Charl-Pierre Naudé

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Charl-Pierre Naudé

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“I was angry when I realised I had been lied to” – Rachel Zadok

’n Skrywer praat
oor haar geluk as kind,
niksvermoedend onder die juk
van propaganda en die skande
van apartheid –

’n tyd van kwaadwilligheid,
sonder twyfel.

Sy was kwaad vir die bewindhebbers
toe sy later besef
hoe hulle vir haar gelieg het.

Maar was die euwel
só kwaadwillig,
as dit innigheid is
wat wou beskik?

Kwade Wil is self maar ’n gehate skepsel.
Die Kruisvaarders het hom al voorgelê
en in voetboeie en kettings geslaan.
En steeds sleep ons hom deur die strate,
neuk hom met stokke dat hy skubbe kry
en steek die ou kookwater met messe dat hy sis,
(die fokken ou sirkusvirus aan sy rinkelende leiband):
“Dans, jou hans-satan, jou logge Gog!”
“Kap oop daai kastaiing!”
“Dat sy hare kan koek
om die piepende pit.”
“Ja, dit lyk of hy bloei ...”

Arme, arme
Kwade Wil.
Hy is maar net wat hy is:
vaartjie na sy aardjie.

Wat van die nie is nie?
Dis ’n groter bekommernis:
Laat staan tog die beer
oor sy toonnaels wat so lank is.
En die voedoepoppe dans nie
uit eie keuse nie.

’n Kosbare herinnering
aan my liewe pa,
waar hy sit onder die gespanne boog
van ’n leeslamp se lig en straal oor sy boek;
’n witwortel wat pas uit die grond getrek is:
“Treblinka, Auschwitz, dit mag nooit weer
gebeur nie” – prewelend, in die hoek ...

die hele wêreld tuis
terwyl die drukkoker saggies fluit
in die kombuis

waar die sterwensgang van duisende
plaasvind sonder dat dit lyke agterlaat.

Al wat nodig is
vir die bloederige opklits
van ’n slawe-optog en nuwe skelette in die tuig,
vir die klein koeverte waarin die universum versmoor,

die stamper wat God soos ’n sel vernietig,

is een,
slegs één, enkele
opregte mens.

En van hulle het ons vandag
meer as genoeg.

© Charl-Pierre Naudé
Iz: unpublished
Avdio produkcija: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2015

The chestnut

“I was angry when I realised I had been lied to”
Rachel Zadok

A writer speaks
about her unwitting bliss
as a child under the reign
of propaganda and the shame
of apartheid –


doubtless,
a time of bad intentions.

She relates how she felt anger
the day when she realised
“they had lied” to her all along.

But what evil is there
that needs bad intentions
if it’s sincerity that disposes?

Evil Intent, the hated creature,
was ambushed and shackled and chained by the Crusaders,
who dragged him through the streets
and hit him with sticks until he grew scales,
the hairy old circus virus,
pulled by it’s lead and forced to dance,

the stuffed pet Satan, the overweight Beast.
Slice the damned chestnut!
So that it can grow hair and bleed
from its squeeking kernel –

yes, looks like it’s bleeding ...

Poor, poor
bad intentions.
They are but only what they are.
That seems to be their nature.

What about the thing
that isn’t true to its nature?
That must be a greater worry.

Let’s not bother the bear
about its outsize toenails.
And voodoo dolls don’t dance
from having any choice.

I cherish a memory
of my dear father, sitting in a taut bow of light
coming from a reading lamp and radiating
over his book, as if washed clean by lye,
white like a turnip just pulled from the ground:
“Treblinka, Auschwitz, never must this ever
happen again.” – mumbling, in the corner …

the whole world at home
while the pressure cooker whistles faintly
in the kitchen

where millions died in stages,
without leaving any corpses.

It seems all that is needed
for whipping up a bloody slave procession
and new skeletons in the harnesses;
for those small envelopes that seal a dying universe,
and the pestle that squashes God like a cell,

is one,
just one, single
sincere human being.

And of that kind today
we have more than enough.

Translated by Charl-Pierre Naudé