HA!Man Essays & Poems


from "reality"


if the wideness is spanned, if the stars are drawn into

a cosmos the size of a bed, if the daily toil is blown

to fill a galaxy.. when all becomes ball of an

undefinable life


then mystery enters


and the question subsides


and in and out the sound of a breath



from "trust is built"


I doubted my own trust

I fiddled with my own beliefs

the past came back

laying in front of me

but is it love that streams underneath?

or is it the clash

of love and hate

that shapes our path

and makes us into a full seasonal blow





I like dust

I like the mud from raining

I like hands full of work and grabbing

I like the mix of microbes that makes me messy

And I like the dirt of change

But those old dirty clothes that could not breathe

Those thoughts that could not flow

Those secrets that rot themselves

And the dirt of forced silences..

No, no, those I do not like

I do not ask for gossip news

I do not crave for schemish things

I only want to get dirty with you

Like hogs, rolling in the soils of spring



uit "anderkant die kruin"


Verstaan julle nie hoe

Heerlik die

Anderkant die kruin

Waar my oog nie skyn

Die kim se laggende wink

Die donker dol nagte

En daar waar ek net voel

En niks begryp






Verbygaande tyd wat

Slat kop rip daal


Het ydelikheid verval vervoel verdraai

Ek maak jou grootste lawerwaai

En dwarsgesteekte perskoppieknoppe

Val my niks



Aangedraai en


Die donkeraftemakende genaai

Liewer nie deurbrake maak

Sy vervallenheid lok die duifstrate

En wie ookal nie begryp se kop

Is dolgeslyt





ek is geen reus

maar 'n kameel


ver stap

en soms die streel

van vog


die ver tog

bring my bitter soms

by 'n fiere vloei


riviere versmelt

en in die donker woel

les ek

en jy

ons dors

from " a future there is"


Let me be straight: leaving the view of the world as a plan of a controlling creator, I needed to start to take responsibility for my choices, my actions, and yes, my creations. If I fail, I need to repair. If I hurt (someone), I need to heal (someone). If the way I live systematically damages the very things that I need to survive and be fulfilled, I need to turn around and systematically change the way I do things.


The world can indeed go to hell for those who believe in a master plan for reality. But taking up responsibility is facing up to the nasty fact that the growing devastation Attenborough has been observing is the world that we created. Many of you probably saw the movie The Mission. If not, pray, watch it. If you did, watch it again. Within that local drama of a missionary reaching out to local communities and finally being ripped to shreds by the big men, blinded by their important abstractions, lies the seed of the bigger human story of the last three thousand and more years. The cardinal who went down to South America to report back to the Holy See on what has happened there, in the end found himself opposite one of those big men. As they behold all the innocent blood ruthlessly shed with machine-like callousness, just like the beheading in France the other day and the happy drones mowing innocents down in the middle east (all in the name of progress and peace of course), the big man says with a somewhat vulnerable sternness: "the world is thus." But the cardinal, with a trembling heart and firm eyes says: "No, big man, thus is the world we created."



from "This dangerous, ecstatic, but lonely path."


The aim is not holiness and perfect peace. Flower power can only bring is so far. Nor is it to declare ourselves sinful by nature and in doing so, giving carte blanche to the forces of darkness. Nor is to wait for redemption from a power (or planet) beyond us. The aim, the challenge, the opportunity is to take responsibility for who we are and what we do. Religion and the arts can help us to show us how small we are. Science and technology can help us show us how powerful we can be. But it is only in coming to ourselves, that we can discover how human we can be. The Paris attacks showed us yet again how blind we can become - not only in those mad and lustful moments of pulling the trigger, but also how our actions and our cozy and consumptive lifestyles can impoverish and destabilize a whole region, creating the venom that will come back to bite us. Then again, the Paris Convention is showing us how we can come to our senses, and more importantly, come to our hearts, to struggle beyond our tendency to take a simple and extreme path, to one that is not easy, is complicated, but connects with real feeling and concrete realities.



from "sex and death"


at the heart of the problem, i think,

lies this: death overcomes you!

like a thief in the night, they said

you have no control over that

and that is the terrible thing: no control

so in stead of finding some control over death

death is seen to lie beyond that

death is the over-comer, the thief of life

death is dark, operate in darkness

and leaves one in the dark..

no control possible

so, turn an eye for an eye

and overcome death.


but what if death is not a thief?

what if death comes just like life itself?

what if death is just part of life,

as controllable and uncontrollable as life itself?


what if it is possible if your own will

can also be part of death?



from “a woman I knew”


Two weeks before she died, I was with her. We sat on her stoep. She was yellow-pale and sweaty. Death was visible on her skin. Her hair was ragged and her face fallen. She told me this (and I wondered: to whom else did she tell this? Who else would ever want to understand?). She said to me, as if confessing a long hidden love: she said that she knows why she is dying. She is dying because she feared too much. She feared losing those close to her. She feared losing her daughter, her man. So she had to control them. She had to keep them in the house. That is why she is dying, she said. Her fear ate her inside. The controlling took her spirit away.


And I asked myself, why did she fear?


The answer was clear to me. At that moment. An answer that I only hinted at before, during the score of years I knew her. Now, it shocked me, appearing as such a truth. The answer was that this famous woman, this writer of stories, the one who held a pen that was heard in four corners of the world, did not own herself. She had it all. Except her deeper self. Her success fooled everyone.





A world totally explained

Might be as unreal

As one totally imagined