Tuesday, 31 March 2015

nothing will stop the sinking II

the despotic salt pricks the wound
and causes the sluggish tintinnabulation
to ring interminably throughout the cavities of my head

my spit enquiringly herds all the crayons together
this also prevents
my mouth from forlorn gaping

we forget that the hispanic goat
can predict the future
aloof he crows into the night, or is it bleating?

my feet’s blithe shuffle folds meekly over
the worlds’ flushed helter-skelter
if i could but dive my awkwardness away

the billboards rush past our fanatical eyes
our pens can not keep up with
investigating the truth

the pronounced poles blink in the evening traffic
the cornucopia just keeps on increasing
and no clinging interdict will stop the cheating

the mottled wool gives a ferocious smirk
while the girl unknots it to knit a jersey for the fledgling
oh how i would like to photograph this moment

i look from a steadfast angle into the blowing wind
luckily i am snug and warm whilst my feet saunter
firmly like a ballast through the hostile exhibition called human nature

in an uproarious scraping she unearths the mole
and begs it to resume its onomatopoeic scrubbing of the flax seed
this precocious offence makes the poor mole squint even more

the methuselan droplets point in the direction of
the murky conquest
after the incandescent flare-up the wax scrounges for its last meal

she scratches her mosquito bites with an emphatic whisper
and tries hard to answer life’s questions as
the sullen enemy keeps on spreading its cold metallic forgery

please pass me a serviette
i want to wipe these scuffling nouns 
from my elliptical mouth

Monday, 30 March 2015

nothing will stop the sinking

the despotic goat saunters into the room
and watches the flushed mole investigating
how the steadfast droplets squint their eyes

the hispanic whisper forgets that
the fanatical shuffle exhibits
the herding of such pronounced tintinnabulations

the clinging salt smirks as
the mottled poles scrounge
at the foot of the bleating billboard

the interminable gaping spreads
whilst the precocious nouns blink abnormally
at the sluggish enemy spitting in their eyes

the emphatic interdict pricks
the awkward angle which tries hard to answer
the uproarious crayons’ forgery

the sullen serviette blows its nose
when it hears the aloof crow increasing
its ferocious scraping on the tin roof

the blithe wool predicts
that the metallic offence will scratch our palates
and no pointing to the incandescent cornucopia will help

the murky helter-skelter sounds like
the onomatopoeic waxy scuffles
of the methuselan pen

the enquiring fledgling snugly folds its claws over
the forlorn flaxseed and can not understand
that such a hostile conquest rushes into the photographed future past

not even the stability and weight of a ballast
will stop the sinking of
this fridge and its elliptic magnets

Saturday, 28 March 2015

poetry always wants to be

poetry always wants to be
re-created
and
re-invented
it is never the last word for poetry
yet it always finds a way to have the last say
you wake up in the morning
with poetry foaming in your jowls
you go to bed
with poetry licking your bedposts
and tugging your eyelashes
it always wants to be felt
and sung and screamed out loud
it always escapes you when you want to pin it down
poetry does not relent
it is that primal pulse that once it has
knocked in your throat
will keep on knocking 
poetry has a way of grazing your shins
and letting the scar itch throughout your life
like falling stones it ricochets off
the cliffs of my sanity
embedding its shrapnel deep
inside my flesh

Friday, 27 March 2015

die Groot Gedig hy is oppad

die Groot Gedig hy is oppad
hy is al lankal oppad
dit is net jammer dat hy nog nie gearriveer het nie
ek hoor hom aankom al vir jare lank
maar hy kom net nie nader nie
die Groot Gedig is definitief oppad in my rigting
ek sien hom sidderend op die horison
hy is aan’t beweeg
maar hy is nog so ver
hy is luid en vol self-vertroue – dit kan ek hoor
hy tril met dawerende geskal
hy is nie skaam vir die atmosfeer en wêreldtoestand
sy treë is groot en kordaat
maar hoekom wil hy net nie nader kom?!
sy stem is helder soos ‘n klok
maar geen woord hoor ek van hom
die Groot Gedig hy is oppad
ek voel sy warm asem teen my hakskeen
my lyf is reg vir hom 
trots en fier loop ek deur elke dag
hoop sterk dat hy my sal raaksien
die Groot Gedig weet van my
ek weet dit
ek voel dit
ek dink die grootsheid van die Groot Gedig
hou hom terug
keer hom om te vinnig
sy verskyning te maak
ek vermoed dit is een moerse Groot Gedig
want hy vat regtig sy tyd
hoe kan ek nou krom staan en moed verloor?
dit is dalk die dag wat hy sy verskyning gaan maak
en my dan gaan mis kyk
moenie opgee 
staan gereed 
vir die Groot Gedig

Thursday, 26 March 2015

moet ek?

moet ek die hele antropologiese geskiedenis en
die nuutste omgewingssake ken om poësie te kan skryf?
moet ek allerhande intertekstuele foefies inwerk
om my lesers te oortuig dat wat ek skryf digkuns is?
moet ek ‘n graad en pryse vir kreatiewe skryfwerk hê
om poësie vir die publiek op te dis?
moet ek ‘n dik, hoogdrawende aura om my hang
om myself ‘n digter te noem?
moet ek alewig melankolies tuur die afstand in
om daai versadigende metafoor vas te vang?
moet ek skryf waarvan die intelligentsia hou
om my digkuns op die rakke te kry?
moet ek gedurig wonder dat wat ek skryf
goed genoeg is vir die kritici wat soos aasvoëls
om die af-reuke hang?
moet ek die poësie ‘n afgod maak
voor wie se voete ek myself in alle ootmoed neerwerp
en my siel verkoop vir die verbetering en verskerping van my sinne?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

soos wat ek hulle glansende velle bewonder gaan die krag af

ek hoop dat hoe meer ek skryf
hoe beter sal my digkuns
én my handskrif word

dus sit ek hier in il postino
met my skryfboek en pen
om te kom skryf

deur die swaaideure sien ek mtv
flikker inaniteite binne
die vertrek met geen oë

die gegiste stroop van die hunter’s gold 
gly met my keelgat af
my vingerpunte ruik na roosmaryn

die italiaanse pizzeria se kombuis-personeel
is almal zoeloes
dis die uur voor aand-ete-skof begin

lag en klets en knie die deeg
die donker bek van
die pizza-oond lyk grot-stil

maar gou begin 
die vlamme skarrel en spring 
soos ape in ‘n hok

die sagte sillabes van die nguni-taal
motreën sag 
my oor in

sibilante esse en ooohs en sh sh sh
tla tla tla en oehm oehm oehm
eish eish eish

blink skyn die zoeloes se wange en soos wat ek 
hulle glansende vellle bewonder gaan die krag af
loadshedding hoor ek

ek verkies die donker
net kerslig wat die spoor van my inkpunt
verlig en ‘n lange pen-skaduwee oor die papier gooi

meer en meer mense kom binne
die donker skrik mense af maar nie 
as hulle honger is en weet die pizzas word in 'n vuuroond gemaak

rooi en wit blokkiesdoek
rimpel onder my vingerpunte
ek glimlag hoe die dae deesdae uitdraai

ek verkies as die ligte af is
die donker het so baie holtes
vir wegkruip in die middel van die hordes

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Cross Roads V

On an unusually bright and sunny morning the Wretch is whistling
whilst fixing his two marionette puppets.
“Be careful you don’t get the strings intertwined” the Anarchist shouts from the top of a cairn of stones.
“Be careful you don’t slip and fall from your haughty height!”
shouts back the Wretch.
The Anarchist ignores the spiteful warning of the Wretch as he
dislodges the guava pips of last season’s pudding from his teeth.
The Loner, as is his predisposition, keeps clear of this prickly conversation and waters the artichokes that have just showed signs of growth.
From a distance the Prehistoric Postal Agent can be heard bellowing
“Hats, hats, hats for everyone!” as he swings a colourful array of headgear in magniloquent circles above his head.
“Thank Godot for this! The sun would have fried any last sense of humour out of our skulls” cried the Wretch.
The Cross Roads is such a merciless place.
“Why has the Carillon not announced my auspicious arrival?”
inquires the Prehistoric Postal Agent with a semi-dejected frown.
The Cave-Dweller who is not used to so much sun
sluggishly drags himself to the latest activities at the Cross Roads
and answers “The Carillon is still suffering from the humiliation of
his broken bell.”
“I know what I will do” pipes in the Wretch. “I will get my two marionettes to give us all a delightful divertissement. That is sure to distract the Carillon from his most sorry state.”
As the mood seems to lighten over the Cross Roads, the Anarchist had to ruin the moment with his insurrectionist attitude “Marionettes are just a show of deplorable hierarchy and control.”
The Loner, still tending his bed of artichokes, peers into the harsh rays of the sun and tries to wave the heat away with his new hat.
The Wretch lets out a heartrending howl and pounces on the Anarchist
"You are just jealous that I have found a way to soften the harshness of these indomitable plains! I will go forth with my puppets to our beloved Carillon. He will be too happy that I have found an antidote for his affliction."
The Prehistoric Postal Agent always wanting the last say, squeezes in an exclamation "Don't forget to take your hat!"

The links to the previous four Cross Roads poems >

Monday, 23 March 2015

Babel-aas

Tussendeur die skryf van nuwe gedigte, her-besoek ek so dan en wan die gedigte wat uit my pen gevloei het van jare terug. Hier is een wat ek altyd geniet om te lees - uit die jaar 2008 <

en wat sal gebeur
met my tong as ek in tien tale praat?

knoop verdwaal verdronk
sal my tong word?

woord is stuk aas wat ek aan die visstokpunt
van my tong haak

gooi ek my tong in
die waters van tientalle tale

vang ek
afrikaans sotho
xhosa engels
frans duits
italiaans zoeloe
hollands spaans

skree brei bid smeek lek rol
ek elk lettergreep

en word
my tong
Babel-aas

Sunday, 22 March 2015

pay attention

we are so indifferent and
lackadaisical in our daily existence
if our senses were open enough
we would give more feeling and respect to
the unwavering wonder workings of 
our cerebrospinal fluid 
if we really paid closer attention to
the miraculous life energy
we wouldn’t be so lethargic
so apathetic
so disinterested
toward a wholesome and hearty survival

Thursday, 19 March 2015

kern van versuiming

in die wolke
berge en
wind van die kaapse dae
vertrek die drome in my rug op vlugte van
ongegrendelde uitbuiting
van my sanity

wat is die afrikaanse woord vir sanity?
saniteit?
onmalheid?
gesondheid-van-verstand-en-gees?
hoekom is daar nie ‘n ordentlike kragtige en
direkte antoniem vir malheid in afrikaans nie?
ons afrikaanstaliges ken seker ook die teenoorgestelde van malheid?
of nie?

ek gee nie om om van my verstand te wees
en mal genoem te word nie
een malheid wat ek wel nie kan verduur nie
is wanneer mense my van my kop af praat met hulle
verbale diarree
oneindige babbelsug
ongeeweneaarde praatsiekte
albei my oë raak wasig
my ore verstar en
my borskas verstrak
in die waakloosheid van hulle monde gaan hulle
op trips en rollercoasters van hulle
bewussynlose en briljant monopoliserende monoloë

mense wil gehoor word
so moenie die hel in word nie lara
hulle het stories om te vertel
maar jirre kan hulle nie vir paar asemsblikke net stil wees
stilte is wonderlik vir die brein
die siel
die spasie
en
vir my ore

ek smeek vir ‘n bietjie stilte
waarin ek net kan staar tot in die kern van versuiming
breine en monde is hele-mal te ooraktief
ek smeek
ek smeek
maak hulle stil
maak hulle stil

Friday, 13 March 2015

ode to thighs

oh the awe these two marble monuments
awaken in my mind
these two pillars erected in
the name of corporeal strength

what a celebration you are bridging
the magnificent joint of the hip with                       
the ingenuous hinge of the knee

oh Thighs, how the two of you detest non-movement
you itch and stir in great restlessness when
seated in the deadness of a chair
you want to flex and stretch
in your most thrilling power

no other body part can transport me
so confidently through space like you do
in synergy with the calf and foot
you squat, run, walk,
lunge and oh how you can leap and jump!

you give style
and rhythm to my walk
when you’re really at work
strong and fit
you are like claws mincing
the mountains

your quadricipital muscles have names
sounding as glorious as the vigour of you
rectus femoris, vastus medialis,
vastus intermedius and
vastus lateralis
you hold the great femur
longest and strongest bone in the body
and let me not forget the hamstring
 - without its ability to stretch
the beauty of yoga and ballet 
will be impossible

even when you are quiet
you lie in splendid tubular muscularity           
my sweat shines more golden on you
than on any other part of my body
of all the muscles, the thighs are the bells
ringing over the plains of rippling flesh

you have something grand and solid
like a tree
about you
  
oh you muscle of Thigh
you are such a voluptuously abundant handful
if i had wings they will not be found on my back
they will be growing and stirring from my thighs

pressed tightly together they
form the nook wherein 
i warm my hands on a cold day
the lap whereupon
i place my hands
in
quiet meditation
focusing my mind
on
the
brilliant
life
trembling
in
my 
thighs

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

waar ek opreg eg ek is

skryf skryf SKRYF
want dit is waar ek
opreg
eg
ek
is

my digkuns verval nie in
valse glimlagte en senu’agtige laggies nie
ek hou so baie van my gedigte se onopgesmuktheid 
ek beny hulle vermoë om
onnodige babbel tics en stopwoorde te vermy
hulle is dikwels meer ek as ek


skryf skryf SKRYF
want dit is waar ek
opreg
eg
ek
is

niemand anders behalwe my gedigte
mag woorde in my mond sit!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

my voete wil die oneweredigheid van die lewe voel

      vir Galeo Saintz

jinne maar die beskaafde wêreld
het soveel gelyke oppervlaktes
elke gebou se staan-en-
werk-area perfek waterpas
huise biblioteke teaters
restaurante hotelle hospitale 
gallerye winkels poskantore tronke
bang vir gly die afgrond in
elke stukkie grond so gesiviliseerd uitgelê met
baksteen en sement
teel en houtplank
niemand mag moontlik trip en val nie

my lyf smag na die bolling 
skerpte en hoekigheid
van rots
die minerale koelte en sonnige hitte
van steen
die modder en gritserigheid
van grond
ek kyk na die onderkant van my voete
kyk stip na die konkawe sool wat
net mooi pas oor die ronding van klip
en sekuur spring op die duine van sand
my voete raak nou regtig moeg vir hierdie 
alewige platvloersheid van bestaan
gee my die golwende heuwels
ongerepte klipkoppies en non-apologetiese kranse

daar is senuwees in my sole wat
die dorings en die elemente wil voel
my voete weier om te ontaard in
‘n luie bondel vel en
onuitgedaagde metatarsale bene
my voete wil die oneweredigheid van die lewe voel
agge nee! my hande en oë is net so ongestimuleerd in
hierdie skoon-en-platgeskuurde beskawing
hulle hang leweloos aan my lyf met
geen doel om te klim en gryp
en klou en klouter nie
alles is net te netjies afgewerk
en vaart-en-voet-belyn ontwerp
tot vervelens toe geingenieur en geargitekteer
los julle passers en klip-malers!
laat die klippe in
hulle rondbonkigheid met rus!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hogsback

and yet once you have stood in it
and felt it licking on your palate
it has marked your soul forever*

you are a lively bubble trapped inside this crazy globe
a place where discoveries keep unfolding
here i become a time-traveller
where the future, present and past
mesh all together in your
smoky wood and damp clay smells

your elements are throbbing and restless
always ready to orchestrate my visions
you are arresting the way you
chant ripples around the tree trunks
you make me dream fleshier dreams
oh how you incite me to be alive

with your hypnotizing frogs drip drip dripping
their soft bird-like whistles and
the kôk kôk kôk of your redwinged loeries
you pulsate incessantly in the plant
animal and elemental matter
so fierce and so gentle

this sacred pulsing makes me want to break out in song
it makes me humble and invigorated
that i am kin to this pumping life makes me want to weep
weep with the recognition of sharing similarities in
texture, colour, cells, behaviour, flux and mood
you are in me and i am in you

may your soil and dust cling forever to my calves
may your trees keep growing taller
may the stars keep on haunting your dark and silken nights
may the theatre of your clouds and mist never end
may your abundant streams continue to
etch your poetry in the landscape

thank you for your temperament
your wildness and
your strong-willed living force
it is hard to leave this place for here is
the closest I have come 
to glimpse eternity

*quote from a previous poem of mine between the cricket and the silence

Sunday, 1 March 2015

ode to the sigh

oh what a great thing the Sigh is
it is the body's way to find a moment of release
so involuntarily it escapes from the nose
in all manner of sounds and vibrations
buzzing, husky or grating
growling, hoarse or rasping
thick and sometimes sepulchral
it comes out when it needs to

it makes the jaw drop softly
and may be accompanied by a light shake of the head
and a loosening of the cheek muscles
for that quickest moment that a sigh takes
it feels like an eternity of relaxation spreading over my neck
it is as if it does not just come through my nose and mouth
but exudes from my whole body
it is as if my bones also sigh
when i sigh i feel it breathing from the soles of my feet
i feel it pouring from behind my knees
flushing from behind my shoulder blades
spilling from the skin of my tummy

oh Sigh you are the big out-breath
releasing carbon dioxide and bad energy
what an admirable outlet you are of relief
oh Sigh what would i have done without you?

you have a way to take your time
and as much as people try
you can not be cut short or interrupted

oooi

it is in our mouths without us waiting for it
always on the ready
it is in between our moods, coughs and words
and oh how opera, the folk and art song simply live for you
not to mention poetry!
it is tightly woven into every emotion
always ripe like a piece of fruit
coming loose from its stem
to fall to the earth

aaah

some of the greatest sighs are those after
a good wee
and
good lovemaking
i feel like i have an abundant supply of
you for any situation
one of you is enough to make an audible impact
enough to alert a whole crowd
yet you can be as whispery as the butterfly's flight
oh can i ever sigh too much?

uuuh

oh Sigh you make us sound even more human
when life gets tired to live and
the limbs don't want to stand amidst
all the crazy bustle on this planet
we can hide away in the Sigh
with you i don't need words to express
you are the honest expression of
relief, frustration and exhaustion
unhindered channeling of
annoyance, heavy-heartedness and disbelief
you stand ready when we experience impatience or failure
oh Sigh, you just can not lie or be conceited
you are way too unpretentious

how you stir with a slight huskiness in
disappointment, sadness and regret
and your smiling wonderment when i feel exhilaration
oh and how sticky like dark waxy honey you cloy
onto the larynx when i am in a melancholic mood
how light as foam blowing from the crest of waves
in our satiation and satisfaction
you ring out from my glottis
when i am thrilled by the achievement
of reaching the heights of the mountains
here you resonate the longest and most fulfilled

a sneeze one can stop
but just like a shiver, one can not stop a sigh
it overcomes you without notice or warning
on the scale of human expressions
you are three steps above the moan and
two steps below the cry

oh Sigh, be you heavy or celebratory
with you in my jowls i do not have to fear clogging and
blocking up of trapped tension and cornered feelings
because Sigh you are 
the sign that
our bodies and minds
are always searching for equilibrium
and not only we
but the air we breathe
craves
freedom
flow
and
release