We screamed to be heard, marched to express our rage. To bleed with our fallen sisters, for I am her, and she is me. We all lived each other’s suffering.
The dust has settled now, quiet returned.
Yet I still can’t breath. I am still not safe.
I cry silently for my country. I no longer connect to her. My love and pride is only filled with disappointment. She has left me sad, and empty and afraid.
My son asked me, “Why do you refer to South Africa as a she?” I look at him dumbstruck, he continues, “Perhaps SHE has always been a HE!”
This realization is hard to swallow.
This... scares me half to death.
Jy hou van die manier waarop sy jou naam troosvol uitgespreek het na 'n swaar dag wat jy gehad het.
Jy is lief vir *** sy jou bekommernis verlig met elke woord wat sy sê dat jy nie presies kan vind *** sy daarin slaag om dinge wat jy nie kan uitdruk nie, uit te druk.
Jy hou van *** haar teenwoordigheid jou op jou reënerige dae troos en warmte gee.
Jy hou van haar klappergeur wat in jou kar hang nadat sy saam jou iewers heen gery het.
Jy hou daarvan om die geluid van haar lag te **** wat die leegheid van jou wêreld vul, soos simfonie jou uit die leemte haal.
Jy is lief vir *** sy gedigte geskryf het wat jy altyd weggevoer het, *** hulle gewys het hoeveel sy jou liefgehad het.
Jy hou van die manier *** haar klein vingers met joune verbind is, *** dit jou laat voel het dat jy die is wêreld waarna sy draai.
Jy is lief vir *** hierdie woorde die helderheid van die sterre diffundeer en *** hulle in die konstellasies hierbo vervang.
Jy hou van die manier waarop sy haar lippe saggies die besonderhede van jou gesig spoor soos 'n veer wat sy tydelik in die golwe van die wind laat dryf.
Jy hou van die geluid van elke strook van die potlood wat sy gemaak het toe sy die kruiswoorde wat jy op jou tafel gelos het, opgelos het, en besef dat dit nooit reg was nie, maar om na haar te kyk, was 'n antwoord self.
Jy is lief vir *** sy alles vir jou gemaak het, so erg dat dit jou laat verdrink het.
Jy is lief vir die idee van liefde wat hierin gevorm word.
This is in Afrikaans***
You asked me about my homeland,
But I refused to tell you.
The confinement of words is not enough to express the tangible freedom this city radiates.
You know what they say, seeing is believing.
So accompany to Devil's Peak where the smoke of perseverance will fill our lungs and clear our heads.
Let me take you to the beach where the smell of inequality and segregation still lingers in the air.
Let us stand atop Lion's Head, listening to the long forgotten roars of triumph from moments passed.
We'll take the Red Bus and discover so many wonderfull places.
You wouldn't be able to resist falling in love with this city.
Let us stand atop Table Mountain, taking in the beauty this city has to offer, breathing in the smell of fynbos.
We'll leap with the springboks,
Hunt with the lions,
And paint the sky with the Blue Cranes.
We'll look back on 1994 and relish in the improvement this city has undergone.
The lights of the city burn bright when the sun sets.
It will always lead us back home.
Lastly, come with me to District Six, where the houses represents just how much of a Rainbow nation we are.
This is South Africa.
This is Cape Town.
This is freedom.
This poem was written about my home, Cape Town, South Africa, for Heritage Day.
Hues of gold hug the horizon,
The air is heavy with the scent of a rainy day,
A pride of lions moves its limbs with a motion of might,
A motion of magic precedes the pack.
A dragonfly bounces along the river of relief,
The sun sets its final shimmer of sophistication
Behind the silhouette of a striking baobab.
A pocket of air holds the wings of the stork in a mathematical manner,
as it sweeps over of the plateau of promise.
A nation in progress,
Where each combination of skin tones each have a story to tell of its own,
a story of history,
a story of might.
Long live the pride of lions,
the Giants of our Rainbow Nation who sow seeds of sunshine in every corner of the soil.
Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.
- this poem is dedicated to my country, South Africa. May we become a nation of prosperity and light regardless of race, religion or creed. Let us honor the legacy of our forefathers and emerge as strong and beautiful in every sphere of our existence.
27 | 31 Poems for August 2017
Her eyes are the same colour as her brown skin; you should see the world through her pupils.
Often at times she had no need to say anything because through her eyes you could see a different perspective of the world.
Her eyes eloquently spoke a language that was foreign to anyone who hadn’t experienced the vibe of South African townships.
But you could always understand her because those eyes were filled with hope, love and happiness.
The wisdom she constantly utters every single day may often remain unheard.
But the beauty of God’s grandeur will never go unnoticed; you can see it in her hazel-brown eyes.
You should see the world through her pupils; her eyes are the same colour as her brown skin.
I see the sunflowers in her eyes, the love that radiates from her aura is drawn from within.
15 | 31 Poems for August 2017
Listen, if I’m willing to talk to you, will you listen like you always do?
It has been quite hard for me to acknowledge the fact that we’re through.
Saw a few of your pictures on Instagram and Facebook, I’m glad to see that you’ve finally found someone new.
I wish nothing but love and happiness for the both of you, I really do.
At the end of the day, I’m so glad that I got the chance to have met you.
There’s this girl who has made me realise that maybe I don’t have to die to get to heaven.
Her beautiful cocoa butter skin proves that her complexion is truly a blessing.
It doesn’t matter which book I’m reading; her love is the scripture that my heart believes in.
She is simply a poem with feet, her soul is well-versed in love so eventually I asked her to walk with me.
It has been quite hard for you to acknowledge the fact that we’re through.
You’ve commented on my pictures on Instagram and Facebook, you’re glad to see that I’ve finally found someone new.
I’d tell you more about her and maybe show you what she means to me, but that’s a poem for another day.
I hope the person that you’re currently with has made you believe in the essence of true love again.
Because you deserve something better than lonely nights saturated with pain.
I’m happy for the both us, glad that we’ve managed to find happiness again.
We can’t change what happened in the past, we were teenagers back then.
Sound a horn for the lioness with a horn
Show her that her cubs are starving
They’re devouring one another
Because their fathers are misbehaving
They have no choice but to bite
Even those of their kind
African against African because of poor service delivery.
the dutch colony ascended on our shores
replacing traditional african education on culture
with teaching slaves how to pray
we saw the deterioration of black schools
and state-mandated segregated curricula
whites being taught better than blacks
who was only destined for subservient jobs
policies of apartheid birthed the bantu education
and later forced us to learn languages
which was not our native tongue
the youth could no longer be silenced
soweto uprising saw them dying for the cause
we have protested throughout the decades
silenced by the apartheid government
with Mandela’s release we saw liberation, freedom, democracy
and a single education system, we were finally equal
however the legacy of black inferior education left a deep scar
which has still not healed
our parents not able to give us the education they were denied
now students are holding the government accountable
who promised free education for a vote
the movement trending as #feesmustfall
anger expressed by burning premises, striking and rioting
i believe in the cause but who are you really hurting?
why destroy the very universities that you are fighting for?
10 | 31 Poems for August 2016
Love me like you promised me you would.
Love me like I still know you can and I still know you can.
For the first time in a long time, I feel a whole lot of love here.
So love, please don’t walk away or decide to disappear from me.
I’m banking on you to not withdraw from the love we have both invested in.
Because the truth is my heart says that you’re the one, my heart is really growing fond of you.
Love, I used to think that I was bad at this beautiful thing people call love.
But I realised that the problem wasn’t the intensity of my affection but rather the quality of people I chose.
Like a rose, from the concrete I rose and I want you to witness my bloom.
You’ve made me question if all the women I have been with before were really worthy of my love, time and effort.
Love me unconditionally, across beautiful South African cities, over the world’s skyscrapers and beyond the depths of time.
I admire how you have loved me this intensely despite how devastating your previous heartbreak was.
Don’t walk away from me because no amount of ***** or morphine will ease the pain.
Let’s escape from reality with our lips locked to a place far away from the stares of prying strangers.
Please don’t walk away or decide to disappear from me not after you promised that you would love me.
Love me wholeheartedly, across beautiful South African cities, over the world’s skyscrapers and beyond the depths of time.
Love me like I still know you can, love me like you promised me you would.