Friday, 27 January 2012

dit is soos dit is

A week ago, I cycled through the main road of Hogsback and down the Hogsback pass, in the nude.
4 people wanted to lay charges against me for indecent exposure/public indecency. Thanks to the village's Police Forum the charges were withdrawn. I got phonecalls from various journalists over the past week to hear my side of the story. As far as I know the story featured on the front page of Die Burger, News 24, Die Volksblad and The Weekend Post. I never thought this brief and rather innocent and impulsive moment of fun would cause such a stir. More than criticism I have had support and a real show of interest.
I can write so much on why I do what I do, but I think this poem that I wrote 2 years ago and performed in the nude must speak for me (an English translation follows at the end).

dit is soos dit is

- hierdie gedig kom tot sy reg as dit in die naakte liggaam voorgedra word -

dit is soos dit is
in die vlees van my siel
is dit waar die woorde broei
en wat lug soek in die eter van die
naakte siele soos wat hulle saam uit die velle
van mense gebore word

ek kan
nòg meer vel
nòg meer vlees wees
veel meer
as wat ek hier voorgee

dit is soos dit is
die vlees in die naakte warmte van sweet
wat deur skadu van kostuum in 'n hel van klugspel
bedek word
word verwring tot 'n ongenaakbare
banale maskerade

wat is dit wat ek wil bedek met
die weefselkleed van die skaamte
wat die skone vel van sonsoen en
reënval wil weerhou
wil weerhou van die wonderwêreld van sensasie
wat so direk tot die sielshuid spreek?

dit is die waarheid
 die naakte waarheid 
waarin ek vasgevang word om my self uit te druk
soos net die naakte waarheid kan

in die holte van my selfheid
klou ek vas aan die wande van my vel
slegs aan my vel
hang ek vir my lewe

this is how it is

- this poem comes truly to life when it is performed in the nude –

this is how it is
in the flesh of my soul
is where the words breed
where it searches for air in the ether of the
naked souls as they are born together
from the skin of people

i can
be more skin
more flesh
much more
than you are seeing

this is how it is
the flesh in the naked warmth of sweat
that's covered
by shadow of costume in a hell of deceit
becomes contorted in a merciless
banal masquerade

what is it that i want to cover with
the cloth of shame
that shields pure skin
from sun-kiss and rainfall
that shields pulsing skin from the wonder-world of sensation
that speaks so directly so the soul-skin?

it is the truth
the naked truth
in which i am enclosed to express myself
as only the naked truth can
in the hollow of my selfhood
do i cling onto the edges of my skin
only from my skin
do i hang for my life

(The Afrikaans version was published in Ecca 2011 and the South African Literary Journal, New Contrast, 2010)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Ode to Seasand

i do not need a second invite
to roll around you, seasand
fly goes my clothes
just skin on sand -
what pure
wind and waves
have tasted you
the spaces between every grain
pulse with the memory of the tides
ah, the thrill of it
of my body
let me never wash!
i can step
over your golden breast
even your bite
when a wind whips it
against my ankles
is delight
i do not know
i would like
to fly with you
on the wind
teach me
your age
i sing to you,
Sand of the Seas
granules of
finely chiseled Time
men keep their
machinery and gadgets
clean from
but oh, come
chafe and sculpt

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Ode to your hands

for Simon

in your hands
a harvest of visions
blessing the earth
and its stones
with their abundant richness
from your palms
from between your fingers
what divine sculptor's chisel
has webbed them with
such strength
such gentleness?
they have touched upon
with them you fly to far horizons and touch the faces of stars
they have carried
yet they remain

two wings in flight

they hold the expansiveness of the constellations
they grasp the
trembling leaf
i wish for them
to lie
my breast
and to feel
beating through them
ah, the joy
when you open your hands over me
it is like stepping into
the twilight of the forests
take away food from me
but do not take away your hands

Friday, 13 January 2012

Ode to my feet

ode to my feet

you are by far my favourite part of me
on tar on stone on sand in water
you have burnt blistered bled and bounced
you have carried me through cities forests and grasslands
over coastlines deserts and mountains
shoes have tried to contain you
but your wild spirit keeps kicking them off
you feel the harshness and the smoothness of the land
you set in motion my muscular exploration of space
through you i feel the lightning of life
you are the first to touch the ground every morning i climb into day
i have fallen in love with you
of all my parts you are the least fearful
you show courage - sometime even more than my heart
there are times you tiptoe and sneak silently around corners
yet you do not flinch blush or hesitate
if i prayed i would not pray with my hands
 i would pray with you
my feet
you are the direct route to my soul

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Poet, poet speaking bright

This poem finds inspiration in William Blake's poem Tiger, tiger burning bright.

Poet, poet speaking bright
taking words into flight
what human mind or heart
could fathom the extent of thy art?

In what vision or dream
did she find life's stream?
On what wind does she fly
to reach such a high?

Who will listen to her song?
Who will accept her when she goes wrong?
Her eyes are open to see all -
this will make her rise and fall

What rhythm? What verse?
What blessing? What curse
will be unleashed by her pen
to make her passion be felt again?

When the sun sets on her tongue
know that the quest has only begun.
She will need the dark rest
to become her utmost best.

Poet, poet speaking bright
taking words into flight,
what human mind or heart
dare fathom the extent of thy art?