Archive for the 'nature' Category

A storm, from the verandah at Fairview.

Lightning, accusing, says “You will remember me.”
We stand transfixed, the sky electric.
The air tastes of lost love and warm honey
flying ants drop their wings at our feet.

Thunder curses, the wind is a question.
The earth sighs in dreams
as the storm hunches its back
and enters the green gate, pregnant with rain.


the dancer

A snail is walking the tightrope
on the stem of
a broad bean in my
morning garden.

I watch her balance
and dance, moving to the left
then to the right.
Why is she still awake?
She should go to bed
where it’s cool and dark
before the sun comes.

She winds her body around
the stalks of yellowed leaves,
her horned eyes
as mobile and
as delicate
as a ballerina’s hands.

School holidays

Just after dawn
while the sun is still a red ball
and the ground mist rises
from the veld

we make a fire
and brew coffee
in a tin can with a wire handle.
Milk, sugar and Ricoffy,
stolen from the kitchen.

We squat in the dust
and warm our hands
at the embers
wait for it to boil.

The coffee tastes of smoke,
promises aardvark dens,
snake hunts, paper thorns,
stubbed toes and squabbles.

Spring equinox

I’m down in the valley
fingering the fat furry pods
of lupins
and up above in a cave
people have gathered
I hear them singing.

I wonder if I could
piggyback my pleas
on their prayers
but then I see that god is here
in the plump seeds
and in the wind that sets
my teeth on edge
like bad chalk
on a blackboard.

it’s a fine time to climb a mountain
to be closer to heaven,
or to be a tadpole tumbling
in a river swollen
by late rains,
while the full moon hides
behind the sun’s skirts
waiting for dark.

Winter lament

O give me the soul of a brown bear,
lend me her skin
that I may sleep the winter through
in a mulch of leaves and dreams
beneath the roots of a tree
to wake when the world is new.

Aroused by slow warmth
and the reborn sun,
I’ll hunt the quicksilver salmon,
and pluck summer’s berries.
Claws stained red,
I’ll grow fat, sleek and contented,
preparing for the moist silence
and the cold thought-less dark.

the forests of your heart

I have walked in the forests of your heart,
stood beneath the redwoods
in a cathedral of wind.
I have climbed a monkey rope to the sky
counted a thousand shades of green,
slept on a Persian carpet made of moss.
I have heard the mermaids chanting
in waterfall-curtained caves
calling children to the water-holes
while baboons danced in the kloofs*
catching beetles, barking, dancing, laughing.

*kloof – ravine
Legend says that the mermaids call children to the pools to drown them.


the wind is a freight train
carrying sea salt
the screams of children
and paper tumbleweeds.

June 2018
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