Waiting for a Reply


Refresh.  And refresh.
Sullenly stare at the screen
for watched-pot emails.




Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 1:

Prompt: SCREEN
Form: Haiku
Device: Alliteration

Haiku is easily the most difficult form of poetry for me to write.
I admire those who can say so much in 17 syllables.
I love splashing words all over the place in great profusion,
so this was a challenge!
(I wrote over 80 words while searching for these twelve!)

Here We Go Again . . .


WordPress is running a two-week course which invites writers to dabble in verse.
Writing 201: Poetry will explore alliteration, concrete poetry, metaphor & simile, sonnets, enjambment, haiku, prose, elegies, odes, chiasmus, limericks and epistrophe.

I have closed my eyes, held my breath and jumped.

Starting Monday (5 October) I will attempt to spend two weeks following the poetry prompt for each day.  (Gulp!)

If you are brave, why not jump in with me!
Follow this link:  Writing 201: Poetry

Hope to see you there!




I’ve witnessed wonders wild beyond belief —
Not the least, life returned to One long dead.
I saw the cavity from whence he bled.
Confusion then relived the watch of grief.
I’d surveyed him hanging there beside the thief
The only thing he’d stole — my heart and head.
And in exchange he gave immortal bread
Took my shame, replaced it with relief.

Then three times he asked my love of me
Instructing me each while his lambs to feed
Locking eyes he said quite soberly
“Where you will not go, someone there shall lead.”
I saw then clearly my own destiny
And embraced the cross which waits in time for me.


Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 10:

Prompt: Future
Form: Sonnet
Device: Chiasmus

Personal note:  I managed the prompt and (hopefully) wrote a sonnet,
however the fascinatingly fun, turn-it-on-its-head chiasmus just would not deign to be incorporated into this poem.  We shall have to revisit this device in the future!  (Ha — future again!)

A note about the subject matter:  while it may seem gloomy, embracing one’s cross is liberating.  When I get “me” out of the way, I can serve God and others with an unconditional love.

Child of Africa



Child of Africa rainbow



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 9:

Prompt: Landscape
Form: Found Poetry
Device: Enumeratio

🙂  I concentrated so much on the landscape and the “found poetry” parts that I lost my list.  (Originally it was the list of verbs — move, surprise, value, celebrate . . . and there were more, but it was going on so long that I cut them short, and then ended up adding entire phrases.)

While this looks incredibly easy, this poem took me longer than any others.  It wasn’t just the physical cutting and pasting, it was the placing of the words.  I want to do another.  I have an idea, but I think it will take several days to construct.  Watch this space.  🙂

P.S.  I just manipulated this photo, bringing out rainbow colours and shadows.  I think it is clearer to read and prettier with the colours.  🙂

Ode to Drawers


There are no indigenous pines.
Those planted here for harvest
From which fittings are designed
Have their grain swell in summer blast
And so the drawers get stuck fast.

I am unsure of the material from whence
The receptacles in my head are made.
Surely alien in design, and hence
These drawers firmly fixed remain
And do not open ‘gainst any strain.

This very day as I in public spoke —
An amusing tale I thought I’d share —
I lost the very punchline of the joke
Pulling handles, I cast about, but
The drawers of my mind were firmly shut.

O, you silly storage repository!
You are full of knowledge untold
Gathered over a lifetime’s story
From Kindergarten to matric,
From Grandpa’s knee to girlish cliques.

Unstick, you drawers; unlock, you door,
Come, unfasten, loosen, free!
I want full access to my files once more.
You will not budge, you’re glued in place.
Therefore, now I’ll use my mind’s bookcase.



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 8:

Prompt: Drawer
Form: Ode
Device: Apostrophe

Personal note: What can I say?  The older I get, the harder it is to open those drawers.

Raising Hands


Tiny fingers wrap around a single solid digit and clutch as if to say, “Be my anchor. Hold me. Stay.”

Fingers grow. Finding a low table, they pull the body upright, then celebrate by beating baby rhythms on the wood.

Fat fingers clutch crayons. Scribble blue. That’s you. Scribble green. That me.

Fingers finger-play at school. Clap, snap, pattycake. Down, down, Baby, down by the roller coaster. Let’s get the rhythm of the hands, Clap Clap.

Fingers touch forbidden fruit. “Lemme look! Lemme see.” Not with fingers, just with eyes. Don’t touch. DON’T TOUCH!

Finger marks welt pink cheek red, perfect prints on a soft, convex canvas.   Macbeth fingers quake with fear, close and open, close and open.

Fingers laced in fervent prayer, plead for an answer, seek a reason, beg for mercy.

Frightened fingers curl in, retreat, withdraw.



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 7:

Prompt: Fingers
Form: Prose Poem
Device: Assonance

Personal note:  This piece begins in joyful innocence.  Hands are an extension of our hearts.  But then it goes where it shouldn’t, where many children I see daily go.

For Mvumbi


It’s lonely here amidst the cane
Which stands in timeless rows.
So quiet here, that once again
The voices start to grow.

I hear their shouts, the call to war.
And with them creeps in fear.
Though deaf, so that I bear no more,
I clap hands over ears.

Life is long, almost too long.
I’m weary of these shoes.
I’m tired now of being strong;
Too easily I bruise.

Too tired now to hold the fight,
The reins of peace to bear.
I shrink to think of coming night
And crumple into prayer.

Life is long, almost too long.
But rise again I will
And with resolve I’ll stand ‘gainst wrong
Until my heart lies still.

And with resolve I’ll stand ‘gainst wrong
Until my heart lies still.



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 6:

Prompt: Hero
Form: Ballad
Device: Anaphora/Epistrophe

This poem is dedicated to one of my biggest heroes:
Chief (Inkosi) Albert John Luthuli (also known by his Zulu name: Mvumbi).  He was born in 1898 and died in 1967.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 for his contribution to the non-violent struggle against apartheid in South Africa.  He was a school teacher and  principal.  He was a lay preacher.  He was an author (“Let My People Go“).  He joined the ANC and rose through the ranks to become its leader.  He argued with some of his closest friends who wanted to arm the struggle.  In 1966 US Senator Robert F Kennedy came to South Africa to visit him.  His entire life was dedicated to the good of others.  He was a man of peace.

Hedonistic Fog


We take diversion when and where we can.
Make the most of every grumpy day.
Grasp thrill and desire with both hands
And, clutching, pray that it won’t slip away.

Drown out stark and sombre reality.
Avoid the harsh and garish light of day.
Then we drift in fog of numbing sea,
Memorialise each empty shade of grey.

And when fickle pleasure drops us hard
Bruised and battered, up we strive to stand
Everything is tainted, mad and marred
Then ‘round again, damaged heart in hand.



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 5:

Prompt: Fog
Form: Elegy
Device: Metaphor

Personal note:  Lately I have given much thought to that lifestyle in which one lives in constant pursuit of happiness and self-fulfilment.  I have several dear friends who live for laughs, doing whatever feels good, consequences be damned.  The trouble is they often leave others hurt in their wake.  And they themselves do not come out unscathed.  Quite a morose topic.
This poem is not complete.  It not only needs a good polish, it needs a metaphor.  🙂








Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 4:

Prompt: Animal
Form:  Concrete Poem
Device: Enjambment

Personal note: We have geckos all over, outside and inside the house.  They make the weirdest “chirping” noise, especially when they are mating or fighting. The word “gecko” comes from the Malay word “gekoq,” which is an imitation of their vocalisation.  They are best known for their adhesive toepads which allow them to walk up walls and across ceilings.  They do lose their grip from time-to-time and fall to the ground.  Seriously it sometimes seems as if they are launching themselves at unsuspecting humans.  It is a strange feeling to have a cold rubbery thing scuttle down the back of one’s shirt!



She’ll stand on the precipice,
A grand two metres high,
Raise her arms like a fledgling
And squeal with toddler charm,
Here I am, Daddy!  Catch me!”  And then, leap.



Writing 201: Poetry
Assignment — Day 3:

Prompt: Trust
Form: Acrostic
Device: Internal Rhyme

Personal note:  Most of us begin life with a kind of blind trust and slowly learn (after several knocks) to put up a guard.  As I grow older I am working on pulling down the walls which I spent my youth constructing around my heart.  Returning to that childlike faith.  Trust.

Older Entries Newer Entries