in which I realise how to grow spanish shawl

The pram rocked with the child’s cries

To the blue sky above, to the migrating birds

Who flew past the little blob wailing and

Calling like a romulus into the empty

Suburban quiet. The absences grew


A  groundcover spreading over space,

Grew a garden around the lament

Grew music in every blank spot,

Made a language of replenishment.

We suffused the silence with reassuring


Nonsense seeping warmth into dark nooks

Blood ran through roots

Requiring watering, daily, to keep alive.

I tried to be your spanish shawl

Wrapped you up warm, carried you


Sat, laughed, chattered, cajoled

You so that you thought I would

I could, save you

That day

When you became a child again.


Covering ground is back-breaking

Trailing tendrils set out bravely.

A peopled polis is born to soothe

A howling fear. The sound of a garden

Grows in absentia, struggling to create

Something in the vast expanse of time.



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when poetry departs, I turn to Glass

It leaves me berefit

Of words.         it’s an emptying out


A poetic slur.      an illusion appears

Opening a cave’s mirror

To a mind      furrowed

Burrowing in ideas

Glass ones.        then solid relief

Hera holds a lily

Afloat a mandolin, pure notes

Drop poems like fresh milk

In my robust tea



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and worked until the day was done

that’s my song

as the days grow longer,


to follow each thought’s

silent talk


the garden’s invitation

a realisation

that time is on my tail

in a game of catch-up

with the natural



there’s bird game,

grubs eating buds

the meadowpatch

extension on my mind as

the soft day’s shadow

slips past unnoticed,


until I rest

at last.


moon smiles,

my work’s done.




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There is no poetry

Except as we insist

For we must.


No poetry

In the universities

Of bureaucracy

Though you can

Study our poets


Our lyrical jarring

Smashing rhyming

Word worlds

Our melodious singing

Farting whispering voices

Our compositions

Crying for another

Way against


The horror.

The poet

Of the particular

Has laced words


From death

Abandoned words


Ebola words

Deep beyond print



Comes to screens

As colour

Black, white

And cloth so bright


Should be

A bondo dance of brilliance

Instead of grief

And Africa’s mourning.


Weep then for possibility

A truth

Of this age

Any age

We are

Tainted by language

Long lost to the living

Inaction, inertia. . .



And Poetry waiting




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