Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Sculptor Warrior and the Poet Goddess

My dream come true playing the piano at AfrikaBurn (photo: Kenny Yu)
After a few requests from people to share the poem The Sculptor Warrior and the Poet Goddess with them, I decided to post it onto my blog. It was the poem that Kim Goodwin and I wrote last year. We then recited it in the Tankwa Karoo at this year's AfrikaBurn festival during my piano performances under The Wattle Tower - the pagoda-structure that Kim designed and built with the help of five crew members.

But first I would like to tell the story behind the poem:

A year ago Kim and I met each other for the first time at AfrikaBurn. I was too occupied with my own performance poetry pieces and Kim was too busy building his beautiful wattle sculptures The Fear Gods to pay any more attention to each other. Yet on the last night we were sitting around a fire and as the flames got smaller and smaller we moved closer and closer together, our eyes and our hearts met, felt the spark and fell deeply in love with each other. The following morning Kim and his crew hit the road back home to the Natal Midlands and I went my way to Cape Town. Before we parted ways we clumsily exchanged our contact details. I thought maybe this is the last goodbye, what would be the chance of us getting together again? Two days later I fumbled through my AfrikaBurn debris and gaspingly looked for the paper Kim wrote his number on. Ah, I found it! I ran to the piano that was standing in the house I stayed over at the time and dialed Kim's number. As soon as he answered I positioned the phone on the side of the piano and started playing a slow improvisation for him. I intensely wished he would not put the phone down and listened through to the end. I played for around three minutes. When I finished playing, without saying a single word, I put the phone down. My heart was racing as I just sat numbly on the piano stool, girlishly excited. Scarcely did a few minutes pass when Kim called back. Though he had never heard me play before he knew it was me playing over the phone. Within that first week we phoned, mailed and sms'ed each other. In one of the messages he sent me a poem he wrote The Sculptor Warrior and the Poet Goddess. At the end of the poem he wrote:
"...and thus she spoke:" expecting a poetic answer from me. Within a day I sent him my response.
Here is his poem followed by mine:

The Sculptor Warrior and the Poet Goddess

The Sculptor Warrior felt a deep thick river of joy
running  through his soul
His cup was full
The battle in the Karoo was over
A battle with love and creativity,
weaving soul stories with grey and brown sticks

The Poet Goddess stole into the gathering
subdued crackling and sparking in the darkness

The two creatures sat beside each other
His silver beard, her eyes, her eyes looking,
listening, breathing each other in

Pan smiled under the shade of the stars
ah flesh, ah water, aaaah fire

Time and space grew between them

The Sculptor Warrior in his autumn home dreamed,
pondered, and thus he spoke:

Your exquisite chemistry has altered my mind

Now I see you amongst thorn trees, near the ocean
on top of the mountains

Oh Poet Goddess I will live in the moment
until these delicious imaginings become manifest

And thus she spoke:

Oh Warrior, you who command branch, skin  and clay
To twist and turn according to your hands at play
You who make the gods stand to attention
You who climb the heights of your imagination
And do not fear the falling
Or the rising

I have known your soul long before I set eyes upon you
I have felt your hands long before you touched me
I have heard your voice long before you have spoken

And when you arrived
your voice

Let us sculpt and sing aloud
the contours of our art
Let us cross the lines
And break the barriers

From tree to tree
stone to stone
wave to wave
mountain to mountain
I'll spin a golden thread,
hang my heart on it
And send it now to thee

Kim reading his poem under The Wattle Tower (photo: Michael Yankelev from The Freedom Seekers)
- - -

A month after writing our poems and communicating non-stop we realized we love each other too much not to be together. In June of 2012 I moved in with him at his home in the Midlands.

A year went by loving and living.

AfrikaBurn 2013 arrived. We spent 24 days in the Tankwa Karoo building on two of Kim's projects The Earth Pods and The Wattle Tower. The Tower was the space that hosted me and my piano for three piano concerts during the festival. It was a dream of mine to play a real piano in the Tankwa and this year thanks to Kim we made it a reality! Added to this excitement was our happiness in celebrating our one year anniversary in the place where our Love-Fire started.
Each year AfrikaBurn chooses a theme from which the festival-goers and artists can tap into to guide their creative inspiration. This year the theme was Archetypes, and how significant to have realized that with this poem we wrote last year we tapped right into potent archetypes and unleashed them with our love and our poetry.



photo: Gary van Wyk
photo: Lauren Clifford-Holmes
photo: Jonx Pillemer
photo: Gary Goodwin


  1. astounding. thank You. indeed much magic

    1. As always, such beauty in your story and in your poetry.

  2. Such an amazingly beautiful love story, Lara. You and Kim must come and share your talent with at Amberfield.