Bird on a Roof

A magpie,

scraggy and fluffed

as if perplexed,

as if this perch

had become its nest


in the breeze

rain scent

a hint

of yesterday,

crested feathers


warbler of the skies.



in my story,

the bird could no longer fly,

the bird had lost its flock,


I did not see it soar away


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Summer Tides

Far from water, summer tides flow in

on lizard skittering, a reptile sun fit

for the leathery backs of creatures

lost on the highway south.


A solitary magpie in sycamore shade

stolidly unmoved, charts their course

as they slither over bitumen streets

the surface heat of an urban sea


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Bird Play

A bird-morn, full tums from melaleuca

Nectar and a sun just risen to a raucous

Dawn, a sky-swoop of song.


The yellow Cape weaver would warble

At 4, small, delicate sounds

That lulled me into the dreaming hour


When traffic gathered speed

Along Louis Botha Avenue

A sparrowed street.


Here, mammal-birds survived

The endless flight across

The Oceanic sky, thrusting


Bravado on the gardener below

Lifting bags of soil to make

A Jo’burg bed.


I remember the city of trees

At bird-play, how robins would thread

Their nests from our hands,


Such gentleness. We heard

The loerie and its go away call

And flew far beyond horizons


To garden with maggie

On foreign ground. Now I recall that first

Mourning cry, the currawong, instead.


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A Still Frame of Relief


How thoughtlessly alien words such as ‘office’ 

Intrude into the quiet of a line…


Only the orange hue of dusk beckoning

Like the call of an evening maggie


‘Come out, out, out, out’

Washes the day away creating words


Jostling for their place in the natural order

Of the life meant to be.


Weasel-speak and gobbledygook are disposed of

In non-recyclable waste


The night, a still frame of relief.



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