day twenty-nine / tot

the prompt for April 29th was to write a poem with some words or phrases from another language besides English – so i was lazy and fell back on the only other language i know half-decently, which is Afrikaans :) it also happens to be the moedertaal (mother tongue) of my boyfriend, so i inevitably ended up writing a poem about him xx

the title of my blog is also in Afrikaans (in case any of you were trying to pronounce that in English and failing mightily) and is taken from a beautiful poem by Ingrid Jonker that was my first post on this blog :) you can read it here. i decided to attempt to work the phrase into this poem, too, so look out for it!

a rough translation (with the entire poem in English) follows after the // if you’re interested :)

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take my hand up in yours
and give me one of those silly smiles
raise your eyebrows, then furrow them together
in another funny expression
tot ek lag weer
in die stilte van die nag

remind me that you’re there
trace your fingers around the outlines of my eyes
run your hands through the strands of my hair
and embrace my fragile thoughts that escape into the brittle air
tot ek hou vas
in die koue van die dag

go on an adventure with me
our luggage packed tight with hope and possibility
dance me dizzy under a foreign sky
till i…
droom net
met die geloof dat
ons is groter as hierdie probleme
wat by ons soek.

sit beside me in the silence
tot die son uitkom
with our dreams as the catalyst,
calling her to her rightful home
high in our glorious sky.

//

take my hand up in yours
and give me one of those silly smiles
raise your eyebrows, then furrow them together
in another funny expression
till i laugh again
in the stillness of the night

remind me that you’re there
trace your fingers around the outlines of my eyes
run your hands through the strands of my hair
and embrace my fragile thoughts that escape into the brittle air
till i hold tight
in the cold of the day

go on an adventure with me
our luggage packed tight with hope and possibility
dance me dizzy under a foreign sky
till i…
still dream
with the faith that
we are bigger than these problems
that seek by us.

sit beside me in the silence
till the sun comes out
with our dreams as the catalyst,
calling her to her rightful home
high in our glorious sky.

day twenty-eight / colour me in

yeeeep, i am several weeks late for this, but oh well! i actually DID write these in the first few days of May, but then got sidetracked and forgot to post them. eeerp. anyway – a colour poem for you!

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colour me

the deep dark burgundy
of the wine in your glass
the crimson drops falling
the cardinal
dreaming
beauty, passion
scarlet
bleeding through wounds that scream
danger, sacrifice.

colour me

the bright shining malachite
of empty beer bottles
the emerald jewels dazzling
the jungle of grass
growing
nature, spring
viridian
moss creeping over cobblestones
hope, envy.

colour me

the deep navy uniform
of a pair of Levi’s jeans
the sky and sea mimicking
the cobalt glass
glimmering
confidence, harmony
the bluebird whistles songs of
friendship, loyalty.

colour me

the speeding lemon-sun
of a New York City taxi cab
the canary crowing
the mellow butter
melting
sunshine, optimism
the happy-go-lucky daffodil dances
cowardice, gold.

colour me
in shades i can’t describe;

paint me
into a masterpiece of your making.

envelop me
in tints and hues that you choose

till i am
permanently stained
by the colours of your love.

day twenty-seven / elephant

dancing around the obvious truth
that’s sat itself down in this room
much like the tale’s blind men

we’ll try to address it:

yet if you take its trunk
while i reach for the tail
we’ll both come out
with a different story to tell

each acutely aware of our
separate perspectives, we’ll obligingly
shift – but it won’t change a thing, since

you’ll grab its tusk while i feel its ear
and desperation will begin
to commingle with irritation
at the sheer impossibility before us.

and it’s not as if it’s the room at fault.

we’ve tried this everywhere:
restaurants, lounges, kitchens,
out in the open air.
anywhere
we meet, it obligingly follows
and refuses to resolve.

so we try silence —
maybe that will do the trick.

 

but even if we don’t speak
IT snuffles and snorts around,
impossible to ignore.

so, a third proposal –
i raise my glass in a toast to this –
rather than arguing about it
or trying to ignore it, let’s

agree to disagree, and take a waltz
WITH the elephant in the room.

day twenty-six / let go, hold on?

for my erasure, i took D.H. Lawrence’s “To let go or to hold on–?” and, well, adapted it :) you can find the original at the end of my erasure — it’s an amazing poem (i’m a rather big D.H. fan) and is worth the read. also, since i couldn’t black out words in this field, i did so in another field and then took screenshots of the poem… all so complicated :P AAAANYWAY. this took forever, but i really enjoyed it — and feel like i got to know the poem so much better and that i came to appreciate it a lot more through the exercise.

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ImageImage

here’s D.H.’s original, in case you’re interested:

To let go or to hold on–?

Shall we let go,
and allow the soul to find its level
downwards, ebbing downwards, ebbing downwards to the flood?
till the head floats tilted like a bottle forward tilted
on the sea, with no message in it; and the body is submerged
heavy and swaying like a whale recovering
from wounds, below the deep black wave?
like a whale recovering its velocity and strength
under the cold black wave.

Or else, or else
shall a man brace himself up
and lift his face and set his breast
and go forth to change the world?
gather his will and his energy together
and fling himself in effort after effort
upon the world, to bring a change to pass?

Tell me first, O tell me,
will the dark flood of our day’s annihilation
swim deeper, deeper, till it leaves no peak emerging?
Shall we be lost, all of us
and gone like weed, like weed, like eggs of fishes,
like sperm of whales, like germs of the great dead past
into which the creative future shall blow strange, unknown forms?
Are we nothing, already, but the lapsing of a great dead past?
Is the best that we are but sperm, loose sperm, like the sperm of fishes
that drifts upon time and chaos, till some unknown future takes it up
and is fecund with a new Day of new creatures? different from us.

Or is our shattered Argosy, our leaking ark
at this moment scraping tardy Ararat?
Have we got to get down and clear away the debris
of a swamped civilisation, and start a new world for man
that will blossom forth the whole of human nature?

Must we hold on, hold on
and go ahead with what is human nature
and make a new job of the human world?

Or can we let it go?
O, can we let it go,
and leave it to some nature that is more than human
to use the sperm of what’s worth while in us
and thus eliminate us?
Is the time come for humans
now to begin to disappear,
leaving it to the vast revolutions of creative chaos
to bring forth creatures that are an improvement on humans,
as the horse was an improvement on the ichthyosaurus?

Must we hold on?
Or can we now let go?

Or is it even possible we must do both?

day twenty-five / un-ballad

okay, so… no ballad for me! after several attempts, the best i could come up with was: i am bad at / ballads. profound, no? i ended up writing something very un-ballad-like — no rhymes, no adventure, just an amble through my overcrowded head. prepare yourself accordingly ;) 

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sometimes i feel like
i’m living a flimsy life.

tied down by
pieces of paper–
posters, photos, certificates, till slips–
notes and numbers and sketches–
as if by keeping these i can hang
onto memories that try to slip between
my clumsy mind’s fingers.

but they evade me nonetheless
despite the clippings and cut-outs–
or if they don’t, they are tinted with
a certain sadness–
not being able to reach back and
really relive those moments, i am stuck
grasping at the sawdust slideshows
of the past
while the present slides by.

so i propose
a change.

not a completely paperless existence
or a renouncement of pack-rat syndrome–
i admit that i am too far gone–
but more of a de-cluttering,
a spring-clean of my space–
dusting out cobwebs and
making some mental room for
future joy, living now.

 

day twenty-four / future

dear future
come get me.

i’m right here.

that’s me with the open arms,
the furrowed brow,
the anxious eyes,
the puzzled frown.

i’d really like to get to know you.

dear future
come quickly.

it’s getting rather sticky.

i’m drowning in this present tense
of deadlines, directions, decisions.

i’d much rather be a part of you.

dear future
just find me.

i won’t ask for more.

in fact, don’t rush up to meet me –
but at least begin to approach, slowly,
so that i can almost see what’s in store for me.

but future
don’t show me.

perhaps it’s better this way
and i have the rest of life to create
what you’ll be.

so future…
just leave me.

sincerely,
me.

day twenty-three / triolet for Christo

You know that I can hardly think
Of you without the biggest grin
Like bubbles in a fizzy drink
You know that I can hardly think
I try to let those bubbles sink
But bubbles rise, and so they win
You know that I can hardly think
Of you without the biggest grin!

day twenty-two / earth

cloud-ships sailed
topsy-turvy
across the choppy sea of sky
and i
looked up at them from
a sea-bed of grass
then sighed,
“at last”
with my toes tightly tied
in the blades of green
unseen
by the busy world
bumbling around
i buried myself deeper
in the ground
smelled fresh earth,
conversed with worms
and lived.

“our mother is ailing, all hail.”

(Dear Reader, “Earthworm”)

day twenty-one / an alphabet of fortunes

A golden egg of luck will fall into your lap this month, and crack.
Beauty and ugliness aren’t based on your complexion.
Carry on your course — the only danger is in looking back.
Dare to boldly forge a new direction.

Every flower blooms… then dries and fades.
Fortune Not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?
Good fortune will come in the form of a man in shades.
Hold on a little longer — hope is walking through the door.

It could be better, but it’s good enough.
Just kidding, this is pretty much the worst.
Keep dreaming — one day life won’t seem so rough.
Love can be a battle from the first.

Massages are as good a cure as any.
Now’s the time for you to buy that car.
One person can make a bigger difference than many.
Perfect the art of looking from afar.

Quiet the screaming voice inside your head.
Remember to brush your teeth tonight.
Sometimes it helps to eat a slice of bread.
There’s a certain comfort (BOO!) in getting a fright.

Untie your helium-balloon thoughts and let them free.
Visit our website at wontonfood.com!
We are all capable of being who we want to be.
eXpect a phone call from your lovely mom.

You’re worth a lot more than you’ve been made to think.
Zero in on your potential!… or have a drink.

day twenty / gutter

it’s true, what Oscar said*
we are all in the gutter

with hearts that squander
the love they are given

with souls that curl and cling
around infinitely suffering things**

but some of us

with owl eyes that strain and see
the elusive, the miraculous

though from afar

it’s true, what Oscar said
we are all in the gutter

but some of us are looking at the stars

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* “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

** “I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.”
- TS Eliot, Preludes IV