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My First Bundle of Words

POETRY from the Shore ~ also daughter, lover, friend, cousin, sister, social entrepreneur ~

Written and Collated by

Dorette Steenkamp aka metaMeerkat

First Edition: November 2010 Second Edition: July 2011


"premeditated murder"

i had my hands around your neck i could wring the throbbing life out of you: Illness with such fancy fearful name

but you got to me first last year in early spring threw me to the ground,trampled my future: damned Bully moving into our loving home

stealing connections, drawing blood

one day we will all smack you sideways and I will not shed a tear for you, Alzheimers:

I am a Daughter

thief of my future with my ONLY mom

I cannot kill you with prayer yet, but I vow I will hunt you down; detective on your case: you will not remain a murderer of hope! ~DS~ 29Aug2010


Cape Malay Curry in 1975"

miles in that old beige mercedes, later named Sarah we drove half-gas half-prayer got lost in Cape Town's streets fumbling an old map book we argued and laughed all the way: it was our annual visit to dad's tailor, to the spice people in colourful Woodstock, Observatory or some where around there we were all pale and out of place - yet completely at home South Africa: 1975 policemen frowning as we pass dad got his best curry from that corner and we sat sweating in the sun waiting waiting waiting clinging to the warm leather

I am a Daughter

until my curious mind drew me inside one day between ginger sticks and cinnamon, and rows of brown packets with garlic; an enormous wooden table of flavour filled with flour and cheap vinegar i still hear, today


their familiar banter about recipes the muffled voices and Arabic music faintly part of my senses i still feel, like yesterday my hand full of coarse peppercorns oh! how I still see the muslim man with his gentle eyes and jokes pointing proudly to glass bottles; explaining curries to dad and handing me sugary peanuts in a bag and his wife, his wary children smiling at this big-eyed pony-tailed kid lost in culture and imagination: a shifting mind on that painted floor but they would wave us away like every year from the bright windows of their cool store and our worlds grew apart again as Sarah coughed into the summer day and years later I would not find the store again but I still like curry like my dad and my mind was opened

I am a Daughter

years ago in a spice shop ~DS~ 3Aug2010


Words with Feathers

I used to give you my words in the middle of the day and then you would open your fingers promptly and they would bounce from your palm into senseless letters : : and eventually take flight Lately my eyes lift to ancient skies; hopefully and I rest my gaze on one hovering angel who holds my drifting thoughts safely between her feathered wings that span across oceans

I am Myself

and I stay grounded

~AR~ 8Sept08


I am Myself


"words of wisdom" (kinda) you only speak your mind in short quotes like code between lovers wisdom on loan I cannot help but wonder if you ever ever ! have an original thought moulded into bright phrases one at does not dangle like frozen dew drops

from the minds of muses you never even met or maybe probably I merely do not like you or your keyboard mouth shaped like a parrot you are perched on the moral high ground: to entertain us

I am Myself

with your next clever little sentence #justsaying #notthegoodgirl ~AR~ 24 July 2010


raining a way

you ran from me like rain streamed down my face in small cold streams speechless determined and with gravity you found a way from me and distilled my warmth into tasteless silence until I swam in your absence with strong arms kicking stubbornly against your will remembering your gentle eyes and brief friendship in that cold winter

I am a Friend

of us ~AR~ 14 July 2010


Gone

my words are

I am a Lover

~AR~ 5 June 2010


one you one song one first dance in african rain one bright conversation; one island one walk in new pixels one picture one hour, barely one hand in mine one shiny event in December side to side, in one's arms one evening dress one whispered untimely confession one unwelcomed fear one disinterested note one sharp turn away one clean cut one swear word in Skype one assumption many songs to dust at the end of the roard many days since

I am a Lover

without one you

~AR~ One Date


"fishing for letters" i fish for the right word that drifted down a murky river of this mysterious affection for you i put more bait on a silver string, fling it against the ripples and wait for the familiar myst to rise my fingers bleed red on the crate; as i press the shiny hook through flesh to undo a hurried accident and finally! on the winter stolstice, some letters swim back to me and assemble in a school: i catch them; scrabble them together so they could whisper to me: but they only spell 'indifference' so i release them all into the wild blue where they leap from me like small crabs and i return patiently to the river side: fishing for different letters

I am a Lover

~AR 13Feb2010~


Reconcile White thrown into the slow stream of change you pushed upstream and called me from a distance until my nightmares grew more bold and clear every evening in my long summer sleep in the South of Africa until one TV night i closed my ears to the constant noise and listened instead to your call vibrating in my small universe; bouncing persistantly from wave lenghts abroad: the universal truth of what is humanly right and fair expressed by songs of young Afrikaans rebels and African activists alike it was the Day of the Vow, then and our 'leaders' - whom I neither know nor voted met secretly - their minds twisted, turned and finally stretched by justice in Lusaka and London where snow melts or not the waves built against rigid ideologies of an entire generation framing my life

I am a Social Entrepreneur

as women, as Afrikaans-speaker, as South African as white (said my ID card, said my everything) at eleven I cut my hair I swam 10 lenghts of a day I watched stars from our roof and adopted cats that year your voice spoke into my spirit with a glance from a sidewalk, and drowned the crafted propaganda, the slow whispers of being apart separate


isolated defined by race alone your life became a part of mine by our choice - and yet you never really knew more about me than my lack of darker Africa until 1994 , when my 16 December of the Vow became our Day of Reconciliation and I hold out , swimming upstream still your voice still too far from me

I am a Social Entrepreneur

~DS 16Dec2009~


mould at the beach house some days when the wind rushes through the bluegums; the inland lake stretches itself and ripples into its muddy shore and my heart beats slower as the day finally stills... then, only then, i have the courage to think of you; how you were: your gentle voice on the phone so curious about my life and your prayers carrying me to God's Feet each dark night mom, the grey donkeys are still grazing along the main road south and we have new damp mould at our stone beach house and i need you back you have become so quiet and you sentences few; confused; the shape of my name a small miracle on paper when you write but i know your spirit still whispers my future to God's ears these bleeding days! the days you could not answer the phone again the days i can barely bear

I am a Daughter

~DS 27Nov09 ~


"sy is gesteel"

sy is gesteel en ek kry haar nie meer nie: sy is amper weg hierdie wrede dom siekte het haar gegryp en gee haar nou stukkie vir stukkie aan my terug as ek kaalvoet by haar kamer smeek en ek sit haar elke dag weer anmekaar met 'n dapper glimlag en my dom grappies oor 'n helse afstand tussen ons ek hou haar teen my hart tot die aand se son sak ~ sy was ons almal sin ~ en het haarself in jaarliks in die sonskyn gegee sonder tweekeerdink maar toe die winter onweer in haar gemoed raas het sy die deure oopgegooi van haar geheue -

I am a Daughter

sy is weggedra in 'n gehekelde kombers en sy het haarself soos in 'n ongeluk verloor

~DS 31Okt09~


friends at the foodbarn your laughter and the foodbarn pastries mingle like old friends and your smile sends encouragement into this long day of sheer stress: more waiting we finally find the rhythm of the day here in our sheltered corner between yellow books, old fingerprints and a small crowd of DNA unobtrusive and observing Self-Help II, Microwave Wonders, Yoga and More lean cosy and content on wooden shelves against the broken backs of Fiction My life is an Autobiography of digital mystery, silences and mixed realities that turn me on and pick me up like smoke into a chimney to float towards new horizons of hope and the smell of chicken pie drifts lazily into smooth air between all of us bringing back memories of a small kitchen in Pickering Street, Port Elizabeth; my grandmom at the stove and Christmas Roses blooming at the gate and oh! i know in that small instant of truth

I am a Friend

that i am Now as much home as ever before because of soft friendship mixed with pastry and patience when i need it most ~AR~ 30Aug09


alternative light straw dolls fly into my mind and splinter like hay across the field of vague memories a moment months ago i pick up pieces of your laughter and stitch them together like a quilt; hear your voice again clear and sultry ointment alternative therapy stacking checkered cushions on the cream coach to hold us as we test images and poses matching our comfort zones; a small fragile friendship of possibilities you and i, one more time in this quiet light, idle chat trusting unconditionally against the backdrop of thorns and black roses crawling up against our walls

I am a Friend

~AR~ 28 Aug09


turning my back there are simple white daisies that dwindle in my glass and there are you that sink into the past with the drift sand i heap around your feet of clay you crumble away from me - more each day eventually the soft sand is a little bit less to me than the toes that wriggle in it

~DS July09~

I am a Sister

sharing loss - in loving memory is THIS how it feels to be betrayed? when there is a wide open empty space suddenly here on this horrid day between your words and blunt actions


and nothing can fill the void left by your indifference is this the way you slide the blade into my skin? where a sense of loss has FINALLY started to fade over long healing months into the soft memories of our family at the beach and you ease the wound open with accusing eyes i should NOT have let my guard down with you and i am left standing with a bleeding mind now and broken ideas of what it means to have a brother so much of you died with our father and yet! foolishly i resurrect you every time with slow hope only to find that my hero is hollow and distant with empty loss himself and we are both simply too broken still for the pieces of us to fit together seamlessly without scraping old scars again so I turn away into myself instead away from this hard unknown edge of you grinding against a bit more time

I am a Sister

and our endless love

~DS 12 Aug09~


I am Myself


substance in silence

it is like you never existed i google your name in all its many ways but it is as if you never existed in this silence you do not match any document your blessed name produces no results you are erased from life's search engine sprayed like fine mist against the wind a mere moment on my cheek and gone it is as if you never existed

I am a Cousin

~DS~ 24July09


not so tight Africa throw me up against the cool light and i will flicker into your future hold me too tight in your begging hands and i will crumble between your fingers i'm not yours just a continent impregnated with destiny neither are you mine only the life line engraved in my palm

I am a Social Entrepreneur

~AR~ 21 May09


interwoven differences she held my gaze for a moment then stepped off the broken pavement into the mud of her street those black chinese shoes soaked like wet socks a wrapped child asleep in the rain on her broad back and plastic bags filled with small nothings in our icy Cape wind i stood i just stood there waiting to feel the cold we share enabled to move on into the day to feel more, to do more some days i can barely stand this interwoven difference between her and i when i stand still for a moment too long

I am a Social Entrepreneur

~AR~1July09


in jou hand, die winterson

kry my in die holte van jou hand waar jou lewenslyn en jou jong drome kronkel oor skurwe vel en verdwyn in jou are of soek my in die winterson waar berge sug die lang dag swanger met sy ervarings en die Kaapse hemel gloeiend teen die hange ek sal vir jou wag in die blink nag totdat jy eensaam raak vir jou eie stem en jou hande toemaak rondom my

I am a Daughter

~DS~ 27Mei09


slipping closer

you slide like soap down a bath tub you shrink and you are gone you slip along the gravel road away from me and i find you later nestled in that small riverbed between the vineyards: trapped between smooth rocks and the hard place with cold mountain water splashing on your face... for you are: the memory that slipped away without caution or care for the first time, months months ago in the middle of a winter's day and yet you are never ever never, really gone today, you are in the cape town mist

I am a Lover

you just slide like music until i find you again in another form at another place ~AR~ 5 May 2009


you are like eggs and bacon you crackled in my life like bacon in a pan your voice bubbled with slow warmth - trapping me like an egg in an iron pot but every single time i still savour your words of kindness

~AR~ 29April09

on hold there's this familiar dance with my phone i'm the only one that seems to know her steps when i hear her tune, i repeat it in my head and she dances with me in a shopping mall to old Afrikaans music in the middle of the night she is on my pillow next to me resting tiredly in her soft mobile skin and i wake relieved and smile at her soft melodies

I am More than I am

when i least expect her to make music as the rest of our world sleeps unkowingly "hello, hello..." i listen to her and wait for her to ring; i pause and finally she twirls with me in ordinary conversation then, minutes later


she is quiet and still with flattened battery for days

and i can only long to dance in the rain again hearing her interested questions about my life or just sit alone on the veranda and look at our yesterday-today-and-tomorrow struggling to bloom but more times than others "the subscriber i have dailed is not available" a slow busy tone against my ear

"i have been placed on hold" and i wait for the next dance until the music stops - always praying it does not

I am Less than I was

~DS~ 7 April 09


any way

recently i have come to realise some people find it really hard to be loved, to trust falling into love because they dangle in the safe spaces they build where life is so much more predicable in suspension we swing and float with them not by reason of insanity but by choice, to care any way

~AR~1April09 photo by @andrevr

I am a Lover

(twitter)~


not so simple... there are things that were easy - once: for you you sent a text message to say you're late, recharged your phone before it died, picked up a bubbly call to hear an old voice; you pressed a button and heated milk for breakfast, wrote the day's date and drew some money from the ATM and you found the light switch when it got dark new things happen now - more than once: for me there's less text with jokes in the small green screen, the phone is quiet when i turn it over and over, some voices are unfamiliar like new neighbours moving in, i wait for my favourite drink until someone else is thirsty, a friend writes the date for me and check my change and i stay quietly in the dark until the sun rises it is a scary place and not so simple maybe even less for me and more for you who love me so

I am a Daughter

~AR~ 26 February 2009


a butterfly landing

i opened my fingers like my heart and you flapped once and flew landing softly in another palm where you fluttered your wings for the longest time before settling down safely

i saw you from far away across oceans so free and and so alive with words so courageous: a butterfly against the sun rays making me smile

I am a Lover

~AR~ 14 February 2009

careless, so young again,


seconds later we planted cosmos at christmas; watched the moon at new year's and we played with dirty dogs you rode a harley with a coin the full moon rose later on my birthday and you were on the red victorian chair at home: constant with your love for me like forty years ago at five past midnight you could not possibly remember ... the year nor the month and especially the day and your would not recall your own - soon to come and yet! the seconds of your voice filled my moment like soft sand in a timely hourglass when you told me to have a nice day and i said i would buy flowers from you to me

I am a Daughter

~DS~ 11 Feb09


just sing

sing that song of yours today: the one that flies in the face of the familiar and races into the dark alleys of our townships sinking into the corrugated iron roofs under which we sleep

I am a Social Entrepreneur

in the slow heat... and i promise you as surely as it settles me i will sing with you!

~AR~ 22 January 2009


One More Time it was cool tonight when i watered the green cosmos; the evening star bright against the black skies of this holy night in Africa and i missed you one more time: you, carving the meat at the Christmas table you, pulling a cracker with mom; soft instructions you, loving the trifle and a third helping late afternoon you, reading from the pulpit with your quiet strong voice you, gripping my hand in hospital it was a silent night when lights flickered stubbornly on our tree there is one less present again this year with one more wired angel dangling between the green leaves and one more memory that left mom this morning and i missed you one more time: you, falling asleep amongst small lists of things to do you, looking at 'bargains' in second-hand shops you, plastering warm bread with sweet home-made jam you, packing a fire for the Millennium breakfast at the beach house you, cutting biltong at the fireplace on the red Victorian sofa it was a blessed family day where we sat around the table with two new places empty - we cooked too much

I am a Daughter

on this bright sunny day at my home and i missed you one more time you, dad always, one more time ~DS 25Dec08


It's not Food Day

no, it's not food day today, he said as i shrunk away quietly from his small story and file it as another case of poverty: number 151 of 410 served from the sweating school kitchen equipped with enough for 150 per day but tomorrow, he says, tomorrow don't worry, tomorrow! it is MY turn

i try not to have a bleeding heart

I am a Social Entrepreneur

i try to keep a clear mind and take a picture instead: he looks happy ~AR~ 19Nov08


have you voted... Have you ever felt the voices of poverty when they break through your skin and nestle into your bloodstream...? Have you closed your eyes one day to hear - in four different languages, all at once the shouts of pure desperation, calling, begging for a better day in this world, a different life...? Have you drowned in the tears of a grown man gripping a microphone; pacing restlessly in his foreign tongue? Yet! women, men and their children echo his clicking prayers and send chills along spines - for his appeal is the same as our own... CHANGE Have you ever been in the presence of hungry ones; their parents working coal-faced the next day again but now words and music to still our evening minds and you sit in quiet surrender to their humble plight? Have you once felt that cold night sweat when you leave for your own home through the gate where a breeze rises from sandy dunes filled with fleeting hope right there! where they seek to build a community of believers? Have you had such a mass prayer for change, linger in you till early morning ???? rumbling through iron walls to bless POLITICIANS and LEADERS in the

I am Myself

world?? Then you will know - believer or none - surely know there is no such thing as not voting for someone all humanity is connected in one way or another...


the voice we have is a prayer, is a vote bought bloodily by others over ages: it is freedom, humanity, courage This was my Sunday. My invitation to witness the strong trembling voices of poverty and of clear sounds of local and global hope in a township - not so isolated - here in Cape Town today: before 4 November 2008 in a United States of America today: before our own undefined South African 2009

I am a Social Entrepreneur

~DS~ 3 November 2008


Not Against Nature

Have you seen winter mist on a cold window pane? Drops cling obstinately to clear glass And then they slide liberally to a thirsty wooden frame Where they disappear into a grove… Have you seen the way of a ladybird on a leaf? Small legs wobbling along and slipping side to side And then it turns thoughtfully on an edge; onto the steady stem Where it lingers in the shade… Have you seen a spider snaking down from its thread? Its body boldly falls - bit by bit - from its own strong hold And then it changes its small mind abruptly; crawl up into thin air

I am Myself

Where it floats against the light… You must have seen me as well, then In the moments where I float, I linger, I disappear.


blood IS thicker than water i stood in the rain of my thoughts and felt them meander in streams filtering through my skin into receiving thin veins pushing themselves up to my heart, forward where memories then pumped into me in slow staccato motion and it was YOUR familiar face that took its shape in my fragile mind as blood rushed to my head a beautiful force of life in me bringing a smile to my eyes and in that moment i was so very relieved that i remembered you so vividly, so clear: yes! you are the daughter i wished for; the one tied to my heart the one i still hold close when it rains 4 Aug.08 ~AR~

I am a Daughter

"mom, don't stop calling me yet i will always answer you"


clouds behind me today i was climbing up against the walls trying to leave clouds behind me and you brought me down with your slow notes; the sanity that spilled into my soul happy little blue birds flew above the rainbow into my veins to fountain from me into people that live and live every single day without stop, relentlessly without color and we could dare to all dream again ~AR 30July08~

I am Myself

~with much respect for lyrics of E.Y. Harburg ~


lost and found lost yesterday I found you today I packaged you neatly for my tomorrow when I will need the memory of us

I am a Lover

~AR 24June08~


- what we are the breeze of my midday winter came swiftly and lingered much longer at the intimate space that i call home today, i draw us in my mind again with words of slow sunshine that i collected like grains of sand from your deep breathless voice waking each morning is still painful and then my thoughts wander across dark hours back to you the bold, safe arms that lock me in: you were the safe conversation that set me free to paint a destiny in bright threads a woven future yet unknown, but distilled to a rich warm wine of companionship the memory of what we could have been is so much more courageous than this fainting reality

I am a Lover

of what we are not... but it is what we are ~AR~ 13 June 2008


weekender touch this weekend, you slowly stroke your hand across my face and asked me why I am so worried how could I tell you,mom then, in that moment - with your vulnerable eyes your generous spirit so strong that a time is drawing close in our future where you will not recognise me anymore nor remember how to dial my number and keep wandering aimlessly to look for me and I will have to remember for both of us

I love you mom... it is too early to loose you too soon to be without your presence so I cling to your words and your love like the tears sliding silently down my cheeks stubbornly dealing with your illness one day at a time now

~AR~ 4 June 2008

I am a Daughter

my mom diagnosed this week


it rains more every day sheets of bold rain wash over the roof in a sudden outburst of flowing energy and the chill of an early winter experience mingles with these raw emotions, where I sip a sobering coffee drowsily... a misty morning rises unstoppable like steam between my warm cupped hands the flavored water of clarity disappears into an ever-widening universe even an angel loses some words each day and what sinks in shifting dunes of memories is never gained again with passing time or all best intentions of my clearing mind to make you a safe place between many trees --we will not be the same tomorrow your thoughts have no place to hold onto as they run off the roof down the windows through the whitened gutters, molecules speeding down the newly-painted walls to the rocky foundations of my home where they seek an underground river

I am a Daughter

to the wide ocean that we finally share with the past, the future, the present of us... ~AR~ 21May08


Ps: I love you mom. You are more than your thoughts. You catch the sun and bring it to me. You are the rain -

I am a Daughter

giving life with your generosity.


Mother's Day away from Heaven slinging mud across river banks was never your style instead watching interesting people wander in bright-lit shopping malls made you smile hiking miles under a dense Knysna forest could not bring you rest instead holding a newborn baby in your arms at Sunday tea, our parsonage would entertain you best gossiping with loose-tongued people was not to be your trademark instead baking tens of creamy chocolate cakes in our warm kitchen on long shelves would bring you a spark sleeping late under winter blankets was not easy to do instead opening your purse wide for someone

I am a Daughter

on our frangipani stoep out front would become a habit of you being inconsiderate and selfish couldn't be tied to your gentle name instead knitting into the long hours of the night at the spare room with a hot red heater


would ensure your children's acclaim lack of tact or sharp-edged intellect would have no place, nor make you proud instead speaking at conferences to women hanging lightly on your every word could inspire a crowd but now...with dad gone further on your tears fill my early mornings, your anxiety moves me to paralysis, your laughter far and unknown, your confusion deep without rhyme or routine yet trying so desperately hard to be the mother, the sister, the friend you still are to us your memory slips quicker now and every single blue-skied misty day I loose you again and again only to find you in... watching people

I am a Daughter

holding a baby eating chocolate opening my purse working late speaking at a conference You called me at 4am today to say: "I miss my mom"


and took the same words from me You, mom - are my angel who dropped from Heaven Don't go back. Not yet...

I am a Daughter

~AR~ Sunday 11 May '08


New Neighbour, around the Corner Dark drops lingered on your cheek as you slowly passed my way and I caught the tension in your eyes; your children hanging on your fingers... Your day became too long on this tar road on the way to the local clinic with its milk and I saw you pausing voicelessly on the curb; your husband drunk at home with head in hands... I know your home, but not your story. I know your street, but not your song. You still smile, and I can only return the favor.

A fire burns orange in the empty space at home where I nestle into my warm wool socks and you make yourself small against the fence; your family far away in rural Africa with fat sheep...

I am a Social Entrepreneur

You have become my unwilling neighbor today along this long road to who-the hell-knows-where and I simply do not know what to take over for your housewarming without a house... ~AR~ 5May08


I am a Social Entrepreneur


Weathered Differences I was clouded by you when all I really needed was the rain of your voice in the dry seasons of my every day life You walked away from me before the heaven opened with slow mercy, pouring new friendships unexpectedly into my world

I am a Lover

yet I still miss the weather you create...

~AR~ April08


Return to Sender I got the message you delivered an effective blow your empty space told more than all our words combined It worked and silenced me like you.

One more time you turned left the moment when it was right my love I understand most times these days my left

I am a Lover

is simply not your right ~AR~ - dedicated to the one I adored in secret for so long-


i turn myself over

like leaves of a book clear my mind in the first light unwritten and blank a future bright in misty rains i flip through me finding you in every single page in all my words, scribbled roughly across fleeting moments without judgment or pity your patient understanding writes a story in me a new phrase of you comes to life in slow strokes and deeper meaning every time I turn you are the writing the pencil and paint and the pages of my uncertainty ...there is no turning back or crumbled torn pages I slowly find my way in this brand new book of us -

I am a Lover

getting to some closure or maybe to another chapter that will make us laugh at the plot ~AR~ 22 Feb08


no end to you... A passing moment and you were in my mind unexpectedly rushing into me the memory of you full, clear a snapshot of your gentle smile Darkening skies, your grave muddy with winter rains and struggling daisies with heads hanging patiently waiting to rise one day to the coming season Look! My footprints deep, many in slow circles around the small sand castle of your resting place I trace your name, remember your fading memory and cry cry cry

I am a Daughter

You came back to my mind on Valentine's Day today In a very different way after Christmas you slipped from your own. I will always love


you there is no end to you...

Dedicated to my Mom, who understands this...

I am a Daughter

~DS~ 14 Feb08


Finding Both of Us... I find you in the street where dark streams crawl through red dust or at the tiny tin home at a bend in the road I find you in the cluttered urban backyard behind an open wood fire where you wring hands while your rural friends ride their donkeys with pride I find you dressed for success in our boardroom drawing solutions in huge circles and graphs to demonstrate growth and interest in our land I find you playing with vibrant children below a huge satellite dish shining in dry sunshine or plowing around a windmill drawing muddy water I find you with sliding tears at opened graves when you put to rest more victims of war and poverty and a virus out of control I find you in my home on CNN and Sky

I am a Social Entrepreneur

in distorted perceptions or great truths of foreigners: the battle for minds we will fight until we are free I find you on a red boat with fish; no permit or teeth with a tall t-shirt clinging around your waist waving at waiting mothers in the shallow water I find you speeding in a bicycle with an open smile behind a truck loaded with international aid of generous governments not always knowing I find you under cardboard at the iron bridge


close to the highway; the soccer stadium where we wildly celebrated victory for our party I find you behind the barrel of a gun that does not belong to you or your father but you treasure her like your only worldly friend I find you circling at our shopping mall: a small crowd make arrangements to meet Saturday for meal and more dancing I find you in the front row of the choir, clicking as you sway into the rhythm of a marimba leading me back home to a silent night And in all this; You may find me in your spirit in gentle awareness of humanity where neither of us know color creed custom You may find me living in a skin from Europe my heart grown from our African soil

I am a Social Entrepreneur

with its beat sounding softly with hope Virtually, I am without a tribe in a second life on a worldwideweb

where we create a Virtual Africa for us.


Sonder Pa... ek mis Pappa weer vandag soos gister... 39 jaar gelede was die dogter afgebid vir 4 jaar uiteindelik daar... 1 jaar gelede is 'n deel van haar begrawe in die rooi sand by Hartenbos

I am a Daughter

~DS~ 10 Feb08


The Family in Bronze

Clearing boxes and packing memories a few weeks back; Finding you in the shimmer of a bronze shield: Our family ...coat of arms And there was the golden ship And I thought of the sea and the waves and us And dad and mom and the beach house Since 1785 in this country with its unwritten harsh ways; Its gentle embrace when the sun sets I heard the sea and felt your hand in mine: I will never leave you. And we are still standing: Cemented in the love generated by our parents over years of morning prayers and evening chats against winter pillows and even though the storm has not subsided‌ I know we have a coat of arms: our shared surname and shared sense to survive the worst of us

I am a Sister

~DS~ Nov2010


Not an(other) Wednesday.. It was a day of squirrels and industrial art of peanuts for grey doves dashing and wooden benches with you on them... It was my working Wednesday breaking into the 16th century garden: our Cape Town with its canon roaring at twelve making us jump into a leafy walkway barefoot, swollen ankles, but laughing at the melting streams of snowy ice cream (the broken cone) dripping down your elbows... It was our sponsored/stolen day a smiling stranger at the kiosk winking there at the national museum of art hosting Marlene Dumas and her soul Willie Bester and his heart beat in soft paint and pen in metal and nails You and I stared absently at frames holding our two generations and we shared our pain with silent reverence:

I am a Daughter

a homage to the man we both know. Oh - We missed you Dad. ~DS~ Jan08

Portrait of an Old Man, Willie Bester


Three Dimensions of Us In that insane moment of clarity those misty clouds drifted into shape and mirrored my dance in thin air, my breath frozen on the wind a glassy earth far beneath...

Embracing Thoughts In that slowed minute of hope, feelings gasped for air with words unplugged and

I am a Friend

deep tunes flowing graciously into this animated mobility of me... Oh! all of this compares dimly to the way I purposefully sculpt this second life


of mine in these three dimensions of us...

Closer to Clarity In that ambient hour of humanity a white moon settled next to me and traced my spirit to Africa, my heart beat stilled between stars a new friend rising next to me.

I am a Friend

~AR~ 8 Jan08


Were we digital beings... If we were digital, why would it matter being deleted from a Twitter list being muted in a Second Life having no Face in the Book...? If we were not human, how could it matter being a funny warthog without a tag being behind a web-based email address being uninvited to the dance having no place to call virtual home...? Having a friend that responds in IM being followed in Twitter being a member of a Second Life group being answered in Face Book mail If only that would make us more human. Having a dedicated song played being turned into a mummy being in the friends' conference being updated via Skype If only that would make us less digital. Cannot escape the depth of feeling

I am a Friend

Free falling into silence... Hardly speaking a word... either way...any way...

~AR~ 28Dec07


We were children... Your body broken under the railroad bridge on the main road to the Queen's Town you held your young breath, dove determined into that void... Your kind spirit rose like mist from our Atlantic ocean to meet my dad stirring unwillingly into eternity standing silently with him waiting... And in that slow moment, we were the children again of years ago: you and I cousins You scattered your short life onto Africa's dry earth refusing to be a statistic of crime and poverty, and I collected our memories like white snow

I am a Cousin

melting into my future. We were children when you first leaped with me from a fig tree. A dare.


I never knew you would jump again one day my childhood ending on a bridge made for crossing over. ---------------------------Ps: Konrad, I have a candle burning for you.

I am a Cousin

~DS~ 25Dec07


Love Beyond me... there are moments like this one where life turns itself upside down and as the winter melts into your skin there is one love that remains the sun and it is yours

I am a Lover

~DS 14Nov2010


I am a Friend


Grawe vir my ‘n Sandput

baie bloublasies op die strand en ek bou sandkastele in my kop waar ek waghou teen die golwe grawe vir my ‘n sandput waarin ek kan klim en wegkruip vir die storm wat broei soos ‘n hen op kuikens en ek sal vir jou ‘n ‘n gebed opstuur wat jou sal vashou soos as die donker wind oor jou huis waai maar jy loop so vinnig en so ver want jou tyd het gekom en ek sit op die nat sand en wag vir die gety

I am a Friend

~DS~ 14Nov2010


Time ran Away

days gained legs, picked up speed and slid into the busy lives of your silent months with their flawed memories: a misunderstanding, unknown after more time ran away only a fraction of what she was, remained with me shattered by a moment of injustice when she dared to care time and time again words shifted like quick sand, shaped dunes and distances between you – turning into mud with her tears of deep disappointment: she cared, you counted and with each passing day, time is taking you both away from me

I am a Friend

~DS~ 12 July 2011


For a Further look into the

Mind and Heart of metaMeerkat: www.metameerkat.com

I am More than these Poems‌

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (c) Dorette Steenkamp


Poetry from the Shore