The Island of Juist
The migration takes place every summer,
The old Germans to the island of Juist,
With fine round bellies and sturdy legs,
Pink cheeks and sharp blue eyes.
They take their places on the beach
Sitting in bright painted hampers.
They watch the black man as he sweeps white sand
From reddish-colored walkways.
They come to breathe the salty air,
To soothe their various ailments.
They bring with them their Calvinist virtues
And a language they know to be dying.
"Moin, moin," their secret greeting.
The island swims calmly
Along side the coast.
In every house a room for rent.
No automobiles, only bikes and ponies
Bringing beer-carts to whitewashed hotels.
The wind blows in from the ancient North Sea,
Washing sand from one side to the other.
Each year the land moves in steady progression
With a cargo of old German sailors,
Sipping peach liqueur from gold-rimmed glasses
As they drift into the sea.
Tour of the Island