You can give a heart on any day

This handmade heart hangs from a nail above my desk. I don’t remember on which day it was given to me, yet it carries more sentimental meaning than any Valentine’s token I’ve ever received. This heart has shadowed many of my poetry journeys. It has travelled with me from Cape Town to San Diego, to South America, toContinue reading “You can give a heart on any day”

The Age Show

Roll up! Roll up! To see the hairy Caucasian lady with her mandible chin hairs protruding since she long gave up plucking or pulling or waxing them off. And nobody else cares to do it for her. Hairs and cavernous wrinkles! Roll up! It’s not a wig. That’s naturally grey. Under the chin? A wattleContinue reading “The Age Show”

Dying is probably easier than this

It’s Thursday, 06:15 You wake up to the alarm knowing you will never win an Olympic medal publish a novel that would win the Man Booker, finish your degree or even pay the last R150 you owe Woolworths. Your first grandchild will die before you and each of those candles you lit in the caveContinue reading “Dying is probably easier than this”

In this place

A post-breakup mediation posted this time last year, but dating back further in time. The poem appears in my book Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys under the title “A quiet thought”.

She’d read it in books

“His father beat him around the head. Only a little bit on Wednesdays, after pay day, or on Friday late, after the races. Clean up your mess, boy!” The teachers preferred her creative writing to include such notable topics. So mature for her age! — In the accompanying essay to yesterday’s posted poem, I wroteContinue reading “She’d read it in books”

Two Poems about Grey

On the fringe of grey bring some blue set above white and petal disks. Green is a good addition. Lay down black as tarmac. Square everything in Your life and love and happiness A tree! No less Grey like silver grey like gold grey like suits tales of old grey like hats grey, like pointerContinue reading “Two Poems about Grey”

At the right age

People start to ask questions they really have no right to pose   At a point, they expect you to be studying. Let it be known: a non-graduate works shifts and packs plastic bags.   Since 2008, so do graduates with four degrees. But people will still ask, What do you do? They mean areContinue reading “At the right age”

The Character Building

the Shard in tall majestic glints the architecture of its age success of Empire State and iconic like   afloat in grand isolation there is also an island set on a raft of mahogany loss   a wall hit and under constant repair encircles the floor about which nobody knows a floor matted with digestedContinue reading “The Character Building”

Half-a-dozen, a wildcard plus one

A few recent poems have orbited around summer. 29°C captures some moments from the July heatwave. Another Summer’s Day explores more delights of the warmer season. Summer food and outdoor eating, which we enjoy at such times with childlike relish, are enacted by the child characters who feature in Packed Lunches and Summermelon. Tightly Sealed and Look At draw on observations of ordinaryContinue reading “Half-a-dozen, a wildcard plus one”

Summermelon

In which the superhero of pre-used words makes a re-appearance The superhero of pre-used words met watermelon boy. It was summer. They had pips to spit But also fruit to eat and The superhero of pre-used words and watermelon boy arrived at the driveway, 3 quite sharp. Between them half a shell of watery sweetContinue reading “Summermelon”