My Voice


“You have got to find your voice!”
the writing instructor urgently intoned.

But where do I start the search?

I looked under the bed
and discovered
abandoned shoes,
divorced socks,
dog-eared paperbacks
and dust bunnies.
But no voices.

I’ll rummage through
the cupboards.


De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, is our host this week for Quadrille #85 at dVerse.   A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, this week including the word VOICE.
I wrote a bit of silliness, thinking back to a writers’ group meeting when we talked about voice.  Why not join the fun and find YOUR voice!

Well Come Home



My dusty eyes
scanning the wild African sky
for your silhouette.
Long past identifying shades,
weary of lesser things,
I almost despair
I recognise
the triangular rudder
manipulating heavenly currents,
rejoice in the feathery fingers
pulling clouds
like so much water across canvas.
You have come home,
conducting my dreams
over the firmament.

Now my soul is settled —
the pieces are each in place —
the raptor returns.


Laura is the host today at dVerse, and she has introduced three foreign language poets, challenging us to select one of the poems and write our own interpretation.  I chose ‘Migratory Birds’ by Desanka Maksimović, who was a Serbian poet, professor of literature, and a member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.  Her poem about wild geese migrating, carrying away dear things, made me think of Yellow-billed Kites and how my heart is so sad when they migrate north in our winter.  I saw my first YBK, unofficially marking spring, a few days ago.  And my heart leapt with joy.



they say,
is the season of sprouts.
After the long cold winter,
warming Earth
embraces seeds.
In grateful reply,
green returns.

The hills and valleys
of your countenance
so respond.
Each kiss of sun
germinates a freckle
across the landscape
of your face.


Mish is hosting #84 Quadrille at dVerse and asks us to write a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting the title), including the word “freckle.”
Come join the fun!

Freesia laxa



Freesia laxa

Tiny seeds, no bigger than flakes of pepper, scattered haphazardly in a forlorn tray of poor soil, are forgotten.  Weeks later thin stalks begin to break ground.  Long emerald fingers emerge from the confused dirt, stretching skyward.  Vibrant life, pulsing, pushing, reaching higher every day.  Then suddenly, on a slow Friday morning, a small, six-petalled wildflower appears, punctuating sharp leaves with fire.

Stark green grassy blades
pointing accusing fingers
kissed by red blossoms.



Merril is hosting the final Haibun Monday before dVerse goes on its summer break.
A Haibun is comprised of 1-2 tight paragraphs followed by a traditional Haiku.
Merril asks us to conjure the magic of nature in a Haibun.




She drove us around town
pointing to the homes
of the rich and famous.

“Twenty-five en-suite bathrooms!”

“Indoor olympic-size pool!”

“Fifty seat theater!”

But I was not listening.
I kept running my hands
over the leather seats
of her BMW.

Imagine owning a car!



Kim is hosting at dVerse today and asks us to write a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting the title), including the word “rich.”

I am intrigued by how our point of reference influences our view of the world.

Elemental Composition


and break
the word
(like so much decomposing vegetable matter),
using teeth to chew
it into bits.
Then spit
on the south side of the hill
and the north bank of the river.
The naked sun
will bake them
into hard round pebbles
which will then roll
into rings around Saturn
before falling back to Earth
where they will form
a perfectly planned,



Amaya is hosting at dVerse today and asks us to write a poem about or tangential to our element.  (Chinese Five Element Theory https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology)

I am a  “yang earth dog” according to this.  I worked these elements into the poem answering the question “Of what am I made?”

We All Fall Down


Wind puffs the leaves
one by one
from their respective branches
like so much dandelion fluff
and they swirl
to the dusty ground.
Autumn pulls all things down —
leaves, birds, weather, shades, blankets —
even me.
But from my knees
upward rises
a prayer.


De is hosting the Quadrille over at dVerse today.  Join us!

Fiscal Shrike


Butcher Bird,
they’ve called you.
Lanius collaris.
Jackie Hangman.
You wear your
taxman gown
with pride.
Using acacia spikes
you pepper the trees
with your prey,
turning the bushveld
into a Christmas wonderland,
brightly coloured locusts
littering limbs.
Your pantry,
Mr Shrike,
is full.

Fiscal shrikes (Lanius collaris) are some of my favourite birds.

I have been away from pen and paper for far too long.  Thank you for the Quadrille prompt at dVerse, hosted by De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo). A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words and today’s word is “spike.”

Why don’t you try and take a stab at it!  🙂


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



We prayed
(falling on knees,
beating chests)
for water.

We cried
as Sun
scorched earth
siphoned dams.

We begged
when taps
ran dry.

Send RAIN!

in subsequent torrents,
we cursed clouds
shook fists at dirty skies


Kim suggests writing a Quadrille (44 word poem) at dVerse today using the word “rain.”

We are still on water rationing, but heavy rainfall over a two day period last week caused major flooding.

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