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Stygstrome - Updrafts

Chris D. Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Stygstrome - Updrafts which was written by poet Chris D. Aechtner. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Stygstrome - Updrafts

"Stygstrome" is the Afrikaans version of "Updrafts", one of my earliest poems (including some showcased naivety :D), and is the first poem that I ever publicly    posted online, right here on, 3 years ago to the very day. 

I am also including the English version to this post.

Swart vere absorbeer altyd
die meeste sonskyn -
'n Volmaakte fusie
van donker en lig.

Ebbe oë glinster 
hoog in die kalm, koue hemelruim.

'n Vinnige daling
tot vlerkpunte
sagkuns soen,
die byna onsigbare
boom-toppe deurdring 
digte Winter se mistigheid. 

Sterk strome strik skielik, 
'n Voël van staal
donder oorhoofs,
breek die antieke fokus
met sy dreunende, magtige brul.

Herwin gedagtes.

Stryk neer,
in 'n stygende vlug
van suiwer vergenoegdheid.

Swart vere absorbeer altyd
die meeste lig --

Black feathers always absorb
the most sunshine -
a perfect fusion
of dark and light.

Ebony eyes glitter 
high in the calm, cold sky.

A quick dip downwards,
until wing-tips
gently kiss
the nearly invisible
tree-tops piercing
thick Winter's fog.

As currents suddenly catch hard,
a bird of steel
thunders by overhead,
breaking ancient focus
with its loud, powerful roar.

Regain thought.

in a flight 
of pure contentment.

Black feathers always absorb
the most light.

*A warm thank you to the ever-lovely Christine Ueri for finding 
the perfect Afrikaans words to poetically translate this poem.


Copyright © Chris D. Aechtner

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  1. Date: 3/27/2013 11:49:00 AM
    The imagery you evoke here is so vivid! This is free verse at it's best. Wonderful job, Chris. In answer to your earlier comment, I did only recently start attempting haiku - after Debbie gave me some very helpful pointers.

  1. Date: 3/24/2013 1:41:00 PM
    Always a pleasure to read a poem in my mother tongue; more so when as eloquently put. Hats off to Christine for a spot-on translation. Well done, both of you :)

  1. Date: 3/24/2013 11:05:00 AM
    Soup Mail.

  1. Date: 3/23/2013 5:56:00 AM
    Hello Chris my friend...Long time no talk .. Cool piece.. always a learning experience for me here on Soup... Hope your well and Peace is all around you Michael

  1. Date: 3/20/2013 7:07:00 PM
    Where's the fock poem? If Cortazar created the antinovel with his Hopscotch ... that poem could be easily tranform the poetry! The antipoem! (Im serious!) Soup Mail!

  1. Date: 3/20/2013 6:43:00 AM
    Well, this calmed me down. Such art, Chris. Sending a soup mail. :)

  1. Date: 3/18/2013 2:23:00 PM
    awesome writing, Chris. and wow, you have been writing GREAT ever since your very first post then. I have a question for you. When did I ever write that I was dreaming of a Chilean dude? hahaha

  1. Date: 3/18/2013 8:38:00 AM
    Chris..I have to go back and see if i hmoad commented on this beautiful poem of yours three years ago.Mine was much simpler..I think it was about nature..solitude ..and friendship..But this one says so much..I love this line-Black feathers always absorbs the most sunshine...It says a lot...And i love the african wordings..even if i dont know the language.

  1. Date: 3/17/2013 7:32:00 AM
    Chris, what a beautiful poem, so utterly visual, I could see it, so lovely, I often go back to older poems also, I love them again, constance

  1. Date: 3/15/2013 9:46:00 AM
    I love this one! I already have it in my favs. Soupmail :) hugs, Catie

  1. Date: 3/12/2013 9:46:00 PM
    Hey! Ha-llo! Where are you?

  1. Date: 3/10/2013 1:44:00 PM
    soupmail :)

  1. Date: 3/10/2013 1:42:00 PM
    Beautiful poem, Chris. I'm putting it into my favs. Absolutely beautiful. hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 3/9/2013 2:51:00 AM
    Super write, Chris! Thanks for posting the translation. : )

  1. Date: 3/8/2013 12:03:00 PM
    Chris, this is an exceptional piece of work, wonderful use of words....David

  1. Date: 3/8/2013 8:53:00 AM
    Chris, this is beautifully written..the flow is magnificent..I truly love the imagery..excellent work!!

  1. Date: 3/8/2013 12:17:00 AM
    I've always loved this poem of yours for its wonderful imagery, carefully constructed lines and stanzas...and I love it even more now...thank you for keeping the words flowing, no matter what the language...