Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I’ve come to take you home

A tribute to Sarah Baartman
Holland, June 1998


I have come to take you home –
home! Remember the veld,
the lush green grass beneath the big oak tree?
The air is cool there and the sun does not burn.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill,
your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white
and the water in the stream chuckles sing-songs
as it hobbles along over little stones.

I have come to wrench you away –
away from the poking eyes of the man-made monster
who lives in the dark with his clutches of imperialism,
who dissects your body bit by bit,
who likens your soul to that of Satan
and declares himself the ultimate God!

I have come to soothe your heavy heart,
I offer my bosom to your weary soul.
I will cover your face with the palms of my hands,
run my lips over the lines in your neck,
feast my eyes on the beauty of you
and I will sing for you
for I have come to bring you peace.

I have come to take you home
where the ancient mountains shout your name.
I have made your bed at the foot of the hill.
Your blankets are covered in buchu and mint,
the proteas stand in yellow and white.
I have come to take you home
where I will sing for you,
for you have brought me peace,
for you have brought us peace





From: McGregor Poetry Anthology 2013

Published by African Sun Press in association with the McGregor Poetry Festival

ISBN number 978-0-620-62302-5


The Poet:


Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet, performance poet, story-teller, editor and publisher, best known for her epic poem about the Khoisan woman, Sarah Baartman, whose remains were on display in Paris until 1986. She is a founder member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Bush Poets and Women in Xchains. Her works, in both Afrikaans and English, have been published in various anthologies and a collection, Ons Komvandaan.






Previously published:

Diana Ferrus: I’ve come to take you home; Obsession; and The journey from her collection I’ve come to take you home.