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The Villanelle from hell

Writing a villanelle
I’m stumbling over the fixed rhyme
the poem from hell

I’m thrown into a prison cell
my sorry efforts the crime
writing a villanelle.

The poet is under an evil spell
while the devil rolls the die:
the poem from hell.

How long now, who can tell?
Frankly, who has the time?
writing a villanelle.

Demons are sounding the bell
the poet maketh a frustrated cry
the poem from hell.

The awful sound of the knell
Ding dong the end is nigh.
Writing a villanelle
the poem from hell.

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Napowrimo Day 23-24

Oh dear. I’m starting to get really lazy now. My words are almost finished since I haven’t added to my stash in weeks.

Day 23: hell, favourite, struggle, begins, choice, generation, party, his, science, snap

hell is when our favourite struggle begins
making choice of a generation
while party is his science
we snap to the beat

Day 24: hippity, knoppie, fight, island, space, buy, Bushveld, thanks, freak, out

hippity
druk die knoppie
we fight for island space
buy Bushveld
thanks freak
I’m out!

Extra: hippity, hoppity

Do you know the “Hickory, dickory, dock” poem? Well, I tried to write a poem with the words “hippity, hoppity” with the “hickory, dickory, dock” rhythm:

hippity hoppity boo
everyone went off to the zoo
when tradegy struck: poor Jack
ended up as a crocodile snack
hippity hoppity boo-hoo-hoo!

Napowrimo Day 20 – 22

Eish. The last two days I had such a big headache I had no time to work on my poems.

Day 20: hoppity, new, your, chicken, cheers, vat, as, next, a menagerie

Thoughts: “hoppity new your” looks almost like “happy new year”. “Menagerie” is a word for a little zoo or animal collection: “hoppity” refers to rabbit or bunny and chicken is already one of the chosen words.

hoppity new your
chicken cheers!
the animals are celebrating
a vat passed as they
make their way
to their next home –
a menagerie

Day 21: Red, warning, big, her, love, killing, trouble, sal (will/shall), Baobab, charge

Thoughts: the first thing I thought about when I saw the word “charge” is a little poor child being adopted by a rich family.
“Baobab” is the largest tree on the African continent.

Do not cheat her

Red is her warning,
big is her love.
killing her softly is trouble
it will only result
in a Baobab charge

Day 22: dead, your, the, quiz, magic, junk, stairs, deals, chocolate, groove

Thoughts: these words made me think of Aladdin and the street markets.

the market is dead
your world in turmoil
the economy busying
itself with the quiz
buying magic junk
running up & down the stairs
making deals
in chocolate Easter bunnies
believing they are in the groove
or are they falling?

 

More Nonsense poems!

Here are some more nonsense poems I’ve written in my third year at university.

My online digital internship is coming to an end and I’m planning to start some research in the Dadaist movement and Dada poetry. I’ll also see if I can find some famous nonsense poems in Afrikaans. All I can think of right now is the one that ends with: “WOK Nak Wyf” or something like that. We did it in high school or in our first year at university.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these nonsense poems as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Rhyming is for the birds

fixed structures are for mental cases.

Seems so ironic, though

I’m still trying to rhyme on basis.

 

Dear, a strange deer

keeps whispering into my ear.

Is it something I fear?

Put my brain into another gear

Listen! What’s that I hear?

Sounds like King Lear

He’s coming near.

He is not my peer.

Maybe he is queer.

He touched my rear.

Now I need to steer

Away from my tears

This poem is just weir-d.

 

And Vice versa:

 

Dear

Ear to the hollow wall

Fear is an understatement

Gear is the next level.

Hear me when I’m talking to you!

Leer at me, that’s right!

Near-by is a storm

Peer through the window

Queer is not weird.

Rear is my backside.

Steer me away from here.

Tear me to pieces.

Weird things happen at night.

 

This poem can have some elements of the protest poem if I’m not mistaken.

 

Some nonsense haikus:

Creativity

is rebellion – true!

Rhyming is a bitch!

 

Why rhyme? It’s nothing

but slime-ball grandma’s nagging.

Kills creative mind!

 

And last but not least:

What is everyone doing this weekend?

Some are celebrating

Some are mourning

I’m lying here

trying not to bore you.

 

 

Awakening of the bones through art.

A group of young, talented artists came together to show their interpretations of Ezekiel 37 which was the theme of the alternative Art of Breathing exhibition.

They showcased their interpretations through any medium they could find: photographs, paintings, poetry, performance art (fire dancing), sculptures, music and even a bizarre short film.

Ezekiel 37 is set in a valley of bones seen in a vision by Ezekiel. God asks Ezekiel: “Son of man, can these bones live?” He answers that only God knows. God commands him to prophesy over the bones: the bones come alive with flesh and sinews and God breathes life into them. (King James version)

The following artists: Xenia Roos, Ancois Barnard, Louise du Plessis, Ingrid van der Merwe, Juanrie Ferreira, Walter and Zoe van Zyl, Jaques Malan, Donné Malan, Martin Gouws, Annari du Plessis, Franci Dorfling and Jandré Brink works’ were arranged throughout the hall lit by candlelight. Their artworks look deeper and cuts to the core.

The artists are from a very close-knit group of friends that makes up some parts of the alternative community in Hatfield. They previously contributed to two Art of Breathing booklets and they decided to host an exhibition for the third installment.

The art exhibition were held at the New Church right across from the Sheraton Hotel in Wessels Street on Saturday 6 July. Guests were greeted by Louise du Plessis and Ross Pickersgill’s fire dancing at the entrance. They twirled lighted staffs around and Louise further wowed the crowd with her fire breathing skills. She has been doing it for the last 3 years – even at some weddings! They also did some poi with their chain toy creation. (Poi is a form of dance where weights on the end of thethers are swung through rhythmical patterns).

Louise demonstrates fire breathing

Ross Pickersgill fire twirling

I talked to some of the artists to hear the stories behind their art:

Xenia Roos made a statue of bones with the words of Jeremiah 20:9 carved into the bone “And I can’t stop! For if I say I’ll never again mention the Lord – never more speak in his name – then his word in my heart is like fire that burns in my bones, and I can’t hold it in any longer.” (The Living Bible). The Word that God spoke to each and everyone of us – that Word will be like a fire that burns in your bones and I won’t be able to keep it quiet any longer.

Xenia Roos' bone sculpture

Xenia Roos bone sculpture close up

Ancois’s Performance art

At first glance her artwork looks like a random array of newspapers stuck over each other. When I asked her to explain her artwork to me, she ripped off a piece of newspaper. I was puzzled. She then explained that the newspapers symbolises the masks she wears and that God comes and rips it off to reveal the true “Ancois” he made. Her inspiration is from where the angel of God asks Jacob “What is your name?” so as if to say: Are you ready to be the person I wanted you to be? “My artwork symbolises the process of God that rips off the masks and asks me ‘Am I ready to be the person he planned out for me to be?’”
With every piece of newspaper that is ripped away a piece of a self portrait is revealed.

Ancois' self portrait revealed

Ancois was also responsible for a series of photographs and sketches of the heart. “The 120 Black and White Film photos are to show how the face of the church has changed. That even the alternative community should awaken and follow Him, said Barnard.

Ancois Barnard 120 B&W photograph

Ancois Barnard Face of church has changed

“The hearts entitled Awakening of emotions tells my story of how my heart was in pieces and I couldn’t feel a thing. God came to give me a new heart to beat for Him. With the new heart I can truly love people and find joy in the smaller things in life,” she added.

Ancois Barnard's  Awakening of emotions

Ingrid van der Merwe:
This person or skeleton in the picture “is a preacher who practises fire baptism: baptising people with fire like Jesus did, but only after his own flesh is burned away it reveals his true or God’s nature. He is more alive with bones than with flesh. The dark cloud symbolises God that usually uses this disguise to reveal Himself to his people.”

Ingrid van der Merwe's preacher

Juanrie Ferreira:
“When I did the research on my piece I came upon other verses related to the theme of Ezekiel 37. I especially focussed on Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (King James version). The oil painting is about we as human beings that chase after idols in our search for happiness, but it leaves us burnt out. We seek happiness. The bones in the desert shows that if we praise God even in the hardest times – only then we can heal and become whole again.”

Juanrie Ferreira's interpretation2

Annari du Plessis: jewelry stand. Some of the jewelry parts are inside pieces of watches. She started making jewelry in August last year when she couldn’t find work. She makes everything by herself and enjoys every second of it.

Annari du Plessis' jewelry stand

Some satire can be found in the works of Jacques Malan: especially in his work entitled “Cheesus Christ”. (photo caption)

Donné Malan
Donné explains the three figures in her artwork as such:
The woman in the foreground resembles a perfect human being, but without God’s breath, her flesh is dead. The second figure receives the breath from the heavens and starts to move. The third figure shows her fulfillment with God: she reigns over the flesh (the body).

Donné's interpretation

Zoe van Zyl
Zoe is responsible for the most artworks of the evening: she submitted poetry, paintings and sculptures. Her personal favourite artwork is called Water of life. She wanted to show the irony that while the man is in the desert and thirsting for water – by ripping his chest open blood and water spills out of him. He had water in him all along. She links it to when Jesus was crucified on the cross and the soldier pierced his side with a spear: “blood and water flowed out”. (John 19:34)

Zoe van Zyl's personal favourite

Short Film

The short film was not for the faint-hearted (or easily upset stomachs). It shows a family sitting down for dinner. Their eyes are covered with a sort of putty mix. They start feasting on rotten fruit and decayed flesh, drinking something that resembles blood. Someone brings a platter of fresh food, but they reject it. One of the eaters starts to throw up and the others shout angrily at him. The film ends where he pulls the putty off of his eyes.

The film features the talents of Anneke van Blerk, Gerhard Jacobs, Ingrid van der Merwe, Walter van Zyl and Reep the rat.

“We were blind for four straight hours during the making of the film,” said Gerhard Jacobs.

When asked after the screening, Walter van Zyl (who came up with the concept) explains that the rotten food are symbols for all the lies we are fed by the world system and its authority figures: ranging from teachers, preachers in the church and political figures. Because the family are blind, they cannot see the lies they are fed. They also cannot see the fresh food (the truth) and so they reject it. The film shows the process of becoming aware of this fact (through Walter’s character) where he starts to throw up. The people screaming at him resembles the authority figures that eats up their own lies.

There is somewhat of a happy ending: the rat featured in the film got a home. Walter and Zoe decided to adopt him.

Walter’s other artworks included a poem and a statue. The statue resembles a human body is the humans that live like robots: we get up, we eat, work, go to sleep. The statue is undergoing an operation. The mechanical parts are removed and the body receives a new heart. The statue shows how we regain our humanity by receiving a new heart in Jesus Christ.

Walter van Zyl's sculpture

The heart and mechanical parts

The guests could enjoy wine, bread, cupcakes while being in deep conversation pondering over the artworks.

Art of breathing originally started out as a booklet, a publication within which various artistic treasures could be found; initializing a multifarious collection by diverse artists. Since it’s birth, two of these booklets have been put together: Art of Breathing 1 & 2.

A DVD will be compiled consisting of videos, music and art from the exhibition, that will feature in the third Art of Breathing #3 design.

Jacques Malan and Jandré Brink deep in conversation with Christo Prinsloo

Man in a box 2

T is for … Tongue-Twisters!

I promised to talk about Tongue-Twisters next and I will keep my word.

I found in the same book “The Works 8” by John Foster a category marked

Tongue-Twisters

John Foster defines it as such:

“A tongue-twister is a poem that is difficult to say properly without making a mistake, because it uses similar or repeated sounds.”

Here are a few examples: I dare you not to stumble!

A Twister of Twists

A Twister of twists once twisted a twist,

The twist that he twisted was a three-twisted twist;

If in twisting the twist, one twist should untwist,

The untwisted twist would untwist the twist.

Anon.

Well Swum Swan

Swan swam over the sea,

Swim, swan, swim.

Swan swam back again,

Well swum swan.

Anon.

There’s no need to light a night light

There’s no need to light a night light

on a light night like tonight;

For a night light’s a slight light

on a light night like tonight.

Anon.

Wow, this Anon. guy is really good! Whahahaha!

A Flee and a Fly in a Flue

A flee and a fly in a flue

were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly: “Let us flee.”

“Let us fly,” said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Anon.

Oh, but there is so much more to come!

Shaun Short’s Short Shorts

Shaun Short bought some shorts.

The shorts were shorter than Shaun Short thought.

Shaun Short’s short shorts were so short

Shaun Short thought, Shaun you ought,

not to have bought shorts so short.

(By yours truly – John Foster)

 

A Twister for Two Tongues

‘I can can-can.

Can you can-can?’

‘Yes, I can can-can, too.

In fact, I can can-can

very, very well.

I can can-can better than you.’

‘No, you can’t can-can

better than I can can-can

because I can can-can better!’

‘Bet you can’t!’

‘Bet I can!’

‘Bet you can’t!’

‘Bet I can! I can! I can can-can better!’

Cynthia Rider

Theophilus Thrapplethorn

Theophilus Thrapplethorn,

the celebrated thistle-sifter,

while sifting a sieve of unsifted thistles

thrust three thousand thistles

through the thick of his thumb.

If Theophilus Thrapplethorn

the successful thistle-sifter,

thrust three thousand thistles

through the thick of his thumb,

See that thou

when thou siftest a sieve of thistles

Dost not get the unsifted thistles

stuck in thy thumb!

Anon.

I saw Esau

I saw Esau kissing Kate

Fact is we all three saw.

I saw Esau, he saw me,

and she saw I saw Esau.

Anon.

And then I came with a saw and sawed them all in half! Tee-hee-hee!

Here’s another version:

i saw esau sawing

and esau saw I saw him

though esau saw him saw

still esau went on sawing

Pop Bottles Pop-bottles

Pop bottles pop-bottles

in pop shops;

The pop-bottles Pop bottles

poor Pop drops.

When Pop drops pop-bottles,

pop-bottles plop.

When pop-bottles topple,

Pop mops slop.

Anon.

It’s hard to make people understand if they don’t see it with their own eyes.

Enough of poems! Here are some other Tongue-twisters I know.

Moses supposes his toses are roses

but Moses supposes ironiously.

But, Moses he knowses his toses aren’t roses

as Moses supposes his toses to be.

That, my friends, is featured in the best musical of all times – Singin’ in the Rain.

I also know one in Afrikaans that is actually a song:

Sannie sê Sannie sal sewe sakke sout sleep

sewe sakke sout sleep swaar sowaar.

Sannie sê Sannie sal sewe sakke sout sleep

sewe sakke sout sleep swaar sowaar!

You can dry up your drool now!

Do you know of some tongue-twisters and like to share?

Your 5 fav blogs – day 25 blog challenge

I have to confess – up until yesterday I only followed three blogs, so I made it my mission to check out all my followers’ blogs. I noticed most of you have something called Gravatar. What is that? Is it worth it? I like my blog as it is. I just can’t look into some of my followers’ blogs

The only comments I get on getting traffic is in my Spam inbox. So naturally I’m a little reluctant to look into it.

Personally I think you are all nuts. I didn’t get a blog to get followers. I started a blog to start writing again. But it’s nice to know there is people out there who thinks like me or like what I am doing.

Still, this Gravatar thing… It feels like I’m missing out on something great. Usually I have to help myself in understanding something new, but all this Gravatar and making money on your blog is just too new and intimidating.

I’m going on a SEO course this week. I hope it won’t be too hard. Like Uni. At least I had a whole semester to get around stuff – now I only have 3 days and I have to write an exam on the 4th day – yikes!

Plus my new boss wants me to work as well. Don’t know how I’m going to balance everything.

One thing I’ve noticed checking out your blogs is that most of you are a part of a group called “Project AWOL (Another way of life). What is an affiliate marketer? If it is such a great thing to do then why are there so many of you. That must be a hell of a lot competition?

I started following some of you – mostly because we share my love of creative writing:

Julie Mellilo – hoppityfrog – very genius name. Almost as good as mine!

Betty Generic – She tries to write a haiku every day. I tried to do that for a month for Napowrimo and I wanted to kill myself after that – RESPECT! Plus, I like your “about me” page.

Cheeni Thoughts – poetry

Tig 23 – very smart peotry

Others I’m already following:

Author Kristin Hope Mazzola – poetry, writing

Clearly Writing – shared condition called trich

Anskepades – my study buddy who studied journalism with me but decided she wanted to be a teacher instead now she writes about her experiences in Afrikaans – very funny!

I can’t really choose five right now, because I only started following most of you yesterday. My favourite blogs at the moment is

Kristin Mazzola and Anskepades.

The reason why I am dada for nonsense – day 18 blog challenge

O frabjous day! A reason to talk about the meaning of my blog!

Actually I’ve said it so well in my very first and second posts. So I’ll just quickly refer back to those if you haven’t read them yet:

The reason behind the name:

The reason for the name “dada4nonsense” is that during my third year in my creative writing class I thought of my poems as nonsense poems.  My lecturer said it leaned more towards dadaist poems.

According to the Oxford dictionary “Dada is an international movement in poetry and painting, initiated 1916 in Zürich, repudiating (refusing to obey) tradition, culture and reason.”

There is also a play on the word dada which replaced the word gaga, meaning to be crazy about something.

The reason for starting this blog is to get a sense of motivation and to work on my writing skills.  

So there you have it. If you want to know more about nonsense and Dadaism check out my very first post titled “Nonsense” and my favourite Nonsense quotes from the Dadaists.

Nonsense cut up poetry. Beware! It might shock you!

Scandal

Yeah I like it hard

Foxie

I whipped my foster children.

Social Services: “Oh the drama!”

Police dived in, sprawling

principal screwing his mother’s car,

shouting hoarse voice,

cross-legged:

“Just let me in!”

Wrote this in one of my Creative Writing classes in my third year at Uni. Lecturer gave us each a ripped out piece of paper from a mysterious book. We had to choose words from the pages and write a poem about it. The more absurd it sounded, the better the result!

Somehow I could never understand the last four lines of the poem. But now I got it!