Saturday, 16 November 2013

Heal the fracture between the Land and the People

I first came into contact with Kenesias Dambakurima when I saw him reading my poem For the Fallen  outside the Chinese consulate in Cape Town as part of the Flowers for Them campaign for Qumquat, the matriarch elephant whose whole herd was gunned down in October 2012.

He contacted me some time after that to say he would like to read my poems aloud to his children, and on an album.  I was touched and humbled.

I tried to write something that he could read to us all in Africa.  Change is desperately needed.  We have a beautiful continent which is being raped.

If anybody is familiar with the Grail Quest of Arthurian legend... the Wounded King represents the split between Sovereignty (the Goddess/land) and the people.
Ecopsychology takes it out of the mythical realms into everyday language of how damaged the human psyche is because we have lost contact with the land.

So Kenesias, dear warrior... this is for you

and for every African of every race, creed, and nationality.

Its beyond time to heal. Its urgent.

Return to Self
my people,
    leave the shadows  at the edge of the darkness,
     draw close around the fire,
Night is falling
  and Winter has come,
it is now time
  to reclaim our Sacred

Let me tell you of the Lady of Africa
 of our vast, precious, dear lands
see Her face in these flickering flames
   smell Her in this woodsmoke wisping up to the marula tops
       know Her in the pure wildness of Her steaming tropical forests              
            where a thousand species live their destinies each day            
 the still peace of Her deep secret lakes
      the height of Her dreaming peaks
          the solitude of Her burning red sands
the baobab trees and grey thunderclouds
       a dried river bed awaiting the summer rains
   the Savannah FULL of LIFE

but She is chained
   She has been caged
like a beautiful Lady locked away in a whorehouse
     being pimped by Fat Greedy Men

There is an evil holding the world in sway
    a cancer,
pacing the corridors of power
    It feeds on misery
despair, cruelty, and bloodlust

It manifests in trafficking, rape,
     and mutilation of the Innocent,
the way we are allowing our lands
      and our animals to be treated
is a symptom of this sickness,
            the dis-ease
because we have drifted apart from our Earth Mother
and forgotten the sacred songs
       we have left the Lady’s light
           and are lost in the darkness  

She desperately needs us
   to return to Her
and to rebirth ourselves as Africans
   of all races and creeds
beyond the borders of nationalities

I am a MAN of Africa
     I am as strong as ebony,
  as the rocks of Motopos,
       and as an elephant bull charging,
I am the thunder booming on a sultry hot afternoon,
I am the river throwing myself off the edge
carving through Her gorges,
      I have broken off the shackles
    and am standing tall again

A fire is raging deep in the heart of Africa
   in the city homes and the bushveldt huts,
fan the flames and let them grow,
     burn and purify the land,
drums are beating in Her veins and my Heart,
DEMANDING a new direction

I call upon my brothers, 
my sons and daughters to come back to the land,
     this land that bore us and will save us,
Mothers tell your children our ancient stories
do not let them wander unprotected and lost
        split from our soul
which is held in the Dreaming of the Lady

   and must WANT to be proud  again
to renew our bond with each other and Her
      and recognise we are Her champions,
our duty and honour is to protect Her
            to fight for what is right

Teach our children to sing and dance under starlight again
         the white-gold dusting of stars in our skies,
     trace the well-trodden footpaths in the veldt,
celebrate the beasts here with us,
    let us remember we are stewards of Earth
and be wise and gentle in our dealings with them,
it is an outrageous crime against the Lady 
that OUR wildlife is being farmed like cattle
   or butchered for their ivory or horns,
these are OUR lions – part of OUR souls
they live in us and we live in them,
the humble beasts belong in the bush
to be free to live out their destiny
as the Lady dreamt at the beginning,
they ARE Africa as we are
if we lose them WE will be lost forever
For I feel them within me
and when you return to Her
you shall too..
rejoice in the elephants long walk to the pans
feel the lions grunting at dusk echo in our souls
thrill to the eagles soaring overhead

Why do we let the Darkness oppress us
    as a beast trapped in a snare?
this is OUR Africa
    we are MILLIONS
they are few,
  if they carry on unchecked we will starve
   or die in despair,
TOGETHER we can call for a new way of being
            here in harmony with the Lady

Why do we let them keep the Lady in chains
like a dam trying to hold back the mightiest of rivers?
let the river break free of Man’s selfish plans
let it once more bring the life giving silt to the floodplains

Those breeding death and keeping the Sad chained

     is THIS how WE think OUR land should be used?
         for a selfish, sadistic few to get rich

from the suffering and death of OUR Innocent beasts

        why is OUR land the destination of choice
     for foreign murderers who awaken each day to rejoice in killing OUR wildlife? 
and then taking their heads home to mount on their walls to boast to their friends how they have killed a piece of OUR Africa?

Come my people,
    we have been on a journey
      you and I
         and the Lady,
we have been through the darkness of oppression
  the despair of injustice
       and we have lost ourselves

but not all is yet lost
perhaps it was a necessary part of the journey to find ourselves
to make us stronger
and realise we have the power to rewrite our own stories
with Hers

Look up
  at the huge clear African skies
     the stars are shining down for us
there is light in the darkness
    let us journey
      back to Self
         and to Her

Set Her free
Cleanse the brutal Horror of the death camps of innocent, despairing animals
Clean the rivers - they are the veins of our Lady
The forests are Her temples - do not chop or burn them
End the violence  - it feeds the Darkness
Reclaim and protect OUR natural heritage

BAN all canned AND trophy hunting
BAN export of all trophies
BAN all trade in animals and their parts
BAN all GM crops
BAN all circuses with animals
BAN blood sports

© 2017

                                                          Dawn always comes ... in the end...

by Christine Jordaan, 2013

 I need to find the photo credits of the lions, and the poached ellies... they are not mine.  Please contact me if you know of them.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Back home to KZN

Out of the forest…. back to South Africa.

Got back late on 26th Oct... saw this elephant on the way home... broke my heart the way he dashed away....

What a crazy month. On 27th Oct I got a lift across the bay to Maputo to lay flowers for the elephants outside the Chinese embassy, along with the rest of the world.  Beautiful weather… and dolphins came to say hello.

After not one second of sleep the whole night…. I went to the embassy. Not one single person had responded positively to the idea of protesting with me.  So it was just me with my poster of Qumquat and white flowers, dressed in white for mourning.  Crazy taxi ride with a great driver playing 50s music and couldn’t speak too much English.  Such an edgy, exposed feeling on the pavement outside the embassy.  Traffic buzzing past, this big impersonal complex…. the guard called down a Chinese lady who emphatically refused that I laid my flowers inside or outside.  I knew if I left them there the guard would immediately move them.  I felt like I was bashing my head against a brick wall as I showed her the poster of Qumquat and the taxi driver was translating in Portuguese that the Chinese ivory carving factories were responsible for these deaths.  This horrible hard person, this filthy city…. this Chinese machine grinding along… wrecking our Earth….  so impersonal, so metallic…
I wanted to cry, I wanted to smack her, I wanted to rage and jump into the traffic.
I bit my lip and my tears back and jumped back into the taxi with 50s music and asked him to find a park.

As we were driving through the traffic, busy, busy, cars hooting, jumbled impressions, dirt, crippled beggars, the poshest 4x4s, street vendors, fruit…. I looked up at the sky trying to still this dread feeling in the pit of my stomach and I saw a white steeple reaching up into the overcast grey….
I asked the driver to stop.  I jumped out totally trusting him with all my luggage, pc, camera, phone lying on the back seat, and as I walked up the wide steps of this church I felt peace descending like a veil in my mind being pulled back…. 
Kneeling at the top of the steps praying to Spirit I found a measure of calm, knowing we are part of a cycle that is playing out … day/night, dark/full moon, winter through to Spring. 

All of this pain, this horror is part of a journey of Earth Mother, humankind, and the beloved beasts who have somehow in their kindness agreed to be part of our lessons.  I only pray we do not descend further….   our role as Lightworkers is to keep the fires burning in our souls and have faith in a Divine plan.  Maybe this whole darkness is our journey to Light…. without chaos we would not be able to get there. 

When I came down the taxi driver had my camera in his hands and tears in his eyes – totally connecting with me on this journey.  

He dropped me off at the marina where I had to wait for a lift back across the bay.  But back I dropped to utter panic… the water was so choppy and grey, gulls swooping….   pc and cel phone battery were almost flat, I watched the tide go out and come back in….  another cycle…  I wondered if it were self-forgiveness I was asking for too on the church steps…

After a while the dhows sailing in soothed me… they totally trust the tides and winds to bring them safely home….  a sailor has total faith…. 

The water turned to liquid grey metal
the clouds lifted
my lift arrived
and I had the most awesome boat ride home….  blue-green water, flamingos, sun bursting through grey clouds….

That day I decided to pack up 10 years of my life and leave the day after next.

How hectic….   saying goodbye to Abel, in his 80s and full of fascinating stories...

a last sunset on the bay, goodbye to my forest, driving for the last time through the elephant reserve…. 

the road of course had to be a bit underwater just to remind me ...

And now back in KZN for the next chapter…