Track 01-january.md: January

Album: Last Days of Beautiful

Next 02-pay-back-the-money.md: Pay Back The Money

Lyrics

out of the sunshine climb the moths of the night into the ground into the flood into the thorn trees and bracken and bush by the gravel dam the lean-to goat shed and its sisal-poled shantytown sail through the stranded koppies and deeply ploughed ridges and the riches of the veld come in speckled lichen and dark-winged buzzards and the captain leguan calls a silent tongue along the ground for the souls to follow a small light at the bottom of the winding pools the silver line snaking slaking shaking the yellow pollen the exploding cloud the nightmouth open the wind cool and the moths back in.

—–

sitting inside a happy old tired thought
and the cars and buzzing flies
on the wet-lipped mouth and pause
the town a sliced open fruit
droplets slo-mo through the sky
the sky is the sky of the mute
a flock of starlings grow in number
swirl above the caravans and then
someone leans over and says
‘this is the end, this is how the end comes’

—–

now you will come around the corner
and your smile will be alive and open
and from your hands will come words
‘shall we touch fingertips?’ I’ll ask
and you’ll say ‘yes, let’s do that’
sun will cut slices of cake
from the world around us
and daily troubles and tax
and Syria and gunmen
politics and hate
will for a moment not be here
there will be nothing
just this
just us here
gathered tonight

—–

from inside the dying light
from the ping of the glass
when the shots die down
when the door of a home opens
sunshine and birds
spread across the world
of the hand of a man
and the heart of a woman
and the tongue of a child
and the wild woods will crackle and pop
animals swim underwater
and fly above it and sit atop cliffs
and bark baboons and kudus
and bushbuck and dogs
down to the movement
of the cars and the cities
and the moonlit pipes
of the deepest down dark
of the mine and the murk
the money and the smirk
and the lazy swinging punch
the rubber bullets and armoured cars
the koppies and the knobkieries
the overalls and beanies
the gumboots and torn shirts
the lips and teeth and zol in there
the language the speaker
the listener the word
spit and shine
and toe the line

—–

and what we say is not all we are
but billboards, wings and black
the black of the night at our backs
as we turn around the blind corners
and we see laughs, lipstick and hair
but beware:

where the eye combs not
the world is a knot
it’s a puzzle and a nail
a nest of words and hail

and what the eye smooths out
curls up between our shoulders
where a monster is knitted
with no gloves to hold it
it just coals and smoulders
it smokes and foals
like a filly in brine

—–

skuins uit die halfuur
strompel ’n soldaat
met ’n been in die mond
op die straathoek staan en kou
kon die minister nie maar net
brode bak en grou
met die hand wuif waar hy wou
en die misrabelheid weg kon jou
soos in Bybelstories nou
in ’n ou geweeklaag
’n ge-arme ek ’n ge-arme jy
die gemene deler die gemene gene
die gemeenskapsaaldaknatmaak
die uniforms en die vlae
die party-t-hemde gespan oor party-mae
in ’n party-straat met ’n party-naam
word die partytjie geteken in ink
en op die stippellyne gelaat
deur die strompelende soldaat
se stomp bloedvoete
getatoe tot die donker
met die eensame gefluit
deur die holte van die been
skoongeblaas van murg
en skoongesuig van wit

—–

skuinsgeslaan deur die son
en uitgedraai deur die paaie van die land
verby die doringdraad en die pale
verby die klinkers, die sparre
verby die heinings om die skape
en die bokke en die beeste
en die beste van die verderf
stap hulle met koppe op lywe
en lewens op stokke
en donkies op verslae hoewe
deur die stof en die reën en die wind
na die naderende golf
en die kind
op die heup op die rug op die wa
met die dooie woorde van mossies
opgefrommel in broeksakke
die golf van haas en gryp
die golf van nie haat nie
maar nie liefhê nie
die golf van nie omgee nie
nie omkyk nie
nie opkyk nie
die golf van oormaat
en glans
van goue gans gaarmaak
op gods akker
en gods wagbeurt
waar die drenkelinge
in stadige aksie
uitspoel op die strand
met net ’n hoedjie
in die hand

—–

an aeroplane flies over the slow warm night and the bay and the lights a broken black dance of here and not here and I sit and I think of a small house on a mountainside with a fireplace for a heart and a flock of birds of books shear down the slope cutting the time into mahem minutes and osprey seconds and wind-swallow split seconds and feathers and squeaks and the thought rushes across my face and down the lining of the inside of my shadow percolates through the broth and blood around my organs the crow’s nest of sinews and veins around my bones and leaves through a tiny hole at the back of my skull back into the small house into the fire into the chimney out into the kloof in amongst the birds in amongst the books and gone

—–

onder die bestek van my gesig
is my skedel ’n fossiel
en die spore van my frons
en die rimpel van my oë
dieselfde as die lyne
wat ons oopkap uit rots
dieselfde splinters bene opgespoor
oopgeboor en afgestof
pas in die dele van my skelet
waar skrapnel en tyd en kanker
oor die eeue my voorskadu
oopgeskiet en hand na mond
aangespoor het om te swoeg
en wakker te slaap
en in die hande te spoeg
en met ’n fyn onfeilbaarheid
’n spies in die huid van ’n dier
te forseer en te draai en te dood
of met hande uitmekaarskeur
en eet of vreet met bloed
wat by die punte van
die elmboë ontmoet
en soos ek hier staan
saampoel soos ’n fyn net
en oor die aarde span
al stywer en trom
met die liggiese wip
van die wiel
van die mensdom

—–

and now
when I fall asleep at night
and the sediments of sleep
sift down upon my face
cementing my body to the sheets
and my bones to the mattress
so that i’m there but not here
at the bottom of a river
but afloat in the sand
of an upside down world
the roof of a cave
where ferns and bats
can walk and squawk
or slipped into the hem
of a cloud which is about to
unburden its rain
on a fire in the berg
or
I stand silently
on attention
inside the trunk of a pine
in a forest
submerged by an avalanche
on a planet we’ve never noticed
in the blind spot of our own
I am a small owl
inside an egg
I am a disposable cup
and a nut in the cheek
of a squirrel
inside an elephant
balancing on one leg
in a circus
with no whip
hooray