Sunday, 27 November 2011

by the thread of my blood

photo taken by Simon Max Bannister at the Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg

by the thread of my blood
I hang for my life

some say blood is a saviour
some say it is a river
some say it is a curse
some say it is too real
some say it is passion
some say it is a gift
some say it is the invitation to the dance
some say it is collective remembrance
some say it is the tide of our bodies
it smells like birth
it tastes like broken stone
it incites killing
it invites healing
it brings together like compassion
it commands life
it inspires love
and it demands nothing but flow,
this sacred river of life

Saturday, 26 November 2011

mag ek...

die gedig van e.e. cummings may i feel said he het in my kop gespring toe my ouers 'n woordwisseling gehad het. hier is my vrye verwerking van die toneel (EN die cummings gedig):

kan jy 'n klim-raam vir
my grenadilla-plant maak sê sy
verseker sê hy
is jy seker? sê sy

o ja sê hy
jy is 'n skat sê sy
sê net hoe groot sê hy
so breed en so hoog sê sy

nou maar toe sê hy
dit lyk nie onmoontlik nie
haai dit maak my hart so bly sê sy
niemand anders kan dit doen soos jy

nee! wat maak jy nou? sê sy
ek pas die kalkulasies so bietjie aan sê hy
maar dis nie hoe ek dit wou he sê sy
hou jou bek sê hy

my grenadilla gaan skeef groei sê sy
moenie so stres sê hy
ek gaan iemand anders se hulp kry sê sy
jy waag dit nie sê hy

nou dan doen wat ek sê sê sy
gaan vlieg in jou moer sê hy
ek gaan jou nooit weer vra sê sy
nou maar toe, ek loop nou maar sê hy

ag nee, kom terug sê sy
maar dan los my uit sê hy
onthou so hoog en so breed sê sy
ek gaan die grenadilla se nek omdraai sê hy

try dit net, en ek draai JOU nek om sê sy

die oorspronklike gedig van e.e. cummings:

may i feel said he

may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she

but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome? said he
ummm said she)
you're divine! said he
(you are Mine said she)


Thursday, 24 November 2011

FIRE

(photo editing by Simon Max Bannister)

This is the second part of the Sculpture/Performance poetry piece I conceived and performed earlier this year in Johannesburg with sculptor Coenie Strydom, Life Vitrified / Klei Verewig. I later performed an adapted version of the work at the AfrikaBurn festival in the Tankwa Karoo.

It was performed and originally written in Afrikaans - a much more fiery language than English! Here follows the English translation. The Afrikaans follows thereafter.

II FIRE     

my clay body is devoured by a tornado of flame
i am called to this new burning clan
at the point where i want to melt and dissolve
a mighty flame of vitrification shoots through my veins
and i know, i can withstand the searing pain
with this body that have stood by me through
the flaming years

ah, the excitement that i will soon be stepping outside fire
so that i can pour meaning into the world
with this fired skin

the fire will burn and scorch me, torment and purge me
it will even attempt to extinguish me
yes, the flames will hit me, chew me and try to swallow me alive
it will pull the last tears from my eyes

stand strong!
let the flames come, let it bend and buckle me
let it make me scream
soon it will let my soul glow from within
and let my skin glow from without
the heat waves will keep on growing,
but i will resist, i will fight
have faith in my strength, in my hardiness
like a piece of leather the flame will twist and turn me
so that the flaming power can be lead through
and completely free my cellular potential

have you ever seen, have you ever felt  -
flame can not hold
flame can not cling
it glides flightily, mercurially over skin
even carries the face of a creature from hell
yes, he can burn, but he can not imprison
he can never estrange me from this wonder-earth
burn i will in its flaming path
but free i will stand, free!

so i have learnt to lap up fire with my own tongue
to chew and swallow it so as to ignite my own fire from within
look, the flutter flickering of flame looks just like
the flutter of tongue
sounds just like the flicker of tongue
at home is tongue in flame
it plays along in this burning game

the flame lashes around my limbs
wants to break my skeleton from its seams
i become like wood that fire greedily gorges
so that you there in the far dark corners will know:
this is one smoking and glistening struggle
that will soon spit my body out into pure sculpture

II VUUR

my klei-lyf word verswelg deur ‘n tornado van vlam
word ek geroep tot hierdie nuwe brandende stam
op die punt waar ek wil smelt en verteer
skiet ‘n magtige vlam van gehardheid deur my  are
en weet ek, ek kan die skroeiende pyn ontbeer
met hierdie lyf wat getrou saam met my staan deur
die vlammende jare

ah, die opwinding dat ek binnekort buite vuur gaan trap
en betekenis met hierdie aangevuurde kliplaag in my
wêreld gaan tap

die vuur sal my brand, sal my skroei, folter en naai
dit sal selfs poog om my nek om te draai
ja, die vlamme sal my kap, kou en
lewend insluk
die laaste trane uit my oë pluk

hou uit! staan vas!
kom wat wou, laat hy my loei
laat hy my skroei
binnekort sal hy my gees van binne
en my vel van buite rooiwarm laat gloei
die hittegolwe sal bly groei,
maar ek sal aanhou baklei en stoei
hê geloof in my standvastigheid, in my dikvelligheid
soos ‘n stuk leer sal vlam my brei
om die vlamme-krag deur te lei
en so my sellulêre potensiaal toet en taal te bevry

het jy al gesien, het jy al gevoel –
vlam kan nie vashou
vlam kan nie vasklou
hy glip, gly vlugtig, kwiksilwerig oor vel
dra selfs die aangesig van ‘n kreatuur uit hel
ja, hy kan brand, maar hy kan nie gevangene neem
sal my nooit van van hierdie wonder-aarde kan vervreem
brand sal ek in sy vlammende baan
maar vry sal ek bly staan

so het ek geleer om vuur met my eie tong op te lek
te kou en maag toe te sluk om so my eie Vuur op te wek
kyk, die fladder flonkering van vlam lyk nes
die fladder van tong
klink nes die flonker van tong
tuis is tong in vlam
dit hoort so graag aan hierdie brandende stam

met sweepslae krul die vuur om my ledemate
wil my skelet breek uit haar nate
word ek soos hout wat vuur gulsig vreet
dat julle daar in die doer donker vertes sal weet:
hierdie is een rokende en glinsterende gewroeg
wat my liggaam spoedig tot suiwer beeld gaan uitspoeg

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Voices in Song

Voices in song

let the voices of the world
be fire in our souls
let the voices of the world
be water in our mouths
let it sing into the agelessness of time
and make us believe we are beauty
we are sun we are river
we are stone we are air
we are that which gives us life

let the voices of the world
teach us to feel
to burn
to flow
to be utterly alive

let our voices rise
like the flame rises
like the tide rises

we are life
we are elemental
we are voices that sing
that weep
we are voices that
come alive
as soon as
breath is born

the vast space begs to be filled
with that sweeping line of voice
that colours space with that wondrous harmony
that is so strongly at home in our soul

let the voices vibrate
let the voices cascade through our souls
and let us live livelier than ever before

let the voices break through the forests
break through the ocean
let fish and bird hear we can
resonate with song just as they can do

i want to be there where the soul sings
because of this life’s blessedness
let us give love through our voices
let us share this voice we have had from birth

silence is blessed
yet singing is more so
it is a resonating of the soul
a baptizing within that vibration that gives life
to our hearts and minds

the voice moves like flame
searching for air and when it is released
it gushes forth like a new spring
the voice of fire
the voice of river
let it not be silenced
let it sound
let it burn
let it flow

we can sing
we want to sing
we need to sing

if we raise our voices, let it be in song