Sunday, August 13, 2017

World of storms

(Krotoa’s soliloquy)

Afrikaner, the Khoi, people
lend me your ears
i didn't come to bury Van Riebeeck
nor praise him

I have come to recall
how those days, so cracked & chipped
were wrought

I have come to un-bury pieces of myself

And thus, one day, i came to work
in his house
the crockery washed, the beds made, the floors swept
by those tiny hands

While scouring the shore
for shells, barnacles, mussels
i had been taken; just 11 years old
removed
by men in breeches

Like a mussel, like a patterned shell, i had the honour of being 'found'
being found art
being picked off a rock

Yet Van Riebeeck was an honourable man
& – don't get me wrong –
my uncle, who did not ignite a war
to demand my return
was also an honourable man

Are we not all honourable?

And so, i worked with the tongues of angels
& so, i helped create afrikaans out of stray words, utterances, sighs
and so i wove, as with wool or cotton
portuguese, khoi, afrikaans
into garments of
stark coexistence

A harsh entangling
that drove the children of the sun goddess, the first people
further & further away
to distant edges
far from fort and company gardens

… To edges of
extinction

Visiting the clan
these small feet traveled, then sojourned
in splendid openness
of veld, tree & fynbos
ah, the gorgeous reflexology of belonging
of child-like laughter, playmates and a festival of clicks

Thus it came that
Van Riebeeck, on his recall, set sail like a boat
over oceans vast
& i, like driftwood, eddied ...
but, alas, he was
indeed an honourable man

And so Van Meerhof arrived
who i took to marry, & whose children that budded and grew in me
ranked out like ivy
across the land; did they
in the cradle that was my womb
taste the distrust and suspicion
i swallowed
as i broke bread at fort and village?

Crushed between, i die
s many times
a wheel spins & a rope of metallic links
uncoils. Who
will be the anchor in my

cape of storms?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A short story, Cosmo's Return

I've been engaging in short story writing. My short story, Cosmo's Return, was published in the magazine Itch. The magazine is linked to Wits University and "is an online periodical for experimental creative work by emerging and established writers and artists working in a wide variety of media".

Read the story at: www.itch.co.za/writing/cosmos-return.




Thursday, April 13, 2017

Children's story: Outsiders

Thanks again to the Fundza initiative which features my children's story entitled Outsiders: https://tinyurl.com/kdd7keo. 

Each story is edited before being published on the mobi site. Fundza also adds questions after each chapter to enhance readers' engagement with the story. 

Frank Meintjies

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Kids' story: 'The ... African Pot'

This story, which I submitted to Fundza in 2016, is featured on the Fundza mobi site:
http://live.fundza.mobi/home/fanz/essays/the-old-man-the-wise-woman-and-the-african-pot/ .

The site "delivers exciting reading content to young people via their mobile phones".





Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pathways to love

finding the arteries to love
we search within 
we make bold or tentative steps
our hands are willows, are embracing limbs
our necks are vases, earthen & well baked
our words
small blossoms, bursting forth

finding the routes to love
we give fragments of our souls
we accept parts 
never revealed before
we sob, we laugh, we rage, we touch tranquility

labyrinth's of pain & truth
labours of pain & love
with all the platelets, coagulations, smears
coated in red

in moment's of gratitude
along slivers of time 
when we are fully present
we find the rivers
to love

(Dec 2015)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Connie Ngcaba's life story highlights grassroots contribution to anti-apartheid struggle

In May I Have This Dance, Connie Ngcaba tells the story of how she navigated apartheid in the Eastern Cape during those bitter years. Displaying remarkable grit, she overcame obstacles to find her place in the nursing profession and helped stoke  through her day to day responses to oppression  the broader waves of resistance.

See my review of May I Have This Dance here.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lion

the languid lion lifts his mane
tattoo-like scars on forelimbs & face
the aftermath of many scraps, once to the edge
of life; a gaze, easy-like-

sunday-morning
on river pool
where buffalo family swallows gallons
& robins & kingfishers swirl
slicing air

calf wanders unseen
in the direction
of the pulsing camouflage
coming oh-so-close 
to 
open nostrils & small cloud of flies
slowly, an urge to strike, 
to brush aside inertia, rising
in the belly
of the stiff-limbed one
then, quickly
buffalo mum, eye now turned eagle, canters
out of water; with
guiding horns
she gathers & sweeps the toddler away

our languid giant
has no appetite
for bruising blood-letting bash with
hardened spikes - horns remembered
all too well
from other sundays
in the highveld sun 

F.M.


Sketches - Frank Meintjies