Watervolk

Nkulukulu, Jou mooi aarde
is stilweg besig om te sterf.
Die gras gesels nie, die wild trek weg,
die slang vergeet sy vel in die gras.
Droogte haat kinders, hy eet hulle op
Die mans hou ons vroue met bok-oë dop
As ons boombas kook vir sop
Of kalbasse dra wat sug vir biesmelk.
Bedags kom rooimier en saans muskiet.
Doer by die drinkgat langs fluitjiesriet.
Loer n dorre stomp hoe ons nader loop
Sy neus het twee gate soos n miershoop.
Nkulukulu, kan jy hoor ons roep
Met arms na Jou berg gestrek?
Verjaag vir sprinkhaan, verwilder vlakvark
Met spies en honing uit ons koringland weg.
Gryp vir weerlig aan sy gloeiblou stert,
Swaai hom oor krans barre weiveld.
Laat water spat en water stroom
Oor die kop van die swarthaakboom.
Nou maak Nkulunkulu n groot boog –
N reuse bont slang van vlakte tot berg
Met kleure wat kaats oor vlerk en vin
Tot binne-in die slykpadda-oog
Nkulukulu mnikali 2x
Slang seil oor kleeftoon van klein akkedis,
Toe leeuwyf dit sien is sy diep onstel.
Sy gryp haar welpie aan die nekvel,
Sy vlug oor boom en riffelkrokodil.
Ons watervolk lag dat ons mae pyn,
Ons ken mos die slang wat reëntydverskyn.
Ons weet nou´s ons kans om vloerete smeer
Met geurige mis en gladde varkvet.
Dis tyd dat die mispels dragtig raak
Vir ons en die platpens likkewaan.
Ons kook die skilpad in sy pynappeldop,
Roer die amasi en rook bossiegoed.
Ons vrou pak kos in mandjies van riet
Vir die manne wat wildeperd skiet;
Hingsvelle sigsag swart en wit
Oor die grasheuwels waar hulle jag.
Nkulukulu mnikali 2x
Nkulunkulu, Jy woon kop in die blou,
Jou oë vry arend wat ons dophou.
Nou dat die manne die kraaltjes verlaat kanons vroue n slag weer buite bad.

vertaling Engels:

Nkulunkulu, Your beautiful earthis dying in silence
The grasses are silent, the wild-animalsare leaving,
the snake leaves its skin in the field.
Drought hates children, eats them alive;
the men are watching us women withgoat-eyes
as we cook up tree bark for soup or carry calabashes sighing for beastings.
(The baby not making itself heard will fade away in the monkey fur on his mother’s back.)
By day red ant arrives and mosquito at night.
Over there at the waterhole beside the reeds a bone-dry stump stares at our approach
–nose with two holes like an anthill.
Nkulunkulu, can you hear us calling with arms outstretched toward your hills?
Scare away locust, drive away warthog from our wheat-fields with spear and horn.
Grab lightning by his glowing blue tail,swing him over cliff and barren grazing.
Let rain splash and water stream over the crown of the hookthorn tree.
Now Nkulunkulu makes a huge bow
–a gigantic many-coloured snake from plain to peak
with colours reflecting off fin and wingand
deep inside the slick eye of the frog.
Snake slithers over the sticky toes of the gecko,
when lioness spots this it raises her rile.
Grabbing her cub by the scruff of the neck,she flees across tree and wrinkly crocodile.
Us water folk laugh until our bellies ache,
after all we know the rainy season for the snake.
We know now’s our chance to wax the floorswith fragrant dung and pig-smooth lard.
It’s time for the medlar trees to fruit for us and the hungry leguan.
We boil the turtle in its pineapple shell,stir the amasi and smoke bossiegoed.
Us women pack food in reed basketsfor the men hunting zebra:
stallion skins zigzag black and whiteacross the grassy hills where they track.
Nkulunkulu,
You live head up in the blue,Your eyes a free eagle watching us. 

 
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          Herman Woltman | gsm 06 835 99 121 | herman@souldada.nl