"Nou wie is jy?"
"Ouma, my naam is Siyasanga,
Ek is jou dogter Lalie se seun"
"My Lalie, sy wat in Suid Afrika bly?"
"Ja ouma, ek het vir ouma kom keur"
I watch on as the spark of recognition lights up her eyes
Happiness flowers through the creases on her face like fresh rain through a Namib riverbed
Her brow furrows as if trying to keep this revelation prisoner
The Sun continues its long journey across the sky
Her brow relaxes, and. . . . .
"Hello virtel my, my kind,
Wie is jy?"
"My naam is Siyasanga Ouma,
Ek is ouma se klien kind.
My ma se naam is Lalie"
"Lalie, sy is my dogter wat in Suid Afrika bly"
"Dis reg ouma, ek het vir ouma kom keur"
The spark returns
The fresh rain flows
The love warms my soul as we embrace
The Sun once more takes flight
Taking respite from the heat
I watch as she shuffles and shimmies and shuffles once more down the corridor
To the foot of the bare bed I've made my haven
Words like spun silk spill from her lips as she asks
"May I sit here my child?
"Ja my ouma, ouma hoef nie vra nie"
She shuffles and shimmies and sits down to read
What a beautiful life affair she has with words,
Even those from a magazine,
Whose pages danced that day at her touch
A letter whose ink for 2 decades laid dry
The name of the man she loved preserved in his evergreen book
Both retrieved from the vault that was her purse
Oh how she loved those words, and they loved her
She turns her head to look at me
With that spark in her eye
"Jy is my Lalie se seun"
I smile, my face awash with fresh rain
"Ja ouma, ek het vir ouma kom kuier"
Moving on this dark road
Not much is visible
Much like when I delve into the deep caverns of my mind
I find myself dazed,
As the “unicorn” true north eludes me
Monsters and demons alike. . .
Snarling, baring their vicious teeth
A moments rest is all I ask
A moment to collect my thoughts
A moment to bounce back and retaliate
A moment before I break
A deus ex machina
The clouds part and something,
something casts a pale blue light
It is Arawa
She guides me
She comforts me
And though this journey is mine and mine alone
Acceptance of the solitude somehow reveals that I’m not truly alone
With this light
I can destroy all who stand against me
With this light
I realize that it too can come from within
And now, now I am invincible
A raging cold blaze surrounds me
This flame that started so small now out of control
I fear may soon destroy all that I love
Yet it is you who I love most that fans it
Why do you continue to feed it?
Is it your intention to let it consume all I hold dear?
Do you not realize you, who I cherish are in the gravest of danger?
I try to calm myself to no avail
I clutch and claw my way to some semblance of sanity
Some shred of warmth
Though the more I struggle the worse it gets
Slowly the realization washes over me as a cascade over a pebble
That the only way to save you from me
Is to release it into the night
Ablaze I run
I run through the darkness, a beacon
Though unknown is whatever is drawn to me
I run bellowing
Releasing the angst and rage that has been building, I run
I run with the hope that once this flame has ebbed
I will finally find rest as a new person
Free of the logs of despair and flame of cold rage
Free of the monster within that birthed it
And free to move on
One foretold by the fates so long ago, that the rocks that witnessed it were but seeds for the great mountains that now pierce the sky
Of four great beauties to be born in a land of mystery and magic
Each more graceful than the last
So much so that kings abandoned their ambitions of war but for the pleasure of entertaining them
The first so beautiful, her mere reflection on a lake would cause fish to forget how to swim and sink beneath the still surface
Another's beauty so enticing, great birds forsook the gift of their wings and fell from the sky but to be closer to her
The dark moon was formed because it hid it's face from the thirds luminous beauty and it's pull on the sea could not compare to her
Flowers would refuse to bloom in the presence of the fourth, for they could never rival the splendour of her face
But our legend does not end there
In secret, the fates called Aphrodite to the furthest corner of space
Only there could they dare utter only as a whisper the last of the legend
There would be a fifth beauty
Greater than all before her combined
One whose bronze skin would glow more gently than the morning star
Who's crown would provoke more awe than that of Cleopatra
Her smile so radiant sunflowers would turn to her even at midday
Her laughter would buckle the knees of immovable mountains
Admitting to Aphrodite that they only revealed this truth in such a place so their words would never take form on earth
Even so, Aphrodite feared her place among the gods threatened by this mortal
Rightfully so it turns out, for try as they might even the fates could never stop destiny
They had only but delayed her coming
The whisper echoed across time and the expenses of space
To finally reach the land where life began
And there the whisper became you
Woman, you are all the fates foresaw and more
Legend, your beauty made the voices of the greatest singers leave them for they were unworthy to put your name into melody
Woman, the notes of all instruments in the world could never compare to your laughter
In your presence, the tide never retreats from the shore
The whispers journey through breath-taking galaxies had only served to compound your majesty
So much so that, so much so
That words fled from this self-proclaimed poet
A blessing in disguise for even if all the words in all the tongues were his cohorts, he would never craft a poem fit enough to describe her beauty, your beauty
All he knows is that she was born from a whisper with stardust in her eyes
A legend whose beauty threatened a goddess
Born from a whisper with stardust in her eyes
A rain dance completed I wait
Ever in hope of a summer shower
To sate the dry bare earth
And give life to this husk
Then it happens
Much like the scent of a summer shower
You are on the breeze
Too faint to know for sure
Silence, then the softness of your voice above the stillness.
Suddenly you erupted, a whirlwind
I'm enveloped in all of you, disorientated and blissful
The dry plane that was my existence will finally be quenched
But as suddenly as you came
The drops that caressed my skin and seemed to still my heart
But this is not what pains me
What pains me is that the earth is still dry
What aches these still dry bones is the rain dance
After all that there is no difference
The ground is still dry
My thrist unsatisfied
The lingering scent on the wind the only evidence you were here
— The End —