I find myself thinking: what colour are your eyes?
A melding of clear and cloudy skies
Smoke drifting up from the tip of my joint
The roll of the waves before breaking point
Tell me, sweet one, what colour are your eyes?
What is the colour of your unruly hair?
Dark and compelling, like the tiger’s lair
Vibrant black, or warm, soft brown?
Glossy and rich, like jewels in a crown
Tell me, my darling, what’s the colour of your hair?
I want to locate the colour of your lips
As they softly brush my fingertips
Infused with passion, cherries, almost red
Drops of wine spilled all over my bed
Won’t you come and show me the colour of your lips?
Now I start to imagine the colour of your love
In the eyes of the tiger I’m terrified of
The deep of the rivers washing over me
The blaze of the fires that set me free
Tell me, my heart, what colour is your love?
About the author
Bio – Donna Smith
*Damsel (DAM Smith) is the co-founder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW). Served as the CEO of the organization from 2002 – 2006.
DONNA A M SMITH, the self-styled Archetypal Poet, was born in St Catherine, Jamaica, on June 2, 1960. She received her early education first from her mother, then a range of rural and urban infant and primary schools. After completing “A” levels at the Immaculate Conception (Catholic) High School for Girls in urban St. Andrew, Donna studied law at the University of the West Indies from which she received her Bachelor’s degree, with Honours, in 1981.
Donna became disillusioned with law after a little more than a decade of practice. She set up her own firm in 1993, using it as a platform from where she gradually transitioned into conflict resolution, training / facilitation, youth empowerment and, eventually, activism, which brought her to South Africa in 1999.
Poetry is not the only art form in which Donna has been interested. A writer of some note, she has contributed to publications as various as the Gleaner and Star newspapers in Jamaica, and the Behind the Mask website, Womyn and Soul magazines, and Exit newspaper in South Africa. She also authored a chapter in the educational text, South African Visual Culture (Ed. van Eeden and du Preez, Van Schaik Publishers, 2005).
Donna was a member of the celebrated University Singers (official choir of her tertiary alma mater) for 18 years. She has also been involved in a number of theatre and video film productions, both here and in the Caribbean, the most recent being the self-produced, self-directed this poem … expresses how I feel, which premiered at the Out in Africa Film Festival, 2005.
Her poetry career in South Africa has seen her on stage at Cool Runnings in Melville, Horror Café and other venues in Newtown, House of Nsako in Brixton and, in Braamfontein, the Simply Blue Visual Vocals Poetry Slam, and Wits Amphitheatre, where she has been a favourite in the line-up for the annual Jozi Spoken Word festival, 2007 – 2009. After a three-gig tour of Cape Town late in 2009, Donna returned to grace the stage at the Interdependent Youth Cultural Festival in Soweto. She has also performed at the State Theatre in Pretoria – most recently as a guest act at the inaugural Reggae Seminar co-hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in 2010 – and in Windhoek, Namibia.
Donna mounted her solo production, The Archetypal Poet in Concert, at Wits Amphitheatre in March 2010, then performed the show as part of the Fringe Programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, later that year. Donna has recently taken a break from performing, as she works on her debut anthology and other creative pursuits.