Welcome to my A-Z 2018, for which I am revisiting Africa, the continent of my childhood and my dreams. The posts are, as always, infoheavy and opinionated, but they are sectioned off - some music, the day’s topic, couple writers, a slideshow from the safaris – plenty ways to cherry-pick. So you may consume just as much, or as little, as you're cool with. Zero obligation to agree with any of my views either, feel free to air yours :)

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Distances







Dovecotes of distance between courtyards
and a library of parchment days
stacked on the shelves, vaguely disordered;
zigzag winter rain on smoky haze
of roofs and fists and wrists of time.
Grey gobbets of gum stuck on gray-white
walls, rims of bricks; peppermint-lime,
pink faded tissue of toothless kites
their strings unravelled, their trajectories -
whatever the arc, brought to a stop
between the branches of naked trees,
like a giant hung faulty dewdrop.
The parapets dark-furred with the growth
of many distances between our truths.








Monday, 26 January 2015

Dens of words







Back into the same places,
in the finger spaces of pages
and the cool, dark dens of words;
thick bronze, pale green verdigris
on dented urns of memory,
scented silence poured haphazard.






I signed up early for the A-Z Challenge 2015, originally created by Arlee Bird of Tossing It Out. This will be my second time doing it, and hopefully I'll be able to put what I've learnt last year into practice. I'm going to plan my posts, but not necessarily schedule them too far ahead.  A bit of mess and panic makes the poetry sharper, I find.  And there, I have already given away that my theme will be poetry related, haven't I?  

Want to join in? Sign up over here.



Saturday, 17 January 2015

Livelihood




My child sits mulling her homework, and career,
asks me offhand, “father, what’s your profession?
What should I be when I’m done studying here?”
“Whatever you like, but keep your conscience clear,
and do it well, whatever must be done.”


Still she insists, “you must give me some idea?”
- I’ve long anticipated her question -
and rattles off, “dentist, fireman, overseer?”
“I make stuff with my hands.” “So, an engineer?
Isn’t that what you call such a person?


“What do you make, father, houses, bridges, piers,
or is it tiny cogs and wheels and capstans?
And do you do it well? and is your conscience clear?”
My startled tongue still keeps up a veneer,
“A weapon-maker is more of a craftsman.”





Monday, 12 January 2015

The Interview



The woman’s unsmiling, no shades, and someone
has insisted on subtle make-up, nude
lipstick, discreet eyes, keep it underdone;
the events anyway far from this horizon.
Too much emotion equals ineptitude.


The questions are brisk, a probe into sepsis,
but her answers betray little feeling.
Only her mouth purses and unpurses,
forms the words with obvious difficulties,
“no, he was never into that sort of thing.”


Huge failure that a youth couldn’t be rescued
from what he thought he rightly did
epic fail but government or parenthood?
and blame rarely drapes the way it should.
She only says, “he wasn’t that kind of kid.”



Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Pooled






The first verse comes in time, falls into place
as a pebble into a pool; smooth the surface
once the ripples are gone, no-one gets to know
the magic of panic, adrenalin glow
emitted in psychedelic shrieks.
They come by, some notice the silky-sleek
grey waters with an old gold sunset thread;
some notice only the slow-motion tread
of tentacles in the deep, most skip the whole.
Because the pool isn’t what they stole
out for; not even the crooner cares for the poolside song;
the pebbles too shift, move around, move along.
The final destinations always lie past
the skirts of waters and verse in the dust.