structure left from a hamlet on this rather unlikely spot?