liewe kind,
die sweepslag staan jou te wagte,
sjamboksalf vir die verontrusde jeug in jou.

Byt vas,
elke bloubloed aar op jou wang sing ‘n hooglied
aan die allerhoogste in jou.

Kyk op,
kleine liefde,
meer mag het jou siel nog nooit ervaar nie,
woedend en verwoestend slyp dit jou brandwonde rou.

Hou moed,
‘n leë aardskrag het die oorhand oor jou,
vir nou.

La petite mort

midnight –
and the wolves won’t stop howling
and you aren’t here –
but your scent traces the windowpane
resisting the onslaught of another southeaster
you stay –
and i can’t help but breathe you in
lungs languishing in loving revolt
against the invasion of oxygen in the midst of this souvenir
you left behind –
while i lie here breathing you in
heart folding gently around some small token of sin
symbolizing the movement from sand to castle
you built –
but the foundation’s worn thin
and the crow is drawing near

Fragmentary Principle

I don’t want to die
        not really
most of the time the instinct to survive keeps me alive
    but I feel like I am dead already
my heart no longer counts the beats
to the funerary ballad my lungs are composing
my breasts no longer sing
my veins are desiccated
a soft film covers my eyes
    vignette at dusk
my shoulders are calloused
from months of heavy lifting
    years fermenting in the yard
and a crack in my spine from one too many
my legs carry my weight
    if there’s any left of it
but they don’t know where they’re going
and my feet have lost all sense of direction
there’s a metaphor in here somewhere
my cheeks rustle like paper through autumn
    and through the uncomfortable grain of spring
at the edge of it all there it sits:
    one tiny hairline fracture
    cleave me open at dawn
my stomach is a rotten pomegranate
    left in the damp too long
my small intestines are sunburnt
entangled in the decomposing pulp of my liver
ruined by decades of medications
    cycle after unstable cycle
and I have to ask myself:
    is this really a life worth living?

View from Erebus

            for Zach

there’s no need to fill a silence that’s already full
    you are completely unexpected
shades trace the ruins of a once-vivid psyche
    blinded by every small hurt
yet there you are     unafraid
    an intimation of phosphorescence
    impossibly true
it’s okay not to know what to say
    except that you do
my recollection of this timeline is protean
    characterised by loss of character
somehow you’re the only thing
    i manage to hold on to

it takes hours to collect the debris
    of a melancholy mind
nothing is not the absence of feeling
but the utter negation of emotional capacity
    in a single soft motion
you tempered the fury
Nyx had left behind
and the clock keeps ticking
and I’m still here
and you’re still here
    silently holding

Seasonal Love

In the tumult of the past weeks I have completely forgotten about this little scrap of information: Poetry Potion published my entry for their a-poem-a-day challenge on 3 March. It marks the first time my poetry has appeared anywhere other than this site. Below is Seasonal Love as it appeared on Poetry Potion.

Seasonal Love
Would it be alright if I kissed you
on your perfectly asymmetrical lips?
Turn around and let me risk you;
hold my breath with your fingertips.

Would it be alright if I missed you
and the curve between your spine and your hips?
Raise your head don’t let me forget you;
I’m not quite ready to abandon ship.

Is it alright if I can’t resist you
when you turn your voice just like this?
Hold my bones don’t let me regret you;
I have too much to lose, but not my grip.


    is a lot like sleep paralysis
there’s a demon at the door
shape black raw macabre shadow
it’s been there for hours-months-years-ever
    and you know it’s not real
    but it’s right fucking there

    lets you struggle and strain against
invisible chords keeping you motionless
    almost even breathless
as you try to say something
that will convince the beast to go away

    makes you think that it’s you
who’s not strong enough to fight back
    shrug it off
who’s the one that’s really dangerous here
    you bloody you
who opened the door for the lictor
and didn’t close it behind him

    grabs you by the ovaries and twists
while you fold in halves disgracefully
    an origami swan
    without the wings
braids the most poignant tragedy with
    your fallopian tubes
    leaving you barren
but for one thing:
    I will wake up.

This Tree

this tree, it shakes under me
the flames at its roots feed on my feet
his crackling weakens my knees
and my grip is feeble

this tree, its branches tackle me
the sun in its leaves sets me free
it has a hold on me (how did he?)
and I am conquered

this tree, it envelops me
sends me into rapturous hyperbole
wipes clean my book of debris
and writes only me
                and he

S5 0014+81

I’m on a suicide mission to space
and there’s only seven seconds to lift-off
the coins in my back pocket sing
we will meet the milky way on mars
these are the things I will remember you by
even when I have forgotten myself

I nailed myself to the wall to withstand
the urge to keep my feet on the floor
in this moment I weep for you
carrying a burgundy burden below me
even though you do not know it

In the sixth second I steel my nerves
in the fifth I fasten my resolve
in the fourth I finally say the words
you cannot and do not want to hear
(though I have heard you whisper them to my shadow)

In the third I see a quasar
built on a hundred years in the sun with you
in the second a carrier pigeon is caught
in the combustion of jet fuel
lost in transmission

Out there it’s complete chaos
but in here nothing has changed
in the first second my knees buckle
under the pressure of a thousand heartaches
and I secretly hope you will catch me

Then a last great shake
as I take my place
among the most distant of them all.