Zaanse Schans

Step back in time with me,
into 17th century Holland.
Into rural fields of working windmills.
One man pulls ropes taunt,
sets sails to catch wind and spin.
Inside wooden cogs and wheels whirl,
grind stone to fine ochre powder.
Village survives by ingenuity.


Quadrille written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe where today, Lisa asks us to use the word “work” or a form of the word in our poem of exactly 44 words, sans title.

Images and videos from four days ago when we visited the village of Zaanse Schans, which is about a twenty-five minute drive from Amsterdam. During the 17th century there were more than 600 windmills in this area. Today there are 8. They were used to grind spices, produce paint, saw wood, and make oil, among other things. The one we climbed around in is used to grind rock into ochre powder.

A man must climb up onto the roof and adjust the angle of the sails to catch the wind. The turning sails power the inner workings, cogs, wheels etc (top video) which work to make the grinding wheels turn on the ground level (2nd video). We climbed up a steep wooden ladder to see the machinations and walked around downstairs to watch the huge grinding wheels.

32 thoughts on “Zaanse Schans

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:20 pm

      It was amazing to climb around inside one!

      Like

  1. Jaye Semrod September 5, 2022 / 4:03 pm

    Love your poems, images and shared travel experiences these past few weeks. Ending with the remarkable story of refugees at sea!
    Thanks for sharing! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:20 pm

      So fun to see you here, Jaye! Miss you!

      Like

  2. msjadeli September 5, 2022 / 4:09 pm

    The wind yet remains
    modern life shuns old fashion
    oil suffocates world.

    Lillian, thank you for your thought provoking poem. Why is it the tried, true, and non-polluting ways are rejected for “modern” things that harm our planet? “Modern” “new and improved” have become 4-letter words to me.

    When are we going to see pics of your visit, with you and your hub with Bjorn and Lotta???

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:22 pm

      hmmmmm I’ll have to figure out how to post those on my blog here….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glenn A. Buttkus September 5, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    You didn’t happen to see a skinny elderly knight on a pale horse, and a short obese man wearing a plumed hat riding a donkey, did you? Your travel exploit poetics are truly wonderful; hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:23 pm

      You always make me smile, Glenn! ….ah that infamous man tilting at windmills :)_

      Like

  4. rogblog666 September 5, 2022 / 4:22 pm

    I grew up in a part of England where windmills were used to pump water of the land. loved the pictures as much as the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:23 pm

      So glad you enjoyed! It was really remarkable to climb up into the one!

      Like

  5. writingpresence September 5, 2022 / 4:26 pm

    Rock grinds rock – I was intrigued whether the ochre was mineral (as it is) or one of the spices … a lifting, lyrical quadrille

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 5, 2022 / 5:24 pm

      As we were told, this ochre was used as a pigment for paints!

      Like

  6. Rob Kistner September 5, 2022 / 6:37 pm

    This is a wonderfully engaging post Lil, every element is captivating — thank you for sharing this… 🙂✌🏼❤️

    Like

  7. rothpoetry September 5, 2022 / 8:40 pm

    Beautifully done, Lillian, and beautiful photos as well. We really enjoyed visiting Kinderjik when we were there in 2019! Amazing ingenuity for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

      • rothpoetry September 6, 2022 / 7:08 pm

        Yes, really really special!

        Like

  8. K.Hartless September 5, 2022 / 10:17 pm

    Delightful. I’ve wanted to travel to see these, and this solidifies it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 6, 2022 / 10:13 am

      It is a magical place to behold….and only about a twenty-five minute drive from bustling Amsterdam!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing September 5, 2022 / 11:22 pm

    Loved your poem a d the photos Lillian. Some of the windmills in England have been converted to homes. I always thought that would be very cool to live in one ☺️💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kim881 September 6, 2022 / 3:20 am

    I love it when you bring back some of your cruise to share with us, Lill! I love Holland and would love to visit again. By the way, you didn’t see a mouse in that windmill, did you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 6, 2022 / 10:17 am

      Had never heard this song. THANK YOU! LOVED it! A little mouse with clogs on….if we ever get back, I shall look everywhere to see if I can find it….or its relatives! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 6, 2022 / 10:18 am

      It was truly a magical place! Glad to take you along there with my words, Merril 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Everything Plant September 19, 2022 / 6:58 pm

    Great site here, glad I came across it. You may also enjoy my site about plants. 🌱😁

    Like

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