I should start this discussion by stating that this is the second blog in a series of blogs on my stay in Hondeklipbaai. The first of these appeared rather late in September when it suddenly dawned on me that this could be an interesting story to tell, giving my readers an overview of all that has been happening, rather than the tidbits of scattered information spread throughout the various sister blogs of A Pretty Tourist. The first blog was called How to spend a month in Hondeklipbaai - a survivors guide Part 1. This blog follows on that.
Once again, I have to stress the sheer delight I derive from simply walking into the veld. Sometimes, these would be substantial hikes and I'd pack a small bag with water and a snack. At other times, I simply pick up the camera and dart off to the beach to snap a couple of quick pictures of sunsets, or fishing boats arriving in the harbour. Whether it is a long distance, or a short one, I never fail to return with a collection of splendid images caught on camera. In this way, I have come across seals playing in the waves, curious insects, a jackal, a porcupine, whales, dolphins, and so much more that it is hard to recall. Fortunately I have been keeping up with sorting my photos into daily folders on my PC, as well as keeping photographic blogs, to keep track of my journeys and explorations. The first 3 of these blogs appeared in August and I wrote about them in the first blog. The latest two were published in September, and belong in this blog; Hondeklipbaai - A Photographic Journey Part 4 (days 32-46) and Hondeklipbaai - A Photographic Journey Part 5 (days 47-61).
On some, or most to be honest, of these walks, I would fall into conversation with God, simply telling Him about the things that are happening in my life, or the lives of my friends, and asking Him for wisdom, guidance, help, or whatever seems appropriate. These conversations sometimes lead to blogs that I write later on in my regular blog Bybel Legkaart. One of these conversations led to me writing a blog called God will come through, about trusting God to fulfill His word in your life. On another occasion, I simply marvel led at being human and wrote a blog aptly titled The marvel of being human.
I have taken numerous trips in the area, among which were two visits to the Namaqua National Park, which will forever stand as highlights in my experiences. You have the thrill of traveling through thick sand in 4x4 drive, slipping and sliding part of the way. There was the sight of a whale carcass, the beauty of the Namaqua flowers, the enchantment of the wildlife, and delight of great company from people who relish nature as much as I do, if not more.
Still, it wasn't all fun and games. In between all of this, I still had some signs to paint for the local charity shop in town, Die Rooi Container, informing the public that they could now also buy wood from here. I blogged about this in the sister blog, A Pretty Talent, in a blog called Sign Writing - Hout/Wood. More important than this even, was making sure the shop had its name prominently displayed and I accordingly painted a sign for the shop as well. This blog was called Sign Writing - Die Rooi Container.
In the previous blog, I mentioned that I had grown a sourdough starter to continue my experiments in bread baking with this lovely natural raising agent. These experiments all made their way into the blogs, making it possible for my readers to try them for themselves. The first was called Baking Roosterkoek Over The Coals. I then had a picnic with friends in Namaqua National Park and baked a Poppy Seed Wheel for the occasion. One of the ladies suggested combining chilies and chocolates in a loaf and I promptly complied by baking a Chocolate & Chili Loaf. The next experiment saw me baking a fruity Breakfast Loaf, before following this up with a Garden Herb Loaf with fresh herbs from the garden. I then discovered some Blue Rock cheese in the fridge and baked a Blue Rock & Onion Braid.
I did not eat only bread, though, and my kitchen experiments were certainly not restricted to baking. I also published a much-loved recipe for Sweet Potato Soup that I first tasted when a friend's mom made it. Another experiment that worked out well was making a West Coast Oxtail Potjie With Muscadel.
In the meantime, I had not stopped writing, and still kept up my habit of writing two poems a day, one in English, and the other in Afrikaans. These are not all great poems, but it is a good exercise in keeping the brain alert, not to mention a fabulous way of dealing with unresolved emotions or ideas. In narrative therapy, one is encouraged to find words with which to 'come to terms' with your life story. I love the idea of using words to not only come to terms with issues, but also to create stories, and I often find myself doing creative writing rather than therapeutic writing when engaging in poetry. Certainly, you will find that both are present in my poems. I have a daily blog where these poems and other writings are published, called A Pretty Author - Miekie. When the poems and essays have a religious nature, I publish them in a blog called Bybel Legkaart.
Aside from the poems I wrote for Bybel Legkaart, I also wrote a number of short essays on topics that arose from my stay here in Hondeklipbaai. One such essay was titled Your will be done, which was in relation to the Our Father prayer in the Bible. Another of these took the form of a type of personal testimony and was published under the title Five worms from God. Still very much under the awe of this experience, I also wrote a poem about the same day's events.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Five Worms - a poem
Yesterday I had seen a worm
not one, but really there were five,
and though this wasn’t new to me,
I learned from this, God was alive.
When I bent down over the first,
He told me there would be four more
and as I plodded along the path,
God Himself was keeping score.
I learned something about His will,
about how He would always intervene,
I learned how He would not back down
once He decided what should have been.
As I walked and talked with Him,
I learned that my help was not required,
that God would see the whole thing through
with no assistance from me acquired.
In the end I had seen five worms,
but these I did not really get to know
for it was to God that I was introduced
in this spectacular nature show.
Since coming on this journey, I had learned of two people who had died unexpectedly and suddenly after severe asthma attacks. Both were rather young, leaving widows and children behind. One even left a pregnant wife behind. I was very much under the impression of the tragedies these families suffered and the theme would present itself every so often in my poetry as I struggled to come to terms with it myself, as well as to be there for the ones who had suffered this loss.
Mes, mis, missie
Vanoggend skiet my woorde kort
en kry ek niks uit die sleutelbord,
want jy is weg
en niks voel reg
ek sweer jy’s met my asem vo’rt
Daar is 'n leegte binne my
'n plek waarin net jy kon bly
die golf van die see
het jou weggevee
in eensaamheid sal jy my kry
Hou aan met klop, moet ek vermaan,
maar my hart se pols wil nie verstaan
want die innige seer
wat hom binne verteer
gee hom geen rede om meer aan te gaan
My hart is stukkend, dit voel gebreek
jy het my met 'n ander verneuk
hoe ek daarmee saam moet leef
vra ek nou al tevergeef
met 'n mes wat diep in my rug insteek
Not all was doom and gloom, though. There were times when I simply succumbed to silliness and then poems like the one below would see the light of day.
Imagination of an author
Last night I saw a man on high
he soared above the purple sky
he was the man upon the moon
he wouldn’t come here very soon
In the morn’ I saw a girl adrift
but then she swam away real swift
she was a mermaid, did you know
I had no choice but let her go
I then bent down at a mushroom
which was being swept with a broom
when the man saw me, he scuttled away
nothing I did would make the dwarf stay
I found a fairy on a petal
painting it to shine like metal
I passed a unicorn in the field
but though I called, it would not yield
All these wondrous things I’d seen
will never be, and have never been
but I conjured them up just for fun
to make your life a more pleasurable one
At this stage I wrote a couple more articles for the Bybel Legkaart blog. One of these was titled Abandoning the name of Christ. This article was written about the nasty aftertaste that meetings with fellow believers (Christians) sometimes left in my mouth. Jesus once asked His disciples how salt that had lost its flavour would be made salty again, and concluded that it was useless and would have to be thrown out. I find it sad to see how many Christians had lost their flavour these days and the article commented on this state of affairs.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Prioriteite
Sorgeloos net soos 'n kind
het ek my aan die reënboog se punt bevind
ek het daar afgegly
en net daar gebly,
deur klatergoud totaal verblind.
Maar op 'n dag toe kry U my
waar ek aan die einde van die reënboog bly
en die dag toe U my daar vind,
toe is ek skielik nie meer blind,
maar van al die onbelang bevry.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as God's Approval
It is a very splendid thing
to stand before the King of kings,
to know that He approves of you
and He affirms the things you do.
To bring Him all you’ve done and said
each day before you turn to bed
and hear Him say that you’ve done well,
is better than any words could tell.
But oh! what sadness would be mine
if what I’d done did not seem fine,
if I denied Him by word or deed,
if I had sown corrupted seed.
Yet, my Father smiles down at me
releasing the bonds to set me free
for His burden and yoke is light indeed
and of my guilt He has no need.
It’s in this release that I abide
close to my Father’s loving side,
for it’s a pleasure to serve my King,
a purely joy-filled easy thing.
The people of Namaqualand has built a reputation for themselves of being able to swear worse than others. To a large extend I found this to be true, sad as it is. I heard words that I had only heard used on very rare occasions elsewhere, and usually from very unsavory characters. What struck me here, though, was the fact that this crude use of language seemed more rampant under the better educated people than the poorer ones with lesser education, although I'm sure there will be exceptions to this observed rule. When I asked them about this, they assured me that they found this kind of language as offensive as myself! What annoyed me endlessly, was how the verbal free-flowers were happy to hide behind a mantle of geographic location to excuse themselves. And excuse themselves, they consistently did! This made me aware of two things. The first was that they were well aware of the crudeness of their language and that it was not considered polite. The second was that they were too cowardly to take ownership of their own choices and hid it behind excuses of 'everyone' and 'area.' Knowing full well that I stood the risk of alienating new friends and acquaintances, I decided to write and publish a poem about this, regardless. After all, if you feel free to annoy and offend with your words, you should not be surprised when I afford myself the same luxury. Only, I would choose my words carefully, and arrange them in a rhyme, to prove that one can say what you wish to communicate without having to succumb to the first word that enters your mind.
“Komaan mense! Gee gehoor.
Kom leen my elke leë oor.
Hoor hoe kruip ek uit my dop,
kom hoor die dinge in my kop.”
So praat jy trots in Afrikaans
terwyl jy ritmies staan en dans
op die kwinkslae van jou eie klank
onbewus van die vuil stank.
Ek wonder of jy nie kan lees
of wat was agter jou gewees
dat jy nie beter woorde ken
om nuwe vriende mee te wen.
“Namakwalanners praat maar so,”
is retoriek wat jy vas glo,
maar ek luister fyn na almal daar
en vind die valsheid is nie waar.
Daar is tog woorde in ons taal
waarmee jy stories kan verhaal,
woorde wat ons almal ken
en sonder skaamte kan neerpen.
Is jy net traag om eers te dink,
kom die slegte woorde net te flink?
Vat jou tyd, moet jou nie haas,
jy is mos oor jou woorde baas.
Then I was confronted by the concept of Karma. I find too many Christians groping for justice in Karma these days. Why would we look for righteousness and justice outside of a righteous and just God? Perhaps because of ignorance about the finer nuances differentiating the different belief systems. I wrote an article on this for Bybel Legkaart titled Karma or grace?
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Repeated prayer
My Father God, come hear my plea
take heed to what You hear and see,
I have no new request to bring
but merely the same repeated thing
that I have brought to You before,
but I need to bring it here once more.
I know that You have heard my prayer,
so in a sense it seems unfair
that I should harp upon it still,
if I already know Your will,
but Lord, my heart still aches with pain
and that is why I’m here again.
I know You do not mind my being here,
that You hold my every heartbeat dear,
and I find such comfort in Your care;
Your presence gives me strength to bear
the time between answer and request
while I wait for Your very best.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Innerlike stryd
Vanoggend voel my menswees broos,
kom soek ek by my Vader troos
Ek het die hele nag weer rondgerol,
my lakens inmekaar getol.
Nes ek dink ek’s met dit klaar,
dan staan dit weer reusagtig daar
en dan begin ek weer te hoop -
ek dog ek is daarvan gestroop.
Moet ek hoop en moet ek glo,
of is hierdie ding dalk nie van bo?
Is dit iets wat ek eerder moet vermy,
iets wat my nog seerder sal laat kry?
Ek wens ek kon die antwoord weet,
moet ek onthou, of eerder vergeet
moet ek daarvoor bid, of eerder daarteen -
'n blik in die toekoms kan klaarheid verleen
My Vader staan buite plek en tyd
en by Hom is daar nie eensydigheid,
dus gee ek dit weereens aan Hom oor
en vra wat hou Sy wil vir my in stoor.
There is a darkness on my mood
and though I know it isn’t good,
I seem to wallow and to brood
Why would I in this darkness stay
when I could choose to go away
and to embrace the light of day?
Because the answer wasn’t found
and questions seemingly abound
and this has made my mood unsound
One of the things that impress me as a story teller myself, is how the people of Namaqualand take their time to tell a story. They are not as rushed as we are in Gauteng. A joke is not about the punchline, but attention is paid to how it unfolds. I have heard plenty of stories since coming here. Some were lived in my presence and others were told over a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee. One of these were the folk tale of how Moordenaarsbaai got its name. I captured this story in a poem.
Die mis hang laag daar oor die baai
waar Jan die dag vir Piet verraai.
Die dag wat hul die vis loop vang,
het alles gebeur op Jan se aandrang.
Piet staan rustig met lyn in die see
toe 'n swaar klip hom teen die oor vee.
Sy verbasing was onaardig groot
voor hy in die see stort na sy dood.
Heel gou was Piet se weduwee getroos,
want Jan versorg haar en die kroos.
Heel gou is hy ook in haar bed
want hy’t haar uit die gemors gered.
Die dag toe staan die twee op trou,
dis nou Jan en oor’le Piet se vrou.
Maar toe die doom’ die ja-woord vra,
sê iemand daar’s nog iets wat pla.
Jan word wit, net soos 'n doek,
en begin naarstig’ na woorde soek,
maar al sy soek was puur verniet
want agter in die kerk staan Piet.
Moordenaarsbaai se bloedrooi sand,
was waar Piet die dag in die water land.
Of die storie waar is, kan ek nie raai,
maar so loop die storie in Hondeklipbaai.
In the meantime, I was still walking through the veld and along the coast, returning to my keyboard to 'pen' the impressions I was left with from these walks.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as God's best
Why would I settle for anything less
than God’s perfect will and His very best?
No indeed! I will listen and do as He says
forsaking my own will to enter His rest.
I have opinions that are quite my own,
a strong will and mind directs where I go,
yet, in an instant I’ll forget all I’ve known
and follow a new course that He will show.
The lessons I’ve learned I can not deny,
in this relationship with my Father on high.
Sometimes I still wonder, and even ask why,
but the outcomes all seem to end in a contented sigh.
Ons Koning kom!
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Ons Koning kom!
Op die wolke sal Hy kom
en Hy sal elke mens verstom
wanneer Hy weer terug sal keer
om in liefde te regeer.
Maar sy ryk is nie van hier,
Hy’s deur Sy Vader teruggestuur
om die gelowiges terug te vat
na 'n plek waar hul vry is van smart.
Op daardie dag sal almal juig
wat van Sy reddingskrag getuig,
gewillig, gereed om saam te gaan,
met Hom wat hul ken en reeds verstaan.
Ons Koning kom! Ons Koning kom!
Met redding vir die gans’ mensdom!
Dus, kry jou dink en doen nou reg,
dan neem Hy jou ook daai dag weg.
It wavered on the horizon
before deciding to go on,
but when it came, it did not stop
until it reached the very top.
The sun shone down upon the earth,
springing the day from its berth,
and forcing it to join the fun
of the new hour that had begun.
But somewhere in a snug warm bed
a frail body lay still and dead
as if cocooned from the day’s embrace,
it turned away its weary face.
Still, in another house a child would cry
as it looked upon the bright new sky
and it would rush out to take part
in this gloriously reborn start.
The sun did not stop to contemplate
if it was early, or a tad late;
it simply went along its route
regardless of the human mood.
As I am house-sitting a house with 5 dogs, 2 cats, 2 parrots, pigeons, 6 geese and 2 alpacas, it became a no-brainer that the animals would find their way into my poetry at some stage.
Kyk dan die konsternasie nou
wat op jou gesig ontvou -
jy blaf en knor en lyk skoon vies,
dit was maar net 'n harde nies.
Jy snork dat hoor en sien vergaan,
lê en slaap as ek opstaan,
maar laat ek net my lyf neerlê,
dan spring jy op en sê jou sê!
Sit ons rustig saam en TV kyk,
kry ek snuf dat iets mos ruik!
Ek waai verwoes en trap jou uit,
maar jy steur jou nie een dooie duit.
Sou ek dalk 'n ruk weggaan
en keer dan terug met als gedaan,
kan ek welkom lees op jou gesig
en groet jy my oorywerig.
Ek tel maar op en maak maar skoon
waar ons twee saam die huis bewoon,
want stokke bly jy maar indra
al weet jy goed dat dit my pla.
Tog kla ek met my tong in kies,
want ek is tog nie regtig vies -
as jy hier knus teen my kom lê,
dan weet ek jy wil my ook hê.
God’s holy name
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as God's holy name
Father, I would like to know -
where did all the good men go,
the ones who held You in revere,
the ones who spoke Your name with fear?
I hear men speaking all around,
but how I hate that dreadful sound,
for they use Your Godly name in vain,
and yet they seem to feel no shame.
Jesus is another name they use
in their rhetorical abuse,
and yet they seem oblivious
of how powerful that name is.
Sickness can not hold its ground
before the power of that sound,
demons too, pick up and flee
before the name that sets man free.
Not even death can hold its own
but is recorded to have flown
when Jesus’ name was spoken there
where all seemed lost and in despair.
My God! My God! how can it be
that man has no respect for Thee?
Our egos are disproportionate
to the small space in which we sit.
Allow me then to lift You high,
to sing Your praises to the sky,
and when no worshippers are found,
let Your name from me resound!
Ek het my skoene moeg geloop,
hul van hul sole afgestroop,
maar watter vreugde het ek gehad
op elke enkele wandelpad.
Dis berge op en berge af,
die paadjies het ek kaf gedraf,
by elke blom en gog’ gestop
en hier en daar iets omgedop.
Hier buk ek laag, daar rek ek hoog
en somtyds staan ek krom geboog,
maar met elke ding wat ek bekyk
word my eie menswees meer verryk.
Ek sal my skoene moet laat staan,
maar self sal ek nogsteeds voortgaan,
want daar’s nog paaie om te stap,
'n wêreld voor om plat te trap.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Consistent God
When oceans rush upon the shore,
as it has done for years before,
because You said it should be done,
then I know the battle has been won.
When I fretted, feared and faltered,
though Your word has never altered,
I wonder at my unbelief
and how it causes my own grief.
I should look upon the oceans more
to see where You have been before,
how You keep it going by Your might,
and take a lesson from this sight.
You’re my past, present and tomorrow,
You’ve stood by me through joy and sorrow,
and upon Your word I will rely
to keep me till the day I die.
In the meantime, I was still very active across different social media platforms and fell into conversation with another poet about whether or not poetry should convey obvious meaning. This poet is a modernist of whose poems I can make very little sense. For myself, I tend to rethink my words until they carry the meaning(s) of my thoughts, rather than leaving you with a prettily arranged collection of words from which you can derive your own meaning. Naturally this conversation led to a verbal dual in the form of poetry. After having written my poem, however, I realized it would be lost on its recipient who did not speak Afrikaans and I resorted to write another with a similar intention, even though it is not a translation of the first.
in hierdie dag se dowwe uur
met 'n trae horlosie teen die muur
wil my vrede nie terugkom
en laat my woorde my doof-stom
krap ek in meertalig’ woordeskat
kry ek geen woorde raakgevat
om wat my kop voel uit te spreek
of my hart se dink kort af te steek
maar daar is geen sement vir spasies
wat tussen die begrip kom lê
vir wat ek dink en voel en sê
I obscure my thoughts with words
and wrap them in long sentences
where you would have to dig to find
for what was truly on my mind.
I play an intellectual game
of hide and seek with syllables,
so you have to struggle to find sense,
reduce my saying to meaningful essence.
I propose, second and volunteer
an endless string of grey rhetoric,
but, alas, you will not find a single thought
that passed you by, were kept, or caught.
The constant windiness of my location came as a surprise to me, even though I had heard about it beforehand. It is a completely different thing to experience than to hear about. I found that the wind gave birth to more than one poem during my stay here.
Woeste winde waai
Wilde winde waai my weg,
waai my goed of waai my sleg,
maar waai my tog net ver van hier,
want hier het ek nie meer plesier.
Wind, wat waai jy so verwoed,
wat is jou haas, waarom die spoed?
Die wind is vir die wêreld boos
en daarom blaas hy onverpoos.
Wind! Wind! waai vir my
tot daar waar niemand my weer kry,
tot daar waar ek geheel wegraak,
tot daar waar niemand meer saakmaak.
When I came here, I was in a vehicle with two more people. As we pulled away from the rest stop, I heard God speaking to me in an inaudible voice, reassuring me that we would arrive safely at our destination. I was surprised at this, as I had no worries about this being the case, but remained in inner dialogue with Him nonetheless. Not long afterward, the driver blanked out/passed out behind the steering wheel and the vehicle threatened to overturn. When I finally realized what was happening and grabbed the wheel, I could feel that Someone else was already in control of it. I wrote a poem about this as well.
Jesus took the wheel
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Jesus took the wheel
You have been watching over me,
when there were things I could not see,
dangers that would lurk about,
smouldering embers, quickly put out
Yet, for what You did the other day
I can not find the words to say,
to express my heartfelt gratitude,
for Your protection, so astute
The car veered off the road that day
as it began to heave and sway,
but You held the steering wheel so tight
that I did not even get a fright
I could feel car regain control,
just as I thought it’d start to roll,
and as I grabbed a hold of the wheel,
You were already steering it, I could feel
Then it suddenly dawned on me
what You’d been trying to make me see
as we pulled away from the stop
and Your reassurances came non-stop
You told me that we would safely arrive,
that You would keep us all alive,
and I wondered why You were persisting
when I had no worries over this thing
Then, when the car rolled to a halt
and everyone wondered who was at fault,
I could only bring You heartfelt praise -
my Shepherd is with me, all of my days!
Vanoggend sit ek so en fluit
vir 'n pappegaai hier in sy hok,
maar hy sit rustig op sy stok
voel vir my geen bloue duit.
Ek fluit en blaas en koer vir hom
wyl hy kopskuins na my loer,
maar al my raas kan hom nie roer,
hy sit en kyk net, heel verstom.
En dan, as ek my rug net draai,
trek hy in 'n tirade los
wat my laat dink hy weet ook mos
wie in sy hok die septer swaai.
I find it strange how things will seemingly go well, and then all of a sudden, from various directions, you will start to hear similar complains. This was the case for me, when my friends started contacting me for intercessory prayer on their behalf, concerning their health. I take these requests very seriously and spent many a walk praying about their various needs. Finally, these prayers found their way into my poems as well.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Healing God
Father, I have some friends who are in fear,
desperate that should You draw near,
their bodies seem to falter and fail
and against this sickness I wish to rail.
Your Son took sickness to its death
when He breathed out His dying breath
but then He lived triumphantly,
as He rose from death to set us free.
Why should we still accept the pain
why should our bodies ache and wane?
I pray that You will heal them now,
and make their bodies whole somehow.
I praise You for all that You have done
and thank You for giving us Your Son,
for allowing Your Spirit to live in me
for letting us live triumphantly.
Good morning, Lord
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Good morning, Lord
Sometimes I wonder where to start a prayer,
should I first check if You are there,
should I greet You formally,
or praise Your name abundantly?
I guess there will be rules somewhere
to judge what’s right and what is fair,
but I’m glad that I have not found those
for their ideas might just impose.
I think I’ll put this query to my heart,
about what to say, and where to start,
as my heart beats with endless love for You
and is sure to know what I should do.
Sometimes I’ll talk as to a Friend,
or a Father whose patience has no end,
sometimes I’ll revere You like a King,
and sometimes I’ll simply start to sing.
Whatever I do, and whatever I say,
whether like this, or in another way,
as long as I continue to talk to You,
it matters little what else I do.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Menslike feilbaarheid
O Heer, U bly tog so getrou
aan elkeen wat kom in berou
om van U genade af te smeek
met oë wat huil en hart wat breek.
U is so vinnig om ons te vergeef,
al gaan ons weer in sonde leef -
in liefde bly U glo en hoop
dat ons die regte pad sal loop.
Wanneer gaan U dan geduld verloor
en sê al ons kanse is nou oor,
hoe kan U elke keer weer glo
in ons menslike berou vertoë?
Ek dink nie ek sal ooit verstaan
wat in U Vadershart aangaan,
maar ek kom in diepe dankbaarheid
dat U genadig is met my swakheid.
It was right about at this time of my stay that I was told that there would be a meeting in the town hall the next day about the possibility of dumping nuclear waste in the discarded mines, before sealing them up. I immediately knew that it was my duty as a citizen of the world to attend this meeting. The rumors were completely unfounded and the meeting was a report back on the safety and security of an existing disposal plant in the area, which appeared to be taken very seriously and was being well managed. Still, when a writer is presented with such wonderful material, it would be sad to let it go to waste, and I promptly used this to write another poem.
Today, we’ll rant and rave and demonstrate,
but I wonder if it’s not too late?
Is it not already done?
Is this meeting just for fun;
a paper trail of evidence to prove
that the company did not keep itself aloof?
It is to this eternal, ageless, undisturbed, ecology
which people come from far and wide to see,
where you wish to bring a pump
to turn it into a nuclear rubbish dump.
You think it too toxic for your own backyard,
then how can you wonder that we wish you to depart?
Die pad tussen hier en daar
My storie is nog ver van klaar
en daarom kry jy my nog hier,
maar waar hier is, of daar,
is net 'n kwessie van bestuur.
Dis om terug te sit en te vertrou
dat ek nie altyd beter weet,
om die blik te skuif van dan na nou,
en van die toekoms te vergeet.
Hier kan in 'n oomblik daarheen skuif
soos my denke kaarte ruil,
eers gaan my kop en dan my lyf;
die pad lê oop, die wêreld geil!
When you had lost someone, whether through death, or another way, the pain doesn't go away overnight. I was still in contact with friends from all over the world, helping them deal with their own loss and pain. One can not deal with these emotions without it finding some bed in your own soul. I found myself writing a couple of poems for both theirs, as well as my own sake, to find the words to express our emotions, or as they say in narrative therapy - to come to terms with it.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Vadershulp
O Vader, hoor my hart!
Nader tot my in my smart.
U ken die seer in my gemoed
en ken die bron waarop dit voed.
O Vader, hoor my hart se pyn,
en gee dat dit ook sal verdwyn.
Maak my stukkend-wees weer heel
voor dit meer van my lewe steel.
O Vader, mense hou hul doof,
dink ek praat uit ongeloof,
hul weet nie dat ek steeds nog ly
en dat hierdie my steeds onderkry.
O Vader, net U kan my help,
uit hierdie ding wat my oorstelp.
Ek weet nie hoe om aan te gaan,
maar ek weet dat U altyd verstaan.
I wish that I could go to bed,
lay down my body and my head,
go to sleep for hours on end
to give my heart some time to mend
My day has turned my night away
and both became a bleak dull grey,
joy no longer knows my name
and I find I feel quite the same
From this hole I must arise,
not surrender, be more wise,
find a colour for concentration
to stop this internal agitation
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Stofpad
Soos 'n voël sonder 'n veer,
lyk die pad sonder sy teer,
met gate wat soos poele lyk,
voos gery en opgebruik.
Net so, voel ek ook dan vandag,
wonder waar kry ek weer krag
om uit die bed uit op te staan
en met die lewe aan te gaan.
Die lewe het my platgetrap,
heen en weer oor my gestap,
my stukkend in die stof gelaat
asof my menswees niemand baat.
Maar toe almal ver verby my loop
waar ek sit van my hoop gestroop,
toe vind 'n vreemdeling my daar
waar hy my langs die pad gewaar.
Hy buk en tel my uit die stof
selfs al was ek onbeskof,
en toe ek eindelik beter word,
bly hy sy liefde oor my stort.
Ek wonder wie’s die vreemde man,
wat is sy naam en wat sy van?
In wie se huis word mens so groot
dat jy ander raaksien in hul nood?
Sy naam klink soos die van jou en my,
dit was sy van wat my bybly,
want sy Vader was my God gewees
wat ek al die jare mis wou lees.
In die storie van die Samaritaan,
was ek die weldoener op sy baan,
nooit gedink ek kan die ‘victim’ wees,
dit altyd met arrogansie gelees.
Maar die dag toe die wêreld my trap,
my vriende wye kringe om my stap,
daai dag toe stuur ons Vader Sy kind,
en dis toe ek my Vader weer vind.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Intercession
Yesterday I sang a song
of counting blessings one by one,
and as the words with me still lingers,
I found I have clean run out of fingers.
There are so many things to praise You for
that I hesitate to ask for more,
but I have some friends who seem to lack
and I promised each I had their back.
So, let me bring these friends to You
without telling You what You should do,
but simply telling You about their plight
and the constant battles which they fight.
Father, there are stories of betrayal,
of lies and deceit, that makes me wail,
stories of violence and abuse
for which I find there’s no excuse.
Some of my friends are in such pain
that it could drive one quite insane -
their bodies, minds and spirits need
for me to promptly intercede.
Father, You have always answered me
and never ignored a single plea,
so I bring them to You wholly confident
that Your intervention will be evident.
Die voël roep omhoog,
kras, deurdringend skel,
'n nimmereindigende betoog,
gevleuelde dinge wat hom kwel.
Die voël se roep kom sit in my,
vibreer in siel en gees,
praat oor dinge wat my onderkry,
goed wat anderster moes wees.
Die voël vlieg hoog, styg oor my op,
laat alles onder hom daar agter,
en sy wegvlieg sit ook in my kop,
maak die woorde in my sagter.
If I took pink and blue to turn it lilac,
red and yellow to turn it orange,
I could paint the sky in pastel hues,
with warm glows and soft touches
with which to caress the earth.
Yet your touch will still be absent,
your voice still silent,
Still, it does not diminish the beauty of the day -
the sun still rises in the east
and settles in the west,
birds still sing,
waves still crash upon the shore.
your absence has left a deafening silence in my soul.
On another day, I sat on a dune, simply looking out over the ocean, enjoying the serenity of being all alone with just this vast beauty surrounding me. It was in this silence that our Father suddenly started talking to me, sharing some wonderful insights about movable and immovable things and how His word was steadfast. I went home and wrote a blog about for Bybel Legkaart, titled Grafted, or rooted.
After all this seriousness my soul longed for some release into silliness and the next handful of poems were a reflection of this. The silliness would not last long, though, as I firmly believe we ought to look our emotions in the eye and deal with them if we wish to conquer them. Gradually, the poems would return to this blatant emotional honesty that I so firmly subscribe to.
Ek voel hoe klop my hart se snaar
toe jy my in die groep gewaar,
beur om by my uit te kom,
en toe jy slaag, toe is jy stom.
Ons staan en staar so na mekaar
sonder woord of handgebaar
met net ons oë wat kontak maak,
praat oor gevoelens sonder spraak.
Dit was 'n dekade terug gewees
toe ek die liefde in jou lees,
'n storie wat nie einde kry,
'n liefdesroman oor jou en my.
Wishing upon a star
I wish that I could catch a star
to follow its trail away and far,
I’d ride it like an air balloon,
you’d not see me again real soon.
I wish that I could paint the sky,
find a seat there way up high,
I’d dip my brush in wave and sand,
look down upon the distant land.
I wish that I could ride the moon,
for in its cradle I would swoon
over far-off lands and memories
and the distant horizon’s endless tease.
'n Knopie, gare, 'n bietjie lap,
vinnig las ek die broek se hap,
vlytig las ek die lap se skeur,
niemand sal raai wat het gebeur.
Bak ek 'n koek en hy val 'n gat
in die middel, want hy’s nog te nat,
vul ek hom op met room en karamel
eet so lekker dat die gat niemand kwel.
So maak ons ook met dinge wat saakmaak,
ons verskans hulle asof die kwaad nie traak;
maar daai gat in die hart wat hom flenters ruk,
word nie met voorgee-blufwerk reggepluk.
If I could paint the words in my head,
would they be blue, or black or red,
would they be soft or jagged-edged,
would they flow free or seem more wedged?
If my words were more than sound,
would they be straight, or be more round,
would they have more than one dimension,
and would they convey their true intention?
If my words could come to life
and live with me as man and wife,
would I wish for a divorce,
or would I want to stay the course?
As my words have no form or shape,
I toss them from me like a cape,
a thing that always fitted loose
a garment I no longer use.
Yet, if my words were tailor-made,
I’d be more worried where they laid,
I’d arrange them careful not to crease,
think twice before they were released.
Life suddenly became a little more interesting when some 'love interests' arrived on the scene. Sadly, none of these were wanted. The first was some stranger who wanted to chat me up on Facebook. When I rebuffed his attentions, he retaliated by reporting me to Facebook as a spammer and I suddenly found myself blocked from all my pages, even the ones that I administrate! With all the extra time on my hands, I equally promptly retaliated by going on even longer hikes, feeling feathers for the reduced Facebook access I had.
Wie is jy my internet-maat
wat so graag met my wil praat?
Wat het jou nou laat besluit
jy sonder my bo ander uit?
Jy vind my op sosiale media
waar jy jou soos 'n jintelman gedra,
waar ek wonder oor die regte lewe -
leef jy daar ook so oor sleg verhewe?
Dis maklik om 'n front voor te hou,
om my te laat glo jy’s te vertrou,
as ek net gekose kiekies van jou sien,
my met geselekteerde frases bedien.
Wie is jy werklik agter die glas,
ek vra nie na jou klas of ras -
ek wil weet wat maak jou so honger
dat jy vreemdes so spesifiek uitsonder?
Day, day, go away,
I wish for the night to stay,
I wish to return to bed,
to stay there and pretend I’m dead.
Daylight laughs with brilliant teeth,
washes my bed in a golden sheath,
pulls me from my lazy slumber,
proving that it has my number.
Comes the night and all’s at rest,
then I’m at my very best,
forgetting that I’ve got a bed,
ready to paint the town blood red.
Day and night seem to disagree
over who would see the most of me,
while I am torn between the two -
one foot in a slipper, the other a shoe!
Gee my hart 'n bietjie rus,
gee my hart 'n bietjie vrede
Maak vandag se pyn
iets van die verlede
Gee my dan 'n liefdeslied,
om uitbundig uit te juig,
sit nuwe woorde in my mond
wat van dankbaarheid getuig.
Te lank het ek geloop en tob
te lank geloop en wonder
Dis tyd dat die getob nou stop
my dink word nou gesonder.
The sun hid its face
Lives snuffed out and laid to waste
wasted away too soon
These are the beds of those that died
before it was even noon
A child, a cry, a memory
and then you were no more
The brilliant sun would hide its face
from the child that we adore
How empty the space that’s left behind,
how warm the rolling tears,
how full our hearts with words unspent,
how cold our coming years.
Hier dwaal ek weer in die ruïnes rond
op 'n warm pad van klip en grond
waar mense lag en traan gestort
nou deel van hierdie aarde word.
Die klippe hoor my as ek roep
na skimme sittend op die stoep,
na kinders spelend in die tuin
al het hul vorm reeds verdwyn.
Hoe vlugtig die lewe van ons hoop,
hoe word ons van daai hoop gestroop,
hoe tydelik die goed waaroor ons kwel,
hoe min bly oor om te vertel.
How cold the steel of the blade,
how warm my body’s embrace
How hard the knuckle of the fist,
how soft the surface of my skin
How dead the weight of your words,
how alive the burning in my heart
How strong the bonds that drew us close,
how powerful the ones pushing us apart.
Another unwanted love interest reared its ugly head and threatened not to go away. This time it was one of the local men who took a liking to me for no other reason that I was female and single. We had absolutely nothing in common, aside from both of us being human. This detail seemed lost on him. I told him within minutes of being introduced that I wasn't interested, but it turned out that he had a non-physical hearing disability that made it impossible for him to comprehend these words, despite them being spoken as outright as I have typed them hear, only more frequently. Finally, he showed up at the house uninvited where he proceeded to drink himself into a stupor so that he could not be sent on his way safely. He slept in one of the cottages. Next morning he showed up in the house with an overnight bag over his shoulder, asking if he could use my shower! I shoved him out the door and told him to make use of the one in the cottage. He then returned, had breakfast and seated himself in front of the television! Well, well, well... I think he must have been disappointed when I did not join him on the couch, for he finally gave up hope and returned home. So how do I keep myself busy when an unwanted 'guest' potatoes himself on a couch? I write a poem about it! And then one more, as he is still sitting there. And then one more, before he finally gets the message. Feel free to laugh hard and long at my predicament.
An alien landed in my lap,
who soon fell into a drunken nap
after he came and stayed too long,
attempting to sing a lover’s song.
Oh, alien with your hardened crust,
don’t you realize that I don’t lust
to have you in my life at all,
that you leave my quite appalled?
I wish I could communicate
and tell this alien his doomed fate,
but alas, we do not sound the same -
I only wish he never came.
Die vrotsige vryer het my verlaat
en nou kan ek eindelik oor die ding praat,
want tot nou toe het ek weggekruip
van 'n man wat heeltyd net wil gryp.
Skuif ek links, dan kom hy aan
en maak my planne ongedaan,
sy ore hou hy balhorig doof -
in sy kop is ons reeds verloof.
So tango ons twee om die bank
terwyl hy almeer stink na drank
en arms soos 'n seekat groei
waarmee hy meublement plat stoei.
Ek wonder al wat is te maak
met die man en sy verlore saak
toe hy uiteindelik moed verloor
en besef ek gee nie maar net voor.
My life just took another turn,
I suspect because I have to learn
that man and beast are much the same
although the one appears more tame.
Animal instinct is what it’s called
when our manners seem to be recalled
and we act from the basest of our being
to send our better knowledge fleeing.
We really ought to stop and ponder
the wisdom of our social blunder,
before we start to act so freely
becoming less than what we could be.
I soon put everyone's unwanted attentions aside as I took to the veld once more and fell into conversation with God. My next poem reflects how brilliantly this can change a person's mood.
God se woord staan vas
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as God se woord staan vas
Die son in my gesig
en my rug op die wind,
weet ek verseker
ek’s die Koning se kind.
Soos ek stap deur die veld
sien ek die blomme juig -
wat van God getuig.
'n Jan Groentjie roep,
'n duif sit en koer,
'n akkedis skarrel weg,
sit my uit die bos en beloer.
Die branders breek rustig
die aard’ gaan sy gang
al sedert die Skepping
gebeur dit soos God verlang.
Gister groet ek toe die dag
in geel en goue blommeprag
waar koper ook die son verdwyn
voor silwer maanlig op ons skyn
Die dag se gang is nou gedaan,
die son dwing ons om voort te gaan
al gee die nag ons ook 'n kans
om self vir net 'n oomblik te verskans
Dood en lewe maak ook so,
een gebore, een na bo,
'n nimmereindigend patroon
terwyl ons op die aarde woon
A bouquet of people
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as A bouquet of people
I picked a bouquet of people
along my route today,
I gave them to our Father
without knowing what to say.
I told Him that I loved them,
was worried about their care,
that this was why I brought them
and wanted to leave them there.
Our Father took them from me,
looked at each one in their turn,
when He smiled and held them close,
asked what I wanted in return.
I told Him I’d like nothing more
than His Fatherly embrace,
that each one of these friends of mine
could look upon His face.
God still talks to us
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as God still talks to us
Why would God not talk to me,
be less than He, as God, could be?
Did He not send His Holy Spirit
to stay, and not to merely visit?
With God alive inside this temple,
I’d imagine talking should be ample,
for is this not what He’s always done,
from creation right through to His Son?
If you examine the gifts of the Ghost,
you’ll find that talking occurs the most;
knowledge, wisdom and prophecy
are all meant for communication, you see.
When you love someone the way He does you,
you should not be surprised when they talk to you.
Vandag gaan ons weer lekker kook,
begin solank die vure stook,
laat die vlamme hoog opslaan,
ons werk lê als nog ongedaan.
Dis mos hoe ons bruilof hou,
as twee van ons afhaak en trou.
Ons kry die hele buurt byeen
en elkeen kom 'n handjie leen.
Hier op die platteland gaan dit nog so
al kan die stadsmense nie glo
dat jy en buurman nog kan kuier
tot die son uit die bed uit steier.
So, kry die plate opgewarm,
aan vriendskap is ons hier nie arm,
en kos sal jy in oorvloed kry,
waar jy en buurman nog saambly.
On one of my walks, I was contemplating Job's life story, and quite predictably, this contemplation found its way into my poetry.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Lessons from Job
Is there a lesson to learn from Job,
the man who seemed to have no hope,
the man who was riddled with despair,
whose bad luck followed him everywhere?
He lost his kids and income in an instant,
but his pursuer was still insistent
that this was not yet quite enough -
this adversary proved too tough.
He would make Job cringe in pain
so life would no longer hold any gain,
and then his wife would start to swear,
making his burden still harder to bear.
He would curse the day he was born,
sickness had left him ravaged and worn,
yet in God He placed unshakable trust,
even if his whole world had gone bust.
His friends gathered close, but failed him too,
telling him what he should and shouldn’t do,
listening to evil spirits in the night,
trying to make sense of Job’s senseless plight.
Job did not heed man, woman or beast,
he could not be bothered by them in the least -
he took his problems straight to his God
from Whom he was determined not to depart.
His rantings and ravings did not make sense,
but he was looking at things through a clouded lens,
he was searching for answers he did not know,
wondering why he had been brought so low.
When God finally answered, it fell into place -
He had deliberately been hiding His face,
so that all who would suffer in times yet to be,
would know God rewards those who stay faithfully.
Job was healed and restored in good time,
but before I conclude this narrative rhyme,
take note that he needed to pray for his friend
whose faith was tested when Job met his end.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Nog lesse uit Job
Ek wonder is daar nog 'n mens
wat met sy eie oog betoog
dit duidelik maak aan hierdie lens
dat hy van rondkyk hom moet soog.
'n Man soos Job, van toentertyd
wat op sy vrou gefokus het -
met doelgerigte standvastigheid
sy oog van rondkyk belet het.
Job moes 'n man van wysheid wees
om teen algmene gebruik te verset,
want as 'n mens bietjie wyer lees,
sien jy bigamie was nie belet.
Nou vra ek myself so in die loop
of ek my drange kan bedwing,
my van my eie belange stroop
om te bly by my gekose enkeling.
Daar is soveel hier rondom my
wat glo eie geluk neem eerste plek,
dat hul maklik 'n ander maat afvry
en na hul selfbelang uitstrek.
Job sou nie gesê het wat hy het
as daar nie ook versoekings was,
maar hy het sy eie oog belet
en van begeertes af verkas.
Originally published in Bybel Legkaart as Lesse by Dawid geleer
Is daar iets by Dawid te leer,
die man wat leeu en beer verskeur,
wat 'n reus met net 'n klip benader,
wat onwrikbaar glo in God, sy Vader.
Aan moed het dit hom nooit ontbreek,
hy’t telkens gewys wat in hom steek,
nie eens vir die Filistyne was hy bang,
of vir die koning wat hom wou vang.
Maar soveel moed maak jou arrogant,
en dit bedreig jou geestestoestand,
want Dawid kon net mooi alles kry,
maar sekere goed moes hy liewer vermy.
Batseba was 'n ander ou se vrou,
maar Dawid wou konsuis met haar trou,
al kos dit ook dan haar man se dood,
gee hy nie om – sy ego was groot.
As dit die einde van die verhaal moes wees,
sou ons vinniger oor Dawid se storie lees,
maar daar’s soveel meer om uit te sonder
oor hierdie man wat ons so bewonder.
Gekonfronteer met sy sonde, het Dawid bely
en vir dae lank kon jy hom nie te siene kry.
Hy’t gebid, gepleit en trane gestort,
in die proses 'n beter mens geword.
Arrogansie het in nederigheid omgekeer,
en dis die ding wat ons hieruit kan leer -
as ons sonde bely, en voor God ons verlaag,
sal Hy ons ophef soos dit Hom behaag.
Why do we keep exotic pets
while treating common ones like pests?
Why do I need to know their price?
Are they simply another rich man’s vice?
I think it’s time for introspection,
though I steel myself for your objection,
but if it’s an animal you adore,
it shouldn’t matter whose had it before.
If you wish to set a trend,
you need to be ready to defend
the reason why you chose a live one,
as if to prove your worth to someone.
When you get bored and go away,
those pets remain – they’re here to stay,
and how are they meant to understand
the absence of a doting hand?
Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
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