Hans B Sickler photo
From the edge of the deep green sea
(for Julian, Mikale, Vincent and Ethan)
I think I’ve changed people’s minds
and a few hearts along the way but
of course, mum doesn’t see it that way. All she can see is this.
That I haven’t lived up to my full
potential. That I am not as beautiful
as my sister who always comes up smelling of roses. So, I take the hurt
and mend it. Call the threads of
it enigmatic and prize-giving. I’ve wanted
love all my life. Never been greedy
enough to take it for myself. I’ve
been lonely. Wandered through this
life careless. Made mistakes. (Have been unhappy).
Frightened that I’d live life that way
forever and end up with revenge in
my heart. All I’ve ever wanted is love.
This is breaking my heart. Can you
see that it is breaking my heart with
every word that I write this. As the
afternoon sun sets I want to tell people.
Don’t take the emptiness. Don’t let
futility rule your life. Don’t let loneliness overwhelm
you at the worst of times. I look at
my mother’s face and all I can see is
her tired, sad yet pretty face. I look
at my father. The exposure of time in the lines and wrinkles
and all I can see is this. Me ending
up like him. Obsessive. Overly sensitive.
Bipolar and weak. Drinking cold
coffee with a cat on my lap. Left
out in the cold tasting solitude barefoot.
Drifting. Cast out into a pink-salmon
world where paradise and heaven
can never survive. I think of the sea and
place. The lightning and thunder
of the sea on a hot day ruled by Alanis Morissette
and the Irish band Ash. You’re
electricity, physics, chemistry. Survival.
Instinct. Biological. Environmental.
Your memory is vapour. A field
with layers of snow. You’re frost.
Veins filled with ice water. I’ve
gone swimming in my imagination again.
Away from you this time. I feel
endangered like the all the polluted rivers of South Africa.
Up close what do you see, think,
feel about me. This is when love is not enough.
When all that life signals is rain.
Look out or burn! There’s a moth
storm transfer of energy that is
wasteland wilderness a-coming
on a mountain. In place, seams gathering
of blue light a swarm of place
and tide and current. Dark wavelengths
of inspired-magazine hair. Coming
home from the sea there’s a window that’s open
somewhere. A chill in the air. A draft.
I have to close it for the rain. And
as long as writing restores me to
sanity I will keep living towards the light of
doing good. I can’t love you. It is
not in me to love you. Forgive me. Letting it
burn in the end will cost me everything.
The hive found in the supernatural
(for my mother and father)
Stability sometimes has to make
room for hunger. The spoils of
war. Harvest sometimes has to
make room for another harvest
in spring. The beating heart sometimes has
to make room for another heart.
The ripe suns in this galaxy and
beyond have their own sense of urgency wasting away.
Dementia is found there in the air.
Its clarity is specific. It has the concentration
of the perfect image in focus.
The spool under a wishful current.
(of a poet-writer battling depression,
battling on to find sanity but no one
speaks of this anymore). To begin with, you flew away.
Your charm scientific. Your heart is
factual. You taught me that. The river falls.
You fall. A waterfall in your eyes.
Determined hush falls all around.
The pool is logical but also sinister.
Originally it was wild there and found in a
rural kingdom cometh. The soul
cannot change. Cannot dream. Cannot sustain itself
without the hive. The swarm in
union and within their solidarity
comes the wounded. An ill feeling of hurt
as dark as sea. I take the stitches
of this ballroom masquerade party
inside out. I don’t want to listen to
this. Hearing my parents argue into
the night. I follow the vibrations of
the news scribbling across the TV
screen. I don’t want your glitter. I
don’t want your pain, empty vessel.
Even ripe flowers find a way to exist.
Pollen and tension has a history that
chases down aural pathways in ancient history.
You were unkind. You did not write
or call when he went to rehab. I felt
I could not dream, not sleep anymore.
Had to take the appropriate pill to cure me.
In order not to pursue a road to madness.
Pushcart Prize nominee Abigail George is a South African-based blogger, essayist, poet and short story writer. She briefly studied film at the Newtown Film and Television School followed by a stint at a production company in Johannesburg. She has received two writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, one from the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and another from ECPACC in East London. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming inAerodrome, Africanwriter.com, Bluepepper, Dying Dahlia Review, ELJ, Entropy, Fourth and Sycamore, Gnarled Oak, Hackwriters.com, Itch, LitNet, Mortar Magazine, Off the Coast, Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, Piker Press, Praxis Magazine Online, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Spontaneity, The New York Review, andVigil Pub Mag. She has been published in various anthologies, numerous times in print in South Africa, and online in zines based in Australia, Canada, Finland, India, Ireland, the UK, the United States, across Africa from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey and Zimbabwe.