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ELS DE GROEN

Across the Oceans

Els de Groen (full name Elly de Groen) was born in 1949 in The Hague, Netherlands. As a child already she loved writing and drawing. She published her first short stories at the age of twenty. Meanwhile she has written 40 children’s books and 8 books for adults, novels as well as non-fiction. Due to her cooperation with a Russian children’s book writer, she got interested in Eastern-Europe, where she would travel a lot and situate many books. It was also in Eastern-Europe that she learned to know the Roma nation (Gypsies), that originates from India and is heavily discriminated against in most European countries. From 2004-2009, Els de Groen was a member of the European Parliament, where she defended human rights. After her leaving politics, she focused again on arts and initiated “World Artists Initiative “Khetanes” in 2010. Today, she mainly writes poetry and is also active as a painter. Her books have been translated into 12 languages. Important themes are “Equality”, “Justice”, “Transparency” and “Taking good care of our planet”. See also www.elsdegroen.nl and www.khetanes.org Els de Groen is married, with two children, and grandmother of two grandchildren

Rivers of Men
born from water
we start as tiny streams
stay fresh when we keep running
pollute when we stand still
we level up and down
freezing with the enemies
and melting with the friends
we are both warm and icy
like condensing rain
that feeds the earth deep down
in eternal sources
life is circulation
no one can stop the water
as no one stops the travellers
the artists, the adventurers
the refugees and poor
the migrants and the merchants
rivers have no taps
they have destinations