Wednesday, 10 December 2014

tussen die kriek en die stilte

~ English translation at the bottom ~

ek soek daai element

dit is nie klip
dit is nie water
dit is nie lug
dit is nie aarde
dit is nie vuur
dit is nie mineraal
dit is nie plant
dit is nie metaal

dit vloei nie
dit lê nie
dit groei nie
dit brand nie
tog is dit daar

daai iets wat die donker woud op
‘n windlose volmaan-nag
net so perfek aanmekaar hou
daar waarin die insekte en voëls
die oorlewing-sparteling vir
‘n wyle
laat vaar
en
stil
word

dit lyk asof al die ander elemente
lewe vir hierdie een element
die element wat eenvoudig net hang
dik en ryk
in
die
lug

ja dit is ‘n hang-gevoel
so ‘n lywige sensasie  in die neusgate
wat die asemteug eindeloos laat strek
tot in die einder van die longe

hierdie element is waaragtig ‘n noodsaaklikheid

dit is aanwesig in
al die ander elemente
die element wat daai voilà-oomblik laat vonk
en drome lewendige gestalte gee
die element wat met ‘n waardige stilte
die frekwensies
in
sferiese harmonieë
laat voortplant

dit is die gom tussen
organika en habitat

daai iets tussen die kriek en die stilte

dit is die heenkome vir verdwaling
dit is die lig wat bly hang in die oog
al het die donker gedaal
en die ooglede toegeval

mens vang nie hierdie element vas nie
dit sal jou ontwyk as jy nie aandag gee nie
en tog as jy eers in dit gestaan en
dit gevoel het lek aan jou verhemelte
het dit jou siel verewig gemerk

dit is die element wat die oer-oorsaak is
van rusteloosheid
jy wil dit vashou en vasklou
jy blameer dit – regverdiglik – vir jou geluk

jou binnenste weet dat
dit die wortel
van
ongeëwenaarde saligheid is en
jou hele lewe lank
sal jy daarna honger

between the cricket and the silence

i am searching for that element

it is not stone
it is not water
it is not air
it is not earth
it is not fire
it is not mineral
it is not plant
it is not metal

it does not flow
it does not lie down
it does not grow
it does not burn
yet it is there

that something that holds together
the dark forest on
a windless full-moon-night
there wherein the insects and birds
let go of
the survival-bustle for
a while
and
become
silent

it seems that all the other elements
live for this one element
the element that simply hangs
thick and rich
in
the
air

yes it is a hanging feeling
such a full-bodied sensation in the nostrils
that endlessly stretches the breath
to the furthest ends of the lungs

this element is veraciously a necessity

it is present in
all the other elements
that element that sparks that voilà moment
and gives dreams living embodiment
the element that
in great silence
breeds
the frequencies
in spherical harmonies

it is the glue between
organica and habitat

that something between the cricket and silence

it is the sanctuary for lostness
it is light that stays hanging in the eye
long after the darkness has descended
and the eyelids have closed

one does not capture this element
it will elude you if you don’t pay attention
and yet once you have stood in it and
felt it licking on your palate
it has marked your soul forever

it is the element that is the root cause
of restlessness
you want to hold and cling onto it
you blame it – rightfully – for your happiness

your innards know that
it is the source
of
unequaled beatitude and
your whole life
you will
hunger for it

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

net perfek

diep asemhaal 
met die gladde aanraking 
van pen op papier
die sus en soelheid 
van die skrywersoomblik
kondisies net perfek
temperatuur onverbeterlik
vreedsaamheid in die kol
fokus sekuur
en oog-knip ondesperaat

diep asemhaal
tot in my tone
en tot op die skiereiland 
van my boude
voel die wonderskone lewe 
deur elke sel trek
dit is tot in die kop en hart 
van verbeelding wat ek moet asemhaal
tot daar waar elke suurstofsel 
omskep word 
in 
skouspelagtige technicoloured dreamcoats

Thursday, 4 December 2014

kieslowski

sluk die sleutel van jou eie gevangeneskap
i want to be equal
but also want to get equal

                                                                vrou in skadu van hartseer
ek hoor die sluk van haar slukpyp

          kyk na haar
hartseer
deur
‘n
vergrootglas

                                                                to define destiny is vanity

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

gebrande kekerertjies

en in die oggend is sy vroeg uit die bed
om haar van haar woelige kop te red
gaan sit sy op haar laptop en tik ‘n gedig
om haar energie op iets konstruktiefs te rig

jy sien, al bly ‘n mens op die platteland
wil mens gedurig dinge gelyktertyd doen
dink mos multi-tasking is goed vir die verstand
en sal aandag en afleiding met mekaar versoen

so wil sy kekerertjies kook terwyl sy dig
al weet sy haar aandag sal dalk onder die druk mag swig
nietemin, sy is goed op dreef
glo vas sy sal die digkuns en kekertjies aanmekaar kan weef

dit is wonderlik hoe sy aanvanklik elke hoeveel minute opstaan
om die kookpot te bly vul met water uit die kraan
die hoop is hoog, die uitsig is blink
terwyl sy aan erte én gedigte bly dink

maar wee o wee, dit was nie bedoel
dat die oggend uitdraai soos ‘n gladde stil poel
sy het paar minute te lank bly skryf
en die erte in vergetelheid laat dryf

al wat haar uit haar dommel kon pluk
is die stank van ‘n pot wat brand
word sy summier uit haar multi-tasking trots geruk
wie kon raai haar gemoedere sou so in die swart rook beland?!

gooi die vensters oop! brand die wierook!
niemand mag weet watter brand sy’t gestook
gryp die skuurwol en skrop en skuur
sy is net te bly die erte het nie ontaard in ‘n helse vuur!

Friday, 28 November 2014

From one poet to another

I seldom receive a poem written to/about me by another poet. I had the privilege to receive TWO poems by two different poets on the weekend of the McGregor Poetry Festival in October. They both wrote it spontaneously during my two performances at the festival. They were both happy that I post it here. 

It is rare for me to post other poets' work onto my blog. In this case I thought it appropriate to share their poems here.  <

The first poem by Archie Swanson -  he wrote it during my piano and poetry recital continents of sound < 

manic wind

Written during the piano and poetry recital by Lara Kirsten
2014 Mcgregor Poetry Festival

the manic wind
is howling outside the curtain-less window
bushes flail
dust is strewn
the first summer south-easter has visited mcgregor
outside the light is fading
dusk is blanketing down
like a slow dew

you sway
as if driven by the wind
the music rises
notes scatter
they feed into you
and you feed into the music
as it spirals
into a tight musical dna helix
umbilicaly joined to your soul
it is your life poured out
shared

we listen
witnesses drawn into the fray
drawn into your heart
as the notes reverberate
ever faster
ever louder
your blurred fingers flail the keys
beethoven
schubert
we are raptured
to another place
transported
snatched like leaves lifted in a storm
emotions flow
happiness and melancholy mix

your poems are delivered with every fiber of your being
new earth / music / ripe grapes / exuberance of sound

at the piano
you sit
bolt upright
as your loving eyes pour over the score
it’s as if you are being filled by your love
and always faithful
your love gives back to you
the wind still roars outside
yet now there is a gentle peace
within the room
debussy’s clair de lune
undulating
drawing us ever deeper
within our own souls

granados playera opus 5 number 5
i see alhambra with its majestic ramparts
towering above orange groves
and in the manicured gardens
fountains falling
into crystal-clear pools of spring water
reflecting the shimmering summer sky

clad in black
you are like a lithe cat
i have a fleeting image
of you streaking across parisian rooftops
past sentries of chimneys
silhouetted for an instant
against an amber moon
as you scale unchartered heights
chopin
gershwin
toccata opus 54
it is dizzying

your hands rest
your voice is still
we are changed
outside
stars set in the black, velvet mcgregor sky
wink almost approvingly
as the languid breede river
meanders through the sleeping vineyards

 - Archie Swanson, 1 November 2014

* * *

Here the second poem by Bruce William Haynes  - he wrote it during my poetry recital into the deep salt of the ear and paper <

Lara, self-proclaimed garlic of poets
barefoot, airborne, volcano
how can one help but feeling boring before your
burning restlessness
let me lead the scientist
searching for the definition of life
here into Caritas
at this McGregor Poetry Festival
to observe
your urgent bellows intake of breath
at the small of your neck
as you kneel
wide eyed in the dirt
before the fire of your life
Thank you Lara
for the gift
of the sparks
of your short-lived stars

 - Bruce William Haynes

Thank you to both poets who have captured something so much more personal and magical than any recording or photo ever could.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

continents of sound

I performed the following poems in my last piano recital continents of sound in Stanford last month in the Western Cape. It is a series of poems that I have been using in some of my other recitals in collaboration with other musicians - clarinetist Morné  van Heerden, cellist Francois le Roux and flutist Thomas de Bruin. These poems have given the recitals a strong sense of cohesion and drama. Personally I think the words have a wonderful way to balance the intensity of the musical moments. I have received very inspiring feedback on the poems. They have been coming a long way with me -  each one has its own story and inspiration. They have been flashes of lightning as well as globes of grapes in my mouth. They have given me strength with each performance. It has been very fulfilling to realise just how closely woven my poetry and music can be at times. I thought it is now a good time to publish them here. 

I indicate the piano pieces to give an idea of the music that I played in continents of sound.

 >>> Improvisation <<<

1.

Nuwe Aarde

dit is daar waar ek wil wees
daar waar kontinente van klank
uit my keel en vingers vloei
en ek aan 'n hele
nuwe aarde geboorte gee

New Earth

that is where I want to be
there where continents of sound
flow from my throat and fingers
and i give birth
to a whole new earth

>>> Beethoven Sonata <<<

2.

boorling van hierdie klank-aarde

my vingers omvou elke vou en hoek
van die klank se lyf
voel sonder om te sien
die glans
die deining
die gly kontoere
van toon-organika
wat in die hemelvuur
tot
boorling van hierdie klank-aarde
gelouter word

inhabitant of this sound-earth

my fingers fold over every fold and corner
of the body of sound
feel without seeing
the shining
the undulation
the smooth contours
of tone-organica
that is fired in heaven's flame
into inhabitant of this sound-earth

 >>> Schubert Impromptu <<<

3.

o, Musiek

dit is waar klanke gebore word met aardse lywe
en ons die herinnering van premordiale frekwensies
in ons honger ore kan hoor sing
en die hart kan net juig oor musiek
wat so diep tref

oh, Music

this is where sounds are born with earthly bodies
and we can hear the memory of primordial frequencies
sing in our hungry ears
and the heart can only rejoice over music
that strikes so deeply

 >>> Debussy Clair de Lune <<<

4.

ryp druiwe

die musiek-klanke val
soos
ryp druiwe
uit
die lug
vol trosse kom lê soet-soelig diep binne my oor
draai om en om in
'n hemelse taai mallemeul
in die ingewandes
van
my siel
die rillings breek uit oor my kopvel
en die toppe van my skouers
ek is bang as
die stilte
gaan kom
ah, om verewig in die hand van klank te lê
daar waar dit resonerend warm is
vat my nie weg van hierdie klank!
kom musiek,
kom val
soos ryp druiwe
in my oor
bederf my
met
'n oomblikse versadiging
van
hierdie
nimmereindigende
honger

ripe grapes

the sounds of music fall
like
ripe grapes
from
the sky
full bunches come lie sweet-sultrily deep inside my ear
turn round and round in
a heavenly merry-go-round
in the guts
of
my soul
the thrills break out over my head
and on the tops of my shoulders
i am scared when
the silence
will descend
ah, to lie forever in the hand of sound
there where it is so resonantly warm
take me not away from this sound!
come music,
come fall
like ripe grapes
in my ear
spoil me
with
a momentary satiation
of
this
neverending
hunger

>>> Granados Playera <<<

5.

uit die resonante holtes van lyf

uit die resonante holtes van lyf
breek die stem oop
en sing oor die ganse aarde
die lied wat
in drome klink
deur skeure breek
en
in murg gaan sit
en nie laat los
totdat dit lyf vervorm tot
transendentale beswyming

from the resonant cavities of body

from the resonant cavities of body
breaks open the voice
and sings over the whole earth
the song that
sounds in dreams
breaks through the cracks
and
clings onto the marrow
and does not let go
until it reforms body into
one transcendental swoon

 >>> Improvisation <<< 

>>> Chopin Polonaise <<<

6.

verrukking van klank

vlugtig vlieg die ritmes uit my vingers
en draai ek in 'n kolk van ekstatiese malkoppigheid
totdat swart en wit,
spier en hout,
ek en jy
een word
die musiek ons vasboei
die melodie ons in hegtenis neem
en die wispelturigheid van die sikloniese ritmika
ons verewig gevangene hou
in die verrukking van klank

exuberance of sound

flightily the rhythms fly from my fingers
and i turn in a whirl of ecstatic madness
till black and white,
muscle and wood,
you and me
become one
till the music shackles us
the melody takes us captive
and the moodiness of the cyclonic rhythm
ensnares us forever
in the exuberance of sound

>>> Gershwin Two Preludes <<<

7.

ontmaskerende koorstigtelikheid
van klank

my vingers
skud die
sweet van
die klankekoors
oor die
gate van
ore wat
die toevoer
is na
die ondergrond
van julle
siele
die kwiksilwer
in die
buis van
julle monde
breek oop
met die
druk hitte
van die
ontmaskerende koorstigtelikheid
van klank

unmasking feverability of sound

my fingers
shake the 
sweat of
the sound-fever
over the
holes of
ears that
are the
subway
to the underground
of your souls
the mercury
in the
tube of
your mouths
breaks open
with the
pressured heat
of the
unmasking feverability
of sound

>>> Takacs Toccata <<<