Ilze Olckers

Drowning – not waving.

The fear was different and true.
Still, intermittent on the corrugated roof
and you were in hiding.

Then all hell breaks loose again.
Monsoons of misery running between doors
top soil soiling the ocean.

Even though in a manner of speaking you gave it up
marveling at this one moment of peace
and your heart was brave.

A reprieve, a dance
giving birth in trees.
Birds drowned.

Trellidoors, sensors, beams between you and the electric fence
group areas – gated villages.
Even though most of life was ahead of you

coming through the storm
quietly circling buildings making your mark.
Not this, cowardly glancing through windows at 2 am .

Ilze Olckers

Mountain Ghazal

In my chest there is a mauve poem
I can find in me many earth-coloured poems

Canyons are the colours of clay ochre red sand
Mountains are blue purple and from above grey-black poems

The only green on the slopes are the stone pines standing
slightly awry with their crowns dignified against the wind poems

or the emerald vein right at the very vortex of the fissure
throbbing silently once every million years a poem

I am this vein keeping the earth alive,  I am those crowns
sheltering sacred circles of petrified life poems

I am the koan of the canyon – all the tears and struggle
of those unanswerable story poems

I, Ilze, am all the poems written about all the mountains
And all the joy and inner knowing of all those wonder poems

Jaine Hannath

Lion’s Head (Leeuwen Kop)
From Eastern Boulevard
she lies like a majestic Goddess
warm and burnished by the morning sun

Slowly she reveals herself to the City

Created by forces deep within the earth
her form she took from the winds and the sea
that choose to pound or caress her

Much like an avid lover they have left their mark

She glows – rounded, swelling
pregnant with energy and life –
life that she holds within and upon her

She hosts flora and fauna as best she can

Mornings I have sat on her sun-warmed lap
contained, comfortable as in my favorite chair
Only once I dared not tread her usually welcoming path

Was she angry or was it me?

Her ravines hold my heart
her rivulets carry my blood
She is authentic and bold

Am I?

Ilze Olckers

Why is it so hard to know
we’re god? Is it because in
every religion he’s been in body
a man a Jesus Mohammed
Buddha Krishna because the
Mary’s Fatima’s Durga’s were in
turn disappointed fearful abandoned
enraged ? But so, in life, were the
men, at some time or another, in some
place a cave a church even dare I say it a
home ? That line that sputters softly sputters from
god herself. Your incredulity about
your own divinity causing the static on the
line causing the sputtering instead of a streaming
flowing sprouting by itself pulled by gravity pushed
by light rising like yeast and that force is
you. Not this wrong idea about yourself broken and
sad sagging and grey squinting and
stiff. Not the Body Bereft Antjie
just the listening that will still be there when
the soft pink shell of your ear has dried out
and is being nibbled at by a soft furry light brown mouse.

5 August
In memory of my Dad