#Khariro Mîrosa? All it takes is one disastrous word—a Khoekhoegowab poem.

#Khari rose tsoa tsoa
Ō xawe /āe #hūwib khami ra kai

!Nōmsa hūrib khamira mûsen
Tsî /āses timîs ai !gawigu khami #gōse ra khâi

Ōmra garu, tsi eka
//gao #oagu khami ra mâ

/Gui #khari mîros xa /guis ge
Nētsē go //goa //goasa a /khara //khā
//Na #khari mîros ge
#Khôaba a kūru //khā
//î #khari mîros ge !hūba hā ra /gawi

Tā sa namsa mâ-ām nē #khari mîros mî sa
Sa namsa ū-oa, sa mî de !gôa


It all starts as little as a drop of water
Just to turn into an ocean of crushing waves

It looks like a calm ocean
Just to stand tall like a tsunami

It builds up like a whispering wind
Just to turn into tornado

One little word can change the course of a day
Just one little word can bring about destruction
It is a little word that can make the earth tremble

Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to your words
Curb your tongue and count your words

Verushcka Garises is a Namibian poet, visual artist, and primary school teacher. She specialises in dressmaking, collage, and painting. She has exhibited at the National Art Gallery of Namibia’s “Creations” exhibition in 2019. She is currently completing her poetry anthology of Khoekhoegowab.