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Poems – Sr Katy van Wyk: 3. It is Only in Darkness…


Poems of:
Sr Claudette Bogner
Sr Katy van Wyk : 3.

Suffer little children

Who won’t let you come to Him?
It is us the adults of this world
Placing too many burdens on your little shoulders
We squeeze the life out of you

We blow out your light
Leaving you with vacant, life-less eyes
As we watch you being raped…maimed…and murdered

We turn a deaf ear to your spontaneous giggles and peals of laughter
And when we can take no more – we place a muzzle over your mouth
Place and cell-phone or play station in your hand
Sitting you in front of the television or computer
Content with the superficial silence

Who won’t let you come to Him?
We, the adults, gone cold, selfish, arrogant and cruel
Putting rifles in your tine hands
Teaching you to steal and maim and kill
Placing drugs on your tongues, causing you to spiral down the road of self-destruction

Who won’t let you come to Him?
We, the adults, living in the fast-lane, reckless…
Irresponsibly robbing you of your innocence and carefree-ness
Letting you take care of us as we await our all-too-premature death
We, the adults leaving you in the care of helpless, struggling grandparents,
with no provision made for your future – or leaving you alone,
a child taking care of younger children

Suffer, little children to come unto Him
Who will let you come to Him?
We, the adults, who will dare to look into your face and see
The pain, then hunger, the emptiness and the helplessness
We, the adults, who will stand together and protect you
We, the adults who will take you by the hand and
Walk you back into the land of your childhood
Where you can once again play, laugh, eat, and sleep,
dream your dreams, love and be loved
we, the adults, can let you come to Him so He can put
His arms around you, heal, bless and love you back into life



Who are you
And what have you become?

You are smart and intelligent
And yet you allow yourself
to become unintelligent

You are successful
Striving to make something of your life
Working nine-to-five
Giving your all in order to
Bring home the bacon

You are your mother’s daughter
And your children’s mother
Raising them up with values by which
You yourself were raised

You are someone’s wife and partner
Entered into relationship
Hoping for partnership, equality
Mutual love and respect
But slowly you let your dignity be stripped
Your self-respect trampled in the mud
Your love used as a pawn in a violent game

You are precious, with a keen mind and beautiful body
Yet you allow your mind
to be squashed to a pulp
Your body to be a dumping ground
For some immature man,
needing to prove his manhood

By violence, control,
domination and verbal abuse
Leaving you feeling hurt,
small and insignificant

Woman, remember that though you are someone’s daughter
Or partner or mother
You are woman
Created along side man
Created by God
and seen as beautiful and very good

Woman, stand up – for goodness sake,
for your children’s sake
And for your own sake – you can!
Speak out – you must! Unless you become silenced forever
Reclaim your power – it is vital!
And stop the cycle of abuse
As you move deeper into womanhood
Reach out and join hands
with other women
Stand up, stand firm!

Be yourself, smart, intelligent,
Successful and vibrant,
Loving and compassionate
Being respectful
and demanding respect in return
Stand tall in your dignity
Be proud of who you are – woman!



Down into the depth
Where all is dark and still

Turning and spinning
Down into the depth
Where all is dark and still

Here, O God, you wait as I whirl and spin
Pushing me up and out
Turning me inside out
Into the light…
Into freedom
into the dance


Taking the plunge

Out on the edge I stand
My limbs heavy – eyes blurry and tear-filled
Around and beneath me, this void
Like a wide open mouth
Ready to swallow me up

Afraid to jump, and still more afraid to remain here
What next?
If I jump…who will be there?
Who will be beside me if I stay?
Where are You?

All I hear are the questions echoed back to me
And all I know with utter certainty
Is to jump and to take the plunge

So I stayed for a while and You were there
I jumped and You took the plunge with me
And there, in the ocean of Your love
I saw myself reflected in the mirror of Your face
And here we sat and talked
Here we laughed and cried
Here we embraced and gazed
Here we sat in the stillness
And, ah…it all too soon came to an end

Then You raised me to my feet and set me back on the path
To go and tell
To sing and dance
To search and find
To laugh and cry – and to spiral down once more
Into the ocean of Your love


Woman, why are you Weeping?

Woman, why are you weeping?

I weep, when helpless
I stand and watch my hungry baby
I weep when my child crawls home, with bloodied legs
And the light and life in her brown eyes snuffed out
For – she has just been raped, and
I wasn’t there – out finding a piece-job
To get money to buy paraffin and soap and bread

I weep when the child in me is pre-maturely born
And kept in an incubator, bandaged, tubed and oxygenated
For my womb was no longer a safe, nurturing place
Because of stress…hunger…physical abuse…and unemployment

I weep for I have just discovered I am HIV-positive
I weep for myself, my children and for my elderly mother
Who will have to take of them when I’m no longer here

I weep when the crops I’ve sown and that’s grown
Produce food that doesn’t nourish me,
For the soil in which it’s been planted
Has been depleted of all its nourishment

I weep when water from the nearby streams and rivers
Have been contaminated
And no longer useful for consumption – neither for humans nor animals

I weep when my two-legged, four-legged and non-legged friends
Have to make way for high-rise buildings that are bigger,
Better and stronger – to the point of extinction

I weep, when the weather patterns change because of human interference
And meddling with nature’s rhythm

I weep when men, women and children,
are maimed, killed and whole villages and towns
left deserted because of wars – caused by greed, power and control

I weep because my heart is moist soaked in compassion
And rejoicing with my sister, who is happy because
she can once again stand tall in her woman-ness
And I dry tears of joy, because my brother got a job and had his dignity restored and
I cry because I’m happy

I weep, for I know my tears fall right
Into the Heart of God!


Mary, the woman

The angel announced God’s message to you
You were shocked, surprised and frightened
Be with women who find out they are pregnant,
in spite of the precautions they may have
taken and are now at a loss
of what to do with this new life inside of them

In disbelief you pondered and prayed
and wondered what would happen if word gets to your family,
your fiancĂ© and neighbours –
Be with young girls who discover they are pregnant, so afraid of the
Consequences and rather have an abortion

You went to Elizabeth, to get some space and comfort and to
wait for things to settle down in the community
Be with young women, who have no elder, mentor,
or friend to turn to in their time of need

Elizabeth confirmed the angel’s message to you
and her unborn child recognized the new life in you as
God’s own, a Gift to yourself and to humanity
For women who have no hope in their own dreams
and who may just need a word
of confirmation and affirmation
Be their inspiration

Your Child was born in the humblest of places
Be with women on the road,
Fleeing from their war-torn countries and finding themselves having
To give birth to their babies in-between-countries

The sword pierced your heart over and over again
As you watched your Son growing in wisdom,
Loved by some, rejected by many and killed by a few
Be a source of strength for women
who watch their children make wrong choices so as to fit in
women who stand by helplessly, watching their sons and daughters
being raped, maimed and killed

You took on your mother’s role,
advised them at the wedding to listen to Him
you stepped aside and let
Him take the lead, for you knew
He was not only your son
But the Son of God
Continue to lead others to Him