Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ingrid Andersen

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Four from the new Spring issue of “Incwadi”

The Spring 2010 issue of Incwadi, the online journal of South African poetry and photography, marks the beginning of its second year – celebrating with some truly superb work. 

Poets featured in this issue include Finuala Dowling, Gabeba Baderoon, Rustum Kozain, Arja Salafranca, Isobel Dixon, Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, Colleen Higgs, Gus Ferguson, Robert Berold, Kobus Moolman, Sindiwe Magona, Fiona Zerbst, Gary Cummiskey, Aryan Kaganoff, Helen Moffett,Crystal Warren, Michelle McGrane, Ingrid Andersen, Kerry Hammerton, Malika Ndlovu, Richard de Nooy, Sarah Frost, Ester Levinrad, Moira Lovell, Anton Krueger and A.R. Reid.

Richard shared his Namibian holiday slides with us… (anyone for popcorn?)

Richard de Nooy - Wood

Richard de Nooy - Wood

 The bed between us                   – Finuala Dowling
Sometimes we sit at twilight with our feet up on the table
that I made out of a bed, as if it were normal
to have a bed, between us.
The bay too lies before us, still still and still lilac.
We have the usual conversation with variations
the one we’ve been having these twenty-eight years
We can talk about anything and we do
which is why it is always the same conversation.
I can say anything to you and I do
I can say, ‘What is your opinion of telephone lines?’
And you will answer immediately — you are not surprised
We are two friends in total accord over telephone lines
Twenty-eight years of Sunday evenings and this same
conversation with variations, and the bed between us,
and me telling you everything about the men who don’t love me
and you telling me everything about the women who are never quite sane
and maybe once every five years or so you say:
‘I’m still in love with you, you know’
it hangs there a little in the lilac twilight
but it’s just part of the conversation
and anyway you know how I’ll reply
so we carry on walking above the bay
or talking and looking at the bed that is now a table
and then you help me open the bottle of wine
and we say whatever we like and you laugh your deep laugh
and I feel relieved that the moment has passed
because I’ve stepped on the wobbly stone again without falling in
I haven’t told how once when I was desperate,
I thought of using you as an escape route;
nearly phoned you from within my cell walls
to beg: ‘Come, save me.  Save me now
and I will love you in return with proper love
with married love, with bed love, if you will only save me
But then I saved myself instead –
you never knew; I never said. 
I was living out of town. 
It was a long time ago.
I can’t tell you
because you wouldn’t let it go if I told you. 
It would change this conversation and I love this conversation.
Please let’s sit here with our feet up on the bed,
as if the bed didn’t matter.
Because it doesn’t matter.  I promise you that this is love –
this is twilight, this is lilac,
this is telephone line, this is wine,
this is love.

Helen Moffett shared with us her holiday pics from beautiful India -

Helen Moffett - Stone Lace in Old Delhi

Helen Moffett - Stone Lace in Old Delhi

Ash                                                   – Malika Ndlovu

Fire words hiss and spit from my mother’s mouth
Emitting her wrath, singeing my heart-skin

In seconds I am a quivering girl,
Voice runs dry in the face of her fuming

My water-tongue fails to dilute her venom
Or wash away her certainty of a history of offences

I swallow my opinions, switch to mute, amplify my listening
Suppress the tide rising in me, easing the swell with deepening breath

Each story, she is sure, should have turned out differently
If she hadn’t been denied the victory of the last word, felt she was heard

Assuming her battle stance, her body hardens with each smouldering word
She recalls the detailed lines of assault, blaming everyone but herself

I am her daughter still singing water songs, while she continues flaming
Turning my imagined bridges mid-sentence, to a silent rain of ash

Fog                                              – Rustum Kozain

4 A.M. Streets under fog. Streetlights gone.
Except a few down the road
and the moon’s forlorn halo
easily obscured by a plume of breath

laced with nicotine
and the meagre consolation of the last round
from the last open bar
now closed. And its glow also gone.

From the bay, a foghorn.
A long, low note from watch’s end
as if a moan of solitude
from Leviathan cast down into despair by its god.

From a rank doorway, a cry in counterpoint.
A homeless man
swaddled in his nightmares,
the abject of the rich man’s dreams.

Not one lone car carrying young lovers
drunk and eager, warm between
their legs and their hope,
their cold, misfiring hope

that after the revving and keening,
after the splutter home
after the many beers souring the breath
tonight’s love will remain.

There is no God now as lonely as these streets,
this grid
empty like love’s chessboard at game’s end;
or a labyrinth

through which comes a beast loping,
comes loping a big, forlorn dog,
its black coat matt with condensation.
And behind it from the mist emerges a man
on a walk at tangent to the world and time.
The dog loops back to him
to brush at his legs, sniff at his feet.
Then heels like a dutiful companion

at the soft ghost of a chide
as back into the fog they fade
past the last lights down the road,
a man and his black dog.

and, finally, a delicious, controversial piece to take away, from Aryan Kaganof:

poem for andile mngxitama

on the morning of that splendid day of looting
the blacks poured in to gardens wearing
pangas and machettes, cut their way
into melissa’s, and ordered 43 000
flat whites
to go

» read article