Poetry in translation: Houston we have a problem

after Lotte Dodion

i know that you want more space,
but how many planets do you want specifically?
how many light years do i need to be removed from you
so that you can float again?
you don’t want to carry me any longer
you want to be weightless again
an insignificant dot among so many others?
is it another
another sun to revolve around?
don’t you know that we are all the same?
just as uninteresting just as blistering
just as much pain at the end of the day
you don’t need to plant flags
no celestial bodies to conquer
here is mine
i am gravity
i keep your feet on my ground
but if you insist on space
if you think you are stuck in your orbit
get lost
be forgotten.

This poem is a translation from the Dutch. The original poem “Houston we have a problem” is by Belgian poet Lotte Dodion.


  1. Mathias Schulze Avatar
    Mathias Schulze

    I do not know the Dutch original; this translation is pretty powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Constance Bourg Avatar
      Constance Bourg

      Thank you Mathias. I appreciate that.


  2. Hobbo Avatar

    Excellent, biting humour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Constance Bourg Avatar
      Constance Bourg

      Yes. That’s what drew me to the poem as well. I’m glad the acerbic humour came across in the translation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hobbo Avatar

        It certainly did.👏

        Liked by 1 person

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