(with thanks to W S Merwin)

As the night falls
we say
thank you.
We stop,
alighting from parked cars —
we’re drawn out of bright rooms
(dinner still kissing our lips)
gazing at the sky
to say
thank you.

Through the hijack
and the burglary,
after the funeral
and the brain tumour
and countless doctors
in their sterile coats
we say
thank you.

Across miles
we say
thank you.
In alleys and doorways,
in taxis and lifts
we say
thank you.

In the newsnewsnews
of wars
and threats
and dictators
and notorious liars
we say
thank you.

Though the world groans
as the animals die,
as the forests fall,
as the rivers go still,
we say
thank you.

Faster and faster
we say
thank you.
With no one listening
we say
thank you.

Thank you
we say
and wave.
Though in the darkness
we cannot see
yet we hold out our hands
we say
thank you!


This is a “cover” of WS Merwin’s poem “Thanks.
Over at dVerse Bryan is doing a guest prompt and asking us to “cover” a poem by a poet we admire.
It was not easy to “cover” a poem (as singers cover songs).  I had to decide what my “voice” sounds like, what my words “look like” and then interpret the poem through my own life and experience.
It is still too close, I think, to the original to be completely mine.  But it is a good place to start, and it got me thinking and writing.
Try it!

Words & Memories


try to paint a picture of your being
but no matter how they’re arranged
they cannot capture your heart.

are like incense —
they linger,
tickling the senses,
but slowly fade.

You are not alive in memories
but that is the place I find you,
so I fan the small fire,
inhaling deeply,

for dear Rob


This parting
— so final,
so incomplete,
so lopsided,
so confusing.

We spoke,
yesterday —
global politics
and all the things you knew so much more about than I.
inquisitive you,
always poking and prodding and pushing to hold the world in your arms.

No one understood
when you tried to describe the pain.
We guessed and second-guessed,
completing both sides of the conversation.
Only one party satisfied.
But not really.

We saw
but averted our eyes
and didn’t see.
You knew.
That interloper,
once part of you,
broke away and declared independence.

You began to slip away.
and then tired,
you let go
fell through a transitive window,
in deed
though not in word.

I light a candle
and pray
that you were caught
on the other side.

Tiny Us


Tiny us


when we stand beneath

the velvety blue after sunset

and watch the twinkling hosts

open their eyes, one by starry one.


See the reflection off Jupiter,

the dazzling cast of Mars,

the thrown light of Venus,

and know that we too circle the sun


inhabiting one moment —

one heartbeat

in the pulse of time.

spinning savage


circles in circles in circles
ever circling
permanent vertigo
off kilter
the planet strays
one degree
and we lawyer
waiting for the next.
and socks
scattered over the face
every place
this cord
will hold a fine,
strong knot

kick the can away


This piece is very different for me.
I was inspired by björn over at dVerse,
but I am not sure I got the futurism thing down.



Long days
imprisoned in tight takkies,
or bound in leather vellies,
the toes cry out in hot protest
to be freed.

Stumbling through the door
I head straight to the bedroom
to kick off the offending shoes,
peel off the damp socks
and slip the barking dogs
into soft, reassuring
sheepskin moccasins.





I do love my slippers!


Interesting notes:

*  The title “peddomus” is from Latin  (ped-) and means “foot”
and “domus” (also Latin) meaning “home.”

Takkies are what most South Africans call a rubber-soled canvas sports shoes (Americans call them “sneakers” or “tennis shoes” and British call them “trainers.”
“Vellies” are the nickname of “veldskoens” which are handmade South African leather shoes or boots.

The use of “dogs” to refer to feet is American.According to Tom Dalzell, author of “Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang” (Merriam Webster, October 1996), it was during the Jazz Age of the 1920’s that “dogs” was used as a noun to indicate feet.

reflect – refract – disperse


Accreditation. Good idea but terrible in practice. These people want a hundred million policies and then more policies on policies. And here I sit, the clock counting the minutes, throwing away the hours, as I rehash the old, reformat docs to pedefs, going possum-eyed and head getting stuffed full of cotton wool. I sit till I can’t sit no more. I type till all the letters trip over each other and I want to chuck the keyboard through the screen. I decide to reward frozen fingers with a cup of hot coffee. Dark mood, darker kitchen, I draw back the curtains. And there it is. Right smack in the front of a bulging charcoal cloud — the fattest most vibrant rainbow I have ever seen. It fills the kitchen with shimmering light, spilling blue on floor and throwing red on the walls. Suddenly my feet have wings and I dance all over the linoleum, arms flapping, a big silly grin slapped across my face. My heart sails into the sky doing loop-de-loops around the electric colours.

Heavy grey canvas
God takes his watercolours
And paints a warm smile





Accreditation is why you won’t see me much around here for a while.  Told a week ago I have four weeks to “get it all together.”  My brain is turning to mush.  My fingers don’t fall on the right keys anymore.  But this morning I got a burst of joy, and it carried me for the rest of the day.

Over at dVerse it was Haibun Monday. (I thought I couldn’t take time to join in). Grace challenged us to “Think about a moment of your typical day (first person singular). This can be your morning routine, commute, day in the office, a walk in the afternoon, household chores, grocery shopping, gardening etc. Here’s the challenge: write and find the “extra” in your ordinary day.”

Well, there you are.  :)

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