Friday, 12 December 2008

New Poetry Book: I Am An African


I am delighted to announce the publication of a Collection of my poems on Africa, in a book entitled "I Am An African". As it says in the acknowledgements it is:

"Dedicated to the people of Africa, who never cease to amaze and inspire with their colourful diversity, their warm humanity, their unquenchable hope, their tireless resilience and their indomitable spirit."

For more information and to order, go to: 

http://www.yourpod.co.uk/bookstore/browse_books.htm#africa

Poems included are:

I Am An African

If These Stones Could Whisper (Robben Island)

Separation

Lost City of Gold (Mapungubwe)

Little Foot

A Dragon’s Tale (South Africa)

Ode to the Elephant

First People

African Odyssey (Botswana)

Baobab: Africa’s Tree of Life

Where the World Once Began (Egypt)

I Know a Place in Africa

Africa’s Pride (Ghana)

I Weep for Africa

Place of the Skull (Okavango)

Prayer for Africa

Canyon of Mirrors (Namibia)

Music of Africa

Swahili Spice (Tanzania)

African Pace

Mandela and De Klerk (South Africa)

God Bless Africa

Friday, 21 November 2008

My thoughts

My smekende gedagtes

Ek sak my hoof en oordink my vreugde
Ligsinnig verkrummel ek
die verdroogde blare
in my Afrika hand en ‘k laat
dit waai soos kaf in die wind
Dit smee my gedagtes mee
met die onrus in my hart
wat bly groei en bloei
Waarom verpletter ons die volke
van hierdie aarde?
Waar’s die regeerders
van hierdie wêreld?
Ken hul nie Sy toorn?
Offers bring en oë opslaan
uitroepe van “wees ons goedgesind!”
weerklink in my smekende gedagtes
Sal ons ooit die Tempel binnegaan?
Ek luister na my gedagtes in die mÔre
en laat die moordenaars en leuenaars
deur Hades swerwend dryf
hul ontmoet die gelag van Charon op Styx
Nooit sal hul die Elisiese veld bereik
Nóg betowerend; nóg kan in delf
Hul egosentriese voorland:
Tanatos!
Sál hul ag slaan op my geroep?
©Nikita 5 Julie 2008

You can read on THIS LINK why I've written this poem. My explanation is in English. I was quite upset when I wrote it. The link will open in a new window.


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Mandela and De Klerk by Wayne Visser


Divergent paths by twists of fate

Ordained to meet, then separate

High branches grown from different stems

That intertwined to make amends

 

Who are these sons of destiny

That changed the course of history?

Who are these dons of liberty

That led their people to be free?

 

Mandela – from the Themba clan

Among the hills of Transkei land –

Was schooled to be a royal chief

But chose instead the golden Reef

 

De Klerk – of Afrikaaner stock

Who staked their claim to Transvaal’s rlock –

Was steeped in National Party depths

And followed in his father’s steps

 

Both knocked upon unopened doors

Both tipped the scales of unjust laws

And each was raised to lofty heights

By willing hands and vexing plights

 

Mandela – asked to fight the ground

Where dignity was beaten down

De Klerk – compelled to guard the fort

Of privilege the past had bought

 

The stage was set for black and white

To go to war or lose the fight

There was no neutral ground to stand

Each corner backed their leading man

 

Mandela raised the nation’s spear

The State replied midst rising fear

The ‘pimpernel’ was put on trial

And banished to the Cape’s jail isle

 

For twenty seven years and more

The battle raged upon the shore

Until De Klerk set Nelson free

To take their place in history

 

Negotiations followed swift

To heal the wounds and mend the rift

And even while blood soaked the ground

A partnership was sought and found

 

Until the day – that happy dawn –

A rainbow nation’s dream was born

We owe a debt of thanks and praise

To those who led us through the maze

 

Mandela brought great unity

And showed that truth can set us free

His lack of spite inspires us still

To strive to serve a higher will

 

De Klerk’s great gift was letting go

And having faith that trust can grow

He showed that change is like a seed

That knows no bounds of race or creed

 

And so we raise our voice and say:

We celebrate upon this day

Two heroes of democracy

Who rescued our humanity.


Copyright 2008


Me, De Klerk and my co-author of "South Africa: Reasons to Believe", Guy Lundy

Picture 2003

Monday, 20 October 2008

African Pace by Wayne Visser


Far from the cities

And far from the streets

Far from the people

Is where my heart beats

It beats in slow time

In the vast open space

It beats out the rhyme

Of an African pace

 

With the sun baking down

And the buzz of blue flies

With chirping cicadas

And gentle breeze sighs

There’s no need to rush

No deadlines to chase

Just the slow steady pulse

Of an African pace

 

The cool of the morning

The heat of high noon

The balm of the sunset

The silk of the moon

The stars’ steady march

The rivers’ etched face

The life loving rhythm

Of an African pace


(2007)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Die holtes van my gedagtes


These two poems are about my thoughts, the first poem is more about my memories...follow the link at the bottom of this post and even English readers can read what I said about the waterfall in these images. I grew up on a farm and this waterfall was one of my favourite spots, it's about 2km away from the farm house.

Suid-Afrika - my skaduwee

In die skadu’s
van die groot ou Eik
stoot ek weer in die sand
Boeta se karretjies een-vir-een
‘is verstommend hoe die mierleeus uit hul tonnels
krioel met kierang-hier en kierang-daar

Langs die waterval
sit ek, halfbewus
my gedagtes vind perspektiwiteit
en rol ragfyn ligstraaltjies voor my uit
op die kabbellende water

Op die meulwiel van vervloë
versamel ek babakatjies
pas gebo’, versteek
teen elemente daar buit’
en ek streel die sagtheid
wat ek koester
verder op my reis

Ek verdwaal tussen rante
soekend na onweerstaanbare
toktokkies en miskruiers
‘k neem ‘n honger teug
uit die kom van fluisteringe
“ons-vir-jou-ons-vir-jou”

Hoe sal ek jou kan vergeet
jou alledaagse ontwykende
en eindlose horison
onwetend
bly jy daar vir my
en ek vir jou
Hoe kán ek dan
Vergeet van: “ons-vir-jou”…?

©Nikita 17 Junie 2008


Die holtes van my gedagtes

As kind het ek
die punte van my siel
laat ploeg in die akkers
waar mensestemme
voorheen opgeklink het

Skrams het ek gevoel
hoe die tuimelende bergstilte
‘n deursigtige telegram
van vrede laat deursypel
na die binnekamers van my hart

Die diggeweefde bergstilte het
spatsels waterdruppels moeiteloos
in my gemoed afgeprent
en ek smag na die
holtes van my gedagtes

©–Nikita 4 Sept 2008 20:30
On
THIS LINK you can read what I said about this waterfall on "our" family farm...it's mainly written in Afrikaans, but there is some English for English readers too.


I know a place in Africa

This poem is my translation of Wayne's poem, "I know a place in Africa." You can enjoy the English poem here too if you can't understand Afrikaans.

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar ek die son op my rug voel skyn
En die sand tussen my tone speel
Waar ek die seemeeu op die windjie hoor
En golwe op eindlose strande breek

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die berge die blou lug ontmoet
En valleie die groen wingerde huisves
Waar bome hul pers kleed sprei
En die bosveld sy room kleed dra

Ek weet van ‘n plek in Afrika
Waar die dondergode hul stemme laat hoor
En sien ek hul weerligspiese neerdaal
Waar ek die reuk van reenwolke intrek
En die soet van die stowwerige doudruppels proe

Dis ‘n wildernis, die plek
Van Evolusie en dinosorusse
Waar lewe begin het, hier was die eerste mens
Van lewende fossiele en olifante
Waar leeus brul en springboktroppe spring

Dis die plek van swaarkry
Van woestyne en doringbome
Waar paaie doodloop en jagters jag
Van horisonne en grense
Waar reise begin en sonsondergange bloei

Dis die plek van vryheid
Van ontdekkings en pioniers
Waar donkerte geskuil - en die lig deurgebreek het
Van ware legendes en wonderwerke
Waar dagbreek begin en hoop helder brand

My hart is tuis in Afrika
Waar die tromme se ritme in my klop
En tydlose liedere in my ore sing
Waar die reenboogmis in my oë skyn
En vriende se glimlagte my welkom heet

My gedagtes ontspan in Afrika
Waar die mense na aan die aarde leef
En seisoene die veranderde gemoed aandui
Waar besige markte handel dryf
En die Skepping sy stadige gang steeds gaan

My siel is gelukkig in Afrika
Haar strome bring lewe in my are
Haar winde bring genesing vir my drome
Wanneer haar verhaal vertel is
Verenig dit in ons noodlot.

© Nikita…2008


I know a place in Africa

Inspiring poetry written by Wayne Visser,
a South African currently based in Nottingham, UK.

I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And Creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one
© 2005 Wayne Visser

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Ek is van Afrika



I couldn't resit my first entry with this poem of you, Wayne, which you've asked me to translate as I feel it really says what I want to say about Africa...when my thoughts go home... in particular, to South Africa!
Ek is van Afrika
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek daar gebore is
Maar omdat my hart met Afrika klop
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat my gelaat donker is
Maar omdat Afrika my gedagtes omgrens
Ek is van Afrika
Nie omdat ek van haar leef
Maar omdat my siel tuis is - in Afrika

Wanneer Afrika oor haar kinders ween
Is my wange deur traandruppels deurweek
Wanneer Afrika haar voorvaders eer
Buig my hoof in respek daarheen
Wanneer Afrika oor haar slagoffers rou
Is my hande in gebed gevou
Wanneer Afrika haar oorwinnings vier
Dans ek op die maat van die oorwinningslied

Ek is van Afrika
Met haar asemrowende ylblou lugruimtes
Laat sy die toekoms skitterend skyn
Ek is van Afrika
Waar ek gegroet word asof familie
En ek ervaar die gevoel van meervoudig
Ek is van Afrika
Want haar wildheid bring vertroosting vir my siel
En bring my nader na die bron van Lewe

Wanneer Afrika-musiek in die wind weerklink
Volg my polsslag die ritmiese klop
En word ek een met die klank
Wanneer die Afrika-kleure in die son glinster
Verdrink my sintuie in haar reënboog
En is ek die natuur se pallet
Wanneer die Afrika-verhale om die vure op-klink
Volg my voete hul tydlose ‘wink
En is ek die spore van die verle’

Ek is van Afrika
Want sy’s die krip van geboorte
En troetel die oer-oue wysheid
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy leef in die skadu van die wêreld
En brand met ‘n gloeiende inspirasie
Ek is van Afrika
Want sy is die land van môre
En ek eer haar tydlose geskenke

©Nikita — 2nd September 2008

Read other poems here. The link will open in a new window.





Hierdie gedig het ek geskryf toe ek aan Suid-Afrika gedink het, die Xenofobie-slagting het my taamlik negatief gelaat en my gedagtes/siel was maar taamlik "broos".
Die Broosheid van my Siel
Dit is soos gister
dat my gedagtes swerf
op golwe van stormwinde;
ongesiens, verwyder dit
die eind’lose groenbedekte
ystergrendels van my hart

Verstommend genereer dit
beelde uit lande
versamel van die Ooste en Weste
die Noorde en van die see af
- ‘n half herwonne reis

Diep onder lê ‘n sluimerende stilte
ontsnapte krete reën om my
helder buitelyne van donker oë
kruis my lewenspad
en ek huiwer

Hunkerend na ‘n somers-motreën
blomruigtes, onweerstaanbare weerligstrale
waterfonteine, ‘n ontnugterde haelbui
Vind jy my siel op haelwit wolke

Ja, soos gister
stap ek deur die Dorsland
met lofoffers
en êrens omhels die broosheid
die gedagtes van my siel.

©Nikita 18 Junie 2008


Monday, 13 October 2008

I Am An African by Wayne Visser


I am an African

Not because I was born there

But because my heart beats with Africa’s

I am an African

Not because my skin is black

But because my mind is engaged by Africa

I am an African

Not because I live on its soil

But because my soul is at home in Africa

 

When Africa weeps for her children

My cheeks are stained with tears

When Africa honours her elders

My head is bowed in respect

When Africa mourns for her victims

My hands are joined in prayer

When Africa celebrates her triumphs

My feet are alive with dancing

 

I am an African

For her blue skies take my breath away

And my hope for the future is bright

I am an African

For her people greet me as family

And teach me the meaning of community

I am an African

For her wildness quenches my spirit

And brings me closer to the source of life

 

When the music of Africa beats in the wind

My blood pulses to its rhythm

And I become the essence of sound

When the colours of Africa dazzle in the sun

My senses drink in its rainbow

And I become the palette of nature

When the stories of Africa echo round the fire

My feet walk in its pathways

And I become the footprints of history

 

I am an African

Because she is the cradle of our birth

And nurtures an ancient wisdom

I am an African

Because she lives in the world’s shadow

And bursts with a radiant luminosity

I am an African

Because she is the land of tomorrow

And I recognise her gifts as sacred


(c) Wayne Visser 2005