Thandi Sliepen – poetry

I am a self taught, universe taught artist dabbling in many different mediums. Primarily painting, poetry, sculpting, recently singing and of course gardening. My style is undoubtedly naïve and personal. I try to connect myself and others to the Earth and each other through images, forms and words. To communicate joy in that connection.

Thandi lives and works in Ladybrand in the Eastern Free State. She has a large body of accumulated poetry. Her first collection the turtle dove told me was published by Modjaji Books and won a SALA award in 2014. A second collection will be published in 2021.

She has also been published in various lit. magazines including New Contrast, New Coin and Carapace. Her paintings were used on the covers of New Contrast in 2009. Her poetry was included in an anthology Heart of Africa! Poems of Love, Loss and Longing. African Sun Press 2014. In 2018 she participated in the 2018 McGregor Poetry Festival and you can hear her read a few poems on the Badilisha Poetry X-Change.

Return to the Garden

the autumn leaves lie unraked

in the town for once left to blow freely

through empty streets

for once no rubbish falls

from the hands of passing people

no feet stepping

no voices

a ripple of silence

in the splash

of modern life

a lull

a drawing back of the tide

a trough

of stillness

from a future beyond streets

Dragon capsule

Dragon Capsule

two men in space

butterflies in my stomach

a poignant ache

for these humans hurtling themselves

against the sky

human canon balls

in the ever expanding

cosmic circus tent

see the controllers in their towers

with their escape lines strung out the windows

strapped to computers

see them with surround screens at the height

of human invention

a nucleus of thought jettisoning

out into space

two men in a capsule

flexing their hands

in tightly woven armour gloves

while down on earth

all is hushed

the controllers in their towers

cannot speak

for they have separated

their lungs

from the atmosphere

with synthetic shields

controllers with socially distanced desks

mouths wrapped with pale fabric

sitting in a silent room

breathing in

their own fumes


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