Two nights ago I had a dream, half waking half sleeping. The green light on the fire alarm, glowing in the dark, began morphing into the features of a powerful , benevolent green goddess. More ancient and wild and loving than anything imagined or written. I was there, still separate, holding back from full surrender to the growing vision. I could not connect, and yet I was glad to see her, to know that this possibility is inside me, is growing, if slowly and replete with the fearfulness of coming into the fullness of life’s possibility. I was sleeping on the couch. My room seems cold at the moment, a holding space for laundry and the cupboards that I need to go through with Mary Kondo’s eye, weeding out all the unsuitable items that don’t really serve my life, that clutter up the space. But this is labour I can only do in stages, I am inside the limits of what my reality currently is. Responsibilities of work, children to play with, bathe, put to bed. Clothes to launder and beds to change. Lectures to write. So the couch, lit up in the glow of a low warm light at the end of the day, when the house is quiet apart from me and the cat, becomes sweet and cosy. Free of obligations. Covered with the zebra print mink blanket I bought in Kilburn with the birthday money my granny gave me back in the day. This is the flowering beneath the ground, the gestating point, the cracking open of the seed as it becomes aware of a light not yet seen.
We edge on
While existing in
Building our castles
Lush, pixalated gardens
We look out for portals to
A universal love, an infinite recognition
While warding off
And the sadness of
A burnt down world
Originally posted on Initiation Songs:
Sometimes we have to leave it. For real. I find myself irritated and dry. Over-full, not with an over-flow of love, but the clutter of unfinished business and stuff and the debris collected over generations.…
They say We should pay Market rents That our lives Are Subsidised I am the one With the tortoise eyes Hooded and quiet My muscles slip away Into the broken bed A body harnessed to The extraction of wealth The … Continue reading
I watched my father growing a garden made out of cactus and succulents in the backyard of our house. The sky was always very big and very blue when he worked on his creation. He carved it out of the brick steps that led up to the pool. Plain and predictable white suburban stairs, the ordinary life of the racial elite in 1980’s South Africa, glistening with water and the smell of braaivleis. My father was those things, and also nut brown in his cut-off denim shorts, inserting objects and magic into the garden he grew over those stairs under the sun. He made one for each of his three daughters. Was mine on the end or in the middle? I don’t remember that detail, just that in the end all three gardens merged into one. I watched the tossing of the soil, the setting of the rocks and stones, shards of statues, icons, glass pieces and the spikes of cacti gathered on walks in the veld and koppies that still surrounded Alberton back then. Those walks where me and my sister would trot behind him, learning how to use our feet like noses to sniff out potential traps and trips on the ground. My father would stop and pull up plants, take cuttings. Sometimes producing a frying pan and a fire to make bacon and eggs. I can’t say that we were part of it so much as spectators, watching. I did learn some things. How to pull a piece of a cactus plant off and stick it into a new pot where it would magically keep growing, without roots. You don’t need roots to grow. What a lesson I think now, looking back. The garden became ever more outlandish and charged with sorcery and indifference. I loved to watch it. At night I would explore its perimeters, finding glow worms clinging to aloes. I have stopped collecting cacti now. I last had them ten years ago, a small collection on the windowsill in my house in Brixton. After that, they fell away. Like my memories of my father’s garden, the one he made for us as an expression of his Self. My fingers are humming with the energy of it. Our relationship has been so problematic for so long that the garden was forgotten. And it was something that I can say with certainty was an aspect of him that I can love and grow from. For a very long time I have not mourned the loss of that home. I know that this is in part because of the problematic politics that surrounded its situation within a place marked by white priviledge. Better to let it die unmourned or acknowledged. It leaves me with a question: can beauty ever come out of evil? Can the essence of a pure and real love grow out of a place that could not continue to exist? I find the answer in the cactus. You don’t need roots to grow. And with patience, a flower as beautiful as the dawn will blossom. I think of the comments written by white South Africans on Facebook, barbed and mean spirited, that cling with misunderstanding to that statue of Rhodes, as if roots of any kind are better than none. I am the cactus that flowered. If only they knew how easy it can be to let go.
dreamt about A Whale Girl close to death in a too small container i shouldve been looking after her i thought she was dead but she wasn’t. i poured water over her blow hole and she came round she was … Continue reading
Hungry ghosts are all around.
in the hunger for perfection,
a greedy one,
makes me go back and
the one that stops the flow and thinks thinks thinks till my ears explode.
this one wants the right spelling and gramar
it won’t permit key stroke errors.
that hungry ghost eats me everyday.
It wants to eat my whole entire life,
seasoned with inanity and the details, purposeless without the sweetly flawed flow of a genuine canvas to express its artful corrections on.
Yes, hungry ghosts are everywhere.
they are pushing delicately thoughts of past times over and over into now
remembering when she did this? And i did that?
enveloped in those soft grey places, quicksand pulling us life-less through years and years and years
My grandfather was swallowed by the hungry mud in Lancashire, early last century
pulled out by a passing man and his walking stick.
there would be no I to ponder being alive
in this body; this time
Pulled out, he was given the chance to live.
So too I, and We
sinking, connected, calling out
For the stick that saves us is
i was a video girl
though too shy to
step into the light
i hung back
watching dancing initials stiched on the back of their jeans
she was beautiful
i know it
just awkward in her skin
uncertain of stepping out; disjointed
occasionally feeling the power of the flow
when she shone inside it
stars on her belt glinting fierce
wild lights and Oh My Goodness!
her hips would wind and God smiled
were they wasted years?
those perfect bitches that were my inner critics
colonised my brain
spoke a language i only partly understood
well dressed and operating with
their violence targeted the potential for creative collaboration at my heart
i kidnapped the weakest one,
stuffed her in a cupboard
slipping out through the kitchen door
ready to fight a mighty battle on the dance floor
these are my creations after all
this poem my offering
for a New Year
This one goes out
To all those
Who never got it together
To make it
Though still made
Echoing out into space
For you I wish
An acephalous society
Where lineage and kinship
Are organising principles
Yet flexible enough
To let us cross the tracks
Imagine no leaders
A stateless place
Institutions of caring and education
Minus the discipline and punish
There will be the love that binds
Songs at sunset
To see us through the night
This goes out to all the lovers
Who never made it
But still got it together
To laugh at the heart of things
This goes out
To all of us