Gevangenis 2017

Na twaalf jaar staan ek op parool. Vandag trek ek my laaste strepie op die betonmuur. Ek het my straf uitgedien – soms met mismoedigheid dat hierdie dag eindelik sou aanbreek en soms het ek die groter prentjie gesien (miskien kan ek tog iets leer).

Ek moes ‘n brief skryf waarin ek my skuld op die aanklag van (poging tot) moord beken.

~ Volgens die wetlike definisie van moord op die webtuiste legal dictionary, is moord: “the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. The term malice aforethought did not necessarily mean that the killer planned or premeditated on the killing, or that he or she felt malice toward the victim. Generally, malice aforethought referred to a level of intent or reck-lessness that separated murder from other killings and warranted stiffer punishment.” ~

Ek staan vandag voor jou met die bloed van ‘n kind op my hande. Ek het eens op ‘n tyd gewens ek is groot, sodat ek ook die lewe kon geniet. Maar soos ek ouer word, sien ek al wat kort is my kinderdae, vol lag en speel, sonder bekommernis of verantwoordelikheid. Ek het die kind in my besweer sodat ek vinniger ouer kon word, vinniger verantwoordelik en volwasse kon wees.

Die wêreld is ‘n inkleurboek wat mense met hul persoonlikhede, glimlagte en duistere motiewe moet inkleur. ‘n Wêreld wat in neon gedoop is, blyk swart en wit vir my. Ek sien nie meer die kleurryke nasie van sprokies en -liefde nie. Ek het van die ‘yellow brick road’ wat jou na die kasteel van verbeelding lei, gestuier.

Soms wil mens jou brood aan altwee kante gebotter hê. Aan die een kant, veg mense met hoop wat in hul woed vir die positiewe, die silwer randjie aan die donker wolk wat oor ons koppe hang. Aan die ander kant, is dit wanhoop wat oorweldig word met die bose, misdaad, oorlog, hongersnood, droogte. Ons breek ons helde af en verwoes gedenktekens omdat ons wanhopig is oor die toekoms en vasklou aan die verlede met al sy begonne foute, seer en blaam. Dit is ons noodroep vir krygers soos Albert Luthuli en Nelson Mandela wat die mag van vrede, vryheid en geregtigheid verstaan het, om op te staan en ons te lei, want ons bevind onsself in ‘n finansiële, ekonomiese, politiese, sosiolistiese verknorsing sonder enige rigting of aanwysing hoe om die stryd te beveg.

 R10-noot

©Melissa van Eeden

Groen is jou vel

Wat ‘n storie vertel

Van ‘n lewe gestroop

Skaars genoeg vir ‘n brood

 

Jou hande bedel vir geregtigheid

Vandag is Jy ‘n held wêreldwyd

Tog is Jou glimlag gekreukel en gevou

Na jare se klippe kou en nasiebou

 

Jy is waardevol

Die koeël is in die kol

Onse gebrokeling

Môre ‘n vreemdeling

 

Nes jy is ek kaal gestroop

My identiteit en siel verkoop

Maar ons eer word betoon

Êrens tussen munte en note woon

 

 Ons gesigte op die 10 rand noot

Skaars genoeg vir ‘n brood

Ek het hoop in die mensdom verloor. Ek het einde Mei 2017 ‘n blog post geskryf oor my siening oor vandag se jeug en samelewing. “Our youth and society has become a mankind of glorious disgust and indolence. Our future is in the hands of our youth – that smokes the clouds we see (clouds that don’t bring rain, but pollution), that still depends on Mommy and Daddy rather than accepting responsibility, that is too frightened to speak their minds like Shakespeare or EE Cummings or any other pioneer in the previous centuries.” Lees gerus die hele blog post (https://coffeetalks101.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/did-life-get-easier/) om die waarheid agter die stelling te begryp.

“Ek gaan jou nog vermoor!” Poging tot moord. Ek wou al hoeveel mense vermoor het, maar ek het nie. Dalk maak dit my ‘n beter persoon, ek weet nie. Ek het in drie gevegte gekom. Twee beseer. Maar nog nooit iemand vermoor nie. Die Bybel meen die tong is skerper as die swaard. Soms is woorde genoeg om mens tot moord te dryf.

Ek het ‘n brief geskryf oor jou (jy sal weet wie jy is).

Suicide Note

I have kept too many secrets. I tried to be strong. I fought against it: emotionally, physically, mentally. It was stronger as it finally destroyed me.

I am dead. No, not physically. Well, not yet. I am dead inside. I don’t feel anything except pain and brokenness. At night, I drown in my sorrows. Feeling the tears sliding down my cheeks, makes me feel vulnerable. How could I let you win again?

I am a man. Therefore, I ought to be tough. Nobody can see me cry. I ought to be strong. I must – I… must…

Can’t you see how I look? Can’t you sense my insecurities? No, why would you? I don’t know why you do the things you do. Maybe you were bullied at school, at home, in life or maybe you try to hide your own insecurities. I don’t know, but what I know is that your jokes, your words and actions cut through my skin and now…

Look at me. Do you see it? (See the scars close to my pulse on my left arm.) You did this to me. Every single cut comes from your knife. At first, you used a blunt knife. It was gentle, and soft, and innocent. It wasn’t sufficient. The knife became sharper and sharper. Its touch became less gentle, less soft, less innocent.

I have been noticing that you, too, have lost your innocence in this big, mean world. Don’t feel guilty. It happens to all of us.

I have lost my innocence at the age of fifteen. I know what you may think: he lost his virginity, he drinks too much, he does drugs, he smokes. No, if you thought any of that, you were wrong – and it shows me how much you really know me. I have lost my childhood innocence – thinking that life is simple, rainbow-coloured and nice.

I learned the hard way to fend for myself. After my mother’s death, I couldn’t cope. I dwelled through a senseless life. One afternoon I stumbled upon you. You smiled at me. The moment you started to talk about being a friend and caring for others, I thought this is my chance.

I did not plan to fall in love. It just happened. I did not plan to fall out of love, either. It just happened.

Not feeling anything for you, makes this much easier. This is beyond the bullying and you not loving me. This is not about you, or the world, or anyone else.

I am doing this to save myself.

Die gevangenis verander mens. Ek het myself op sekere vlakke gevind, en op ander vlakke het ek myself weer verloor. Maar dit is lewe – ‘n avontuur waar die ware ek groei en verander, waar ek myself op ‘n plek gaan vind en myself weer in iemand of iets gaan verloor. Die lewe is ‘n konstante vloei van lewe, die tiek-tok van die klok en die heelal wat vir ons tekens stuur van kanse vat, waag, leef en liefhê.

Na twaalf jaar staan ek op parool. My een voet buite die selle terwyl my ander voet steeds standvastig in die selle staan. Ek kyk vir ‘n laaste keer na die sel waar twaalf jaar opgesluit is in herinneringe, lesse, lewe en groei. Waar vriende gekom en gegaan het. Waar ek my eerste liefde ontmoet het. Waar ek met ‘n gebroke hart leer voel het. Waar my siel met ‘n vliegtuigkaartjie gevlug het na ‘n ander era, ‘n ander wêreld. Waar ek begin droom het.

Boom

©Melissa van Eeden

by hierdie boom het ek groot geword

in die koelte my onskuld gelaat

en in die son begin dans

 

die seisoene het my bevry

waar die kleure met die tye verander

die blomme het gebot tot die lewe se lot

die seisoene het my geboei

gevangene tot die verwyt van tyd

waar die winter skuins na somer draai

trane met verlepte blomme op die graf verlate

met die afsydigheid en teer wat die dood forseer

waar die blomme nie meer sal blom

en die son nie meer sal kom

by hierdie boom het ek die lewe geniet

geleer van die wêreld deur die oë van fases

en van die lewe

waar elke einde weer begin

Gevangenis 2017 – Ek word voorwaardelik vrygelaat. Januarie 2018 verskyn ek weer voor die hof, regter en jurie wat dan oor my toekoms sal beslis.

My toekoms is nou net een tree weg.

 

Hierdie is net die begin.

xxx

Droom groot!

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TIME

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Time is running out on the clock. The hours are mere seconds away.

In this deprivation, I ask, “WHAT IS TIME?”

We measure our days in time, in seconds, minutes and hours. According to exactlywhatistime.com there are various short definitions proven by physics such as Albert Einstein. The definitions may seem incomplete, but time is never really a comprehensive orgy. Here is some of the definitions listed on the website:

  • what clocks measure (attr. to physicists Albert Einstein, Donald Ivey, and others)
  • what prevents everything from happening at once (physicist John Wheeler and others)
  • a linear continuum of instants (philosopher Adolf Grünbaum)
  • a certain period during which something is done (Medical Dictionary)
  • a continuum that lacks spatial dimensions (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

To be honest, all these definitions make sense. We use time to schedule our lives. You work from nine to five. You plan to go out at eight. We use time to measure our days. Time is consistent. Every millisecond is precise. Every hour lets the clock scream as time seem to run out or joyously celebrate another hour gone by. I remember when I was a child, I would visit my grandma. In her living room, there was this clock. At every hour, it had this ding-dong sound to indicate what hour it was. Time is given to us as deadlines – dead: time is given to us from our birth to your death; deadlines: time is used to preserve order, assurance and deliverance, and writer’s block. I hate to write in a time controlled environment. I am forced to suppress my thoughts and ideas without developing any creative concepts, but rather ideas that seem concrete and justifiable. I have read along the way that there is no time in space. I don’t know if it is true, but imagine for a moment that time didn’t exist.

I had a dream this morning. It was nine o’clock. Time ran marathons around me. I had to run against time to save whatever it was I had to save. I can’t really remember the whole dream, but I remember feeling anxious as time would run out and life will surpass me. We all run this marathon against time and life. No one is immortal and can beat this life. There is an eternity to try, but we will never exceed. Or perhaps we just need an Albert Einstein who would dare to tempt fate and time and life. We need someone who will fight for science and physics and the wonders of the world. Is that perhaps you? When I woke up out of this dream, it was barely seven o’clock. Time wasn’t speeding along on the highway, yet it felt like it. Have you ever felt that time moves faster when you are asleep than when you are awake?

There is a lot of theories and philosophies about time. I am peculiarly interested in the modern philosophies where no one wants to admit the existence of time.

Presentism

This philosophy believes that only the present is real (thus calling it presentism), while the view that all points in time are equally “real” is referred to as eternalism.

Presentism would ultimately erase our history. No more Apartheid. No more Cold War. No more Nazis and Hitler. This philosophy rules out any past or future, but thrusts on the present. You ought to live for today, and not for tomorrow, nor for yesterday. “Thus, according to presentism, only present objects and present experiences can be said to truly exist, and things come into existence and then drop out of existence.”

Lady Antebellum sings this song called “I was here”. With presentism in mind, can you leave your mark on earth, in life? I recently encountered a lot of references to leaving your mark and the human’s desperate desire to be remembered and their frantic fight against immortality. I have read stories and poems, heard songs and viewed paintings that all scream their creator’s aspiration to life (or to die). Every one of us long to a sense of belonging and identity. We ought to admit it to ourselves that we are mortal beings that will be born into a life that is not all moonshine and roses, that we will live and that we will die. It is the circle of life. Vincent van Gogh never painted to leave a mark, or that is what I think. He painted because it was his passion. He wasn’t recognised for it – for I brilliancy and genius at the time. It was only after his death that his work got the appreciation it deserved. Perhaps, you are struggling and cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps, you need time which life refuses to give you. Perhaps, you are reading this to comprehend time and life and your situation.

Our society has put a curse on time, describing it as a burden, when we should in fact be expressing time in the love we give, in the moments we create, in the quality and quantity of things that we do.

The late Whitney Houston described eternity as moments of overcoming fears, becoming your dream and to embrace your destiny.

“I want one moment in time

When I’m more than I thought I could be

When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away

And the answers are all up to me

Give me one moment in time

When I’m racing with destiny

Then in that one moment of time

I will feel

I will feel eternity”

I will feel eternity…

In that one moment of time…

2am-VERLANGE

Ons woorde het verdamp tot ondraaglike stiltes wat begin skree (soos ‘n baba met koliek) in die vroegoggendure waar ek alleen in my bed lê en jy alleen in joune. Die maan hang steeds aan ‘n toutje in die hemelruim met verskietende sterre wat oor sy wange drup. Dit is twee-uur en ek wonder of jy ook nou deur jou kamervenster kyk op soek na antwoorde in die sterre. Sou ons oë mekaar in dieselfde blik op ‘n ster ontmoet? Ek glo nie, want indien my oë skelm na jou draai en per ongeluk jou bruin oë ontmoet, bars ‘n ongemaklikheid oor ons en voel ek en jy verleë. Ek vind antwoorde in musiek, alhoewel dit nie die antwoorde is waarna ek gesoek het nie. Ek karoake op Taylor Swift – hoop dat die lewe tog ‘n movie is soos sy ook wens “but if this was a movie you’d be here by now/It’s not the kind of ending you wanna see now”. Ek kan nie slaap nie. Jou woorde speel soos ‘n gramofoonplaat wat vasgehak het, oor en oor in my gedagtes. Jy blyk onskuldig en verward oor hoe vinnig ‘n onskuldige gesprek tot die einde van ons “vriendskap?” (of wat ook al jy dit noem) kon lei. Ek lê nou alleen met ‘n leë plek langs aan my, ‘n holte waar jy altyd gelê het. My lakens ruik nog soos jy. Ek sal dit oor en oor moet was om daardie naskeermiddel wat jy gebruik het, uit te was. Die kussing waarop jy geslaap het, besit al jou drome wat jy snags opgetower het. Ek het twee koppies koffie vanoggend in my moegheid gemaak – wie gaan die ander een drink? Ek mis jou, maar ek sal dit nie hardop erken nie. Ek was verslaaf aan jou, aan die gevoel wat jy vir my gegee het as jou hand liggies en subtiel aan myne raak en jou skaam skewe glimlag wat jou gesig laat ophelder het. Ek mis ons gesprekke tot drie-uur die oggend waar ons oor alles en niks kon praat. Nou sit ek alleen met my gedagtes, jou woorde en ‘n spook wat my hart om middernag kom wakker klop met skuldgevoel en hartseer, met gebrokenheid oor wat nie meer is nie of wat nooit werklik was nie. Agter ons woorde het geheime geskuil wat ons nie wou openbaar nie. In ons oë kon die waarheid nooit asemhaal nie, omdat ons getinte vensters gehad het om ons siele te beskerm teen verwerping. My foon vibreer en klink op teen die nag se stiltes. Ek wens dit was ‘n boodskap van jou. [eks jamer] jou spelfoute het my nog altyd geïrriteer. Wees bly, jy is nou ontslae daarvan. Dan hoekom mis ek dit, mis ek om jou foute uit te wys en reg te maak? Trane rol uit die gleufies van my oë en klou aan my wange vas. Het ek ‘n fout begaan?

My gedagtes vlug hier vandaan, loop kaalvoet op die teerpad, gooi duim by die verkeerslig. Kan iemand asseblief my optel en my neem waar dit nie meer sal seermaak nie. Ek skribbel halwe woorde in my notaboek. Gedigte skets my hart, my gemoed, my gedagtes. Jy is in almal van hulle. Die hoofletter waarmee die gedig begin en die punt waarmee die gedig tot ‘n einde kom. Jy is die vrye vers waarmee ek myself vasketting aan sorgelose struktuur. Jy is die paarrym wat my woorde laat rymdwang [in die skemer skuil jy agter kakiebos/skryf ek steeds briewe wat ek nooit pos] My woorde maak nie veel sin nie.

Dit is 2:59.

geskryf deur Melissa van Eeden

SELFIE

 

AFRIKAANS :
Ek loer met my hande gebak om my oë, deur die venster en sien hoe jy daar by tafel sit met ‘n iPhone in jou hand. Jy tik idees, aanhalings en notas vir jou volgende selfie-post. Filosofies. Uit die boks. Nee, vee ‘uit die boks’ uit – skryf liewer geen boks – no limits (behalwe as dit by drank kom). Jy druk die kamera-toep. Pout. In gedagte. Kyk in die kamera. Fokus. Sit ‘n hoed op. Sit sonbrille op. Lyk cool. Swag. Moenie smile nie. Smile is so laas dekade. Edit die selfies met beautifier. Sit ‘n filter op – black and white, sutro, 1920’s. Caption this. Hashtags. Post dit op Instagram. Wag vir die notifications – Xander98 just liked your photo. Sukses bloei na die hoeveelste notification – jou selfie van ‘n man(vrou) wat smag na die aanvaarding van die samelewing en ‘n gevoel van lewe deur ‘n filosofiese aanhaling met ‘n gedokterde foto
was ‘n hit.

ENGLISH :
I peak through your window and see a man sitting at the table with an iPhone in his hand. You type ideas, quotes and notes for your next selfie post. Philosophical. Out of the box. No, rather no box – there is no limits. You click on the camera and a few moments later, your face appears to be the centre of attention. Pout. In thought. Stare into the camera. Focus. Put accerrosies on. Underline cool. Swag. Don’t smile. Smiling is so last decade. Edit the selfies with beautifier. Filter the images – black and white, sutro, 1920s. Caption this. Hashtags. Post it on Instagram. Wait for the first notifications – Xander98 just liked your photo. Success flourishes notification after notification, comment after comment – Your selfie of a man(woman) who tastes after the acceptance of society and a sense of life through a philosophical quote with a documented picture
was a hit.

SPORE

Spore

Geskryf deur Melissa van Eeden

 

Eensaam

staan Spore op die stasie waar hy wag

vir die trein na Johannesburg

waar hy sy drome gaan najaag

hy hoor reeds die begeleiding

van die stadsgedruis waarop hy snags

gaan neurie voordat hy verval in ‘n onderbroke slaap

van ‘n taxi se toet ‘n streekstaal wat mense

in die verbygaan klets die neonligte wat as

tydaanwysing dien vir die nag

 

om die draai kom hy aan gehardloop

die lokomotief wat voort storm

Spore tel sy koffer op, voel-voel

aan sy sak vir die drie klippies

sy glimlag breed getrek op sy armoedige gesig

‘n skreeuende fluit jaag die voëls uit hul neste wat nou swerm in die

blou lug met gesketsde rookwolke soos die lokomotief ‘n laaste

teug neem van die sigaret voordat die sigaretstompie

by die venster uitgesmyt word

die lokomotief skop vas teen die yster

en stop voor Spore

die deure ruk oop

niemand klim uit

Spore gee die man twee klippe voor hy in klim

die laaste klip sal hy gebruik om sy moeder te bel

as hy veilig in Johannesburg bestem

dEpReSSioN

Depression suffocates our society, our youth, us. This is a thought that I found written on a crumpled paper, drowning in an overfull trash can.

I feel broken and I don’t know why. I feel suffocated by my circumstances and short of breath as my oxygen is little and my breathing haste. I long something or someone. Who or what, I don’t know. I am paralyzed – the cold made me numb. I am tired. I am –

Take me now before death comes.