Sailboat

 

I was a sailboat drifting upon your seas.

Navigating towards distant places,

behind the mists of your horizon.

Sun-beat, fresh varnish,

maiden voyage.

 

You were the ocean rippling

beneath me, reflecting infinities of overhanging skies.

Bahamas blue, glassy calm and

endless.

 

You became the tumultous waves

crashing on my bow,

ripping apart my sails.

Stinging saltwater seeping into my cracked hull.

Midnight blue, marbled through

with froth.

 

Sunken anchor.

Placid seas.

 

You spoke of love.

I hid my fear.

 

*****

 

Shared with dVerse Poets Pub in a poetry challenge using metaphors.

DSC_0493

 

 

 

photo: my own

Image from pinterest.

Picnic day in a Cape Town forest

We walked in groups in the sprawling forest that clung to the foot of the mountain. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbours gathered for the hike, trampling over pine needles and tripping over knotted roots. Animals squirreled out of sight and up into higher branches to give way to the invading human swarm that was us. We picked pine cones from the musty ground and plucked out the nuts. Tasting sweet and tangy on our childish tongues. Grown ups carried baskets full of baked chicken, corn on the cob, green salads and garlicky bread. We stopped to eat at the stream that bubbled and whistled over pebbles and crawling roots.

Summer’s sun winked

through tree tops.

Smiles and chatter.

We were all together.

 

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I remember a massive community hike in what I think was the Newlands forest in Cape Town, when I was about seven or eight if not younger. The hike ended in a picnic. I remember it as one of the most spontaneous and memorable occasions of my life, as it was a spur of the moment thing for me. I suppose that is what life seems like for kids who are unaware of the plans adults make and find themselves in surprising situations.

In my memory, I clearly remember a lot of pine trees and pine cones. They are not indigenous trees. Settlers to the region created pine plantations that still form a large part of the forest.

The featured image shows what the indigenous forest looks like, more lush and tropical-looking.

Shared with dVerse for their haibun Picnic prompt.

 

***Images from wikipedia

 

Creatures of the night

 

 

Men wander dim avenues in search of

gin and Jezebel’s to escape

a personal hell.

Steel-toed workers rise with the moon,

shifting the night into the early morn.

A young mother, weary and bleary-eyed,

fingers running over the keyboard

chasing an elusive word count

 

 

Written for the dVerse prompt using the word rise or its derivative in a quadrille form.

**Image from https://art.alphacoders.com

 

Water reflections

 

 

Water

within you, within me

in our cells, in the atmosphere

Water

reacts and interacts to paint

rainbows and spark lightning

Water

flowing red in our veins and clear down rocky slopes

rising up invisibly into our skies

in cottony cloud collections

shifting resources from lakes to land

tumbling in drops towards earth

onto leaves and soil

and skin and fur

Water

Dammed and bottled

but never contained

Water

everywhere and in

everything

a three dimensional manifestation

of the flowing

sustaining

higher

energy of Love

 

 

*Shared with dVerse prompt on Water.

 

***Image from kyhealthkids

 

 

Antarctica

 

Here, everything is preserved in time.

The landscape frozen

in its final expression.

 

Caves gape at some distant surprise

where cornflower skies kiss sapphire seas,

time after time.

 

Icicles drip over the cliff’s edge

like the cascading crystalline hair

of a slumbering, frozen

 

Ice Queen who cares for

naught but her beauty sleep.

And a tender glowing expression.

 

 

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I’m just about getting this in before the link closes!

Written for dVerse Poets Pub open link night. I missed the chance to post on Amaya’s Cascade challenge earlier this week so getting a two in one. It’s not in the exact form, but learned a lot in the process!

 

Images from hideawayreport.com (1) and wildfoottravel.com (2)

 

 

 

 

 

Birka

 

Maybe what I miss most

Wasn’t the beige dwellings

housing our belongings.

Though I protected them with all my might

I longed to escape their confines.

 

Maybe what I miss most

wasn’t the calm lake that spilled

into the Baltic Sea.

Though it was a silent witness

where Solveig and I made secret love

beneath the twinkling eyes of the gods.

 

Maybe what I miss most

was a curl of Elin’s yellow hair

wisping up into the air

as she loosed her lethal arrow.

Cheeks flushed.

Eyes ablaze with the glory of war.

 

Maybe what I miss most

were sounds of military merriment in the tavern.

Victorious and raucous.

While I washed the blood off of my axe

in the quietness of the lake

that swallowed our stories into the water.

 

Maybe what I miss most

were the sounds of twenty boats

breaking a path through the Baltic Sea.

The promise of fortune and fate

drawing out the heaving breaths

of my army, working the oars through the black water

towards a destination far beyond

what we could see.

 

800px-birka_sweden_viking_grave_bj_581_by_hjalmar_stolpe_in_1889

 

Inspired by the very real historical Viking Warrior, who was first assumed to be male upon excavation in 1878. (And also inspired by a song with the same refrain). Due to the remains being buried with an arsenal of weapons and a game set, used in strategic thinking, it was clear that it was a warrior’s tomb.

It took more than a hundred years later for someone to examine the bones and confirm that the lack of Y-chromosomes indicates the remains were female. This caused much controversy. But the evidence speaks for itself, and the myth of the female Viking warrior became fact.

The artifacts in the tomb indicated she was a high ranking warrior. My poem tries to capture life through the eyes of this dead warrior, in the Viking village of Birka.

Geography plays a major role in the activities and organisation of a community. In this case, Birka (located in Sweden) was a major trading post between Northern Europe and the rest of the world.

Anthropological and historical studies show that much of what the modern world perceives as uniquely masculine or feminine gets debunked by findings such as these. Where medieval and sometimes ancient customs do not have the same roles and customs assigned to specific genders as we do today.

 

Written for dVerse Poets Pub

 

**Images from Smithsonian.com. Featured Image: (Antiquity Publications Ltd./drawing by Tancredi Valeri)

 

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A reconstructed Viking Age house in Birka. Image source: http://www.worldsheritage.travel.wordpress.com

 

 

 

The covenant

Long ago we made a promise

to meet under the blue skies

beside the acacia grove.

You asked me to search my heart for justice

when fear clasped its chains around my feet.

And as I turned and stumbled away

you promised me unconditional love.

 

Separation began.

 

You knew in time I’d learn to trust my feelings

in the season when cool winds scatter dust around.

Apart from you, I found myself.

Who I really am.

 

Though there’s nothing in life to be certain of

I looked inside and found the answers

amidst the memories.

That love is truth and truth is justice.

And in my heart I found all three.

 

 

 

**Shared with dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #239**

 

 

*Image from twinflames1111.com

 

 

 

 

 

Transform

 

 

Dust off those dreams and ideals spiked long ago

When your caged heart was free and lived with gusto.

With the Pen in your grasp

Switch genres, change the title and unclasp

the yoke around your neck.

Write one word, then never look back.

*****

 

In my google search, it turns out a quadrille is also a dance.

I was not familiar with the use of the verb ‘spike’ as in rejecting something. Usually used in publishing where a manuscript is considered and then rejected and put on the spike. So I thought I’d use it in my attempt at a quadrille.

This was nothing short of a mental crossfit workout… Hope you enjoy it.

Written for dVerse.

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness

 

Summer rages on his deathbed, fighting off the change in atmospheric pressure. Minute turns of an invisible weather dial, the sun beats mercilessly down on dust, tar, bricks and sweating scalps. Children delight in a deceivingly endless warmth, only the old feel the new chill in the breeze. Winter arrives unannounced, freezing the greenery till they drop to the ground, brown upon brown.

Cooling Summer’s rage

“Tis only hibernation,

not the death you fear.”

 

****

Written for the dVerse prompt on March Madness.

This is my first attempt ever at a haibun. Very challenging, but rewarding too.

March is blazingly hot here in Botswana. But it is the month when it starts to shift into Winter. And so, it feels as if Summer is turning up the heat in defiance of the coming season. (So very Dylan Thomas) We hardly have an Autumn or Spring to speak of. Literally one day it is Summer, the next thing it is 3 degrees celsius at night.

I look forward to your feedback, so I can learn and improve my poetic craft.

 

 

 

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Not a cloud in this blue sky today.

 

Song of Zulaikha

I turned to God to escape you.
To cure what I perceived was an illness of my heart
And in that turning to God
I saw your name
Surrounded by praises of His name
In a faithful song of fate and destiny
And what I thought was an escape,
Became an exit from a door of my mind
Into a spiritual realm of my heart,
And His heart
Deeply entangled with you.
The three of us entwined in a heartaching love
So painful that I broke.
And continue to break
In waves of pain and joy
Causing me to question who am I
And where do I truly belong

I kept company with Rumi, Shams and Al-Ghazzali
But still it brought me back to you
Through Him

Just like Shams heard Rumi’s name,
So I saw your name attached to His.
Shams understood and followed
Whereas I followed but do not understand

All I know is I am forever changed
Stripped bare to my soul
And all I see is this longing for you
That is entwined with Him

There is no escape
For if I turn to God in utterance of faith
I see you too

*****

Based on stories of divine love popularised by Rumi and Shams. And the lesser known legend of Zulaikha, the King’s wife, who fell hopelessly in love with the Prophet Yusuf. The legend has it that her love for Yusuf led her to a more divine love for God. And that her love for Yusuf was a veil that hid the divine love

Image Source: PinImg