Tag Archives: poetry

The loneliness of immigration

You’re not here – To Marion   I   In the storm the woods around our home are bewildered, The leaves snarling, tearing at the end of their leashes. You’ve been away for a few days. In this wind an arching, rustling autumn Of whistling twigs, blades and stalks Rip the guts out of the…

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Celebrating the language of stars in the wake of the supermoon

The earliest hanzi, stars are a language to master before dawn. Quick – before they trickle away, leaving everything hushed and open-mouthed. This is why your fingers come together in a woven calligraphy, to catch and caress prayers like polished stones. Your fingers know the twinkling leaves in the trees around you are synonyms for…

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Sacredness, antiphons and transplanting a lemon tree

A certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house…   The silence is all-consuming as I work with spade and hands. As if from far away, I hear my own breath deep in my body, deep in the caves of woodland braided with the smell of sea. Waves nearly splash on their shadows. I…

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You say I’m not African – but that’s where I’m from?

… And my parents were also born and raised in South Africa? Those were the questions running through my mind during an encounter with a senior member of the English Department, Julia*, at a university here in Auckland where I was studying in 2014. We were pleasantly discussing possible PhD courses I could look at…

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Ethics of poetic ethnicities

By David wa Maahlamela How I wish I could, like many, pretend that the ethics of poetry are engraved on a rock somewhere at the centre of the global village — an assumption that downplays the fact that one’s domicile, environment and experience directly informs his literary outlook. The poetry landscape in South Africa is…

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Truth: Ruminations on a photograph

By Dr Thirusha Naidu TRUTH Ruminations on a photograph of a woman and her malnourished child at the Apartheid Museum Johannesburg, South Africa Standing amidst signs proclaiming her “Yesterday’s TRUTH” Pot-bellied, gasp-eyed child slung across her hip A white ’n black portrait against a brick wall Strewn, like gold dust onto mine-dumps, from early eGoli…

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The weird, warm hospitality in Chinese toilet signs

I stared in awe and envy at the large sign above the public loo. “Come, easy go in rushing”. Me being me, the Freudian meaning first sparkled through my mind: “Take it slowly as you build up to a climax”. Well, I knew the sign could not have that steamy meaning even though loads of…

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