27 March 2008

The Rialto

If you don't know The Rialto, take a look. Sadly you can't see any content, but perhaps that will change with the new site to be launched in August. For a long time I couldn't find any new issues and I thought it had ceased to exist. Then happily, a few months ago I discovered that not only was it still around, but it was possible to subscribe on line, with a credit card, etc -- which is noteworthy because so many of these magazines still only accept payment only by "cheque" on a UK bank. One magazine I used to subscribe to by sending the equivalent in euros in cash through the post! Honestly, if I could have renewed by credit card, even over the phone, I would still be a subscriber.... So thank you, Rialto, not just for your poems, but for moving on up to the 21st century!

Notebook update

The notebook people replied. They are sorry, but they aren't planning to do the cahier collection in the new colours because the cahiers use a different material for their covers and this material doesn't look good with the new colours. Well, no harm in trying, eh? At least I got a very nice personal answer!

26 March 2008

Poems I love (1)

I first heard Roethke's The Waking many years ago when my then-boyfriend found it in an anthology that I used to keep by my bed (and in fact do, still, from time to time, keep by my bed). He already knew it and I remember he was so pleased that it was included in the book (an anthology of British and American poets, used by my brother in his college freshman English class). He read it out... And it was probably the first poem I'd heard as an adult that seemed to speak to me directly, about something important, and which I knew could not be described in any other form. I love its repetitions and its cadence. All the best poems have good cadence. I come back to it often. I can't imagine it not being part of my life.

25 March 2008


It started like this...

Then turned into this...

And this.

And then, this morning, bliss:

22 March 2008

One of the reasons I love where I live

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, it's hard to be unhappy in the middle of all this chocolate.

19 March 2008

Thoughts around 10 this morning

Bus strike. Hail storm. Head
lice.* Anything else to throw
at me today, world?

*(Actually, I kicked some head lice ass last night, so they're pretty much conquered. And I have threatened to shave the girls' heads if they so much as touch another child's coat/scarf/etc., or share their own with another.)

18 March 2008

I like when this happens

This morning, as I woke up, some lines for a poem I've been writing came into my head.

New, improved lines, for a section of the poem I'd been struggling with.

These are the lines, the opening lines, of a poem called 'Jaffa':

I have one foot in the desert, the other in the sea.
I am making a full circle.
I am walking through the streets

And these streets know me.
These streets are whispering, "Home."
.... etc

I really like when this happens!

New notebooks

I was so happy to discover these gorgeous notebooks last week in the stationery shop.
I've been using these for the past year or so -- the extra-large version with squares, in black.
The colourful ones are from the same company, and I all but pounced on them.
The downside, however (why is there always a downside?), is that the extra-large, squared cahier that I like to use doesn't come in the new colours. Why not?? I wrote to Moleskine and asked, but they haven't replied. Fingers crossed, maybe I can special order them, without paying a small fortune.
In the meantime, I'm struggling with the smaller size, ruled-line format. And there's no little pocket in the back cover either.
Please, nice Moleskine people. Will you please make me some extra-large squared cahiers in dark and light pink?

17 March 2008

Wolvendael Park

I am walking through Wolvandael Park.

I wonder, how much is me

and how much is other?

This is the park of my motherhood,

my park of conkers,

of endless hours.

And this may be the last winter

I walk through this park.

My children have grown like wildfire,

like wild flowers,

like there's no tomorrow.

Soon they will go to a new school.

So soon.

They won't need me to go with them.

How then will I ever get back

to Wolvendael Park?

Already the birds are singing.

It is early, an early spring.

After all this time I still can't tell

a blackbird's lament

from a robin's.

14 March 2008


In the forcing jar on the window sill, she begins
to swell. She is her own worst enemy. She knows.
But it was so cold wintering over in the cellar,
that now she has allowed herself to be warm.
She chose – though she had not thought the sun
would be this intimate. There it is again,
its gold caress. It dazzles her. It wines and dines.
It shows her all the things she could be like
and she finds no will to refuse. Her roots reach out,
thirsty for soil. It is impossible to stop them.
Inside herself a question begins to turn.
It is not heavy now, but she cannot avoid it much longer.
If this is not what she was born to do, then what else is there?
It will be the end of her. She knows.

This was my first published poem. It was shortlisted in the Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2004.

Jumping In

This is my first post. It's spontaneous.

I wasn't planning on doing this today. True, I've been thinking about it for a while. I wanted to have some cool images, though. I wanted it to be special.

But today the urge to put something out in the world is stronger than the desire to wait until everything is "perfect".

The purpose of this blog is to share, in whatever stage, my work in progress. You can come to my virtual garret, and see what I'm writing today. I might write sometimes about other things too -- related topics. We'll see how it goes. I will post a poem in a few minutes... Remember, it's a work in progress!