POEMS by Kyle Allan

Watching birds

There are those times when
my son and I stand by the window
and look outside, brief moments
when we look out the window
and we are silent. Moments
when neither of us speak, when
we are not working or playing
or watching TV or arguing, moments
when we do not use words,
but just stand in that dumbed silence
seeing the colours of blue, dull
brown, yellow, glossy black, the jumping
around on the lawn, the sudden wingspread
and flight up into the sky with ease
that we can never reach. We watch all
this, saying nothing. We stand
next to each other in the room
looking out the window
in silence, watching birds.

Metaphysics

Hot day, growing hotter.
Poetry won’t come.
War is coming in the Middle East,
and you in blue skirt
and bare feet
bringing me water. Sweat
on your dark eyelids,
glistening in the solid heat.

Trends

Trends will come and go,
but the washing never ends.

POEM: Winter Karoo Evening

BY CRAIG O’FLAHERTY

The dust road ahead
cuts dead straight
through the stony
semi-desert folds,
as if someone’s drawn it
from above.
To one side I see a
a small lit plaas window
winking in the darkness,
emboldened by the whistle
of a burnt kettle
sitting on its blue
ring of fire,
calling out into
the starlit cold.

POEMS: Love Lessons From the Kitchen

BY SAALEHA IDREES BAMJEE

Turmeric persistence.
The tenacity from garlic skin
but never the vengeance of chilli haunting fingers.

Beets teach passion.
For tenderness, heat low, go slow.
Taste after each addition.

Onions soften in hot oil. This is one way to build a foundation.
If you’ve over-salted, add extra potatoes for compromise.

When the toffee looks like it’s failing,
stir and stir and stir.
It will all come together.

POEM: Slip Top

BY KHANYA MTSHALI

I saw a woman drop a briefcase holding her life together
She hissed at the contents on the floor
Wished they would pick themselves up
And return to where they belonged.
The floor broke itself open,
swallowed the briefcase whole.
The woman collapsed
so the floor could caress her body.
She turned on her belly
Clicked her back
Banged her head
And waited for the floor to disappear.