Kindred coeur*

Their art had grown in heart in soul
Their art confused…
all the know
Their heart was never quite sure
in which direction to end
Their heart never quite knew which
message to send
Their eyes saw hearts, their hearts saw eyes
Their eyes saw only the inside,
dark and profound,
The light was always too bright for sight to see,
The light showed only shadows, dancing hints of allure in ecstasy
Misguiding the womb, and jumping the gun
They knew it was kindred,
But couldn’t fly free
They caged it up safe,
For the powers that be
but like a caged bird, they never once could flee
For how does a song bird learn her drifting melody
without the slightest hint of captivity
But Eternity, she waited, Eternity stood strong,
Eternity understood,
that never-ending soulful song*

Golden Fields*

The sun shone warm on Maya’s back as she stared out into the fields of the South of France. Spring at Last, Maya thought.  It’s about time. She was staying with her grandparents for three weeks, or was it months? It was so easy to lose track of time in a timeless place, so seemingly cut off from the rest of the world. Maya was eighteen, had just finished school and was more than eager to spend a year sorting through the where, when and what of the next stage of life. France had been her mother’s persuasion, “go take a holiday while staying with family”. It had barely been a holiday and staying with her grandparents had been her favourite escape from reality. It had been years since she had seen them and had cried bitterly when they immigrated. Their farm in South Africa had been the golden days of her childhood, her own little piece of magic in the world, but their home in France had it’s perks too.

Maya’s Grandparents lived in a tiny little cottage at the edge of a large field, where a family of sheep seemed to drift around in their own world, but never leaving each other’s side. Maya had been delighted when the little lamb was born, so teeny tiny, a perfect family of three. Since the day she had arrived, she had stared at these sheep for long periods of time, day dreaming, writing, listening to music, filling her mind with all things that made her long for home. It was generally after lunch when everyone was sleeping that Maya would drift into this world of sheep, home and dreams. Whenever she stepped back inside her grandmother, Meme, would be mending clothing for the few other inhabitants of this ghost like town, or doing crosswords or whatever else would jog her brain. Meme had Alzheimer’s and she could barely remember any English by then, but she and Maya had their own giggles about it, making their own language with bits of English, French, hand-gestures and sounds and whatever else made any sense. Maya did not need things that made sense to other people, she needed things that made sense between two people to understand. Maya’s grandmother was the perfect person to share her own little world with, she was one of the first people to ever tell Maya that she was wise. She had taught her how to be ladylike throughout her childhood, gently telling her the what-not-to-dos of life. She wished everyone had learnt from her grandmother. What beauty, grace and faith she held every moment of her life. 

Maya’s grandfather would put on the news and get the kettle boiling, never a man to sit idle, if there was someone to be sought to and looked after there he was, on the job. He may have been the opposite to gentle, but the gentleness was in his heart. “Me, I love all my children and all my grandchildren. You know, your mother, she’s a beautiful lady, all my children are beautiful.” Sometimes it would be muttered in drunken tones, other times it was simply random ramblings. His grumpy facade could get quite tiresome, but he meant well. Maya enjoyed his company, so what it he complained about every country he veer lived in, so what if he got angry about silly things, he was “mister charmer”, a man of many languages and many humble skills. Maya thought about when he took her to the market. It was like being in an olden day movie, Maya was in a thick European style jacket, boots and all, for it was a chilly day, but it was all so excited. Being an observer, it a pleasure to the mind, so much to take in, culture, things, people, language, the diversity compared to home. The Arab ladies and their strange stalls, the Chinese stalls, Italian, Spanish, like stray dogs looking for a way to survive. The Arab refugees had always fascinated her in France. What was their story, what had they been through on the other end, how were they living behind the scenes, what separated them from the beggars she saw in her own country everyday… Her Grandfather, Pepe, would by from people he had become friends with, he had a knack for befriending the Chinese, from what she had heard from her mother’s childhood. he bought fish from them, bought meat from the strangest people Maya had seen and herbs and spices from the Arabs. The Caucasian French sold your usual boring goods. There were even gypsy-like ladies who sole leather jackets and your standard hippy attire. With his farmer’s buy for the week, Pepe would make the most divine meals, the best Mauritian food on offer ever since before Maya could remember.

Maya longed to spend more time there, but it did get quite lonely. Once when Meme had taken her into town to an old library, she had felt a shiver down her spine at the emptiness of it all. Yes, there beautiful buildings with a beautiful historic village look, but it felt like another time and another place in which she just did not belong. Whenever she went with her grandmother to a church service, it felt empty. There about five priests and a handful of old ladies in the congregation. The church was over the hills an far away, which didn not make anything less creepy, almost like watching an ancient ritual take place, Maya was lost in all the French incantations and responses, she could not pick up on which prayer was which and whether they were following present day order of mass or their own ancient version born pre Pope John Paul. 

All of these little absurdities made the South of France feel almost like home, but just a little too far from. It was almost time to take a long and lonely train ride back to a little town just outside of Paris, and she could definitely wait for that, she could wait forever.

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The Domino Effect

Saturday. Tv, sunshine, relaxation. At last. Maya took a slow, deep breath in, then exhaled slowly, until all the air was out of her lungs and took in one last deep breath. This felt good. Finally, a break from the chaos that had erupted just one week ago and had not quite yet concluded. Maya took a little trip back to the events of Sunday Morning. She had woken up to the stench of Boo’s faeces. She was slightly confused until she had opened her eyes to the sight of it on top of her, well on her duvet anyway, accompanied by a puddle next to her. She had been frustrated at having to sort out her linen when she was already in a rush to go teach the little ones about Jesus. She had planned to spend the rest of the day at the park watching one of the biggest local bands, to celebrate her cousin’s 40th birthday, but fate had other plans.

Maya was looking for a decent pair of flat shoes for winter, but of course, everything these days looked hideous and designed for the risk takers of society, which was any prissy/hipster…. ok any subculture enthusiast… you know… every second girl out there. Maya rolled her eyes at the thought. Maya’s mom stopped her mid-thought, “OK, we’re not going anymore, Aunty Lola has collapsed.” 

The only blood link between between Aunty Lola and Maya was her big cousin. His aunty had died on his birthday. Maya and her mother had gone straight to her home to be with the family, but once again fate had more in stall. The car was written off before they made it there. No injuries, just no car, plenty of shakes and a whole lot more on her Parents’ plate now. Maya had stared at the car wondering if the day could get any worse. Fighting back tears was hard, but she managed. By the time her cousin took her to the house, the body had been removed. What a sudden death. Everyone simply looked… stunned. Shocked. Nobody expected her to go, for her sister had been the one to have a stroke just a few days before. Life was pretty strange that way. Maya was getting used to life’s little surprises, or at least trying to, for the older the got the more she felt emotionally weak. She showed it less now, but little life things would get to her, her imperfections, her flaws, faults, whatever you want to call them, they stunted her more than she would wish for anybody else. She was not growing up strong enough, mature enough, independent enough, but she would get there. Eventually…

The funeral was two days later, Tuesday. Her aunts and cousin’s cousins were devastated. She had expected nothing less. She herself had cried in her own space and time for she had grown up visiting this woman and seeing her at church when she had to go to the Saturday services. Maya had been her little Fifi. A haggard lady who smoked herself to death, but so warm with a homey aura. Maya would definitely miss her.

Wednesday had been a busy day, Maya had taken photo’s of all her little children in Preschool as part of their father’s day gifts. A fun day, but long and draining. At the end of the day she went up to her mother’s office, as she did everyday. “Grandmere’s unresponsive and a few priests and deacons went to give her her final rights.” The rest of the details were a blur, but all she had picked up was that her great-grandmother was dying. She had had a bad stoke a few days before, somewhere among the chaos, those details were a blur too.

Grandmere Marie-Joan was in her late 90s. She had 11 children including a miscarriage and early deaths. Maya knew nine of them, the most beautiful of the girls being her own grandmother and one of the boys was her godfather. The family had multiplied greatly from there. There were twenty-something grandchildren, another twenty something great-grand children and some great-great-grand children somewhere in the picture. Keeping could get difficult with half the family overseas. How strange, that her mother’s side of the family could be so huge and yet her father’s side was dwindling away and she hardly knew any distant cousin’s. One or two here and there.

Maya’s family went to visit Grandmere that evening. She had been sleeping so peacefully. So oblivious to anything or anyone around her. Every now and then her legs were jerk from spasms and it was a slightly frightening thing to see, but she slept on through it all. Maya imagined that in her mind she was having long conversations with God in French. Oh how this Mauritian woman loved the French and hated the English. She hated South African too. One of the second most things Grandmere had said to here was, “but you must speak French”. The first being, “Bonjour Maya”. She was the most important member of her family, she was the glue that kept us all so connected, she would be the greatest loss to so many. A sweet, but cheeky little woman with her own quirks about her, Maya had never met anyone so devout and pious. Every baby in the family was absolutely to be baptized as soon as possible after birth and brought up strictly Catholic, following through with the blessed sacraments and living off that faith. She had set that standard and Her children and children’s children had made sure to instill it beyond Maya’s generation. Grandmere had been on and off her death bed, but this time was serious. She had gone home on Friday, to her own bed, slightly recovered and yet deteriorating at a rapid pace. It was only matter of time now. Maya was dreading the day that funeral would happen. Many people knew and loved Grandmere dearly, so it would be a major affair. 

Friday the 13th. Now that was a peculiar day. Maya’s mother was driving a courtesy car to school, with the two other people they lifted in the mornings. A car had come speeding past, all too close and Maya’s mother had to drive slightly closer to that one car that was parked on the side of the road. A little too closely. Maya’s mother had hit the side mirror, but stopped anyway to give her details and as she reversed to towards the car, out popped a pole, out of nowhere, right behind her car. How strange right? Not really, Maya had seen it, but her mother had reversed right into it. The driver of the other car had simply looked confused. “It’s ok, don’t worry about it. Now you’ve just reversed into a pole…” Maya wanted to laugh, but this was no laughing matter. Hello admin lane, nice to see you again, Maya thought to herself. they were already in the process of buying a new car and now this… Life really was silly. Painfully silly. 

Maya stood on her balcony and stared out over the view of her town. It’s ok Life, you can slow down now, that’s quite enough from you… Where was the lemon juicer and sugar, when lemons were being thrown at you? Oh well, Maya thought, Oh… the freak… well.

Get A Clue*

The wind was gently howling outside and yet… winter had not even nearly reached Maya’s hometown yet, for the chilly mornings were always followed by reasonably warm, even hot, afternoons. She put her tablet aside and glanced at Boo peacefully sleeping beside her. She had been hiding away in any books, games, music and whatever else her electronic devices had on offer to distract her. She had always been that way, but even more so now that her family life was mishmash of undercover chaos. 

Mom knew. Her brother knew. Everybody knew. It was as if her sister had taken Pandora’s box out of her father’s hands and opened it wide enough for all to see. Dad had brought it up too: I want to move to Mauritius, but maybe spend 6 months there and come back for 6 months. “What about us?” Maya had asked, desperate to know where her and her siblings fitted into this picture.

“You and Tyler need to look after the house”, he had said with an awkward tone of humour in his voice. Riiiight, of course, Maya thought dryly.

Maya’s mother had found out a few days after she had, which was about a month before dad had bothered to utter any piece of information. Maya had always been thrilled and intrigued by mysteries, hot on the case, always trying to find answers to things that confused her, eyes and ears open, constantly searching for signs, clues anything that had to offer any sort of answers. One day she had gone as far as to download one of those cryptic games that required intense clue solving to get anywhere. Three versions of the game and a few hours later, she had clocked every last level on offer and was bored of simple cryptology. The real mystery was why no one was talking. She only knew her mother knew because Maya kept watch. Every status update spoke volumes. Eventually Maya let loose that she had known too and out flowed all of her mother’s worries, feelings and concern. All Maya got out of her mother was panic and years of hurt worsening by the day. Dad had still not spoken to mom. 

Maya stared at the page on dad’s desk. There had been talk brewing of Dad travelling to France, Mauritius and back to South Africa, but there were still so many missing pieces. Sitting on her Father’s desk were travel dates. Well, that was one mystery solved, Dad would be away for two months. Peace and quiet was always welcome, in any case.

Maya was thinking back to the week of her birthday. Her aunt and uncle had come down from Mauritius, as they often did. They had brought a design plan of the family cottages that had finally been built in Mauritius. Those too had been kept quiet among the family. Where there was money there was silence, where there was something to show for it, out came the streamers and confetti. Another mystery solved. Dad now had his own place to stay. Next mystery: what was the grand scheme of things, where was it all headed and how much further ahead was she able to plan her life, before anyone announced any drastic moves? Perhaps by the time her father departed from France her sister would know a full story, but until then, family tendencies would remain.

On the upside, every other aspect in the life and times of Maya could have been worse. Silver linings were always pretty cool, for they ensured and maintained the balance and stability of life. How much more could happen next? Only God knew, but until then she would continue to switch the world off and lose herself in her little comfort zone provided by the wonderful yet daunting world of technology. Life was something to be lived, but merely existing was ok for now. Living would happen later, it always did*

The Rainbow Within*

Maya sat on her bed and just stared at Boo, her little black kitten that never seemed to want to leave her bedroom. Did he feel safe there too? Maya glanced at her four walls. She had painted her cupboards a warm shade of orange during high school which warmed the wooden floors all the more. When she had moved home from university just last year she had put up orange and red curtains. Her room was the kind of place people went to when they needed peace and quiet time and sometimes comfort too, but for her, quiet time was comfort enough. It was as good as sitting in a glowing flame, surrounded by God and all his choirs of angels, for she had religious bits and pieces, prayers, symbols and intruments scattered all over her room. It was the perfect escape, the perfect surreal realm for her walls were accented, defined and accompanied by all sorts of fae and mystical settings and objects here,  there and everywhere. Here room was art in itself cor she has painted her essence across it every now end then, adding to the picture, creating the story, one outburst at a time. When she needed space for mytrial things,  she found a way, every need was a new art project and each creation was detailed down to the T. It was her space. Her gallery, her life, essence and very legacy. The music she made in her room was oh so very different to any music she made anywhere else. Her world was her world when she got to be alone. Her drawings blossomed the strangest most beautiful detail almost as if he most inner core of her mind had externalised.

She stared at Boo again. She was amazed at how affectionate this little bundle was. Almost as if he was the perfect touch to the Serenity room. When you needed sweet bliss, there were his tiny attentive eyes jumping towards you the minute you entered.  He was ready to give you all the love in the world at any given moment. How divine that a little creature could possess such God given angelic qualities, and with complete ignorance of the world going on around it… Unaware and innocent. How refreshing,  Maya thought. 

These days, Maya felt as if she was constantly walking through a thick fog. Each moment was a surprise and she took it as it came. Everytime she gained an insight on her families thoughts, it was a fresh surprise. Every time she taught children, the experience was something new,  for children were unpredictable- obedient one day, wild animals the next. Her own reactions to every moment were a fresh surprise to her. Maya’s attitude and tact changed by the day, her own knowledge she chose to tap into, changed by the day. Consistency was quite the rare occurrence, but it made life interesting. Life felt weird. Always… strange… hazy and yet, in a way, she prefferred it that way. It was like constantly being surrounded by a multi coloured mist, she could never see through it, but there was always something significant and divine to look at.  As she drifted throuh the haze, surrounded by her warm comforts, looking within was done with ease, especially since it was her daily habit. Almost like a nervous twitch one had in the company of others. The beauty of what lay within, never ceased to amaze her on reflection.  Now that was a rainbow worth living off.

Boo was now licking her hand as if to get her attention,  bring her back to Earth and pull her out of the rainbow haze. Maya took a quick glance around her room again. Wow… she thought …how beautiful my world is when the rainbow from within becomes the rainbow, sea and forest without*
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Suppose they did…

“Dad has to move back to Mauritius,  but don’t tell anyone, he hasn’t told mom yet”

It hadn’t hit her at the time and she had calmly put the thought aside, until a few hours ago, when Misty had asked her what she would do if their mother had to move to France. It was no secret that their mother had been wanting to move to there for years now, for she had nearly immigrated them all there when Maya was 12 years old. Knowing her mother, she knew it might never happen, but what if it did… this time? Her mind was going biserk at the possibilities,  she absolutely hated adjusting to any form of change… she hated meeting new people,  she hated looking like an idiot where she could not speak the language and she hated French above all.  The strange part was that her sister wanted to move back home from France. What was this strange world now consuming her imagination?  

Mauritius, yes, Maya could stomach the idea, but life with dad? Not so much… Money… Money always came back to bite people… she was tired of watching her rich Mauritian relatives constantly having to make changes in their lives because of their stupid money and bank accounts, this side and that. It was terribly unnecessary back in real people world. The absurdity of it all, harrowing as it felt, slightly amused her. What a thrill, knowing that life could completely topple over at any moment… From what Maya had experienced, a topsy turvy life always came with such fresh perspective, clear as rain one day and a blurry storm the next. Storm were always exciting. Especially with both her siblings by her side. The thrill of lighting striking and appearing terribly frightening, with the accompanying thunder, yet causing no harm whatsoever. 

 

 

Exciting as the possibilities were, change was currently unwelcome. The anticipation of how much of it really would happen would keep her mind wondering for some time, but until then distraction would be more than welcome, she had decided. She still had plenty of growing up to do until then including builing experience in many fields, attaining various documents needed for the long road to freedom and just being Maya,  confidently, gently, calmly- not just in her world, but in thier world.

Autumn Harvest*

She lay there, still, in the Autumn Sun,

Arms stretched wide and wings aside.

She watched her friends glide and go,

The time had nearly come to make it snow.

They basked in the last of their warmth they had grown

From sunflowers to Lilly pads,

Each one across the sparkling pond, aglow.

They danced from tree to flower to seeds,

to see which stock would survive all the breeze

They glimpsed and frowned, a quick skim through the inner guide,

To see which winter garden would most be alive…

In wonder and awe, the glory that would never bore

and warm the hearts of all the folk that passed by, 

little critters, trotters and frolicking bears, 

Pixies and whiskers and all things fair.

The clouds now looming she got up to help,

for her grand finale was never short of something felt.

With a flutter of her wings, gently lifting off the ground, 

She raised her arm and held her head high.

She twirled a little here, swirled her arm a little there,

And slowly the purest white glowing orbs drifted gently across the land, from out of nowhere.

The breeze carried them far and wide, not a sound to be heard, but on, what a sight!

As the day went on and and the stars came out to play,

she found her purest flower in which to lay.