My poetry page

What I call poetry may not be what you call poetry.

All I try to do is create wordpictures.

Rhyme and rhythmn are often absent,

but I don’t really care, because I can see what I meant.

This is an untitled poem in Afrikaans by Lidi de Waal, a poet and artist fom the Western Cape in South Africa. To me she demonstrates how a language grows and embraces its environs.

I find Afrikaans to be a wonderfully expressive language

{*The poem was untitled – this is my title for it)

Where to find happiness *

die lewe is te kort daarvoor

om geluk elders te bly soek

of om daarvoor te bly sit en wag

geluk is nie iewers anders nie

dis nie in ń ander dorp

of ń beter blyplek nie

dis nie in volgende week of volgende jaar nie

dis nie by ń ander partner

of beter vriende

of ń ander werk nie

geluk is hier waar jy is

geluk is in die vrede binne in jou

in die klein stukkies vreugde

wat soms in jou eie hart opwel


Regrettably profundity is not really what I do.

It’s too deep and accurate;

Too honourable and wise.

Though sometimes, coincidentally, a time or two

I create a phrase or thought

Which may click or resonate.

But that is not my aim:

I prefer irreverence and whimsy,

Quirks and stabs at the overfilled balloons of conventions

which have outlived their function.


The Jam of History

Way back it was just God and Adam, who was lonely.

God was not, but had compassion.

Eve arrived to brighten the night.

All was good … for a while.

A snake whispered: whisper to me

the woman said why?

He couldn’t deny

and it all went awry.

Exile and exodus, murder and flood.

Never look back, just follow the man,

He’ll take you back to where it all began.

Or fail you, like He did in Japan.

The pot keeps boiling, sticky like tar.

We can’t recall what went in the jar.

We can’t look back, it stretches too far.

Second generation souties

Can I have a flat white and a…

it begins with a ‘c ‘and has frothy milk?

The blank spot indicates my state of memory.

But I remember the best: friends and family.

There were smiles and tears again and again

And heartsore we couldn’t see more of you for longer.

The Wests and Bridie in her summer flower garden.

Jeff and Gail came all the way to see us.

Tinker in remote smoky Sabie, giraffe duel

Buster’s giraffes dueling in Hoedspruit.

300 buffalo trotting down for a drink,


Turkey buzzards and a mangy lion cub,

Ellies aplenty.hurricane lamp

A happy Duiker and a Bright Little Light.

Dee in Mbombela, as unfazed as ever: spode

Giving us all the china for tea.

Tim’s Bushlands generous and green with so many old friends.

Biltong and oxtail, gin and tonic;

Enhanced by the super Manten and Bride caravanserai.


Family icons snagging the heart.

Rita and Bunny in misty Mbabane

And the ruins of homes past.

Lunch with Ash song in the bush

… and a tick or two!

102 in a 60 zone instant fine: speeding

$6 please – thank you!

Bren and Rick in Durbs and all their hatchlings.

Dinner with three Purcell Dunnett generations.

A bustling Cape and Somerset West

Vergelegen with Suzie, Hendrik and Claudia.

Spider strike on Rosie:

Walkers to the rescue: Belinda gently bustling, allesverlorenport.png

Bruce nursing me with Allesverloren.

Table mt

Table Mountain on a clear day

Hermanus, Betty’s Bay,

Noordhoek with the Moults

Cape Point and Simonstown for lunch.


Off to McGregor with Watkyns cousins;

A new SA cemetery in an old Cape village.

Back to Jozi and Bride again

cathedral pk

In the old home house with gentle ghosts.

Off to the Berg with Jen and Rich.

Cathedral Peak and five meals a day.

Exercise should balance intake…

Beautiful skylines, eland and sophisticated baboons.

Then Perth and Biddy for her 30th.

Lovely city and good friends too.

Irv and Louise and Janet.

After 17 beds, 5 flights, 3 countries, 2 cars.

Home at last? I think so.mind vs heart

One can’t go back after 20 years;

So we stand with a foot in each land

And our hearts in the middle.

I am my own doctor

I discerned the easy embrace, the clinging infiltration.

It was easy and almost soothing, maybe like drowning…?

Then I looked up and saw the blue sky and felt the fresh day.

black dog runnig

And it slunk away, spurned like a jackal in the face of a lion.

It will return for a sniff once or twice; such is the beast.

But I have its measure and offer scant sustenance for its cloying ploys.

I rejoice that it was sooo easy – all I did is look up and breathe!

The cur crept in on the tail of some lazy thoughts:

what a drag it is getting old and the pursuit of happiness is just a bore.

Mick Jagger sang it in 1964, would you believe!

Anyway, mother’s little helpers have been discredited.

But it isn’t really a drag, because you don’t feel old, (unless you fall over).

You may be gray and slow and can’t run, but that’s just your body.

You are your own doctor, because you choose how you feel!

blue sea and sky

(* click on the underlined text for the vibes, ek sê)

Some easy ways for good health:

Never forget blue sky

Sleep is the single most important thing your brain needs for optimal functioning.

Exercise – all regular physical activity increases blood circulation and levels of many different neurochemicals and hormones in the brain

Sunlight: It is known that sunlight can affect serotonin levels …and may also influence dopamine.

Massage – boosts serotonin levels by as much as 30% and increases dopamine, activates endorphins, improves sleep, and decreases the stress hormone, cortisol.

Meditation –  can increase concentrations of dopamine in the brain’s cortex.

Deciding – The act of intentionally making any decision has been shown to cause positive changes in attention and increase dopamine rewarding activity..

Setting and achieving goals – When you achieve a goal, dopamine is released. Dopamine is not only released when you cross the finish line. You get dopamine boosts at each step along the way, which helps to keep you motivated.

Habits – Habits, both good and bad, become the routine in your brain through repetition and dopamine release. Unfortunately, bad habits are the ones that often give you lots of dopamine. However, when you perform a habit – even a good one – you get a dopamine reward and it gets further wired into your brain, giving you more motivation to do it next time.

Petting a dog – Studies show that simply petting a pooch increases dopamine and endorphins.

Yoga – Yoga has been shown to increase dopamine levels – plus it reduces stress, increases oxygen to your brain with deep, slow breathing, and ups soothing GABA. Yoga helps ease depression and stress in many ways.

snoopys secret



Poetry in Music: A Billy Joel poem

And so it goes…

In every heart there is a room

A sanctuary safe and strong

To heal the wounds from lovers past

Until a new one comes along.

I spoke to you in cautious tones

You answered me with no pretense

And still I feel I said too much

My silence is my self defense.

And every time I’ve held a rose

It seems I only felt the thorns

And so it goes, and so it goes

And so will you soon I suppose.

But if my silence made you leave

Then that would be my worst mistake

So I will share this room with you

And you can have this heart to break.

And this is why my eyes are closed

It’s just as well for all I’ve seen

And so it goes, and so it goes

And you’re the only one who knows.

So I would choose to be with you

That’s if the choice were mine to make

But you can make decisions too

And you can have this heart to break.

And so it goes, and so it goes

And you’re the only one who knows.



Springscent memories


The anise scent of yellowMimosa distracted me.

It was brought by the springwind which whispered memories

of the shimmering sishing Msasa leaves in Africa.

So soft and beautiful,  hiding the horrors of the Gukurahundi:

“the rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”

but not the blood on the hands of the tyrant.






so wet it is so

wash me again softly clean

to embrace the day




Fool that I am

How can I face you again

Without flailing foolishly or feebly fleeing

From frivolous offers of fancy-free flings?

Fool that I am

I have no fame or fortune to offer

So my favours and foibles will feebly fade

Into faltering fatuous phrases

Fool that I am

I have fallen for you

Fortitude faltering, I flee,

Frivolity is false – I want more.




Again we meet

Laughing comfortably

We enjoy the

Absence of any

Years apart

Smiling sillily

That’s what friendship is

Having no sense of

Ever being different together.

Ready to laugh and argue;

Easy to talk and feel as usual.






Like a boomerang, we go forwards to go back

to our hearts home where our mum’s womb rests.

From light to dark and smooth to shoddy.

People simple but direct, not so friendly.

But it’s the home of our heart and soul,

darker Africa, so far and so near.

The warm people now despondent

about unrealised comforts, leeched away by lazy overlords,

Maybe blamed on us, who give, build and take.

Where I die, twirl a thorn twig,

catch my ghost and take it home,

like a boomerang, back from where we came,

to the bosom of the family we left.

Then maybe I will rest.



Early morning Spring song

I let Lulu out this morning

And walked on the dewy lawn

While she sniffed and wee’d.

morning star

The morning star still guarded the departing night

Bright and clear, defying its extinction.

Grey pink clouds foretold the arrival of big brother Sun.

Butcher birds are singing choruses to each other;

The honey eater is twitter-chattering,


Yellow mimosa is breaking out;

Nasturtiums are overflowing –

the bright orange and yellow petals promising joy.

purple bauhiniaBauhinia, the purple herald is in flower.

The air is soft and the breeze gentle.

Time again to awake and welcome the new year.

Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba…

Early morning singing song  *

*Chorus from Good Morning Starshine by Oliver – sing it out aloud, it’s quite easy!




It’s just too late

That line is  too straight,

it needs a deeper blue

with an iridescent hue…

D’ya think I’m God mate




Everyone everywhere should be screened

Let the camera capture

your face, your life, your ups and


And hers and his and theirs

All must be screened – t’will

make us feel safer and happier, until

we think about

Who screens

the Screeners.


Look at the screen

be obscene and herd:

you’re on tv!

This is our new morality

I was on tv

did you see me?



bottom shelf books.jpg   middle-shelf-books

English speaking Nostalgic from Africa with a tint of Irish and a hint of Danish

The Elite: The Story of the Rhodesian Special Air Service

What colour is my Parachute?

The Jungle Book

The History of English Speaking People

Hornblower and the West Indies

Something of Value

Rob Roy

Robinson Crusoe

Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man

Selous Scouts

Celtic Mythology

Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Out of Africa

Jock of the Bushveld

Natal and the Zulu Country

Lost Trails of the Transvaal



A puppy happy to see you home

A “Da-da” from the little Miss

Gluhwein on a frosty day.

Belly warming bliss

Gravy from a lamb roast

Coffee with beans on toast

A gap-toothed smile from the boy

Belly warming bliss.

There is no stillness in life.

The morning is cool almost clear, quite crisp;

There’s a hint of mist on the calm sea.

Grey clouds muscle up above the island –

Gold rimmed as God looms over them

Surveying the creation, glowing heat and life.

sun clouds

The birds whisper: we all pause.

It is early and fresh and promising;

The beauty of the moment is short.

Another wishful dawn flowers.

Nothing stops until your own light sets.

Danny Boy’s return

Tall and gaunt with sunken eyes and wispy red grey hair

contorted face and angry

Embittered by the acrid smoke of inner embers of defeat and disappointment.

He shambles to his end, getoutof myway

Despite the sympathetic nods and smiles who recall his glories.

Followed by the serene, calm ageless girl

Who will tend his grave and soothe his soul.  

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