Across the border – Lyrics and song by Bruce Springsteen

Een van die mooiste liefdesliedjies vir my wat ek nog gehoor het.

Hierdie lied het lank, amper 12 jaar lank , op my skootrekenaar se hardeskyf gewag dat ek iemand sou vind met wie ek dit wou deel.

Ek het daardie iemand gevind . . .

Hierdie is vir jou, mi amigo

Tonight my bag is packed
Tomorrow I'll walk these tracks
That will lead me across the border
Tomorrow my love and I
Will sleep beneath auburn skies
Somewhere across the border
We'll leave behind my dear
The pain and sadness we found here
And we'll drink from the Bravo's muddy water
Where the sky grows gray and wide
We'll meet on the other side
There, across the border

For you I'll build a house
High upon a grassy hill
Somewhere across the border
Where pain and memory
Pain and memory have been stilled
There, across the border
And sweet blossoms fill the air
Pastures of gold and green
Roll down into cool clear waters
And in your arms beneath open skies
I'll kiss the sorrow from your eyes
There, across the border

Tonight we'll sing the songs
I'll dream of you, my corazón
And tomorrow my heart will be strong
And may the saints blessing and grace
Carry me safely into your arms
There, across the border

For what are we
Without hope in our hearts
That someday we'll drink from God's blessed waters
And eat the fruit from the vine
I know love and fortune will be mine
Somewhere across the border

Mud school

Mud school

Image credit: SABC 3

Mud school

(For the children of the Eastern Cape, twenty years after Freedom)

Minister Motshekga, your name is mud. Let’s see

what we can do with you. We can fire you and make

of you a brick, and add you to our school, maybe

as the corner stone. In rain you’ll turn into a turd.

We’ll skip over you and laugh. We can smear

you thickly on our walls and watch you crumble

in the summer wind, we’ll use your flakes to learn

subtraction until there is nothing  left to reckon with.

We can bake a cake with you and pretend we ‘re eating

lunch, or mould you to a wafer to serve us as a thin,

melting sacrament. We can press you in a frame

to form a wet slate and write this poem on you

with a twig and send  the president a truck of sun-

baked tiles to read until he weeps. But maybe he

will only grin and say, why complain?  Look where I

have gotten to with only standard six, I hold an honorary

doctorate from Beijing! Mrs Mud, we could erect for you

a headstone  in every school and every morning march

around it chanting, till it falls down like the walls of Jericho.

But will it help if the element is air, or song, or pristine hope?

Mud is a multi-purpose substance, Minister, we can fling

it in your face, if you would show it to us, but you rarely come.

A grateful word for rhyming, too, this mud that is your name,

for chewing on, like a dumb beast on its cud, until one day –

having baked, skipped, eaten, written, reckoned,

ruminated, marched, prayed and chanted in its medium,

inhabited its frailty and studied well its force –we mix our blood

in it, and turn it into rock, and fan it into flame and furl

it into smoke and shout and tread under our feet the very buds

of spring, the things you should have nurtured,

the flowers of fresh learning, that we should have been.

        – Marlene van Niekerk