Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Emergence / Home

I have been invited to write and perform poetry for the opening ceremony of the International Aquarium Congress presented at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday 10 September. It will be the first time that The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town will be hosting this prestigious event (and the first time to be hosted in Africa and the southern hemisphere). I have been given specific guidelines to relate a certain narrative. There are three poems that I will be performing between visual projections and live music. Seeing that I was not completely free to write "as I please" I was faced with challenges. It is a complex yet interesting endeavour to write for scenarios like opening ceremonies. The text need to be clear, understandable, accessible and still moving and poetic. It was requested that each poem should be around a minute long. I have included here the first poem. (I am still slightly shy about the 2nd and 3rd poems for they don't sound completely sincere and genuine; they have something a bit "cliche" about them.) I have never struggled so much to strike a balance between a  vision, aesthetic, intelligence and  inspiration without it bordering on  "corniness". Yet I rest on the hope that the text will be experienced as part of a greater drama.


- Emergence / Home –

before breathing began
before hearts started to beat
before hunger struck consciousness
deep and dark pools grew
emerging from a liquid spark
bursting forth slowly and silently into the first throbbing cells
pulsing through darkness
holding onto the waves that thrust
their virility into hungry life
chiseling cathedral cavities
where tidal pools shape and temper consciousness
casting an oceanic spell on all living things
moulding watery awareness in all of life's core
clinging onto that instinct to dive, to swim
into the womb of life

oh , ocean, you make the earth stand to attention!

feel and listen to the resonating growth in the organic pool
filling this great reservoir of life with marine mysteria
feel and see the grand variety of colours and rhythms
exploding in abundance in one of life's most monumental dramas
the glistening peaks of waves
exalt with tremors of
that build up the knowledge
that these waters
these fine waters
these wild waters
were our very first home