Friday, 13 September 2019

trek los

'n karnivaal van skaduwee's, 
blou lug, digters 
en taxi's pols al om my 
in 'n optog van uitbundigheid

asblikke, dennebome, 
diefwering en woorde
trek los van hulle gewoontes
en kom dans in my kop

ek word verblind deur my potlood wat
vooruit hardloop laat die graniet-stof so spat!

Monday, 9 September 2019

vrede

vrede is die sagte lippe-vee van die V
die salige rol van die R wat die tong sus tot
in die sweem-see van die E
en dan die sagte dowwe tong-plof van die D
laat alles daal na die on-opstairse E
wat die vredesdeur 
saggies oopknip

mag vrede in alle monde lê

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Blue Sky

Sky, it was the strangest thing today to see you blue and bright
your glaring colour almost made me faint with fright!
after a lot of blinking and some careful investigation
i determined that this wasn't some fanciful hallucination

good heavens, thank you for Blue Skies today!
for weeks now we thought you'd run away
i grabbed my camera and snapped this rare beast
i had to have some evidence at least!

there were times through these sunless days
that we were rehearsing eulogies in the most tearful ways
we were convinced you'd been gobbled up by clouds and mist
or had joined the endangered species list!

come, Blue Sky, please do stay for a while and more
all this wet and dark cloud is depressing me to the core
for crying out loud, i want to frolic outside dry, wild and free
and dammit, i crave a good solid tan and my fair share of Vitamin D


Sunday, 18 August 2019

mango

die gedagte aan jou is
'n mango
wat so soet en
veselrig
in
my
keel
af
sak
dat selfs die slukpyp van my siel
smaakkliere groei om
niks van
jou smaaklikheid
te mis
soos
wat 
jy 
dieper
in
my 
afgly

Friday, 16 August 2019

graça

                       in memory of Norman Morrissey

your bedside lamp
made sommer with an empty
graça-bottle - 
the etiquette still in tact

my eyes linger on the subtitle
casa de ouro
house of gold

yes! i shout
gold is this house
which flows with
music and poetry
tea and honey

(mumbling aside: one day i'll unscrew

the bottle-stand,
fill 'er up with
your favourite drink,
screw it fast again
and flick the switch!
the heat will suffuse your bedroom
with intoxicated light
you'll get graciously drunk
without having a single sip!)

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

naaldekoker

die naaldekoker
kook kook
die lug vol
met trillende naalde
tril tril
die kwinkelerende vlerke
kwistig in 
die kwiksilwer-vlug
van sy lyf

Saturday, 3 August 2019

sonder

photographer: Dani Debellis


sonder


water,

wat is die wêreld

sonder

jou genadelose genade?


without


water,

what will the world be

without

your merciless mercy?


Saturday, 20 July 2019

Digtersgebed

O Heerser in die Poëtiese Hemele - 
Mag jou Digterlike Reë
vollop en met oorgawe oor my hoof val
Ek bid vir metaforiese spierkrag wat 
my woorde ver verby die horisonne sal laat hardloop

Ek bid vir genade in die tye
wat ek my mees genadelose kritikus is
Mag ek leer om my kuns elke dag te verbeter
Mag ek my vaardigheid ontwikkel en ontplooi tot
gloeiende vlakke van Wow-dom

Ek bid vir skerpsinnigheid:
'n sterk sin vir "less is more" 
en groot asseblief, 'n humorsin wat 
my digkuns onweerstaanbaar sal maak

Ek bid ook vir al die ander 
minder en meer talentvolles
Mag ons almal skyn en geen afguns of 
jaloesie vir mekaar koester
Net liefde en aanmoediging tussen 
ons kunstenaarsfamilie

Ek vra dit in Poëtika se naam

Amen

Sunday, 14 July 2019

water mymering

photographer: Dani Debellis

Stroom waarin die donker
net die donker sien
met jou kan ek praat
ek ken jou beter.

- Ingrid Jonker (uittreksel uit gedig Donker stroom)

ek het vir te lank te diep gedink
dat die dieptes gatvol vir my geraak het
en my vlakkant toe gestoot het

nou mis ek daai dieptes:
daai verkolking van die self
in die liglose vakuum

hoe tragies!
ek is besig om te verdrink
hier in die vlakke waters

asseblief dieptes, kom haal my!
my lyf kan die inperking van
hierdie oppervlakkigheid
nie meer verduur

o dieptes, jy is oper
wilder
en
vryer


water pondering

Stroom waarin die donker
net die donker sien
met jou kan ek praat
ek ken jou beter.

- Ingrid Jonker (extract from the poem Donker stroom)

for too long i have thought too deeply
that the depths have become annoyed with me
and pushed me to the shallow end

now i miss those depths so much:
that vortex of the self
in the lightless vacuum

the tragedy!
i am busy drowning
here in the shallow waters

please depths, come fetch me!
my body can not stand
the confinement of
the shallowness

oh depths, you are more open
wilder
and
freer

Sunday, 7 July 2019

soen-net

my pen word gevang deur die soen-net                                
veertien lyne geweef en gerym met feestelike pret            
drie kwatryne om jou toe te spin met soene                        
kom trick or treat, dit is beter as halloween se pampoene  

met honderd-vier-en-dertig soene wil hierdie soen-net jou troetel   
ontspan en hou op om aan jou bo-lip te vroetel                   
maak toe jou oë en sink in die beswyming                           
jou lippe sal begin tril met die beryming                              

gee jouself oor aan die soen-net se verleidingspel               
die hoendervleis gaan dartel al langs jou tong en vel          
drink diep uit elke soen se digterlike fontein                        
en so sal ‘n geluksaligheid in jou oorsoende kieste verskyn 

nou is dit net die koeplet wat oor is om jou koebaai te kus  
met haar twee rymende lippies sal sy jou nou aan die soete slaap sus       

Friday, 5 July 2019

gee die waternimfe hulle swemplek

photographer: Dani Debellis
         
    vir Billy

hou die poele dop
en jy sal jou begeertes in die
water-arsenaal vind
en binnekort op die water loop

die waterdraers is die uitverkorenes
om deur die donker stroom te vaar
en diep dieper
diepste waters oop te kerf

jy dink dit is net waterrympies
wat soos olie op die water lê
as jy mooi kyk sal jy vlammende voorspellings
in die stille golwe se opwellinge sien

dit is sillabes wat die waterweë
met kwartsiet uitspel
moet nie jou ledemate se gehegtheid
aan die warmwaterbron verkwalik nie

elkeen van ons het ‘n diepe waterbehoefte
wat nie met leë waterbeloftes verwar moet word nie
los die waterpolitiek op die agterstoep
die kinkels gaan nie my pype indring nie

laat ons die kuns van
die ongekunstelde waterminnaars leer
en gee die waternimfe hulle swemplek
hulle sal die immer migrasie van water laat voortblom

Monday, 24 June 2019

vrypostig

ek moet blindelings oor die papier dans 
met oë toe en hart oop
laat die sillabes musiek in my ore oopbreek

die intervalle klim my woorde soos trappe
die verlangende mineur sesde en 
die hygende chromatika van die mineur tweede

oor die toontrappe gly ek 
met dronke voete op en af
en vind my sinne hulle eie melodie

ek weier dat enige argitketonika 
met reëlmaat of simmetrie
die rym in my kop pons!

kyk net hoe my hande en 
heupe en hare 
en vel so vrypostig oor die papier dans

die metafore peul bont uit die oksels van my arms
geen enkele woord sal in my taal 
ongesê gelaat word nie!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

kokon

dit is die vorm van my tong
 - ‘n kokon met krioelende blink drade 
dig geweef 

binne-in woel en spartel 
die papie in
ongeduldige afwagting op 
die oopbreek 
na die
nuwe lig

Sunday, 16 June 2019

in the hunt the thrilled skin clings forever onto the slumbering paradise


in the hunt the thrilled skin clings
forever onto
the slumbering paradise

the doves are looking for shelter
in
the rustling of the silence

all that grows
are mushrooms from
the cooing mouths

from the white-blue-sky the soldiers hear
sounds that taste like cold vacuums
in porcelain cups

the other nameless winglings
sound like castanets
their staccato interjections into the sky

my mouth drools as I watch the dancing spots
trembling over my trembling eyeballs
may no shred of regret come lie on my temples

the yellow scarf lies
like a spasm
over the incredible sigh

her wandering breasts shine like a candelabra in the night
and the prettiness of her feet
lies trojanically between his sheets

the fly constantly hits his wings against the glass
neatly leaves his insect-alarm in the sky
no milk bottle will silence this anxiety

the grumbling stomach stands in front of the open fridge
like an off-legged broom he swerves drunkenly in
the sight of the frozen bugs

i feel obliged to flush the world's empty chatter
down the drain and throw all the matereality
into the dustbin

the arrogant pen has a manic way
to want to be greater than the moment
how hideous

again-the-hadeda on the thatched roof
boldly lulls the hordes of trembling little cinderellas
to sleep

oh, pardon me, the eyes in my head are only
ornamentation
that is brilliant in the hiding of my non compos mentis

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Die digter is nie dood nie


photographer: Dani Debellis


Die digter is nie dood nie

geskoei op Die kind van Ingrid Jonker

Die digter is nie dood nie
die digter lig haar tong teen haar demone
wat Waansin skreeu     skreeu die stemme
van sin en behoort
in die konsternasie van die verlore siele

Die digter lig haar tong teen haar gene
in die stryd teen die sinneloosheid
wat Waansin skreeu     skreeu die stemme
van die voorvaders en spoke
in die DNA van ons opstandige woede

Die digter is nie dood nie
nòg in die bad nòg op die pad
nòg met die lem nòg met die gas
nòg op die brug oor die donker rivier
waar haar begeerte lê met salwende water in die longe

Die digter is die skim in die krygsliedere
singend met tonge kele en vuiste
die digter breek deur alle sinne en onsinne
die digter tuur deur donker poele en in die smart
van die aarde
die digter wat net wou skryf in die stilte van haar kop is orals
die digter wat vrou geword het sing deur alle tale
die digter wat mens geword het vlieg deur alle harte

Sonder ‘n woord

Sunday, 2 June 2019

this is not going to be a rousing poem

this is not going to be a rousing poem
not even a slightly inspirational one
a poem that will not go deep
it will just hover over the surface
a poem that will not tug at your heartstrings
it will be cutting in its blandness
simply one great disappointment
a verse that will not pretend to be something that it isn’t
simply a poem that refuses to charm with metaphoric spells
lines as straightforward as lines should be
no seducing with sultry syllables
or enchanting with fanciful metrics
a poem that simply sits flat on the page
that does not excite the tongue
and definitely does not make you think twice

i know you are still reading to be sure 
that no arousal is happening and that i am not pulling your leg
 - or any other body part -
i was serious when i said that 
this is not going to be a rousing poem
no need to look further for 
rhyme or reason
climax or crux
witticism or twist in the tail
nothing of the sort to be found here
just a dead-end of a poem

Saturday, 1 June 2019

when did i join the circus, ma’ma?

we live in such stirring and creative times
how can i write one-dimensional poems?
first let us bring in a rousing symphony orchestra and
winds sweeping around the highest peaks of
the Great Mountains as a soundtrack
then start writing verses imbued with the breath of grandiose statements
laced with the declamatorics of state of the nation addresses
it can’t be called a poem if there is no drum and bass
beating through its buttocks
it requires william kentridge charcoal drawings
a company of opera singers
for their resounding vocal cords are just the thing
and seeing that we are going for drama
have the stanzas adorned with
spectacular costumes and headdresses
and of all things DO NOT read it sitting down
incantate it with the voice of an inspirational speaker
a mix of voices of a president, a toast (coetzer) master, a rapper,
‘n kaapsevlakte ou and a shakespeare actress
no time for looking down on any papers
that is just distracting frippery
each word needs to be memorised into your skin
(but not to worry: in case of lapse, a prompter will mouth your words)
AND remember: lots of arm movement
you can only go on if you have groupies in
the form of likers, tweeters,
instagrammers, hashtaggers and share-holders
DO NOT forget your audience from afar
always keen to be cyber-rubbing-shoulders with you
AND a have-to-have is your entourage of photographers and videographers
that record your every syllable and frown
(note to editor: zooming in with slow motion on that sweat droplet
on the upper lip and bring in stills in vintage colours, otherwise no go)
and stating the obvious, we will hire that very bearded dude
who adjusts the height of your mic
keeps your drink and nerves stirred but not shaken
and gives you a hirsute kiss just before you utter your first syllable
when the cue is given turn up the volume of
that symphony orchestra and whirling winds around
the high peaks of your metaphors
throw in a singing line and dance step or two
you will be the coolest thing out
who wants the fine sensibilities of quiet metaphors
if you can join the 21st century circus?!

...and all this time you thought you were doing poetry?!

Friday, 31 May 2019

Shall I compare thee to the Bard's best rhyme?

It has been quite a while since I wrote a parody. Here one I just penned - based on the famous Sonnet no. 8 by Shakespeare:

Shall I compare thee to the Bard's best rhyme?
Thou art less iambic and even less contained:
Certain verses grow heavy over the course of time,
And rhythmic metres art all too restrained:

Sometime too blunt the blade of the metaphor cuts,
And often is his bold intention deflated;
And every line so vacuously flaunts and struts,
By will, or poet's flawed ego, fated:

But thy wordless silence shall not wane,
Nor lose composure of the still breath thou inhal'st;
Nor shall Noise drag thou into his clamorous terrain
When unbounded Quiet thou still do crav’st:

So long as minds can strive for soundless peace,
And let these words dissolve; all restlessness will cease.

And here the original -


Sonnet VIII
- Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

soos 'n kat

ek rangskik my lyf soos ‘n kat
onder jou hande
my vel gedurig opsoek
na jou aanraking


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

die bloeiende pers tonge

die bloeiende pers tonge van die buddleja salviifolia rinkink teen die hange
ek vergeet die sjambolika van my tye
ek kom sit en asem ink-sugte uit oor die papier

die middernagtelike komplotte om transendentale strewes te koester
gee my siel vastrapplek in die konundromiese penaries 
wat alewig kapperjolle speel in die solders van my sintuie

ek sit pens en pootjies in die middel van die sillabes
wil weer soos 'n kind sorgvry klieder en kruip 
en klouter met al wat nuut en wondertorend is

die tugmeester binne my wil gedurig dinge korrigeer
so venynig hierdie gewoontes van haar
en so versot om my as haar pak-esel toe te snou 

ek keer elke keer terug na die blues van laerskool-herinneringe
hoe ek my moontlike genietinge so dikwels in parentese sit
hoekom verkrag ek die oomblik met verstoppende onmin?!

ek begeer om soos die xmen bomenslike kragte te kan uitvoer
pomp adamantium in my are
beskerm my teen die uitmergeling en aanstootlikheid