Monday, 23 July 2012

Coot-tha from the Green Bridge

Coot-tha’s sensual curves,
Are bathed in the golden evening glow, 
While the shadows of the riverbanks trees, 
 Dance on the silent, sluggish river.

Discussing the day in the Eucalypts,
The lorikeets spoil the peace.

Not solely a physical bridge, this,
Connecting a city, 
But a metaphorical bridge rather,
showing the way.

Coot-tha’s sensual curves suffused in the last of the days light,
While hundreds of stars glow in the inky night.

A strange sliver of a moon peeks under an eclipse,
While lights dance on the river in nightly bliss.

The lights of the bridge lead not only the way,
But are also examples of a
bright and better day.

I wrote this poem in 2010 one night after crossing the Greenbridge in Brisbane, Australia, from my university to the residential area on the other side.

Nearby Mt Coot-tha (pronounced Coo-tha) was lit up be the setting sun and looking magical.

What makes the bridge special is that all its lights and features are powered by solar panels on the footpath roof, and it is a bus and bike only bridge; hence the name.

What do you think, and which do you prefer? How could I tighten the poem?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

All Cry the Silent Noble Boulders

All cry the silent noble boulders,
Cry for a people all gone mad.
Where peace and love should solely reign,
You watch fear and violence spread and stain.

You’ve watched as laws of the land are made,
In this stunning city by the sea.
These laws are their safety net and their protection,
Should their leaders ever fall to powers corruption.

Now, having borne witness to the marvel of evolution,
The slow steady rise of humanity with its potential,
You now watch them descending into anarchy;
Because greed and fear is stronger than empathy.
How can they not realise that destitution drives crime?

How can people not realise that taking a life cannot improve their own?
How can one man glory in his wealth while ignoring another's suffering?
How can leaders put profits before their people's well-being?

So, pray your thanks to the howling wind and rain,
Which scours your surface and lessens your majesty.
For the faster the elements erode your greatness,
The less of this abomination you'll have to witness.

Here in Africa our story is one of continued struggle.
Having won the struggle against hate and prejudice,
Can we not work together for the betterment of everybody?
Knowing that only if all are happy, only then can we be happy.

I began writing this poem in June 2010 and it is probably my favourite of all I've written so far, but not necessarily the best, a strange combination. As such it was a really tough process to put it up and I'm sure I'll come back and edit it at some stage. (as I've just done 31/05/12 haha)

It grew out of one line that was going around in my head, "All cry the silent noble boulders," which I got somewhere from way back. But it became more than that, it fed into my anger at the way my homeland South Africa seems to be going and my thinking around why.

As such the 'noble boulders' the poem speaks of are those on Table Mountain and the hills around Cape Town that look down on the "stunning city by the sea".

What are your thoughts about both the subject and the poem?

A great photo taken from the sea fort showing just how the 'silent noble boulders' look down on the city.

Comments from the first posting:
  1. I could feel your emotion and how important South Africa is to you. I'm not aware of the issues there, but you made me care.

  2. Thanks a lot for that comment Dana, it means a lot!

    South Africa is a beautiful, interesting country with wonderful people but it is facing a lot of issues.

    It would be great to get people thinking through poetry!

  3. I believe that is what poetry is all about... to get the mind of others rolling through our words!

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Beauty, she lies, all gentle curves,
And soft, smooth contours,
Radiant and glowing in the warm Spanish sun.

The rounds of her mounts takes my breath away,
And the lush forest waits invitingly below.

The blue of her eyes is in the endless sea,
Surrounded by the rich browns of sun kissed skin,

The warmth of her skin reflected in a loving carefree attitude,
Which only enhances her physical beauty,

Here I feel at home,
Slowly traversing her hills and valleys,
Oh Cantabria, I’m glad I’m here with thee.

I wrote this poem on 21/04/2011 while on a bus trip through Cantabria, a province of Spain, on the way to meet a now ex-girlfriend who was working in Donostia/San Sebastian in the Basque Country/Spain.

I was in love at the time and excited to see her after a couple of months working in Germany; the beautiful northern Spanish countryside made me think of her…

Friday, 6 July 2012

Sexual unity?

We’ve all been out there,
Running the rat race,
Not realising,
We all got a slap in the face.

We’re all in there,
Chasing the girl,
And all that's happening is,
We’re being taken for a twirl.

Because all around this world,
This wide, wide world,
There’s a boy,
There’s a girl.

She’s singing a sweet song,
He’s drooling,
She’s stringing him along, 
He's fooling.

He buys her a drink,
And is starting to think
He’s in with a grin,
He’s in to win!

Is she too thin?
No, he can’t wait to begin,
Begin what? Tonight,
There’ll be no begin-ning,

Both are trying to fill,
The gaping hole inside,
Inside comes outside,
Both know they’re being lied, to.
But where they’re looking,
They’re not going to find,
The thing to set at rest,
Their mind.

Where was love lost,
Along the way?
A long way, back?
To far to track?

Because in a culture,
That’s all about sex,
What comes nex-t?
Thousands of people all vexed?

Where did we lose,
Those religious values,
That see sex and love,
To be cherished?

But they perished,
Not that I wish to return,
Or turn, back time,
It’s impossible and not required.

Rather to realise there’s a hole,
That can only be filled by love,
And friends and community,
Not in simple sexual unity.

I started thinking through this piece on the way home from a night out partying in NZ in early 2012, observing and listening to the other passengers on the bus. 

I finished it off as a stream-of-consciousness spoken-word piece for the dVersePoets prompt on the fractured nature of the modern world, in which Western culture is, I think, losing sight of what is important while we all chase personal pleasure.

What do you, about both the poem (which needs to be read out loud in spoken word style) and the subject it tackles?

When it becomes just about sex then sexual unity gains immunity, from love. It stops being an affair of the heart, and that apart it can only lead to falling apart, for a start. It becomes an art, the art of seduction, in all a reduction of a human relationship, the Intro-duction of self-satisfying, selfish self-gratification which leads to the striation of society.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The story of stuff (Christmas reflections)

Do they ever wonder,
Those poor Chinese,
Where their goods go,
And who they please?

While we turn a blind eye,
And  buy all that's cheap.
 But how can we justify it,
And our humanity still keep?

But how can you change,
 A system built on greed,
With desperate workers,
who have families to feed?

You can buy locally made,
Or Fairtrade goods.
But this won't change the system,
We're not out of the woods.

All that's left,
Is to use your Voice,
And help others to see,
That we have a choice.

This isn't the only way,
That it can be,
We can have a world,
Where all are free.

I had thought of them years earlier, but originally wrote just the opening stanza as my Christmas poem for 2011, while I was thinking about where the gifts we received had come from.

I'm re-posting it now for the poetics prompt 'buttons', as one of the stereotypical products that come from sweatshops across Asia is obviously clothes.

For the dVerse Poets who read this post I encourage those of you, who haven't already, to slick on the 'Social Justice' tag and read some of my other poems on similar subjects

I would be interested to know what you think!

This question came to me while thinking about sweatshops a few years back; it seemed apt to think about it again just after Christmas.

If you want to know more or how you can help the fight against abusive sweatshops (those which pay virtually nothing to workers in dangerous conditions) check out the UK organisation No Sweat's website:  

Post-Christmas micro poem:
Back after Christmas/My pen working again//Only question is/Did hols muddle my brain?// (Hope u all had a good break!)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tuscan romance

 Tuscan romance
The spring sun is shining, the birds are a’flight,
As we weave our way through the Florentine light.

Filtered by green trees on the side of the road,
Bordered by clear rivers which for centuries have flowed,

We wind our way into the clear mountain air,
With our trusty Vespa to take us there.

Our destination unknown, but we know what awaits,
For in a Tuscan romance, good food and laughter's our fate.

I wrote this poem in mid-2011 while staying in Italy with my then girlfriend, and Italian.

Her family had a holiday house in the seaside town of Viareggio  in Tuscany and one beautiful day we had taken a drive up into the stunning hills and mountains that rise up in the hinterland. We visited a beautiful old church up on a hill surrounded by vineyards, had a delicious lunch and
extremely flavourful Chianti (a local red wine) at a small family run restaurant that looked out over the valley. 

What a day in bella Italia!

Have you had any similar traveling experiences that inspired poems? Feel free to post them here if you have.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I couldn't decide to go or not one way

Two paths diverged in a forest one day,
But I couldn’t decide to go or not one way.

I stood at the fork and my mind did sway,
Till the sun did the inevitable and had its say.

So I curled up and down my head I did lay,
Until the morning woke me up with the suns first ray.

I’d hoped for inspiration, a dream of the way,
But nothing was been forthcoming and I was left with the day.

To decide, to decide, but my mind did stray,
So at that fork I did stay, I did stay.

I didn’t take any path or less traveled way.
And that I regret every night and every day.

For to make a decision to go one way,
At least the decision is made, let come what may.

I am not the worlds greatest decision maker (maybe because I am a Gemini if you believe in star signs). I can make big decisions when they have to be made but it is the little ones that stump me; lamb korma or buttered chicken, chocolate mousse or a hot fudge brownie etc.

This poem was obviously inspired by Robert Frost's great 1920s poem 'The Road Not Taken', and was my attempt to deal with this flaw in my character and get through to myself that in reality not making a decision is worse than just making on and enjoying the ride.

What do you think?

And do you have any feedback on the poem? Should the fourth line rather say "Till the sun began to set and had it’s say"
Could the eleventh line rather be "I didn’t take any path, I kept the decision at bay,"?

(This poem was posted for the dVerse Poets Pub poetic prompt 'Choice'; Thanks guys! )

 Another form of choice, this needs to be updated but valid.