Posts filed under ‘Poetry’

Cape Sea Route

By Roon Lewald

Today, bulk carriers hog the route around the Cape:
a trunk-to-tail procession of robotic mammoths,
shambling blindly by along their migratory trail.
Their polluted wakes despoil the silver tracks
etched in history by wooden ships
erratically tacking through these seas.

First came the great discoverers –
Diaz, Da Gama, Magelhao, Drake.
On their heels, the merchants, priests
and colonizers of Europe
pursued the treasure and the souls
of Marco Polo’s fabled Indies
and Cathay,
and the island groves
of costly herbs and spices. (more…)


September 21, 2010 at 3:37 am 2 comments

Prospero se skiereiland

Deur Roon Lewald

(Scroll down for an English Translation)

1. This isle is full of noises…

Jy wonder soms watter skalkse geeste
hierdie skraal vinger land geskep,
van die hand van Afrika geskei het
deur die hoe kneukels van sy berge

en geplaas het tussen wêreldmere
wat hier kop-aan-kop baklei oor
die besit van dié besondre plek,

waar hul wisselstryd van wind en weer
sy see- and bergtonele telkemaal vertower
en besiel met sy unieke plant- en dierelewe. (more…)

May 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm 1 comment


Roon Lewald


Scroll down for an English translation

(Für Alice Markja – 3 Tage alt)

Liebe Alice!
Dass wir so lange auf dich warten mussten
ist kaum wunderlich, denn wer
möchte schon das Wunderland,
aus dem du kommst,
mit dieser öden Welt vertauschen?

Hier suchst du ja vergeblich nach dem weissen Hasen,
der mit stets gezuckter Taschenuhr
und geplagter Miene
so nervös vorbeihetzt, um die wunderlichen Wünsche
seiner stets erbosten Herrin zu erfüllen.


May 3, 2009 at 11:02 pm 2 comments

Leipoldt: The Universal Afrikaner

by Roon Lewald

Louis Leipoldt

Louis Leipoldt

In one of my latest visits to the blog of an American friend, I was intrigued by a sensitive description of her visit to the remote grave of Afrikaans poet C. Louis Leipoldt, sheltered by an overhanging ledge of sandstone at Pakhuis (Storehouse) Pass in the rugged Cedarberg mountains some 200 miles north of Cape Town.

Christian Frederik Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947) is revered by Africa’s only white tribe as one of its finest poets. He was a leading luminary of the “Second Movement”, the generation of language pioneers which produced the first poems of genuine literary value in Afrikaans immediately after the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War. His name is hardly known outside an estimated 10 million or so native speakers spread over South Africa and the now rapidly expanding diaspora of Afrikaner emigrants to the USA, Europe, Australasia and elsewhere. But blog hostess Jenny Bennett has such wide interests that I wasn’t too surprised by her tribute to such an exotic poet. (more…)

May 2, 2009 at 2:30 am 3 comments

Christmas Prayer

by Roon Lewald

A friend whose close relationship with a partner of many years recently broke up wrote to me the other day that, although she has found new interests and new friends after moving to another town, this Christmas is proving hard to bear. Loneliness at a time when most people you know seem to have a partner or family with whom to enjoy the togetherness of choosing and decorating a tree, exchanging presents, sharing a festive meal… a sadness that overcomes many singles at this time of year. (more…)

December 30, 2008 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

Durban 1947

By Roon Lewald

1947 was a good time to be a white five-year-old in Durban. The beaches offered halcyon days beside the Indian Ocean. The Durban July turned the town into an exciting tourist mecca. The Bioscope was still the gateway to Hollywood’s dream factory of the world. In that stronghold of English speakers, blimpish super-patriots of Empire basked in the last rays of the setting Empire, and the 1947 Royal Visit whipped monarchist enthusiasms to fever pitch. “Our magnificent Zulu” were complacently thought to be quite content with white overlordship, and one of the few blots on white horizons was the rapid encroachment of increasingly prosperous Indian merchants on previously all-white shopping and residential areas. (more…)

May 4, 2008 at 2:43 am 2 comments

Atomic Atman (‘L Homme Savage)

Dudley Claude PringleA Saga of the Soul



In your father’s house you blaspheme,
from the cradle to the grave.
… and your mother’s name you prostitute,
in the playgrounds of your youth.
… and lie and cheat and steal
for whatever convenience offers.
With careless abandon you squander parental trust –
blind to the tears in your mother’s heart,
or those that fall from your father’s love.
How callous your betrayal Atman …
in your search for self-fulfilling lust.
Like dust in the desert –
lie the remains of your stormy past –
Dry bones in brittle pastures …
your thoughtless passage cast.


May 3, 2008 at 6:20 am 5 comments

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