Stygstrome - Updrafts

Written by: Chris D. Aechtner


"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 poetrysoup.com, 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,
sirkel,
sweef
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.

Swooping,
circling,
gliding,
soaring
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.




*