Sisters Corresponding Across Town: Nocturnality and Nightjars

The Land Lines blog is delighted to share with you this nightjar-inspired poem and illustration, which was sent sent to us by illustrator Ilse Meijerink via her blog ‘Sisters Corresponding Across Town’. For more about Ilse, her sister Mariëlle and their work, please see the ‘About the Authors’ section at the bottom of the page.

Linocut by Ilse Meijerink (2015)

The poem below is a translation from the original in Dutch, which you can find here.


do you know me?
I fly at night aroused by moths
you can hear me
sometimes see
but do you know me?
Lich Fowl
ideas born from ignorance
afraid of what I do

I get names
like pigeonholes
to put things in order

there are also those who venture
all alone in twilight
set off and keep walking
go with it with eyes wide
open and see how I live in shade
who look
not at the other
to ask if they see clearly
see me fly
in the air between trees
rather square with wings wide
and earth drawn in my feathers

by Mariëlle Meijerink

About the Authors

Ilse and Mariëlle are sisters who reside in The Netherlands. Ilse is trained as an illustrator and Marielle specialised in screenwriting in film school. 

Their mutual interest in nature was sparked at an early age where their mother would make them observant of all things growing on the ground and their father would point out every feathered thing he heard and saw flying in the sky. 

When Ilse moved to Glasgow, the sisters started the correspondence blog, where Mariëlle would write a short story or poem about something that caught her attention in the natural world and Ilse would respond with her own interpretation through drawing – and sometimes the other way around. The blog was started almost ten years ago and the siblings continued their correspondence when Ilse moved back to their home country. 

Mariëlle (right) and Ilse (left), photo authors’ own

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