Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Beach calligraphy and photo by Andrew van der Merwe
i take this pen
swallow the ink
drag the blade of word alongside my neck
and think how can i commit sentencide
without letting the blood flow

so it is with the fate of us writers
we are left to our own de-vices
to turn the blade
to swallow the poison
and hope that we can write
it down
just in time
so that
- literally -
of us writers
will remain behind
- - -

ek neem hierdie pen
sluk die ink
sleep die lem van woord langs my nek verby
en dink hoe kan ek self-woord pleeg
sonder om die bloed te laat vloei

so is dit met die lot van ons skrywers
ons is aan ons eie sinne oorgelaat
om die lem te draai
die gif te sluk
en hoop dat ons
die na-woordse nota
kan bewoord
- letterlik -
van ons skrywers
sal oorbly

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Cross Roads IV

"This guava-pie is the best I have ever eaten!" exclaims the Wretch.
The days have been warm this winter and the guavas have ripened
into sweet and heavy specimens. "I woke up with fruit-flies in my pipes
this morning" the Carillon excitedly reports "They are good company seeing that I have been rather lonely these past few months."
The Cave-Dweller smacking his lips on the guava's juices splutters "It has been too long since I have tasted fruits of such richness."
The Loner, clearly envious of the fruity breakfast he is not invited to
partake of, mumbles "How quickly sweetness goes to people's heads."
The Wretch wipes his mouth with one grandiloquent gesture and enunciates "These fruits taste so much more balmy in my mouth than this damn vinegar-tongue I have been cursed with!" All of a sudden the Carillon chimes a jovial melody from her boisterous bowels. "These blessed fruit-flies are tickling me in the most curious ways Hahaha!" The Cross Roads surfacing from a deep slumber confusedly remarks "Where are these sounds coming from? This is too jolly for my ears right now." The Wretch, still overjoyed from the guavas, insensitively shushes the Cross Roads "Come now, a bit of a janglin' tune is what we all need here on this desolate plain." The Anarchist, with arms swinging irately at his sides, storms up towards the Wretch "How dare you give such opinionated advice? Sweet fruits and tunes will not save the world from your wretchedness!"
For an elongated moment everyone looks with stunned eyes at each other.
Even the Anarchist could not hide the shock his own words caused him.
In the act of the Prehistoric Postal Agent opening his mouth in readiness to utter an appropriate or inappropriate reply, he is instantaneously silenced by a great clashing sound. "I am falling apart," the Carillon laments. The Prehistoric Postal Agent leaps to the Carillon with a concerned speed heretofore unseen by anyone.
After inspecting the innards of the Carillon the Prehistoric Postal Agent proudly broadcasts:
"I have good news and I have bad news."
Everyone pleaded to hear the bad news first.
"The bad news is that our most devoted and dutiful Singer of the Skies has lost one bell."
Everyone gave one loud sob and pleaded in great consternation to hear the good news.
With a mischievous smile the Prehistoric Postal Agent continues "And the good news is that it was the out-of-tune bell."

* * *

Although it is not necessary to read the Cross Roads poems in sequence I guess (and hope) it is rather interesting to follow the escapades of the characters as they appeared in the previous Cross Roads. Here the links to the first three Cross Roads poems >