still here


do they get tired
waiting for us,
watching us lose
and find ourselves
on endless repeat.
does she, hand extended
wait for my return,
longing as i do
for reclamation –
offering salvation
to the sound of my foot prayers,
redemption at my dark soil
under nail prayers
as if none of this
has happened before.

does she wait at the tree
my heart in her hand
saying here,
you buried this,
i kept it warm for you.


WhatsApp Image 2018-06-04 at 10.08.18 (2)


drinking water from other mountains

WhatsApp Image 2018-05-21 at 19.17.39 (2)

it is my old song of stones,
my bedrock home of
granite bones in seams of
clay and loam
that must be left behind –

mothers are a special kind of god
defined before they even know it
by their making and making of a world
and like all gods
the day comes when they say
what the fuck were we thinking
giving her wings to fly away.

when your daughter leaves
your world is suddenly
or bit by bit
simultaneously smaller and bigger.
the places she lived contract,
collapse into themselves
on well thumbed folds –
kept close
while the places she lives
grow roofs and walls and trees
until she stands at the door
and her house whispers home.

i went with her to the spring on that mountain
whipped cold by wind and the almost taste of rain
washed the travel dust from my feet
and drank joyously.
this is the water that sustains her
these are the stones that grow her bones.

and as the road carves home through red mountains,
straight rise and fall to the horizon
through desolate hills under a sky still promising rain
though the sun now sits low
and the hills of my own home greet me
i wonder if it is consolation
knowing the water there is no less sweet.

in may

dandelion 009

mist waits low
on autumn fields
tangled in grass heads
brittle as bird legs
and bleached of seed.

(in and through
the pinking sky
small wings have
purred and wheeled,
quickened the day,
carved shadows
from light)

but heron stalks
the morning,
swirling silence
with each
careful footfall.

this day

i wait for it
the light over purple mountains
that will come
like the wings of the egrets
shushing the morning
carrying my breath to the sky
it will come
spilling across farmland
and forest
along the plateau
dipping valley after valley
until it finds me
last hill before the sea
paints my shirt in blues
draws hair and eyes
from the shadow of night
claims my hands etched in time and light
willing and waiting for this day.



portrait of an artist as a young woman

she said we were stars.
she said all of us
beneath our skin were
skies full of stars,
that blinking intercostal
was light indeterminably old
that peeling back clavicular
through muscle and bone
was like that first
catch breath moment
of karoo night – horizon
to horizon milky way.
she could paint us that way
peel back our skin
see the light of stars

The Starry Night – Vincent van Gogh













no excuse

we came without our gods,
without our sacred stones
carried from the place
the earth rent open and
birthed us from the void,
without the beasts that named us
or the trees that gave as speech,
with only the makeshift
sky god for company
whose truth bent ever
in our favour.

we came without our gods
lawless lost and empty
so we tried to take yours
from you – you were wronged
i am sorry.
and by the grace
of every god
that watched us
with a thousand eyes
unable to look away
while we plundered and stole,
i hope that we have failed
that your gods still live

and though the sky god said
worship no other god but me
he never could understand
our earth bound bodies
our need for earthbound
gods that were real
that we could touch
and hold and love.

so we try to make new gods
of desire and goods
and gold and want
dressing ourselves as deities
as the world we are is laid waste.

we came without our gods
lawless lost and empty
hungry for the gods you had
so we tried to take them from you
and when we could not take them
we tried to destroy them,
and by the grace
of every god that watched us
from a thousand eyes- unable
to look away while forest and river died,
i hope that we have failed
i hope our gods still live.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-28 at 12.29.22




night rain
has given way
to a sky full of stars
not even the nightjar
wheels this frost blossom sky
too cold and
dark for birdsong.

nightjar (3)