Poems by Lunette Elle Warren

Naguil

 

middernag (alweer) en my ore sing
seker om die geraas
van jou stem te onderdruk
ek moet jou uit my uit skryf
hierdie keer dig ek jou
(wat ‘n meisie se vel
by die voordeur voorgekeer het)
++++++++++++dood

jy wat in ‘n wit kis gebore is
en seker so ook sal sterwe
waardig begrawe en waardig ontbind
twee dogters, een dogter, geen dogters later

en al wat van jou oor is
is ‘n leë grafsteen
onder ‘n dooie boom

 

Nocturnal (English translation)

midnight (again) and my ears are ringing
probably to repress
the din of your voice
I have to write you out of me
this time I’ll pen you
(who barred a girl’s skin
at the front door)
+++++++++++to death

you who were born in a white casket
and likely to die there
nobly buried and nobly decayed
two daughters, one daughter, no daughters later

and all that’s left of you
is an empty tombstone
under a dead tree

 

Versoeningsvers

wat weet jy
van getrou wees?

daar is die
vir wie tragedie
as geleentheid voorkom

ons is al nagenoeg
ses jaar
van mekaar geskei
deur geen hof
of grens
slegs my eie
nalatigheid

ek is gif

gister was ek te laat
ek het die blomme
op jou grafsteen
agtergelaat.

 

Reconciliation verse (English translation)

what do you know
of loyalty?

there are those
to whom tragedy
appears as opportunity

we have nearly
been apart from one another
six years
through no court
or border
merely my own
negligence

I am poison

yesterday I came too late
I left the flowers
on your grave.

 

Fokof nou

hier binne
waar die lig in die hoeke opdam
bewe die mure
en my voete is vuil
en vuil en vuil en vuil

skree drie keer as ek jou
raak skryf; ‘n gewone vers
is nie goed genoeg nie
: my ligamente is al moeg

hier binne
(waar, binne)
stink dit na sweet
en ‘n woede wat sidder
al langs ons verskuiwingslyn

ek meet my gemoed selfs nou
aan jou; ‘n gebroke vers
wat my nie meer steur nie
: my ligamente is al rou

jy is gister
en ek en ek en ek
is vandag

 

Now Fuck Off

in here
where the light piles up in the corners
the walls tremble
and my feet are foul
and foul and foul and foul

shout three times if I
write true to you; a normal verse
isn’t good enough
: my ligatures have grown tired

in here
(where, here)
it stinks of sweat
and a rage that shudders
all along our fault line

even now I measure my mood
by you; a broken verse
that doesn’t plague me anymore
: my ligatures have gone raw

you are yesterday
and I and I and I
am today

 

Asiel

Het jy al ooit gesien
hoe ‘n kraai
op hakiesdraad land?

Hy trek sy kop op
en sy lyf af
asof hy mens is
wat spartel teen die wind.

Asseblief
moet my nie verskeur nie.

Sy voete strek desperaat
na die doellyn
tussen die lemme
waar hy veilig voel.

En as hy eers daar is
skree hy
the effort is not worth the risk.

 

Asylum (English translation)

Have you ever seen
a crow
land on barbed wire?

He pulls his head up
and his body down
as if he’s human
thrashing against the wind.

Please
don’t butcher me.

His feet reach desperately
for the target
between the blades
where he feels safe.

And when he finally gets there
he shouts
the effort is not worth the risk.

 

Sirkels

By my agterdeur
skryf ‘n arend
(of een of ander
roofvoël)
stil sirkels in die lug.
‘n Groot ronde O
in ‘n taal
wat ek nie kan lees nie.
Soms wil ek vry wees
soos die arend
wat al hoër neig
terwyl ek myself
in die sand anker.
Daar bo ets die arend
stil sirkels in die lug
‘n groot leë O
en hieronder
staan ek en wonder
hoe ek die leemte sou vul.

 

Circles

At my back door
an eagle
(or some or other
bird of prey)
writes silent circles in the sky.
A big round O
in a language
I can’t read.
Sometimes I want to be free
like the eagle
that waxes ever higher
while I anchor myself
in the sand.
Up there the eagle etches
silent circles in the sky
a big empty O
and down here
I stand and wonder
how I would fill the void.

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