Monday, 12 August 2019

Two poetry books

The new Ecca book, Staying Hungry, is at the printers. It will - together with readings from last year's book, Throw in your Song - be presented at the McGregor Poetry Festival by Ecca Poets Brian Walter, Olwethu Mxoli, Ed Burle, Jacques Coetzee and John van Wyngaard. Click

Thank you, yet again, to Mike Barwood, for a beautifully intelligent cover design.

Staying Hungry will be launched formally on 12th October 2019, 6-7pm, at The Rose Theatre in Hogsback, over the Hogsback Spring Festival.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

No delight as great

As we are putting together this year's Ecca Poets publication, I have the privilege of  immersing myself in the rhythms of my fellow poets' thoughts and feelings. The waters of their words are alternatingly cool and warm, refreshing and cleansing in their truths. 
The best cure for a doubting writer is to read her betters - there is no delight as great as that of looking up to humble folk.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Out of the crucible of pain

Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso
There is perhaps nothing on earth more compelling, impermanent, nor more faithful, than pain.
Pain is your most jealous lover.
He wants ALL your attention. He wants your eyes on nothing and no one but himself.
You are mesmerised into your weakest aspects by pain.
This imprisonment applies to all parts of our incarnated self: whether the pain inhabits your body, heart, mind or soul, his power is the same.

It takes great equanimity and faith to slip your nearly suffocated flame out and away from the arms of Pain.
You see yourself embraced by and embracing him.
Your detachment offers opportunity.

"Pain," you say, "What do you want from me?"
"Ah," he replies, "I want you to FEEL me."

So you feel him. You feel his neediness of your anguish and agony, how hungrily he devours the time you give him.
You begin to realise that you are feeding him.
Like a vulture, he is gorging himself on the carcass of what is already past in you.
You feel him sating himself.

The more he eats, the brighter your flame burns.
"You are looking beautiful!" people exclaim.
They like the radiance of your suffering, your brave patience.

Gradually, your unwanted lover quietens and drowses to sleep.
You are exhausted, but free.
You are light and new and can combine a limp, spent body-mind-soul with your flame again.
You are fragile, but you are also energised and newly whole.

Ascension depends on crucifixion, but your flame keeps its joy quiet.

Until, at length, it flickers and sways and fetches fresh oxygen to bring the world your eternal smile: an alchemy out of the crucible of pain.

- Silke Heiss, 7th June 2019