Sonja van den Berg

Poetry and Musings

Poetry


I have searched the bottom

of so many bottles

to find the cure

for this darkness

growing inside me


I’ve looked through the end

of many a shot glass

searching for the truth

yearning for the release

of my grip on sanity


The shadow in my heart

The scurrying whispers

trickling through my brain

Darkness invades

Sanity recedes

and I lose my mind


No more painful anguishing

questions about wrong and right

I fear no more

I feel nothing

I am free

I have lost my mind


I have no authority

to write about love.

I haven’t nearly loved enough,

been hurt enough,

or bled enough.


I have not been loved


close to deeply enough.

Desire has not consumed me,

sanity has not left me.

Love is yet to own me.


I yearn to be possessed,

to be claimed.

To give myself over completely.

And in turn, all I want

is to hold your heart,

in the palm of my hand.


The deep resonant sound

of your voice, calms me,

and quiets me.


It smooth’s my easily

ruffled feathers.


Is this not Love?


His smile,

causes the sun to shine.

His eyes light up,

brighter than all the stars.

His voice, deep and resonant

like the soft rolling of thunder.

The way he walks,

sureness in every stride.

The gentle, graceful

movements of his hands.


It causes my heart to stop,

and start again,

until I can barely breathe,

at every sight of him.

Have I loved

before this day?


My heart sighs a sigh

of such longing, and

my soul cries out

in desperate need

every time you are near


He was the universe.

And I,

just a girl,

too afraid of heights

to take the

leap of faith


None of us escapes

our first love unscathed.

No love will ever run deeper,

or ever reach all the way

to the very dark recesses

at the very bottom

of our hearts.


And forever after

all that love us

must be content to be loved

through the scar tissue

in the remnants

of the pieces

of the heart left behind


  

I saw you again

today


From across a room

blue gray


from being filled

with smoke


With the smell of

whiskey and sigarettes


heavy in the air


And still

You shine




In considering the words I write …


Some are beautiful,

some are not.

Some are strange

but none are meaningless

not to me


They are all pieces

chipped from my sou

I am a self-destructive force,



spinning out of control.



I have created inside me



a race between insanity and death



and all that remains



to be seen



is who will be the first



to cross the finish line



and claim me for their own.

Time …

is such a strange concept

I ponder late at night

while listening to the slow

steady beating of my heart.



I can’t help thinking

maybe all that I’m doing

is giving my heart time

to learn how to die.

He is the night-sky.

And every star,

is a heartbeat

that my heart

is beating just for him.



And my heart

swells bigger than the moon

with every breath

with every day

that I hold this love

for him

in my heart.

You are a careless man.

Careless with your charm,

with your affection,

your easy smile,

and twinkling eyes.

  


You are a careless man.

Careless with your words,

your empty promises,

your useless flattering

and your irresponsible praise.


  

You are a careless man.

Careless with my heart,

you draw me near,

you pull me in,

pretending that you care.

  


You are a careless man.

Making me love you,

but every time I turn around

you are gone, to where

something else caught your fancy.
 

You are a careless man.

And I am a fool.

But I am a fool,

who does one thing very well.

I harden my heart.

  

I love it when you put



your serious face on.



All scrunched up



and business like,



peering at me over



the rim off your glasses.



It leaves me a little bit



breathless, somewhat undone.



Completely and utterly



at the mercy of your whim.

You’ve broken me,

you’re such a bad boy.

And I’m just a girl

who offered you my heart,

shining and full of love.


And just like a bad boy,

you took it, carelessly,

tossing it all about.

And then when you dropped it,

you offered me the broken pieces

like some consolation prize

and walked away.

  

I stand where shallow water

runs deep



And in the heavy pregnant

silence

there is danger even in the

cooling caress of the breeze

the soft rustling sounds

of the leaves

the gently falling rain is weeping

like a soul that grieves


And the deafening silence

envelopes me with dread


Soon come the rapids.

  

No words of longing,



desire or love



has passed your lips.



Your eyes follow me,



and in them I see



all the things you



have yet to say.

  



   

But what if I only



see in your eyes



what I know shows



so clearly in mine?



  

We are all standing

at death’s door.

Knowing not when or how

that door will open

for the otherside

to claim us.


Some of us will be snatched

through that door

in the blink of an eye.

Others may linger awhile.

It matters not.

We must all pass

through that door.


Death does not look

at the colour of your skin,

your treasures or wealth.

There is no bargain to be struck,

no love that can save you.

In the end,

death comes to us all.

We are all just standing

at death’s door

  

  

You have no right

to make me

want you

need you

love you

And then to turn around

and act all indifferently.

You have no right.





You have no right

to lay claim

to my loyalty



  

my devotion

my heart

And to carelessly act as

if none of them matters.

You have no right.

  

  

I am the memory keeper.

I remember every insult,

every harsh word, every hurt.

I remember all the broken promises,

empty nights and lonely days.

And if that were all

I could free myself from you



  

But I also remember

every belly-laugh, every

secret smile and stolen kiss.

I remember long easy conversations,

hours passing in the blink of an eye,

and time standing still.

If I could separate the good

memories from the bad,

I could break free,

I could let go.



  

But that’s not how I love.

I love everything

equally the same.

The good and the bad

are so intricately woven

together to form this person

that I find so easy to love.

The one I break for

without thought of consequence

or foresight of remorse.

  

  

Where dreams die

  



And I sigh a sigh of such misery

that it will surely dampen the stars,

stop the sun in its tracks,

steal the roar of the thunder

and the brilliance of the lightening.

It is filled with every desire

of my twisted heart.

All my hopes and dreams of you.

Every unkissed kiss,

every untouched touch.

All the longing, all the aching,

captured in one devastating sigh.

And on this sigh, I let you go.



And I’m left,

empty and broken

on the stone cold floor

in this heart-wrenching silence.

Too numb to shed a tear.

Too worn-out weary

to try and form a word; or sentence.

So let the silence claim me

and carry me on dark and damaged wings

to the darkness and the stillness beyond.

To that graveyard of empty hope,

broken hearts and lonely souls,

where dreams go to die.

Hush Now



Hush now.

Do not disturb

this silent moment

of utter quiet

before the storm.

This quiet repose,

this moment of truth

and unbearable clarity

before sanity recedes.



Hush now,

let me be.

Let me hide here,

behind this wall of quiet,

behind the safety of silence.

Where my mind is sane,

and thoughts are still clear.

This instance of peace

for my bone-weary soul.

  

Bring me all your broken pieces,

all your self-loathing,

guilt, failures and shortcomings.



Give me your insecurities,

your dark desires and secret passions.

And I will love them all.



And love you all the more

because of them.



And because you laid

your soul bare before me.

The voices in my head



Can all of you just

shut up.



You with your whiney

remorse and tearful pleas.

And you with your

I told you so’s

and endless reprimands.



Just shut up,

all of you,

with your constant

bickering and useless advice.



The endless debate about

the thin line between

right and wrong.

The black and white

of it all,

and the shades of grey

where they overlap.



Just quiet down

and give me

a moment of peace.

Let me love you

   

I will love you

with all the darkness

in my soul.

With all my insecurities,

self-loathing

and dark desires.

I will love you

with every insane thought

of my broken mind.

With all the cold indifference

of my twisted heart.

I will love you

like I’ve loved no other,

with all the broken pieces of myself.

And if you just let me,

I promise,

no one will ever love you more.

No one ever fights

harder or dirtier

than me,

when I fight with myself.

I open old wounds

and I make me bleed

from hundreds of

forgotten wounds.

I cut deep,

and then I find

a strange solace

in watching the blood flow

and I revel

in the salty taste

of my tears



I want to turn of all the stars

And blow away the moon

A sun must only shine on Mars

Another daybreak mustn’t happen soon



  

If nation stood up against nation

And the Earth turned into an endless war

Then everyone must hear my declaration

That of all this love is the cause



Let darkness rule a thousand years

Not one single light must shine

If I could drown in my own tears

I might forget you were once mine



The rain must turn into acid

And burn holes wherever it falls

So it can wipe out everything I did

And nothing will matter at all



Then let all the birds be silent

And all the flowers must die

The wind must be so violent

That I won’t hear the Angels cry



Let tornado’s flatten everything

And volcano’s erupt endless fire

Weeping Angels must carry the dead on their wings

And never let me forget that love is a liar



Let hail and thunder destroy the rest

And floods wash away the evidence of my sin

Sickness and disease must reign like pest

In the end chaos must win



There must come an end to all leniency

Wrath and vengeance must rule

For me there will never be mercy

I’m just another one of love’s fools



Let all the oxygen turn to poison

So that everything can be dead

To lose a love is enough reason

No apologies need to be said



Tear all the planets from the universe

Let it be known that a lie lies within every truth

And the name of love is an endless curse

Then maybe my pain will be soothed



Finally lighting must tear the world apart

And the sea must cover all dry land

Only then tear out my heart

For this pain I cannot stand

Hello Misery, my old Friend

You’ve come to haunt me in the end

In the silence you’ve been waiting

to hear the sound of my heart breaking



Misery you’re my only friend

Our unspoken rule I tried to bend

Foolishly I believed I could be loved

Of my pain you’ll never get enough



  

Dear Misery, why did you wait so long

Before you did me another wrong

It wouldn’t have hurt so much

If I never felt his loving touch



Misery, this time you have won

You took away the important one

Your laughter is consuming all

Up to my last teardrop that may fall



Oh Misery, will it never end

How I still call you friend

You’ve taken everything I had

In the end you’ll surely drive me mad



Misery, I hate you my old friend

This time my heart cannot be mend

I lost a wonderful dream that came true

And in the end all I have is you

  

From this day on

till my last tear has been cried

and all my laughter has died

my pain will not have gone

and I’ll be missing you



From the break of today’s dawn

till my last day on earth starts

when they tear out my heart

and I finally can’t go on

I’d still be missing you



And if it’s in heaven that I walk

with streets of gold beneath my feet

where there’s no more hunger or need

and if to all the angels I could talk

I’d still be missing you



When all the stars are dead

and even the moon has gone away

when the sun won’t shine another day

and all over darkness has been spread

I’d still be missing you



And if a thousand years has gone by

and while eternity run it’s course

but my soul is still without yours

then no matter how hard I’ll try

I’d still be missing you

Ek wil nie ‘n held wees

of onbeskryflik spierkrag hê nie

Ek wil nie gedagtes kan lees,

onbreekbaar wees, of kan vlieg nie

Ek wil nie vinniger as die wind wees

of myle vêr kan sien nie.



Al spesiale kragte wat ek vra,

is as jy my sien jy na asem snak,

miskien jouself so bietjie laf gedra,

met jou knieë skielik lam en swak.



Jou hart vinniger en stadiger laat klop

Jou gedagtes deurmekaar krap

Jou in jou spore laat vassteek en stop

Jou laat laagvat en hoogtrap.



Ek wil jou obsessie wees

Jou ewig en altyd

Jou hart se wens

Jou hart se klop



Want dis presies hoe ek oor jou voel

My hart wil wortel skiet,

en bly hier waar jy naby is.

Wag dat jy my raaksien,

my wil vat en my joune maak.



Maar my kop wil weghardloop

Vlerke sprei en vlug,

na onbekende plekke en vreemde mense

waar jou totale onbetrokkenheid

my nie meer kan folter en verniel nie.





Die oor en weer getwis tussen my hart en my kop gaan my stapelgek maak

Ek weet van harte wat gelykop breek,



Van siele wat indiepe wroeging sweet



Van stilte en rus vir die siel wat ontbreek



Ek weet van leuens in waarhede versteek



Douvoordag staan ek stil-stil op,

die bed is warm, maar die vloer nog koud.

Dis half donker, die son nog nie op.



Versigtig-saggies sluip ek katvoet,

deur skemer vertrekke en donker kamers,

die enigste geluid ‘n voel se môregroet.



Rasper bietjie kaas, sit die oond aan,

klits bietjie meel, eiers en olie,

en neurie sag terwyl ek in die kombuis staan.



Bordjies reggesit, koffiebekers ook,

Kaas muffins, appelkooskonfyt en egte botter.

Wag net vir jou dan kan die ketel maar kook.



Sterk arms wat warm om my vou,

jou stekelbaard kielie my wang,

jou sterk hande vryf saggies oor my rug.



MMmmm, dit ryk lekker Lief’ fluister jy,

jou lippe warm-tergend teen my wang.

En die hele wêreld buite wat op ons wag.



……. Goeie Môre



Love has no quantity.

It is measured in the obscure.



When you love,

you don’t bite down quite so hard.



You soften your touch

You gentle your brow,

and quiet your voice.

Jy’s soos die wind,



dwarrel hier, waai daar,



skop stof op om my voete,



terg my rok se soom,



krap my hare deurmekaar



warrelwaai my gedagtes uitmekaar



en tuimel my hart ondestebo en agterstevoor.



   

Jy’s soos die wind.

My hart is vry …



  

My siel lê aan bande

My gees is gebreek

My liggaam gefolter



Maar my hart,



My hart is vry.


It’s bleak, this life.



Boring and Dull



Mundane and uninspiring,



since you’ve gone.





  

You’ve gone and left me.

Left me to this.



This second rate existence.



And I’m lost,

so lost and drifting,

anchorless and untethered



I’m lost





  

How do I?

What do I?

When do I live again?



I’m up, I’m down.

I’m all twisted and turned around.


I’m not quite me,

I’m the mirror image of someone I used to be.


Something’s off, Something’s wrong.

I’m out of control.

  

I’m spinning,

I’m all broken and bent.



Can’t you see? Don’t you know?

Do I have to spell it out?

Why aren’t you saving me?



Don’t you see the horror behind my eyes?

Hear the desperation in my laugh?

Does the sacrificial drum beat only for me???



Save me, I’m dying here!

I’m drowning right in front of you.



I’ve broken the real me,

I’m losing my mind,

    

and I’m spinning out … and out

  

Why aren’t you saving me?



Jou liefde is soos water,

in die woestyn

Balsem vir my gemoed





Jou liefde is soos die berge,

standvastig en trots

Dit vat my na nuwe hoogtes





Jou liefde is soos die reën,

nostalgies en nadekend

Dit bring ‘n stilte in my gemoed





Jou liefde is soos ‘n storm

angswekkend en opwindend

Dit maak ‘n vuur in my wakker





Jou liefde is soos trane

oor my wang

Bittersoet en helend





Jou liefde is soos die see

dit kom in golwe

En ek verdrink in jou



  

I lie awake at night

alone on my bed

looking out the window

at the night sky.

So many stars,

and, Oh, the moon.



And I wish upon the moon,

and on every single star

  

that there is someone out there



Someone kind and funny

strong and handsome

  

gentle and passionate



Someone for me

Someone to love me

  

Someone for me to love



For I walk alone



Always the odd one out

the third wheel

    

left outside in the coldand I’m weary and alone



So I wish

for Someone for Me

  

Jinne, ek is só oor jou

Kaalvoet, Platvloers,

  

klaar gevat, buitendien

Ek stamp my kop blou,

ek verloor koers,

      

en voor ek weer kan sienstaan ek hiervoor jou deur





Jy begin my nou verveel,

altyd aan die kuier,

  

vat hier, los daar

En ek hou mos nie van deel

Ek strompel, Ek stuier,

        

en kort voor lank sowaar,staan ek hiervoor jou deur

  



Jy krap my kop om

Jy’s bar en banal

  

Jy’s glad nie goed vir my

Naby jou is ek heel dom

Ek is klaar, dis nou finaal

      

en tog as ek my weer kom krystaan ek hiervoor jou deur





Jy’s alles wat ek nie wil hê

Maar ek droom van jou hande

    

warm op my lyfen al die stoute dinge wat jy sê

Ai, en daai gap tussen jou tande

kan ek boeke oor skryf

      

Maak oopek staan hiervoor jou deur

  

Ek is verlore, rigtingloos, amper bedwelmd

Ek loop in alles vas

heeltemal van balans af

Ek strompel, ek stuier

sonder jou is ek die pad byster

die kluts kwyt

Ek vat hier, en los daar

Maak koffie wat koud word op die kas

Begin ‘n boek lees, en sit dit weer neer

Ek krap ‘n paar verse en skrap dit weer

Niks rym nie, niks maak sin nie

Ek sit en staar na niks vir ure aaneen

en is verstom om te sien die dag is verby

Nog ‘n dag sonder jou

om my voor te berei op die res van my lewe



Die werk maak dinge soms beter,

syfers in rye rangskik, boeke balansseer

trek my gedagtes af, dan ek asem haal

en vergeet hoe leeg die huis is sonder jou

My vriende bel, wil kom kuier

maar ek wil hier in stilte sit en verlang



Ek wil nie die herinneringe aan jou versteur nie,

wil alles los nes dit was

al maak dit seer om dit te sien

Jou koffiebeker op die bedkassie

Die boek wat jy halfpad gelees het langs die bank

Jou klere in my kas, skeermes op die wasbank se rand

Dan kan ek myself dalk oortuig

en soms glo

dat jy nou-nou hier gaan instap,

dat jy oppad huis toe is



Môre sal ek beter wees, beter doen,

by alles uitkom, alles klaarmaak.

Môre sal ek weer begin leef,

aangaan met my lewe,

uit die huis kom,

ou vriende gaan opsoek

Môre sal dinge beter gaan,

maar vandag verlang ek te veel

  

Sondag middag





Kombersie op die gras

onder die groot eikeboom

in die hoek van die erf





  

Lê ek met my engelse digbundel

jy met jou koerant

  

soms lees ek vir jou ‘n strofe

en jy vice my ‘n versa





  

en so gaan die tyd verby

   Gekneus en gekwets

Gebroke en oorwonne

Gestruikel en gevalle





  

Bloeiend en afwagtend

Huilend en kermend

Verlief en verlore







Ek’s blou, pimple en pers

Trotsloos, weerloos in jou mag

      

Afwagtend, huiwerendvir jou salwende jammer-soenblomme-opmaak en leë beloftes







Tot volgende keer



wat ek jou wette oortree



  

I haven’t looked at the stars

I haven’t seen the moon

The sun has been shining

But I haven’t felt the warmth

The seasons have changed

There have been flowers

It all passed me by

I’ve been getting over you

Like someone walking a long distance

placing one foot in front of the other

keeping my head down

breathing in, and breathing out

I haven’t lived

I’ve barely existed

I’ve been getting over you

Step by step

  

One breath after the other

Until today

Today I looked at the stars



  

To me, madness is in the ordinary

I love my mundane routine

Labouring to pay the bills,

paying the bills to survive

in a cruel, cold world

Being the responsible adult

The Good Girl, doing the right thing

I am good at what I do,

loyal to a fault,

a good man in a storm

And sometimes late at night

when sleep has yet to claim me

I believe this is the reason

for my insanity





Sometimes I laugh too hard,

I drink too much,

I swear, I lie and I cheat

I run when I should walk

I fight and argue and I always

say the first thing that comes to mind

I trust, and I love too deeply

and mostly obsessively and in secret

Then I bleed from my broken heart

way too much

My scars run deep

but it is on them that I count

the reasons

for my sanity





Maybe …

Just Maybe …



I’m both sides of the coin



  

This is madness

It is lunacy

My mind’s been taken over

My thoughts are alien,

like whispers from a stranger



This is your fault

You invaded me

You possess me

My mind turns to you

By body crave your touch



I yearn for you

I miss your face

My heart ache for you

Even in my sleep

I dream of nothing else



Is this love?

This horror?

This invasion?

Am I now a mindless fool,

a puppet on a string?

  

I break.



Not on the rocks of your indifference



Nor the carelessness of your charm



Neither your oblivious disregard,



nor your blatant ignorance



has as much power to break me



as the expectations in my mind



The yearning in my soul



and the stubborn, stubborn love in my heart

  

Ek voel grou,

iets soos ʼn kleur tussen grys en rou

Dis die gevoel in my kop

die gedagtes wat ek nie kan stop

Dis daar waar jy bly,

ag wanneer word ek vry?

Grou, grou, grou in my onderbewuste

en nêrens kom niks tot ruste

Ek voel grou.

  

Een Ibuprofen

drie Allergex

en twee Excedrin

afgesluk met whiskey

in die hoop dat

dit die gat in my bors

waar my hart eens was

sal laat ophou klop van die pyn

en dat ek vir ʼn oomblik

my kop kan neerlê

en net rustig kan slaap

sonder om te verlang,

te droom,

of te hunker na jou.

My oë raak swaar

die slaap wil my kom haal

en deur my kop refrein:



O, Vaak Klasie vat my hand

Lei my oor die afgrond se kant

As jy vir my kan sê waar my hart verpletter lê

Vaak Klasie vat my hand”

  

There are days like this

when my emotions

barely break the surface

of my soul



Then there are other days

when everything I feel

cuts right through the core

of every fibre of my being



Whether I feel too much

or not nearly enough

I’m always left feeling

supremely inadequate

  

Gister



Net Gister nog het die son vir my geskyn

en die helder kleure van al die blomme

saam met die vreugde van die blou blou lug

Het my geluk en liefde deur die wêreld uitbasein.

Nou staan ek hier vandag, heeltemal verstomme

Want gister is pas verby, en vandag is ‘n klug.

Net gister nog het die voeltjies vir ons gesing

waar ons skemer hand and hand wandel

met die geur van vars rose orals om ons heen

Wie sou kon raai wat more sou bring

Dat ons voete sou struikel en ons wêreld sou kantel

Gister is ons liefde veraai, vandag is ek alleen



Net Gister nog het ons op ‘n verskietende ster

wense gemaak van ewige liefde en trou

en drome gedroom oor die toekoms wat op ons wag.

Maar vandag is al daai drome baie ver,

En elke wens ‘n bitter smaak van berou

Want Gister is verby, en vandag huil ek sag