January 17, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Hans B Sickler photo



Abigail George




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.






Abigail George

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 in Aerodrome, 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, and Vigil 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.

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