Archives for October 31, 2013


Una laps the pond water like a dog. Her eyes stare into the sharded reflection of her animal self. None to see her in the moonlight. It’s her and the pondweed-and-frog smell of the night. She wonders how it is that all she ever feels, really feels, deep down, is utter confusion – a constant state of not being in touch, missing out on vital truths, seeing them in outline perhaps but never grasping them in her spacious moon-brain. The pitted moon – how far from the earth and closer to the sun, yet always one part in utter darkness.

She envies the clear conviction and certainty of people who live in her world. Why aren’t they aware of the bendable, stretchable universe and the chaos. The limitations of her mind perplex her. Why can’t she reach out and touch those shadows that circle around her like dancers.

The lights in the house glow orange and comforting. She watches, like an outsider, through the curtains into her home. Her children move in the lounge and the man stands clutching an oven-glove watching a fascinating moment on the little television across the room. She hears the hum of TV talk and human conversation. It’s a very pretty sight – moving and comforting – yes.

To be a part of that and not – an interesting position.

She pushes her hands into the grass and slowly gets up. Brushes the pond-side bits and pieces off her cotton dress and slips sandals onto her feet, spits the hair out of her mouth, straightens her cardigan.

He steps onto the veranda and frowns into the darkness. “Una,” he calls, “did you get the teddy bear?”

She’d forgotten about the child’s bedtime comfort. She’d come out to look for it among the trees where the children had been playing. They both knew the drama that would ensue.

“No,” she said.

“Well come in anyway. It’s late and sooner or later he’ll have to learn to do without the thing.”

The limp thing smelt of her little son’s adenoids and perspiration. It was almost hairless where he had rubbed it and held it night after night. There were patches covering the holes where stuffing had leaked out. It had a green waistcoat and its eyes were dulled with scratches. An object of love and security.

In that warm house there is never time to reflect, to talk to the quiet. Out here in the autumn darkness she feels less like the squeezed teddy bear.

“Una!” there is a note of impatience now.

“I’m coming…”

I’m coming into the warm world again, to be filled with business and cooking and you. I’m leaving behind my animal self, leaving it crouching in the long grass, gazing at the moon.

Momentary Insanity

I smile broadly in disguise of this pain
I’m residing inside the sea
A sea
Made out of my own tears
Which I cry for you

It has been over a year
Yet I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night

Calling for you

Curled up in my pillow

Seeking for you

Hoping to find you

On the other side of the bed

Desire running through my vains
Quivering for your embrace
Thirsty for your lips
Longing to hear your soft voice
Saying “please hold me”

Everything seems familiar
But incomplete without you

I dream of you often day and night
I wish all of this was just a nightmare
Cause in the morning it would be over
And you would be here with me
I no longer know when I’m asleep or awake
Am I sleeping or awake now?
I don’t know

I apologize
I didn’t know you were unhappy
Momentary insanity
must have been the reason I caused you pain

I surrender
I was wrong
Save me from my misery
Save me from this insanity

Please come home.

second chance

the taxis were all lining up the day was closing in
there at the bar we sat all day attitude after gin
it was like a normal day no work then we must play
the hours kept on ticking by the wifes wil phone by nine
again and again again and again then again at half past ten
we were all stubborn then as we were the macho men
till this dreadful night we loved sitting at our den
it musta been a all nighter as i woke up in the wreck
the flames were getting hotter as i felt it up my neck
whos the guy behind the wheel and why are we upside down
the last thing i remembered was dancing like a clown
wake up i said to the driver what have you done to us
the bloody car is burning man as sirens start a buzz
i somehow got myself outside dragged the driver to the curb
the car went up in flames from there the neighbours looked disturbed
i said to the man you better run or sleep behind steel and stone
he nodded and said where you going man
i said im going home
i did not know where i was but was happy to be alive
as from that night i never drank again or visited my old dive
the question is will you be able to
tell this story to a friend
or will you burn out before your time is up
your funeral unattend

To the insane asylum dead on Andrews Road, Port Alfred

Numbers, no names in this toothy field:
Stone incisors tilt drunkenly beneath a twelve o clock sky.

Your flaking bones and gaping mouths
lie forgotten in the press of earth,
lost lacework…

Did tender fingers once trace the shell of your ear,
some mouth kiss your warm cheek,
before grey walls and white doors shut out the light,
before your brain burst behind your bloodshot eyes?

Who never came to claim you?
And who clunked the gurney under the run of soulless lights,
Who signed the form, slotted you, filed you and forgot you?

Where do they lie?

But in the crush of years
all turn to dust,
cherished and uncherished.
So why do I ache to scratch away the earth,
find your milky bones,
tease tarsals out like little seeds,
cradle your skull,
give you back your name?

I tremble. A fragment stirs
and I breathe its evocation:
Names can bind and set you free…

Perhaps the mystic in me has not withered utterly;
Parchment dry,
but waiting for a little rain.

The man I love

The man I love lives off borrowed truths.
He is a hoarder of facts.
He quotes entire Bible verses verbatim.
He collects the realities of strangers.
He struggles with his own truth.

He goes to Accounting class
and then compares me to a deferral.
He chats to a classmate who does Chemistry
and then compares me to potential energy.
He tells me I am the girl he would love
if he had a heart.
Clearly he doesn’t do Biology,

I bring him food from home so he can fill his mouth
with something other than words.
I tell him stories.
He moistens his lips with juice I poured
at my kitchen counter and continues to speak.
I ask him to tell me about his past.
He tells me he doesn’t have a father.
He says I am too beautiful to know the rest.
The man I love is a liar.