Ma word

ek wou ń gedig skryf
maar hoor toe ń doef,
sien hande om voete
en tone in mond

ek wou soveel dinge
gedink dat ek weet,
sien bollemakiesies
ń blaar opgeëet

ek wou alles reg doen
so reg as wat kan,
sien poef wat daar uitpeul
gesmeer oor die grond

‘ek gaan’ toe ń theory
ek’t als opgelees,
nou lag ek te lekker
vir pre-motherhood idees.

Ansa Smit, 2017.

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The Inner Tango

a gentle touch

There comes a time when you know
you cannot stay. You place your ear
on the shell of your soul – you listen
to strange sounds – flickering symbols

you start to walk away from all
that served you well
but caged you well
in return.

You find yourself dancing in your own living room
until the images from your inner ear
point towards the unknown

as you dance this tango
with this not knowing
with these shadows
swirling wider then smaller
larger to rounder until voluptuous movements
weave into a breathing burning silk-fire body

your hunger a music
the silence breaking open
to suddenly
follow a map
in your own flesh

away from the map on the
outside. Rigid lines have grown deep over
centuries – yet you watch your feet
dream dance the sensuous,
the rhythm of your curves.

©Ansa Smit, June 2015

2015-07-29 15.45.01

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Presence

Have you ever seen a flock of flamingos taking flight?

Rising out of nothing
to become the face of God.

No fancy arguments or debates,
no rules or bells nor striving.

Only grace – being is holy enough.

©Ansa Smit,March 2016.

 

Simple Things

It is the simple things
like leaving home at six in the afternoon
to buy vis & tjips from the local fish shop – wrapped in paper.
Extra salt and vinegar please.

To go sit on a bench at the beach,
licking sticky slaptjip fingers, clouds rolling over.
A seagull drops like a rock from the sky
to suddenly slow down, soft landing.

An old rusted car comes rolling in, front left light crushed
and the wheels are about to come off. A young girl gets out,
barely dressed warm enough. Her newborn in her arms.
To show him the sea, to taste the air – the simple things that matter most.

We watch the sky slide into a golden pink gown.
Crackling paper behind us – a man digging in the bin. Devouring mouldy food while the ocean devours the sun.
He gobbles down liquid from a squashed KFC cup.

The girl hands me her baby,
me – a stranger on the bench with sticky snoek fingers,
to get a ten rand note from her starved purse
out of the homely boot of her broken-down car.

Mumbling he stumbles away
holding that single green note
like I am holding the small body of wonder.

The frozen parts within me break open – the simple things that matter most.

Ansa Smit 2016.

Stepping over stones
seven shadows follow me.
Yesterday there were five.

Never have I seen such grey,
such yellow. As we step over stones.

Forever I felt such darkness,
such light. As I step from the outside
in, from the inside out – over stones.

©Ansa Smit, 2013.

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yet another mall

To meet up with a friend
in our small village can be rather sticky.
For even in small spaces the unnecessary occur.

We had a mall where we could meet
but then they built a new mall across the road,
confusion sprang forth and so to reduce headaches
we would specify to meet at the old or new mall.

Today they flattened the old mall
to built another new mall
which now makes the new mall the old mall
and the old mall the new mall
causing a terrible muddle of malls
in a puddle of madness.

Picnic at the beach?

©Ansa Smit, November 2015.

Calmness in Chaos

The unspeakable erupts
causing your knees to collapse
giving you no choice but to bow down low.

Head lower than your heart,
this could possibly be essential.

For only then you might sense the doorway out of the storm into the eye of your own.

Chaos and calmness.

Breath by breath.

©Ansa Smit, November 2015.

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as jy los kom

As die stofpad jou neem by die hart
dan loop alles binne jou saam
sonder om te verduidelik
of om te vra.

As die wind eers werklik begin spog
staan jou kop onverwags stil
en die kompas in jou bors ontklont
sonder om te verduidelik
of om te vra.

As die brul los kom uit die diepte van jou
put – en jy buig na die donker en die lig
vanuit die heelal in jou lyf
dan leef jy
sonder om te verduidelik
of om te vra.

Sonder om te verduidelik
of om te vra.

©Ansa Smit, Oktober 2015.

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Disowning

‘Psychological invalidation kills confidence, creativity and individuality… We regularly invalidate others because we ourselves were, and are often invalidated, so it has become habitual. Repeated invalidation may be one of the worst crimes one person can commit against another without ever lifting a finger against them. And yet, it is neither illegal, “immoral” nor even widely recognized as a problem. – http://eqi.org/invalid.htm.

sometimes

we do not make the time
to reflect
on that which have been done,
even less we touch-in
to the feeling world
shoved down,

rather

we lift our faces
urgently
towards a forever and only
positive sun,

for in the golden glare
we gaze,
bathing in our blindness,
simmering in our shimmering
avoidance –

disowning the owning
of our own shadowy parts.

Epidemic this pervasive
invalidation of others
and of ourselves.

But let us not fool ourselves:

to digest and allow
the voice of light,
to be a spacious silent
opening ear
for the voice of the uncomfortable
and broken,
the raging and intolerable-

growing breath by crumbling breath,
expanding breath by joyous breath,
containing all these flavors and colors
to be within and without

a home exactly where you stand.

© Ansa Smit, September 2015.

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Tending the tension

a gentle touch

Standing at the edge with arms
wide open and toes clutching
like claws – I wonder if brave means
jumping
flying
or looking down. You
always tell me – never look down.

Bravely we open our eyes
in each of these moments. Slowly
we show up in this breath.

© Ansa Smit,  January 2014.

Sit, be still, and listen, because you’re drunk and we’re at the edge of the roof. -Rumi.

To bow to the fact of our life’s sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine. – Kornfield.

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Unspoken

a gentle touch

Having conversations with trees
might occur to some as
strange

at first.

Or with stones. A mountain. Rivers. Or little ants
marching beneath our righteous kingdoms.

You might frown. Think it crazy – but some might
be intrigued. By the unspoken conversation
between all.

If we choose to sit down – to talk in
stillness with silence.

Not to measure, defend or accuse.
As we humans often do. Not doing.
Rather being, 

we might notice. Might hear
the orchestra of incomprehensible beauty.

For everything speaks.

If you do not hear and can walk away
telling yourself with complete honesty
there is nothing in this vast universe
that makes your soul explode with a feeling-
a knowing in your bones

then I offer you my apology now.

Stand still. Slow down.
Matter is speaking herself into being. Into you.
It does not matter what matter you hear.
Only that you…

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Hunger

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You speak to me in your own language
always
you never consider I speak another
since ever
you speak without thought
always
missing the whole of me
to make the whole of you,


I listen, knowing it is your own way
always
I remind myself, your language
is all you know but


sometimes, I cannot help myself from
feeling a haunting sadness
knowing you never knew me,
never will- for
you speak all your stories
always
missing the whole of me.
to make the whole of you.

©Ansa Smit, May 2014.

Golden Thread

a gentle touch

I know you feel angry
I felt angry too

I know you feel rage
I felt her fire too

I know you feel hopeless. Battered. Pinned down.
Ripped open and left wrecked on the floor.

I know the shame. The guilt.
Wondering if it was your own
fault. Knowing very well it was not.

Hold on

even if your hands tremble with fear
your eyes cannot see. Your ears
refuse to hear and the taste of repulsion
smother your lips. Still – you hold on.

Onto the golden thread.

Our eyes meet in this line
and we both know you believe nothing.
Even if you do not conceive gold,
nevertheless thread-

you hold on.

When all your will has gone
and your body tells you nothing will ever matter

then you hold on with every ounce
of your being- for one day

you will rise and your soul
will…

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Unlocking

Unlocking my front door
I step into my home
to find two small birds
sitting on my kitchen table,

frozen we stare at each other-
the two birds and me.

Until
the delicate sound of chatter
pierce through
the unexpected.

Slowly I open every window
to watch the one bird glide through
calling his mate to follow but

she does not follow. Like
many a female.

So we stand
sit
in the kitchen, both slightly startled
but not following, rather we
listen to the song within each other.

Until the dogs come charging through
giving the bird
and me
such a fright
she takes flight
into the ceiling
against the wall
getting stuck behind a painting
as I whisper to her that
she is surrounded
by windows open widely

if only she would find her own for a moment
she would sense her already free
freedom.

Which made me wonder
how often Sophia opens
window
after window
as we frantically strive
towards our own
perfection

to one day
find our own,
sensing the window wide open
to stop – spread our whole winged selves
swooping through into
a gentler way of being.

©Ansa Smit, June 2015.

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The Inner Tango

There comes a time when you know
you cannot stay. You place your ear
on the shell of your soul – you listen
to strange sounds – flickering symbols

you start to walk away from all
that served you well
but caged you well
in return.

You find yourself dancing in your own living room
until the images from your inner ear
point towards the unknown

as you dance this tango
with this not knowing
with these shadows
swirling wider then smaller
larger to rounder until voluptuous movements
weave into a breathing burning silk-fire body

your hunger a music
the silence breaking open
to suddenly
follow a map
in your own flesh

away from the map on the
outside. Rigid lines have grown deep over
centuries – yet you watch your feet
dream dance the sensuous,
the rhythm of your curves.

©Ansa Smit, June 2015

2015-07-29 15.45.01

Laksman

Hoor jy? See roep
net voor donker en lig
ontmoet,

getye in bloed weet wanneer
om te stop
staan stil
luister

langs my land n laksman,

ons staar na soute toevlug
soos golwe een vir een ons
wit of swart
vrot en seer
ons te veel wil beheer
teen geroeste herinneringe
ophang,

kos van lesse geleer
lewens geleef om nou
vir n oomblik
met helder oë te staar

na soute toevlug.

©Ansa Smit, Mei 2015.

Fiercely the sun glares at me – rather
than wilting with such gusto, why not
hang out all your dampness?

I have no reply. Sometimes I do not
like to hear bright solutions. Sometimes
I am perfectly happy being a bit miserable.

©Ansa Smit, January 2015.

Hiking as a Prayer

Stopping – settling into the whole of me
I lift my eyes to this mountain. Bestowed
on her table top- a crown of mist. A robe she wears
of orange-breasted feathers and fynbos pointing

to these moments of being. 
I lift my eyes- I do not ask where
help will arrive from  

for the heart-of-hearts is resting
within these streams and bird song,
within these roots and ancient rock. Within the eagle watching
above – within the dark soil below, within the hum-drum life
rushing around on the edges, passing the beggar holding her
baby ever so not tightly

for hunger is a stronger force.

Within
the glistening cheek of the girl on the street corner – torn heart, shredded
stockings but rent will be paid and maybe even salvation.
Within the glimmering wheels driving away – within
the old man swaying with the sea walking his even older dog
stepping over needles used to numb the pain – or to feel our
own pulse again? Within the touch of the one I love,

within my own aching – an ache that shows me a path

within watchful eyes giving utmost attention – to the
whole within, to the whole without.

©Ansa Smit, June 2015.

“To see things from a new physical angle is sometimes to see them from a new spiritual angle. You can see disas and red crassula at Kirstenbosch, but perhaps you have not really seen them until, resting on some tiny ledge, you have seen them flaring from the sheer grey rocks.”– Extract from C. A. Luckhoff’s book, Table Mountain –

self~care

By taking care of me, somehow

I take care of you. You tending

you – somehow gives me breath.

This circle,

swaying to and fro like gracious

seaweed dancing the waters of life,

washing our wounds – look!

bulbs unfolding from scorched earth

lifting their scar torn faces,

 

even if flames consumed every last drop of moisture, still- she

will dream herself back into life.

 

The mountain knows how to heal herself.

And so do we.

So do we.

©Ansa Smit, 2015.

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You bought a jersey last winter – not
just
a jersey,
not any winter

for it was summer in Inis Mór
when the humble Aran sweater
swept you off your cleated feet, I watched
with envy and with awe as your hands

lyrically picked the perfect pattern,
fingers tracing Celtic curves- gasping,
the wool thickened under your touch
the saleslady and me both flushed

on that winter summer’s day
wild on love the Emerald Isle sighed
and my body obeyed – unaware you
enfolded yourself with all that you have been

and all that you will become.

©Ansa Smit, 2015.

.

“The vision of the Celts was sacramental rather than mystical. They saw God in and through things rather than direct visions. The Celt says we must take time to learn to play ‘The 5 stringed Harp’ = the 5 senses.’ “~David Adam.ireland

a gift

For Christmas this year my mom
gave me soap.

As a gift.

It was wrapped up in earth, coarse
on my fingertips. Silk and cloud was the
soap and smelled of lavender with a
hint of holiness.

Carved out on the bottom – handmade
with care in Florence.

Carved out in my heart – handpicked
with care by Mother.

On those days when winter unfolds
within my soul, when cold memories
come knocking to remind me of my hearth,
to tell me their longing to be felt
held and be warmed- for even the haunted,
frozen in silence, hungers to be allowed

yes, on those days I run a hot bath
to wash myself with lavender tenderness
to soak myself back into myself
to lather up my throbbing flesh
and quivering heart

with soft handmade motherly touch.

©Ansa Smit, April 2015.

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Unexpectedly

For Willem. Always remembered. 5 November 2011.

You arrived as rainbow today –
this drenched with dust afternoon.
Unexpectedly you appeared behind rain
out of blue karoo sky

wrapping up nothingness
with hope.

You arrived bursting with colour today.
Unexpectedly.
Just like the day you died.
Then grey and swollen beige-

out of the blue
I had to wrap you up in rainbow
trembling with a trying goodbye.

©Ansa Smit, March 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEZShiPTK6M

Minding the Mend

The clouds are hiding behind the mountain today. Hiding
or perhaps giving support. Holding the mountain until the
brokenness mends – until the mountain can

hold its own peak with grace and majestic holiness.
Sometimes even the sturdy, the steadfast
ache for the tender touch of cloud,

patiently stitching the old with the new.
Patches of the whole universe- an embroidery of the
magnificent tapestry of who you are.

©Ansa Smit, May 2015.

for Julie.


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On a day like this

On a day like this I yearn
for the music to take me
by heart. Take me to

a place of succulence. Full
of juice and wild abandonment.
My hunger is dancing a

salsa – my thirst a glint in
my eye. My bones a drum
that beats a truth. A knowing

weaved by the moon. For

my bones come from this earth
and my bones will return to this
earth – and my soul?

My soul a mystery to which I bow.

My voice these words
breathing life into wounds
turning mold into silver mist gold.

On a day like this broken
open – I bless my cracks
singing light.

© Ansa Smit, January 2015.

                 There is a crack in everything. That is how the light comes in. – Leonard Cohen.

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Tending the tension

Standing at the edge with arms
wide open and toes clutching
like claws – I wonder if brave means
jumping
flying
or looking down. You
always tell me – never look down.

Bravely we open our eyes
in each of these moments. Slowly
we show up in this breath.

© Ansa Smit,  January 2014.

Sometimes Alone and myself
go for long leisurely strolls.
We speak about nothing and laugh
at ourselves. Sometimes the veld shows the way.
Yesterday Alone pointed at the Aloes – Look,
the Aloes are not apologizing for their beauty.
They stand tall and lift their faces to the sun.

An old man reading the morning
paper while eating a scone- strawberry jam with
cheese- looks down, pats his dog on the head with
such gentle tenderness that my heart
cracks open, spilling all over my scrambled
eggs on toast. Suddenly I understand the meaning
of everything.

© Ansa Smit, 2014.

Golden Thread

I know you feel angry
I felt angry too

I know you feel rage
I felt her fire too

I know you feel hopeless. Battered. Pinned down.
Ripped open and left wrecked on the floor.

I know the shame. The guilt.
Wondering if it was your own
fault. Knowing very well it was not.

Hold on

even if your hands tremble with fear
your eyes cannot see. Your ears
refuse to hear and the taste of repulsion
smother your lips. Still – you hold on.

Onto the golden thread.

Our eyes meet in this line
and we both know you believe nothing.
Even if you do not conceive gold,
nevertheless thread-

you hold on.

When all your will has gone
and your body tells you nothing will ever matter

then you hold on with every ounce
of your being- for one day

you will rise and your soul
will meet your self. Recognition
vibrating in your bones. Silently
with no need to speak

you will have strength,
you will pick up the pieces.

Gently you will put yourself back together

with golden thread.

And those parts ravished- you
will hold kindly, infusing compassion.

Your hands will bleed.
For yourself. For your body.
For all those who picked themselves up
before you and those who will after you.

In that moment the golden thread
will open up. You will have the courage to step in.

Completely broken.
Completely whole.
Knowing.

…………………………………………………………..

– A Tribute to Rose.

© Ansa Smit, 2 February 2013.

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krans van krag

tussen rots wat oopkraak
van genot, krans van rooi
van krag- klip wat my kneë
na my hart laat sak

tussen die wingerd van
groenvy naak – tussen
alles bros en almagtig

groei kapokbos

kapokbos wysheid
kapokbos stilte
kapokbos lag

in jou oë broei n droom

hou vas hou veilig
klop klop rooi krans krag
klop in jou bors.

© Ansa Smit, 2014.

cederbergsarel