Cape of Good Hope

For my father

Half of you is listening. Half of you sees the mountain, hard lines pushing against the sky. Half of you senses air’s faint breath, feels warmth like fingers where sunlight has sneaked beneath your hat. Your left hand acknowledges my touch.
I only half listened that day last year, as we walked through the fynbos on the slopes above Camps Bay. You spoke in the voice you used for children or for childhood, for stories of Piglet and of Pooh and how you were at school with Christopher Robin.  
When the time comes, I want a Daddy to hold me by the hand.
I smiled, said nothing. We were a long way from The Hundred Acres Wood. 
Spiked crests of birds of paradise ignite above their leaves. Half of you is present. Is the other half hidden, like the mountain when the south-east wind spreads a tablecloth of cloud? Or has your Daddy taken your right hand gently in His own, to lead the missing half of you past Lion’s Head into the light?
I don’t ask this, but I think this in the shadow of the mountain. Half of you listens to my silence. All of you cannot speak.  

‘Cape of Good Hope’ first appeared in The Amethyst Review on 14th April 2020.


Metamorphosis ll, by M.C. Escher (Netherlands) 1939-1940

a rabbit sneaks over my windowsill
spills oblong light across the floor viscous
as cream      curdles in a snarl
of salamanders fluorescent on the walls
that bloat      bulge      suppurate      burst
the air hums bees      in my hair crawl over my skin
i grope for some hold-fast but corners 
collapse      light and shadow striate 
fish swim with the waves      against 
the waves      darkness lifts 
where the ceiling used to be      
a shriek of gulls      flecks on cloud     
not bombs or planes but birds 
the colour of blood      spills 
on to rooftops and moon-shadowed 
stairs to nowhere      war 
a game played without rules      
pieces drift in liquid 
light      teeter at a precipice
floor dissolves 
in darkness      i cling 
to an edge while all night 
long an unembodied voice 
detonates the news    
                                       In dawn’s faint light
I construct lines, squares, rhomboids, hexagons,
to plaster absent walls with tessellations.

Tessellations’ first appeared in The Ekphrastic Review on 30 March 2020


   sliding sun

    wavers a path 

across the sea

    which way does the tide pull?

ripples      on wet sand


          through your    


shimmer it back      not quite 




                    your ankles     

draws you 


                                the calling waves

I want to fold my hands around you

cradle you in my cupped palms 

past sea holly and marram grass 

to the shelter of the trees 

abide with you on sweet-scented earth


            a dove is calling

‘Limen’ first appeared in The Amethyst Review on 28th March 2020