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Daisies in the Desert

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LynnSlyWrites

LynnSlyWrites

When Lynn is not writing, she is kept busy caring for her family and their pets. "Hillary’s Angel" is her first novel and "Upside Down" her second.

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Wrote this one for you:

This is my own interpretive translation of a poem by Ingrid Jonker. The original Afrikaans appears below.

Why would anyone notice
what daisies whisper
to sun and wind
when bokmakieries sing
Beyond that blank brow
where perhaps a last sprig of
some drowned Spring still swirls
Beyond my words lost in battle
Beyond our disunited house
Beyond a heart shut tight against itself
Beyond barbed wire, concentration camps, reserves
Beyond the silence, where unknown tongues
toll like bells at a funeral
Beyond our conflicted country

a praying mantis squats green in the grasslands
and stunned, at last we see that
a tiny blue Namaqualand daisy has something
worth telling, worth believing, worth knowing

MADELIEFIES IN NAMAKWALAND
Waarom luister ons nog
na de antwoorde van die madeliefies
op die wind op die son
wat het geword van die kokkewietjies
Agter die geslote voorkop
waar miskien nog ’n takkie tuimel
van ’n verdrinkte lente
Agter my gesneuwelde woord
Agter ons verdeelde huis
Agter die hart gesluit teen homself
Agter draadheinings, kampe, lokasies
Agter die stilte waar onbekende tale
val soos klokke by ’n begrafenis
Agter ons verskeurde land

sit die groen hotnotsgot van die veld
en ons hoor nog verdwaasd
klein blou Namakwaland-madeliefie
iets antwoord, iets glo, iets weet.

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