You try to take a snapshot of the fog and the trees outside and the glass partly catches the reflection of what’s inside. What you thought might be a ghostly scene now feels like something else less expected. https://www.instagram.com/p/CdMMCHTsQR1/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=
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I wrote this poem many years ago. I thought I was finished with it. Then Robert Berold of Deep South Books worked on it again with me. So a new version was born and included in Bloodred Dragonflies. We’re launching the book on 3 May 2022 at 7pm at The Book Shoppe, 3 Arts Village, Plumstead, Cape Town.
I can take orders from South African readers or they can order the book through their local book shops. In the Philippines the book will be released by San Anselmo Publications – contact them on their Facebook page. International orders and the Ebook version are available through the African Books Collective Website.
I hope to have more readings in the coming weeks/months…
Here is the reborn version of The Sound Before Water which you can also listen to on Soundcloud.
Will you be in Cape Town next week? Join us for the launch of #BloodredDragonflies!
With the launch of BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES this coming Tuesday, 3 May 2022, I’ve been forced to get out of my cave a little. Bit by bit. That means trying to play with things I can send out to the world that may interest someone, anyone, who likes poetry – whatever their idea of poetry is.
I’ve made a short video. I did a few many years ago – crude and amateurish each of them, all done with free software and my ignorance of what can be done (or should not be done!) being the starting point.
I don’t know if I’ll make more after this one. So tell me what you think. Please.
May mga kamay. May mga bulsa. May mga nambubugbog. May mga nanininghot. May mga pumapatay. May mga lumulustay. May mga anak na hindi malayo sa anino ng mga ama. May mahilig. May mahilig lumimot.
In less than a month, if all goes well, a new paper child will be born. It will be launched in less than a month here in South Africa, in a book shop in Plumstead (details in a separate announcement soon). And then I will present it to a another audience in a function room of a restaurant in Observatory later. A library has so far indicated interest in hosting me. I’m also trying to get support from other institutions (can’t name any until confirmed).
Dear friends, even as we all know that so many disturbing things are happening in this and in different parts of the world, some good things also burst forth to surprise us, giving us a most stubborn hope that each day is not just a challenge, but also a gift.
To be able to share what gives us meaning with the people we know and love, with people who start out as strangers and end up as friends – or at least as someone less distant – is the joy of the journey, though solitary it may have been when it began.
Please welcome my new paper child.
The book is published by Deep South, run by Robert Berold (https://www.facebook.com/deepsouthpublishingco).
Here is the Goodreads page for the book https://www.goodreads.com/…/60759779-bloodred-dragonflies. Pre-orders for SA readers through me for now… the first launch is on Tuesday 3 May at The Book Shoppe (https://www.facebook.com/TheBookShoppeCT).
Ebook version available in a few weeks via the African Books Collective (https://www.facebook.com/AfricanBooksCollective).
Hard copies to be released later in the year in the Philippines via San Anselmo Publications (https://www.facebook.com/sananselmopress)
Please share this post with your friends and family who might like poetry – or those who might hate poetry and surprise themselves at being converted. Haha.
Here are two samples from the book…
The Way a Heart Ricochets
The call of a guinea fowl
in the late hours, a wheel
on an axle that needs oiling,
spun by the wind or a hand
that remains unseen.
Things you never touched
now seem near and distant
at the same time.
The Path of the Wind
I have seen days when the wind
weighs so heavy on trees, they bend
close to breaking. A limb
with the greenest leaves
or weakened by age would have to give in.
The trunk may have to learn a new angle
sunward. Less apparent is the path
the wind must make. It has to unravel,
splitting itself into countless strands
to navigate between each leaf, each branch.
Hotazel Review has released its first issue. Two of my poems were able to make the cut. Thank you to the great editors of this new online journal that aims to showcase new work from Africa and beyond.
Three translations of my own poems are featured on the website for Asymptote Journal. Maybe one day I’ll get some work published in their print edition. I guess this is a foot in, or a baby toe. Haha.
Ear of Wax
On the clandestine burial, 18 November 2016
Ear of wax
forehead of wax
lips and nose of wax
cheeks of wax
fingers without bones
torso without a spine
hair from someone else
that resembled what was once
the only crown you can rightly claim.
It matters little, the authenticity
of whatever remains were stuffed
in the box, hastily shoved in ground
not meant for pretend
heroes with genuine guile.
Guinness-stamped post-World War II
king of plunderers, drone-voiced singer
to a single broken-winged dove, commander
of troops that delivered eternal silence
and disappearances, I would love to see you
turn in your grave (wherever that really is).
Those who announce
their love for the scraps
of the legacy you left behind
thought they had succeeded
in stopping us
from setting you alight.