In 2008 De Waal started writing his poetry mainly in English. He does occasionally write in Afrikaans, though.
De Waal regularly publishes new poems on his blog Poetry en Poësie in English and Afrikaans.
You can listen to some audio poems here.
This autobiographical poem describes the poet as a young boy on his grandparents’ farm. He spent most of his school holidays at Doringfontein in the Klerksdorp district.
Resurrection of the boy
The afternoon has lost its sap,
a leaf touched
by news of autumn.
Cows come strolling in,
udders heavy with milk.
Inaudibly they hum songs
they heard from the wild bees.
Sounds dress themselves in fresh new colours,
the browns of hens’ eggs,
the bleeding reds of talkative finches
in the reeds
where snakes uncurl,
whiplashing the air with their tongues.
The boy picks at a scab
on his knee.
Tonight ouma will listen to his prayer
from his knees;
God will listen,
smoking his pipe,
and later he will blow clouds
into the sinful night.
The boy, as always, fears to die tonight;
he will wrestle with the angel’s soft wings,
but at last he will be still.
Tomorrow when the sun touches his nose,
who will he be?
New volume of poetry
De Waal’s latest volume of poetry “Entangling states of mind” has been published. It can be ordered from Lulu.com. Check his poetry blog.