Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Sacred

Enlarge poem

rows of trees like erect
stick soldiers devoid
of all green
life
throws a line
takes infinite points
on endless arcs
so the gaze be/comes an orbiting sphere
encompassing intersecting
en/circles circles
till i spin & skid
pebble on pond
within a cosmic ocean
of unimaginable mysteries
crossing eyes fusing souls
with you
immortal divine beloved

Bernedette Muthien

Featured Poem:

Progress

Enlarge poem

i am a pig
rolling in mud
till even moisture’s fled
and dried cracked earth
fills every orifice
as i breathe soil thru hairy nostrils
deprived of any air

hollow
lunar plexus scraped bare
of all light

gothic
lost without its burgled ghouls and gargoyles

take these pig guts
to fill an ancient prescription (condoms)
for pleasure devoid of dis-ease
and equally unwanted offspring –
for a most modern minority
offall’s a delicacy:
“take clean sheep’s brains
braise with a peeled and finely chopped onion
add fresh chillies
season with salt and pepper to taste”

fill my plucked and charred chicken carcass
with lead mercury asbestos
i want to be obese with heavy metals
cellulite of quivering corrugated iron
screeching in the gale

then like the township shanty i am
unprotected in the midst of this fierce cape storm
sweep me off my illusive foundations
wash me clean blow me dry
and set me free
of the infinite spirals of
life love death life love death life love death (ad infinitum)

as species succumb to inexorable evolution
let me step aside for hardier rhinos, white elephant bulls
centaurs and firedragons
maybe

BernedetteMuthien

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Biography

Bernedette Muthien co-founded and directs an NGO, Engender, which works in the intersectional areas of genders & sexualities, human rights, justice & peace. Her community activism is integrally related to her work with continental and international organisations, and her research necessarily reflects the values of equity, societal transformation and justice.
She has published widely, written for diverse audiences, and believes in accessible research and writing.
Bernedette started reading poetry at political mass meetings and other public spaces while at high school during the 1980s. Her poetry has, among others, been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, and published in the Americas, Europe and the UK, as well as across Africa. She is a core member of the Cape Cultural Collective, a progressive performance arts group with its roots in anti-Apartheid struggles of the 1980s. For Bernedette the poetic is not merely personal, but profoundly political and spiritual too.
Amongst others, she co-convenes the Global Political Economy Commission of the International Peace Research Association, is a member of Amanitare, the African network of gender activists, and serves on various international advisory boards, including of the international journal Human Security Studies.
She is co-founder of an indigenous scholar-activist network, the KhoeSan Women’s Circle, in addition to convenor of an international listserv of Native scholar-activists, Gender Egalitarian.
Muthien was the first Fullbright-Amy Biehl fellow at Stanford University (1994-1995), and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Cape Town (Dean’s Merit List), and Stellenbosch University (Andrew W Mellon Fellow, 2006-2007) in South Africa.
Her current research centres on the Egalitarian KhoeSan – Beyond Patriarchal Violence, in other words, how social and gender egalitarianism are coterminous with nonviolence, as well as showing that nonviolent and egalitarian societies have existed throughout time and continue to exist at present.

Bernedette Muthien

BernedetteMuthien
BernedetteMuthien

Biography

Bernedette Muthien co-founded and directs an NGO, Engender, which works in the intersectional areas of genders & sexualities, human rights, justice & peace. Her community activism is integrally related to her work with continental and international organisations, and her research necessarily reflects the values of equity, societal transformation and justice.
She has published widely, written for diverse audiences, and believes in accessible research and writing.
Bernedette started reading poetry at political mass meetings and other public spaces while at high school during the 1980s. Her poetry has, among others, been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, and published in the Americas, Europe and the UK, as well as across Africa. She is a core member of the Cape Cultural Collective, a progressive performance arts group with its roots in anti-Apartheid struggles of the 1980s. For Bernedette the poetic is not merely personal, but profoundly political and spiritual too.
Amongst others, she co-convenes the Global Political Economy Commission of the International Peace Research Association, is a member of Amanitare, the African network of gender activists, and serves on various international advisory boards, including of the international journal Human Security Studies.
She is co-founder of an indigenous scholar-activist network, the KhoeSan Women’s Circle, in addition to convenor of an international listserv of Native scholar-activists, Gender Egalitarian.
Muthien was the first Fullbright-Amy Biehl fellow at Stanford University (1994-1995), and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Cape Town (Dean’s Merit List), and Stellenbosch University (Andrew W Mellon Fellow, 2006-2007) in South Africa.
Her current research centres on the Egalitarian KhoeSan – Beyond Patriarchal Violence, in other words, how social and gender egalitarianism are coterminous with nonviolence, as well as showing that nonviolent and egalitarian societies have existed throughout time and continue to exist at present.

Sacred

Enlarge poem

rows of trees like erect
stick soldiers devoid
of all green
life
throws a line
takes infinite points
on endless arcs
so the gaze be/comes an orbiting sphere
encompassing intersecting
en/circles circles
till i spin & skid
pebble on pond
within a cosmic ocean
of unimaginable mysteries
crossing eyes fusing souls
with you
immortal divine beloved

Featured Poem:

Progress

Enlarge poem

i am a pig
rolling in mud
till even moisture’s fled
and dried cracked earth
fills every orifice
as i breathe soil thru hairy nostrils
deprived of any air

hollow
lunar plexus scraped bare
of all light

gothic
lost without its burgled ghouls and gargoyles

take these pig guts
to fill an ancient prescription (condoms)
for pleasure devoid of dis-ease
and equally unwanted offspring –
for a most modern minority
offall’s a delicacy:
“take clean sheep’s brains
braise with a peeled and finely chopped onion
add fresh chillies
season with salt and pepper to taste”

fill my plucked and charred chicken carcass
with lead mercury asbestos
i want to be obese with heavy metals
cellulite of quivering corrugated iron
screeching in the gale

then like the township shanty i am
unprotected in the midst of this fierce cape storm
sweep me off my illusive foundations
wash me clean blow me dry
and set me free
of the infinite spirals of
life love death life love death life love death (ad infinitum)

as species succumb to inexorable evolution
let me step aside for hardier rhinos, white elephant bulls
centaurs and firedragons
maybe

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Sacred

Enlarge poem

rows of trees like erect
stick soldiers devoid
of all green
life
throws a line
takes infinite points
on endless arcs
so the gaze be/comes an orbiting sphere
encompassing intersecting
en/circles circles
till i spin & skid
pebble on pond
within a cosmic ocean
of unimaginable mysteries
crossing eyes fusing souls
with you
immortal divine beloved

Comments

Your email address will not be published.