Planting Flowers

I spent today planting flowersPetunias, pansies, spirea, statice

Not Waitsian halloween orange or chimenee red But green as wise Rosemary Pink as my desire to remain curious and as Purple as the disobedient.

I spent today planting flowers on a tiny balcony because I needed to feel grounded

and connected.

I have spent years growing others and more lately staring at digitised screens to construct meaning.

And I realise now that nothing could be more sensuous and beautiful than to stand in the sun in a light summer dress

willing life into things that are small and nascent.

Future scripts.

When You Leave South Africa

When you leave South AfricaI will sit in the fruit-laden streets in the brightly painted cafés in the maze-like bookshops and play once more with the stories we created

I will throw your laughter high into the pine trees as I drive the same roads without you

I will send you postcards of Sunday morning Africa with its Gospel voices and street-corner gossip through richly patterned curtains

But I know that all these are scenes you may well find in other cities

And so I will wish with other things

The energy of men dipping and soaring with outstretched arms down Lily Avenue as children drum their laughter on municipal dustbins and hope chants from flat windows and balconies after each World Cup soccer qualifier

And perhaps these images of pride and love and strength will draw you back 


I wrote this poem in 1996, fourteen years ago. Halcyon days.

(This poem is from a volume of poetry entitled the The Child Machine)

A Song of Hope

A Song of Hope When deceit is rewarded When betrayal is customary When enemies gain power When dreams are burnt by malice When the chatter of others is alien When hope is a foreign thing When beauty ceases to be gentle When there are no longer mornings textured with familiarity

When despair remains despair

Be still and watch at your window

Listen for the sounds of richer times gathering and conspiring in a revolt with a might which will flood the mountains and overthrow this season

Click here to download the entire manuscript of The Child Machine for free.