Ode to Choje*



You raise
fat, fleshy fingers
in praise of sempiternal sky.

You rise
from unyielding ysterklip,
painting the desert sand
with lucent lemon blossoms.

You lend
your limbs
as quivers and cups.

You stand
like stalwart stewards
of the bountiful earth.


It’s Quadrille Monday and De Jackson (AKA WhimsyGizmo) is the host at dVerse.
She challenges us to write a poem of exactly 44 words (not counting the title) and to include (this week) the word “quiver.”

*Notes on Ode to Choje
Aloidendron dichotomum
, known as the quiver tree, is a tall, branching species of succulent plant indigenous to the Northern Cape of South Africa and southern Namibia).
Known as choje to the indigenous San people, the tree gets its English name from the San people’s practice of hollowing out the tree’s tubular branches to form quivers for their arrows. The quiver tree is classified as critically endangered.  Numbers have diminished steadily, in part because of goats and plant collectors, and also because climatic conditions have affected seedling growth.
“Ysterklip” is Afrikaans (directly translated as “ironstone” in English) and is commonly known as dolorite.

PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons
Simone Crespiatico
Quiver Tree Forest, Namibia

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!



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!



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.

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!  🙂




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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