Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua

Two Poems for Else Klink

“die zusammengedrehten Laute ist…”

I set out to sea as my own ship,
a daughter for the return home,
child of an elsewhere.

I hear the nasal chorus
as I dock and my hands
move with learned algorithms,

foreign ones that feel like mine–
are mine–
and sound like stone onto stone.

I ask,
What is a heart? What is a home?
Where to house my heart…? and so on.

I have made a monument of my body,
a nation with a skull and a colony
with a pulse.

I am an organ of perception
from core to epidermis,
compressed as an innocent exercise.


Dip a nail, a toe,
and then your foot into the sea.

Pull it out to watch
the water pool–

then melt, like dripping gossamer
through the apertures.

see its shape immediately
rupture and reform

the mould it makes of you,
a strange method of love:

a mass that can’t be owned
only conversed with,
and so you ask if you can

dive in,
and it says yes.

the weight of it now surrounds,
encompasses, betrays,
and vivifies
the part of it that constitutes you.

Else Klink (b.1907) was born in Kabakada, Papua New Guinea, which at the time of her birth was a territory of German New Guinea. She was the daughter of an indigenous New Guinean mother, Nawjamba Ambo, and German colonial officer, Hans August Lorenz Klink. As a teenager she moved from Kabakada to Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, where she was taught the movement art Eurythmy. She became a major figure in the development and popularisation of Eurythmy throughout the world, and was director of the Eurythmeum Stuttgart from 1935-1991. She returned to visit Kabakada at the end of her life.


Related to the exhibition: Joie noire: Jimmy Robert
Published April 2024