Poetry

Botanical Diaspora

 

I have travelled a globe

For the English Rose

In her cultivated red

Her hint of crimson

My rooinek, my heritage

Painted as a last lesson

Of the afternoon

For an African landscape

Where soils move

In a terroir waltz

Within boundaries fixed

In razor wire.

 

I am bringing a protea

Hard and tight and

Virtually impenetrable

Across an ocean

Folded in fabric

Armoured feminine

A little bit sticky and

A little bit brash.

Because culture

Has no real borders

And maps are all

But cultivated gardens.

 

Botaniese Diaspora (Afrikaans)

Ek het ‘n wêreld gereis
Vir die Engelse roos
In haar gekweekte rooi
Haar wenk van bloedrooi
My rooinek, my erfenis
Geverf as ‘n laaste les
Van die middag
Vir ‘n Afrika-landskap
Waar die grond beweeg
In ‘n terroir-wals
Binne grense vasgestel
In staal draad.
Ek bring ‘n protea
Harde en stywe en
Feitlik ondeurdringbaar
Oor ‘n oseaan
Toe gevou in materiaal
Pantserd vroulik
‘N Bietjie taai en
‘N bietjie brash.
Omdat kultuur
Het geen regte grense nie
En padkaarte is almal
Maar gekweekte tuine.

Valentine flower

The Orchid stands in her vase

Broken by sunlight and growling

At me with a protracted,

Wet tongue and a regal

Green stem leaning

To one side.

Her white petticoat, splattered

With running red droplets

Has opened,

No longer concealing a

Blushing crimson centre

Which now winks

Provocatively at the

Passerby like a harlot tease.

And I marvel how you

Knew not to send

Me a rose.  ©

 

 

Fire walker

She walks with flames as soles

She walks like she’s upright,

Because the universe is a heavy load

That pricks and weighs like a

Tin of baked beans

And a bottle of cider.

She walks with flames as soles

In shoes that talk in tongues

And bless the ground like

A hot poker prayer.

She walks with flames as soles

And it paves the streets like

Candy floss and lemonade.

She walks with flames as soles

Smouldering as an LED,

Tears, florescent and wild.

She walks with flames of soles

Lighting the street with lava steps,

A volcano that explodes.

She walks with flames of soles.

She walks with flames of soles.

She walks with flames of soles.

For all the earth is full of holes.  ©

 

Light

Travel with me a while

In the shade of this space

Where we can count lamps

Like sheep

Grow light bulbs

In gardens

Span oceans in light years.

Walk with me a moment

In this white void,

Pure as milk

That spills

Between mangroves

Of colour spectrums

And finger the threads

Of your bones.

Let your feet paddle a minute

In its flood

Wet your toes in its bright

Which births a pool of

Expanding rings

That reverberate as touch.

For light is and is not colour

It is a shore that beams and bends

As an ocean.

It waves

It dances

Between the curtain sands

At the back of your eyes.

For

When we paint a portrait

Of light

That wild beast

That Fauve

That expression

Fleeting gone

Feral as a fox.

Ephemeral

Phenomenal

Digital sublime

All the while …

Light is painting us

On the canvas of

The eye. ©