Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!


You come with sticks, you come with stones
and odious words we can’t condone.

You laugh at us and call us weak,
yet we still rise to turn the cheek.

Our silence like a torrent falls
and thunders through your doddery walls.

You turn your back, you walk away,
deaf the ears to what we say.

Our fists and voices we do lock.
You strike the women, you strike the rock.


Today Lillian, our host at dVerse, asks us to write a poem to celebrate 9 August (which is National Hand Holding Day, National Rice Pudding Day, National Book Lovers Day, National Polka Day and International Day of the World’s Indigenous People).

Here in South Africa, 9 August is a very important day.  It is WOMEN’S DAY.  It is not just a day to celebrate the women in our lives, it is a day to remember the part that women played in bringing democracy to this land.  It celebrates women of the past and challenges women in the present to stand up for what is right.

Here’s a brief description of the history of the day:

On 9 August 1956, more than 20,000 South African women of all ethnicities staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, in protest against the proposed amendments to the “pass laws.”  (The “pass laws” required South Africans defined as “black” to carry an internal passport, known as a pass, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era.) The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams.  The women left 14,000 petitions at the office doors of prime minister
J G Strijdom. The women stood silently for 30 minutes and then started singing a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.).  In the years since, the phrase has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.

9 Aug 1956





joy comes.

joy comes with.

joy comes with the morning.



Intro to Poetry
Day Eight: Pleasure
Write a poem about pleasure and use anaphora.

Life has not been particularly pleasurable of late.
And that’s okay. Life is like that.
This is all I could muster.
Everything else seemed synthetic.
But this is true.

Dyslexic Cookery Book

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Generously mix
flavourful berries,
fruity with whole notes.
chives and
Try anything plain
with a skewer inserted
until smooth.
biltong and
Combine and blend
until golden brown
then sprinkle
with cheese.
artichokes and
It’s so easy to eat
from the can.


Intro to Poetry
Day Seven: Flavour
Write a poem about flavour
and try writing it as found poetry.
(Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry [a literary equivalent of a collage!])
I used two pages of a food/grocery store magazine. 🙂

long, long day


for hours
at this palm-sized
willing it to show
anything everything
of how you are
as you
lie flat on your back
for hours
at a wall-mounted 
for the doctor.


Intro to Poetry
Day Six: Screens
Write a poem about, against, or in homage to the screens in your life and
give enjambment a try.


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Earth covered in perennial waste
while humans are ME- and NOW-based.
No one seems to care
for the space we share.
Our greed is cyanide-based.


Intro to Poetry
Day Five: Imperfect
Write a poem about the imperfect nature of someone or something.
And (CHALLENGE, for sure) use the form of a limerick.

(Limerick . . . not my favourite form in which to write!!!)



Anticipation builds
like pressure in a can of shaken Coke.
Finally, the day arrives.
Boys and balls bounce everywhere.

Chevy wagon profusely packed with half the home’s contents.
Four young moist bodies are sardine-tinned in the middle.
Sweaty feet shrouded in smelly sneakers kick the seat
.              .            .           .            .            and brothers’ feet
in time to the song on the radio.

Dad drives.  Mom continually adjusts the air vents
mentioning how lovely air conditioning would be.

The sultry day stretches out like a cat in the yard.
Time and roads seem to last a lifetime
and whinging competes with motor whine.
Bubbly expectation is still as flat soda.

And then, when empty silence weights the in-between space,
one set of eyes
.     .    .    .  spies
the sign — “DISNEYLAND”
and a blast of electric current flashes through the vehicle
charging little frames with frenetic energy,
And the long, hot journey is forgotten.


Intro to Poetry
Day Four: Journey
Today, write a poem about a journey.  Enhance your poem with a simile.

the best (friend)


Friend, precious friend, you
reject the presumption of sunship,
impartially extending the best,
expecting only the best,
never demanding righthood (though you could)
drawing ever out the best  (in me).


Intro to Poetry
Day Three: Friend
Write today’s poem about a friend and give acrostic a try.  (Not as easy as it sounds.)

My friend is awesome.
I hope everyone has such a friend
and is such a friend.

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