I’ve said it before somewhere, if not here. Your place of birth is not for you to choose. And then, even when you’ve found your footing, there may be reasons to leave what you’ve known as home for another land where the people may not know a thing about you, or care. You may have to learn to negotiate new social mazes, get lost in them, in search of a new home.
Political border policies add another layer of branding you a stranger.
I wrote a poem years ago about this, “Birds will have Dominion When I Take Swallow Form.” It found a home in my book Sound Before Water. Now it has another chance of being read more widely through the Goodreads.com Newsletter (January 2018) should it win the current voting cycle. Yes, it’s basically a popularity contest. They also don’t give voters a lot of time as the deadline is 19 December.
Please go read the poems in competition and decide for yourself if my poem is worth your support.
If you’re still looking for a gift, my most recent book, WINGS OF SMOKE, is available online. It would be nice to hear from readers.
Maraming salamat po.
I wrote a poem a few years ago and it took a while for it to get published. But then soon after first publication in New Coin it was picked up by SA-born Denis Hirson and was luckily included in the original French edition of contemporary South African poetry which he edited and published in France. A subsequent English edition was released last year by Deep South Books which was co-edited by Robert Berold who is a great supporter of new voices in the country. This month, “People Who Live with Lions” has a chance of being read by an even bigger audience at the Goodreads.com Poetry! newsletter competition. if you are interested, here is the link to the contest:
NOVEMBER 2015 NEWSLETTER
My poem is among a few selected by the judges of Poetry! at Goodreads.com this month. Please find time to read and consider voting for “Ignoring the Hand of God.” HERE IS THE UPDATED LINK
I know it may be a bit cumbersome to have to join Goodreads.com and sign up with the Poetry! discussion group before you can cast a vote.
The task of writing may seem to end when you lift your pen off the page or stop touching the keyboard/glass surface (or whatever gadget you may use, stick and sand?). But until it’s read – and hopefully received – in a positive or negative way, it hasn’t finished its journey.
A poem I recently wrote, “Falling in Reverse,” was noticed by the judges of an online poetry competition. I hope you consider voting for it after reading up all the finalists’ entries. Thank you.
GOODREADS POETRY FINALISTS FOR MAY NEWSLETTER
My poem has little chance of winning in a popularity contest, but when you get readers who say something like this, then I feel the poem has already won. Thank you, Murray.
End of life; beginning of life. I went for the beginning, ‘Glimpses’, not because I think beginnings are better, but because the shock of birth and the fragility of the neonate were so delicately handled. Handled, that is, with an economy of words not in the other poems. Second vote would have gone to ‘That long quiet’. Those two poems stand head and shoulders above the rest, and I say that, whatever the outcome of the popular vote.
I was never the popular kid. At least my poems get noticed. Then again, after the judges have selected, this one becomes a popularity contest. Oh well… 🙂 Care to vote for this one?
I’m happy to share this bit of news – my poem just got selected by the kind judges for the Goodreads.com monthly contest.
I will update this post as I get a chance. I originally wrote this poem after seeing a short video for a Poetry International competition (the poem was a finalist, too). The video can be viewed by choosing the photo of a puppet HERE.
other plans for this poem later.
Meanwhile, please do READ THE POEM, consider joining Goodreads.com and the Poetry! group so you can vote for it… or another poem you may perceive to be more worthy. Just being read alone would be nice. 🙂
UPDATE… my poem needs more votes… hmmm… not much I can do from here but wish. haha. oh well. thanks to those who voted! I don’t know when voting ends.
It used to take me a few minutes to write a poem. More recently I find myself going back to a poem from many years ago and reworking it until I find a point of satisfaction… or is that exhaustion? The monthly poetry contest at Goodreads.com has picked my work a number of times, one of them even won (AUDIO RECORDING LINK).
This month I entered something which I started writing in December 2010 but just “finished” a few weeks ago. It is post 296 near the end of page 6 on THIS LINK. Apparently it has a “local” flavor… meaning what, I wonder. hahaha. I appreciate any feedback or critique – as always. Maybe it needs more mending.
Port Jackson willow. photo from wikipedia.org
My poem is called “End of 2010: Another Science Fiction Year has Come and Gone“
One of my daughters, when she was around three, used to perform on cue something we ended up calling “The Duck Dance.” She would bend her knees a little, lean forward, pull her hands to her chest, lift her elbows slightly, then wiggle her bum. It made us all laugh. The lightness that laughter and pure joy bring is what comes over me when I find out a work of mine had been given some space somewhere.
March has so far been a good month. After winning the Goodreads.com Poetry Competition with “People Like You,” I received the good news that a number of poems had been featured in the South African website LitNet.co.za. One poem, “Someone’s Head” is on their main page while four others are in the “Poetry Blog” section. After months of waiting I can now say I’ve got a foot in the South African poetry scene. Now I suppose I have to muscle my way through the door somehow. hahahahha. Perhaps doing “The Duck Dance” in front of an unexpecting audience at a local poetry reading will be too daring. I’ll wait until I’ve earned some kind of name for that. 😛
Here is the link to the Goodreads.com Poetry Competition.
Here is the main link for “Someone’s Head” as featured on LitNet’s main webpage.
The LitNet Poetry Blog links:
Cape Town Suburb Sunday Afternoon Remix
Main Road Paranoia
My poems from Alien to Any Skin are finding their way in more places. I’m glad for a wider readership. At least in theory. 🙂
Please read the poems and decide for yourself which is the best. Although you do know which one I am hoping you would choose.