Creative Wordshops Newsletter March 2021

Images, Triangles, You and Me
The tale is often wiser than the teller.
Recently I was storytelling in Namibia engaging with therapists teachers and cousellors who work with children at risk – courtesy of the Carl Schlettwein Foundation. The theme ? How creativity and imagination offer a path to healing. In one of the exercises I offered one of my ballads, Night Flight, which Erna Buber illustrated. The guiding question – how could you use this with children? Here is the poem and two of the images.

Night Flight

Last night as I lay dreaming
A Zebra came to visit me
I jumped upon his stripy back.
We soared towards our tree.
The tree grew near the window
of our house in Donkeydraai
It rose so high above the ground
Its fruit reached to the sky.
“What is your name?” I asked her.
“and why did you come for me?”
“My name is Zeb,” she answered,
“and just you wait and see.”
Just as we passed the branches
Zeb picked an orange with her teeth.
“If we are travelling all this night,
We’ll need a bite to eat.”
“Now you must keep this orange.”
She rolled it on her back.
I caught the juicy orange moon
and put it in my sack.
I held on to the Zebra’s mane.
As we rose, I stroked her pelt.
I could not see our donkey
who grazed the nearby veld.
We rose above the village
Where people sighed and snored.
Up away in the cool night air
Zeb flapped his wings and soared.
“I think dear Zeb you chose me
Because my shirt is striped?
My granny made it for me
In rows of black and white.”
“You are so kind to the donkey
that lives in the village below.
By the time that morning comes
There is a lot that you will know.”
The moon was full and golden
As we rose up through the night.
“If we get any nearer, Zeb
We’ll soar beyond its light.”
As Zeb and I jumped the moon
she wore a smiling face.
“Molo, dear sister” we greeted her
“Tonight you shine in space.”
Then we flew back above the veld
Near river, jackal and hare.
“These are your family too” Zeb said.
They all looked up to stare.
So we flew on in silence
as I peeled the orange moon.
We made up a song to thank the tree
And then we made up the tune.
Just as the sun was rising
we headed back to Donkeydraai
I still could not see our donkey
We dropped down to land nearby.
“The spirit of life is in everything,
in the tree, the moon, the hare.”
And as Zeb spoke she vanished
And the donkey stood right there.
And as I climbed back into bed
In the village of Donkeydraai.
I opened my arms to my family
in the river, earth and sky.
Dorian (Feb 2004)

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