it is the season

2017-11-01 11:32:39 tinashouw

it is the season for addressing the roar
and redressing the raw of our woundedness
a time for reaching deep and looking within
it is the season of giving voice to the throttled silence
that generationally held us captive in immeasurable ways
for far too long
it is the season of painful revelations and honest conversations
finally a time for drawing lines in the sand
it is the season for listening… and hearing… and listening
for treading the long winding road to our healing
it is the season for unclenching fists
a time for turning palms to sky a time for opening hands
it is the season for reaching out across the chasm of our fractures
a time for holding… and holding on

it is the season of wild beating hearts
that speak the languages vulnerability and courage
as we stare into the eye of the unsettling storm of our reality
it is time…time to take back our power
time to own our right to choose
time to take back our bodies and minds
take back our homes and communal spaces
held hostage by crime, corruption and a petrified patriarchy

it is the season for walking the mountains and valleys of this fragmented land
clothed only in the stark beauty of our broken stories
a time for calling the spirits of our ancestors
to light our path and help us remember
help us embody the power of who we are
when we choose to stand together in truth and integrity
when we choose to stand up and stop
the violation and annihilation of our children, our women and our men
now is the season to protest against this protracted civil war
waged daily…night after brutal night
by the harsh disregard of merciless gangsters
malfeasant policeman and an indifferent self-aggrandizing state
against bone-weary forgotten and displaced communities
held hostage by fear and anarchy ruling the streets

it is the season of calling
it is calling you
come, come …come with your voices
bring your power and bring your rage
yes bring your rage…
but take the essential alchemy of reason and wisdom
and transform it into passionate action
that rebuilds… not vandalizes
that creates… not destroys
that communicates with fiery spirit for the common good
not stubbornly strong-arms an inflexible agenda
come bring your burning passion
transfigure this land into a new vision of who we can be
a vision that recognises and reveres the rights of everyone
and discards the division of race religion caste and creed
a vision that celebrates the gift of our differences
and proudly honours the magnificence of our heritage
and the treasury of who we are

and then… bring your ancestors
yes call them up…they will never let us walk alone
and as we walk into this season together
may we be held by the wings of divine spirit
whose light shimmers out of every eye
may peace, resilience and gratitude ground us
right here where we find ourselves now
finally here… in this season of seeing
with blinkers shattered on the ground
it is clear
we cannot unsee what we have seen
now is the time for being the change we seek
it is the season of new beginnings
it is time
it is time

Copyright Bettina Schouw Cape Town South Africa. 1 November 2017

Posted in: Poetry Read more... 0 comments

begin at the roots

2016-02-10 13:28:12 tinashouw

begin at the roots


a voice whispers


at the roots

I am climbing the tree of my life

beginning at the latticed web of its sap-rich roots

reaching for the tubular rivulets that soundlessly gargle their way




to that blessed unknown river


with bare hands and feet I pull myself up

testing adjusting my weight from limb to limb

my winged heart takes flight

catches in my throat

as gravity winks from down below

pausing in mid-ascension I gasp for air

but only find uncertainty there

crude anxieties roil and churn igniting and burning arteries

lava-blood fires deafening rounds of scalding fear


a voice whispers


I listen



I start again

climbing the root-face

aware of a still gaze silently watching me

tentacle-fingers search and fumble

then find and grab a gnarled and twisted root

tentative toes slide into the foothold of a crack

and grip like a rock-sucking-lichen

is this where the light shines in

eyes swim into the swallowing darkness

uneasy in the absence of light

there is nothing else to do but pause


give in to the flow

of the eye’s magic streaming of dark-adaptation

I let go

as the body’s secret knowing of how to calibrate

how to heal kicks in

with pupils open wide night vision reveals her secrets

I breathe again

grateful for the temporary respite

buoyant I float in this weight-bearing sea of darkness

a smile plays on my lips with the question

is this how we find our way


© Bettina Schouw ,Cape Town SA, 15 January 2016.

Posted in: PoetryWritingsTagged in: garissa massacre poem Read more... 0 comments

the learning of darkness

2014-02-07 07:37:34 tina-schouw
the pale gold curtain filters a sliver of light then you spring to mind reading books to get lost in and get lost I did in tales of other peoples lives you gravitated to her bed, not yours as if her perfumed presence lingering in the unmade bed would heal you the learning of darkness 
Posted in: PoetryWritings Read more... 0 comments


2014-02-07 07:32:33 tina-schouw
my heart is filled with a thousand stars that will not sleep tonight their song of praise ricochets against the black board of sky piercing holes through which the light shines showering crystal words that fall like holy water washing me cleansing me reminding me that i am i am incomparable
Posted in: PoetryWritings Read more... 0 comments

and so we dance

2014-02-07 07:29:21 tina-schouw
and so we dance arms stretched high fingertips touching ceiling of sky calling up a tidal wave of smiles dispelling the tension in our worn out faces washing worry away and so we dance painting the walls with liquid laughter and the heady sweat of letting go psyches transformed like floating ribbons flashing purple red green and gold
Posted in: PoetryWritings Read more... 0 comments

and when you find me… I dare greatly

2014-02-07 07:24:23 tina-schouw
i have moved my love to be where you are beyond the walls of what once I perceived as love’s limited reach deep inside the passageways of the maze of dreams i am the wistful path remaining echoing the faltering steps of uncertainty catching the soft curve of your sole’s inner-arch sniffing the elusive air for your scent’s trace going mad in the yearning for you
Posted in: PoetryWritings Read more... 0 comments