Tuesday, June 19, 2012

THESE DUSTY YEARS

THESE DUSTY YEARS  
© Farouk Asvat  

We burn ourselves
In dancing effigies
Of our own desires
In the shadow of a soldier
Around ululating carousels
Where rusted braziers burn
Into cold ashen streets
Where the smell of white smoke
And bluegums burning
Mingle with the grotesque dance
Of ebony children
Burning
In the embrace
Of writhing skeletons

     In a celebration of yellow carnations
     And red flames
     We devour souls
     In one cold swoop
     Of determined rhetoric
     As we live on dreams
     Poltergeists
     In the guise of revolutionaries

From Tigani to 'Thekwini the lands are dry.
     And the rain is in my heart.
     The rain is in my heart:
Pienaarsrivier is an undulating snake, crack-skinned,
Where the highveld grass is aflame with dryness;
In Khuma a bullet-riddled corpse
Lies in a broken, bullet-ridden coffin;
In Zinyoka Biko walks amongst the hungry,
And Alexandra smells of fresh shit,
Sewerage flowing between the toes of children;
In Matlosana mohair veld sways in the breeze
Amidst the burning matchbox houses of Joubertina;
While Gauteng spits its bloody lungs out,
Crossroads celebrates its charred skeletons
Of burning shacks and broken hovels;
In Mgungundlovu poverty stalks
Like a hungry lion seeking children for heaven,
Even as Mandela paces in his sickly cell:
     For here death is a constant song:
     We have learnt that.
     There is no patience
     In our patience;
     Life attacks
     Like teargas
     As if batons are stopped
     By crunched skulls
     As if you didn't know
     Death sleeps here
     Creeping up like a reality of ghosts

Here, amidst this pilgrimage and exile,
This promise of the fair
The foulest stench of sewers
This taste of blood and teargas
This muscle and air of my body
This city promising gold
Smelling of homebrew

     Here, there are no afternoon rains
     To cool the mind;
     Heatwaves of desire
     And shattered dreams of hope
     Spiral up from the steaming tarmac
     As pedestrians emerge from shops
     Like whores after a raid
     Weighed down by life:

For our lives are precarious,
And precariously
We hold on
To so many lives,
Shattered,
Poised between laughter and death
The tension of living
And dying within,
Exiles on the periphery of death

Learning
With hardened sensitivities
That there's always
Another side to a story,
That friends,
Like laughter,
Come knocking,
Like death,
On your skull
In a carousel of dreams
In a celebration of slogans

     The rain is in my heart.
     The rain is in my heart.


© farouk asvat

composed: 1985 [Johannesburg, South Africa under apartheid]

[] Acknowledgements:

These Dusty Years was previously published in:

     A Celebration Of Flames (donker, p57, 1987);
     Dokumente Texte und Tendenzen VIII (Evangelische Akademie, Germany, p104, 1987);
     Matatu 3(4) ed G Davis, M Manaka (Göttingen, Germany, p190, 1988);
     A Celebration of Flames (Heller Fund, UC Berkeley, USA, p48, 1988);
     Deze Stoffige Jaren: Dutch translation by Irene Scheltes (1989);
     African Literature In The Eighties (Matatu 10), ed D Riemenschneider, F Schulze-Engler,
          (Rodopi, Amsterdam, Netherlands & Atlanta, p`, 1993);
     A Celebration Of Flames (piquant publications, p88, 2007);
     www.faroukasvat-poems.blogspot.com (19.06.2012);
     A Celebration Of Flames (kindle, 2014);
     A Celebration Of Flames (amazon paperback, p86, 2014).

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the NOVEL Sadness In The House Of Love by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $15 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the NOVEL The Gathering Of The Storm by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the anthology I Dream In Long Sentences by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the anthology The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the anthology A Celebration Of Flames by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the anthology The Time Of Our Lives by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the anthology Bra Frooks … by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $7.50 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the collection of literary essays Weapons of Words by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $10 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

© farouk asvat.  All rights reserved.

Farouk Asvat asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means whatsoever, or transmitted in any form or any means whatsoever, mechanical or electronic, including recording, printing, photocopying, or via any computerised means or media, including the internet.  This publication shall also not be stored in a retrieval system.  And the writing shall not be sold, lent, hired, resold or circulated in any form or binding or cover other than that in which it is published,
without the prior permission of the author in writing.
Permission to publish or reproduce the writings in any format can be obtained from the author.
Reproduction of this work without permission, except for scholarly & nonprofit purposes,
is liable to a payment of 10, 000 ren men bi or US$ 1,500.

farouk asvat can be contacted at: farouk.asvat@gmail.com

[] please check out my blogs @:





books by farouk asvat: www.faroukasvat-books.blogspot.com

[] also link up on:






amazon kindle author @ www.amazon.com/author/faroukasvat

_______________________________________________________
DEZE STOFFIGE JAREN 

     Dutch translation by © Irene Scheltes

We verbranden onszelf
In dansende beelden
Van onze eigen begeerten
In de schim van een soldaat
Rond klagende carrousels
Waar verroeste komforen branden
In koude straten van as
Waar de reuk van witte rook
En brandende eucalyptus
Zich mengt met de grillige dans
Van ebbehouten kinderen
Brandend
In de omhelzing
Van schrompelende skelleten

     In een feest van gele angelieren
     En rode vlammen
     Verslinden we zielen
     In één koude hap
     Van vaststaande retoriek
     Terwijl we leven op dromen
     Poltergeists
     Vermomd als revolutionairen;

Van Tigani tot Thekwini zijn de streken droog.
     En het regent in mijn hart.
     Het regent in mijn hart:
Pienaarsrivier is een kronkelende slang, met knisperend vel,
Waar het hoge gras door droogte vlam vat;
In Khuma ligt een lijk met kogels doorzeefd,
In een kist, kapot, met kogels doorzeefd;
In Zinyoka loopt Biko tussen de hongerigen,
En Alexandra ruikt naar verse poep,
Rioolwater stroomt tussen de tenen van kinderen;
In Matlosana wuift de mohairen vlakte in de wind
Tussen de brandende lucifershuisjes van Joubertina;
Terwijl Gauteng z'n bloederige longen uitspuugt,
Herdenkt Crossroads haar verkoolde skeletten
Van brandende hutten en kapotte krotten;
In Mgungundlovu sluipt de armoe
Hongerige leeuw op zoek naar kinderen voor de hemel,
Zoals Mandela ijsbeert in zijn ziekmakende cel:
     Want hier zingt de dood voortdurend zijn lied:
     Dat hebben we geleerd.
     Er is geen geduld
     In ons geduld
     Het leven valt aan
     Als traangas
     Alsof de gummistok stopt
     Door verbrijzelde schedels
     Als je het nog niet wist
     Hier slaapt de dood
     Omhoog kruipend als levensechte geesten

Temidden van bedevaart en banning
Deze belofte van de rechtschapenen
De smerigste stank van riolen
Deze smaak van bloed en traangas
Deze spieren en lichaamshouding
Deze stad die goud belooft
Met de geur van tshwala

     Hier zijn geen middagregens
     Om de geest te verkoelen,
     Golven heet van verlangen
     En vernietigde dromen van hoop
     Kringelen omhoog van het dampende asfalt
     Duiken als voetgangers uit winkels op
     Als hoeren na een inval
     Terneergedrukt door het leven:

Want we zijn ons leven niet zeker,
En klampen ons
Onzeker vast
Aan zovele levens,
Kapot gemaakt,
Zwevend tussen vreugde en dood
De spanning tussen leven
En van binnen sterven,
Ballingen aan de rand van de dood

En we leren
Met gepantserde gevoelens
Dat er altijd
Een andere kant aan een verhaal zit
Dat vriendin,
Als vreugde,
Aan de deur komen,
Als de dood,
Op je schedel
In een carrousel van dromen
In een festijn van leuzen

     Het regent in mijn hart.
     Het regent in mijn hart.

     Dutch translation by kind permission of  © Irene Scheltes

[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
the NOVEL Sadness In The House Of Love by Farouk Asvat
is now available on amazon: paperback @ $15 & kindle @ only $5
[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]

#love #literature #fiction #novel #poetry #southafrica #apartheid #books #classics
#weapons of words #comparative literature #literary criticism
#faroukasvat #a celebration of flames #these dusty years

          www.amazon.com/author/faroukasvat