in love with nature,
we put our hands in the soil
sand and plants are in our palms:
planting at the vlei and helping at a garden
we want to bring back what was
and what used to be
how are we gonna
live without trees
when they relieve stress from our shoulders?
spread the word:
it is better to live
bring more life to beautiful earth
These are some of the verses created for a group poetry performance as part of the Just Earth project.
The poems were created by Lotus Princess Vlei Guardians in a series of workshops facilitated by Toni Giselle Stuart. Toni is a poet and performer, and part of the Hot Poets collective. Earlier this year she created a poem inspired by Princess Vlei, Great Grandmother Wetland.
The workshops started with a visit to Princess Vlei, where Toni invited the learners to open their minds and senses to what was around them, and write freely whatever came into their minds. In the workshops that followed, they synthesised these thoughts into individual Haikus and poems, then wove these together into a group poem.
At the Just Earth Celebration on October 21, Paige Eden , Nashiekah Louw, Deirdre Louw, Zia Booysen, Jade Witbooi, and Tracy Daniels performed individual poems and the collective poem to an audience of about 200 learners, teachers, parents and Princess Vlei Forum volunteers. Toni then compiled the poems into a booklet which was distributed at the school.
The poems beautifully express the sense of calm, freedom and release that these learners feel when visiting Princess Vlei. Together they represent a powerful testimony to the richness Princess Vlei brings to those who visit, and especially those who take the trouble to put their hands in the soil and work to restore its vitality.
Down load the complete anthology of the poems composed by the learners below.
Watch a performance of Toni's poem about Princess Vlei below.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.