Poets of Hope


IMG_0987The SheLoves reach is long and is now touching my African shoreline. (Big Smiles.)

I recently met a beautiful friend through sharing my heritage story on SheLoves. So touched was this young woman by my story that she, as a fellow South African and poet, contacted me. After communicating for a number of months, she contacted me with good news and told me she was releasing her poetry book, and she invited me to do a morning poetry event with her close to my neighbourhood.

That was the first time I met Siki Dlanga face to face. It was a Sunday morning and the weather was just perfect. The wine estate was busy, but the atmosphere was calm and just right. I spent the morning among Siki’s friends and followers and as I sat, I realised how far we as South Africans had come.

‘Siki is a black girl from the Eastern Cape and I am a white girl from the Western Cape. We are roughly the same age, with the same passion for Christ and His spoken word of poetry.

As I sat listening to the poetry that soared from Siki’s soul, I thought how blessed I was to be among people who felt like friends, and I remembered a movie quote I had once heard: “Are you surprised that a man would travel hundreds of kilometres in one day just to spend time with a friend?”

Siki and I did a poetry conversation. We sat on low chairs with African musicians beating the bongo drum behind us and we spoke about poetry, about Siki’s book and our hopes for writers and poets worldwide. While we spoke I came to the conclusion that I write about the hard issues and Siki, well, she loves to write and bring a message of hope. Together, our writing is perfect. We need the groundbreakers and we need the mercy bringers, the bringers of hope.

Twenty fourteen is our year, it is our year to rejoice in our freedom–we have already been given 20 years since the abolition of apartheid. It is a year where we can choose to look forward with hope or look backwards in anger; it is up to us to decide.

I am filled with such hope; I carry it inside of me like a child. God placed it there and I will not let it go.

The poetry morning with Siki and friends still rings within because it encouraged me–friend to friend, hand to hand, black to white; we are part of something new and that newness is God-given and God-breathed. I want to offer hope to those around me: may you hope in your own futures and in God’s perfect timing for you and for your life. I want to end off with a poem by Siki Dlanga called “Prisoner of Hope.”

I am drunk with hope
I refuse to sober up
I am pregnant with possibility
I refuse to abort
I have planted
this good seed
I will not dig it out
I am waiting
in anticipation
To hold my good promise
And I am drunk with hope.

(Poem used with permission from Siki Dlanga from her poetry book, Word of Worth)