Loss

Tragedy renders survivors helpless,
hope snuffed from their eyes creating a pertinent darkness.
Monsters in the soul rise up to feed,
until they become the life of the now empty shell.

Grief personified in copious tears.
Life halted at it’s prime.
Silence echoes of a happier period; when the sands of the hour glass did not stand so still.

Yet,
the sun still sets only ’til the morrow,
the world still spins even with one less soul.
Time ticks on habitually;
the flat heart line as endless as the memories of an unforgettable soul.

However, with darkness is the inevitability of light.
And with monsters, the surfacing of an ever watchful hero.

Never Cease

In a single palm
Or at end of finger tips
To live and to have lived
Not one life
But many

The plea of love and light
The keyboard keys echo
Alone
In the dark

This twilight of dreams
The one who writes
The one who reads
Lives more than once

What then of love?
What then of filling or being filled by light,life and being?
This their verbose immortality
Or brevity sweet

The unwritten realities shall day with thee
Universes in mind
These words
These lines

Merely paper scattered with dreams
This pen and ink
Or keys
The life and times of endless beings
In thy death
They shall not with thee
Ever end

For we and they shall read and be read
And again
They shall with thee
Never cease

As ek moes

Geen woorde is ooit genoeg
Om die diepste van diep aan jou te beskryf
Maar as ek ‘n gedig deur die woordeboek moes ploeg
Sou ek die volgende struktuur skryf:

Die titel sal wees ‘Ons’
En met ‘n hoofletter begin
Want dit verwys na geen ander, behalwe ons s’n

Twee versreels in elke strofe
‘n Verteenwoordigend van ek en jy
Nooit sonder mekaar, nooit gebroke
Nooit net ek, nooit net jy

Paarrym, kruisrym, selfs omarmde rym
‘n Span
Pas saam, vleg saam, is goed saam, wen saam
Nooit so gebroke soos gebroke rym

Woorde soos ”vriendskap”, ”liefde”, ”sielsgenoot”
En ”verewig” sal lewe aan die gedig gee
Met metafore wat aanpas by die blou lug en ‘n stil see

Groen en geel blare
Met ‘n hemelse verskeidenheid kleure
Van blomme op die aarde
Met ‘n hemelse verskeidenheid geure

‘n Enkele afsluiting met ”Ons”
Want jy’s my begin en my einde
Wat ook al in die middel geskied
Ek bly ewig joune, en jy bly ewig myne

Let silence speak for itself like a birthday party (a series of poetry)

This daughter has grit
And brick walls and all
A solitary moon
In all her feverish anticipation
Waiting upon the machine
And those ancestors.
Why do I suffer in relationships?
There’s a darkness within me
There’s a darkness within you
I don’t take kindly to your jokes
Nor the endless possibility
In your voice and the masterpiece

That is your world
Your splintered home
At the end of the world
Let silence speak for itself like a birthday
Grief is only a warning. Denial too.
I need to find out why the brightness dies
And the flowers heads. Every one.
These winter branches are mine
The anniversary of this winter
Is also mine. My mute grief
Over every black leaf is mine
We have captured our lungs for eternity

I need to see you in a photograph
I need to see you painted
In oils and watercolours
There’s the existence of faith
And pure hope as I take you in my arms
To have and to hold
From this day forward
Jubilant is the trumpet and saxophone
All their rituals have logic
This landscape was fashioned by a gardener
I stand mute at the edge of the lake
The gorgeous lake’s mouth

Is full of jewelled water
Wind drifts like driftwood
The weight of water is inescapable
What is human? This stain
Is human. What is beautiful?
Eyes and this ordinary madness.
What captures the light?
Klimt. Is it injustice? Sickness?
The right and the wronged?
There’s too much earth and world
In the desire that we have for each other
This letter is meant out of love.

The lover of Jane Eyre and the wild Sargasso Sea

Come with me to this wide open place
This place of husband and wife, companions
This known yet unknown place of wonder
There is still a distance from the rest
Of the planets, the turning moon and sun
The tides of the ocean, the Pacific and Indian
Which is where we’ll keep on meeting
When there is a scarcity of the faces of love
Reach deep within yourself and look inside your heart
For all the assumptions that are lying there
In wait for you drenched in circumspection
For child are you not a warrior made in perfection?
The laws of suffering are not meant for you
It is not the place for you. Your childhood
Filled you with dignity and hope will not empower
You but also uplift you. You with your mind
Are meant for a beautiful life filled with passion
And many dappled things such as the poetry
Of language of the wreck at the end of the world
The gracious lady that is the ship wreck and light house
Waves may have called to you like they did to that ship
For you are not just imagined. You are a myriad of things.
All the pretty horses on the prairies
I know what I have to be delivered from
It is silence, the despair of silence, the bleak
Landscape of the rural post-apartheid countryside
But I need the fragrant air that is vital, fresh
My bones need to acquire it – that certain pleasure
My lungs need to be filled with more than grace
I am in need of wings and a rosary
You are reduced to be being a thing that is worshiped
Put on a pedestal or put on a throne wearing a crown
Once you were that sought after
You were the vision that we have of ourselves
Enough to transform and transfigure our souls
Winters will be deposited here long after
We have summered here in the hot zone of this climate
You are the filthy lover of this dream I have of you
You are the dreamer and the exotic perfumed one
You are my cure for me to be purified and my tonic
How I long for your arms and for your warm embrace
You are my extraordinary emergency service
Bright, vivid, vivacious and signalling red
War is my country but then again so are you
My Paris, my Hemingway, my moveable feast.

Sardines on toast please

No daughters and sons have I although
I am still a lover of other mothers’ children.
I delight in them. I have discovered I can
Do clever things with my hands. Artistic things.
Instead of braiding hair I can intuitively thread words.
They are my fish. It is no longer winter here.
I am no longer a guest in my own country
I praise your silence and the personal space
You left behind and I feel the tightness in my heart
I praise you I praise all of you but most of all
I have been left behind in a tunnel into the black
There is insomnia even in a sermon
And electric wavelengths in a lecture room
A female writer journaling away in her diary
But where are the children and the husband
She has none. She is afraid of those words
That those words will make cell walls around her
That those words will become her prison
Winter with its shark teeth that threatens
To overwhelm her every waking thought and moment
She thinks of grief and remembers her childhood
And the fact that her mother never held her hand

When she crossed the road or believed in her
When looking left then right what is she grieving for?
What is she living for? What is she praying for?
Midnight’s children. Children who live under the bridge
They smoke cigarettes as if their lives depended on it
In another poem. In another lifetime, another life
There was a mistake. There was a little obsession
A predestined promise of procrastination that smelled
Like perfume. And then too soon you will realise
That you should not have walked away in that moment
Even though you were forgiven child of God
Child of an extraordinary God stripped of all
Illusion and fear of expectation
And like Marie Antoinette was led to a guillotine
Aren’t we all at some stage in our lives?
Don’t we have to live with our misgivings?
And with being misrepresented, dancing around
Golden laughter in our mouths that we don’t
Want to escape from. We want to search forever more
For that most singular delusion swinging swiftly
I like my innocence and I like my imperfections
I like the fact that I’m flawed and that I’m confessing to it.

The moveable feasts of chandeliers and wealth

They spoke of wealth (of course I had none)
Their clothes spoke of it, their speech and their
Blonde-honeyed hair, every freckle on their nose,
Knee and cheek. It was always flowers
And poetry that made my broken heart smile.
The light from the sun. Now that was my chandelier.
I always wonder why I felt so small in your world
You are still my dream as tender as a Paris meadow
Diving into the closet under the bed
Filled with monsters and with wild beasts
Dressed to the nines dressed to impressed
I am that woman who sleeps alone who eats alone
In her forest. I wait and watch for you the flowing river
In childhood we were loyal to each other
We were blossoming us sisters and that is the truth
You were my manna from heaven
You were my Moses and my burning bush
I believed that you existed with all your airs and graces
You took your powerful singing place amongst
All the gods and goddesses and I worshiped
You then as I worship you then as you dance
Far and away outwards from my embrace.

Breasts and the phenomena of infertility

All my life I have never wanted children
I have longed for companions but never children
To take care of or to take care of me
When I am at my most infirm in old age
I have always had a travelling heart
And that has been with me season after season
Of all the dark, mocking falling leaves.

There is stagnation between the laughter of clowns
That marks all of us. In the details of their heavy made-up
Faces. The wigs that hides their true features from all of us.
There is a sadness and a pathetic frustration
That lies there like the trees at the bottom of a lake.
Drowning visitors every one never to be seen
By humanity again. Touched by the hands of humanity
Again. And so we say that our fears have lethal airs
And graces. We begin to search for the exit out.
Our moral compass navigates us through the elements
Of air and fire. And whenever our hearts are pure again

We the lovers of futility and imposters
In our dreams. We will become voyagers once again
Our minds and hearts turned into ice, asylum pieces
Every one. The frame psychological. The work
The world and the fabric of the universe darker still
Than our childhood. A child’s world touched by
Swaziland’s mountains, valleys, Lazarus and greener
Pastures, sleep and the richness of a father’s madness.
Humanity goes forward into the exploratory studies
Of both man and woman to find souls there
Some find that they are touched by love

Others find mental sickness, and aberrations
Illness composed of jagged pharmaceuticals, doctors
And pharmacists, a bright palace of harmonious
Music, lords and ladies of the stellar night
Dancing their cold hearts and lungs out as fast
As their legs and feet can carry them. They don’t
Need a world of inquiries. They’re all strangers
In the dead of night and they’re all singing the blues.
Stringing, threading, braiding love knots, Scout
Knots, clotting blood knots feeling the tightness
In their chests while the rest of us live and die.

Illusion written on the body

Nature, climate change –
Those great, delicate things.
Much like the depths
Of the unsaid between
The woman who is a lover
And the female who is a mother.
The haunting tones of both.
The anxiety in the symphony
Of both. Her mother a bride
At twenty-five. Albums
Full of photographs.
People (some long dead and buried)
Captured on camera that still used film.
She taught her daughters
That although the potential,
The fabric of truth was there.
That love, married life, and
The sexual transaction
Won’t always triumph in the ways
That illness in the world would.
Ted Hughes’s winter pollen
Has descended upon the chilled earth.
For every blushing bride
There is a flushed groom.
Nobody speaks about
The difficulties of married life.
When does love torment?
When does love become winter?
Angels. The children sprout
Wings of rain as they run through
The sprinkler. Innocents.
What the adults who live
Vicariously through them
Would not give to experience
Childhood once again.
Memory, memory, where art thou memory?
Stems tearing themselves away
From the root, making their
Way towards the sunlight.
It is the most natural feeling
In the world for any woman
To want to have a child.
On her infertility, she is mute.
It never comes up in interviews.
The fact that she is also
Not married. Also not in love.
So all people tap dance their way
Through life and childhood.

My Dream

In my sleep I hear my heartbeat
At breakfast I still dream
She consumes me like the summer heat
At lunch I feel that dream

At times I feel like a child needing guidance,
Sickness in my thoughts is far from reverence.
I have a fast mind ruled by impatience
And a slow heart ruled by defiance.
Confusion defines my essence.
I dream to merge with her essence.

In my sleep I hear
At breakfast she’s near
She…
My dream.