Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Room Thirteen

Enlarge poem

I married a gambling man.

lucky for some
he says as I
thread my body through
the green gown
in room thirteen.

No jewellery the nurses ordered so
I hand him
my wedding ring. Eleven years married
I’m wheeled away to

wake up again in room thirteen
broad bandage across my chest.

He’s still there. Slides the ring back
on. Tells me

It’s not the hand you get dealt
It’s the way you play it.

Beverly Rycroft

Featured Poem:

If this bed could talk

Enlarge poem

If this bed could talk
it would say:
here you lay with him
in this hollow
worn there by the lying together the lying above, below
the side by side of sleep.

It would say: this island in the middle:
your youngest child
colonized it at midnight for years
wanting only your tired hand
burrowing for it like a mole
before she finally fell asleep.

At this end
the bed would say
your son (once a boy)
flung his sleeping bag on the floor
to bring out the night near you both
after reading a horror story
too late

This bed would say: here, beside me
your mother stood
wearing your apron
saying:
please eat something
I will make anything if you would just eat.

And here sat your daughter
singing nursery rhymes
while she stroked
your stubbled head.

And here
the bed would sigh
is evidence of how you have worn me out
worried me away to barely nothing
through days and days of lying here;
(here
it would whisper
in this hollow
while they all slept
you lay awake

Waiting.)

Beverly Rycroft

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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  • Pride (1)
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  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

  1. I had the privilege of hearing Beverly talk about poetry and illness in the UK at the 26th Aldeburgh poetry festival this November 2014. How inspiring to make such treasures out of life’s experiences good and bad.

    Andrew JAMES

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Beverly Rycroft’s debut poetry collection, Missing, recently won the Ingrid Jonker Award. In 2011 she was awarded second prize in the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Competition for her poem Has your Dad got a Bird yet? In 2000 she was joint winner of the Femina/Sensa Features Competition.

Beverly is a graduate of UCT and Wits. A qualified teacher, she has written for both local and international magazines. Her poems have appeared in Carapace, New Coin, scrutiny2, New Contrast and the anthology Difficult to Explain. She has performed readings of her work in Cape Town, Hermanus, The Franschoek Literary Festival, East London and Johannesburg, many of them with the poet Finuala Dowling. She is currently setting up the poetry section of the 2013 Franschoek Literary Festival with Dr Dowling. Beverly lives in Cape Town with her family.

Beverly Rycroft

Beverly Rycroft
Beverly Rycroft

Biography

Beverly Rycroft’s debut poetry collection, Missing, recently won the Ingrid Jonker Award. In 2011 she was awarded second prize in the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Competition for her poem Has your Dad got a Bird yet? In 2000 she was joint winner of the Femina/Sensa Features Competition.

Beverly is a graduate of UCT and Wits. A qualified teacher, she has written for both local and international magazines. Her poems have appeared in Carapace, New Coin, scrutiny2, New Contrast and the anthology Difficult to Explain. She has performed readings of her work in Cape Town, Hermanus, The Franschoek Literary Festival, East London and Johannesburg, many of them with the poet Finuala Dowling. She is currently setting up the poetry section of the 2013 Franschoek Literary Festival with Dr Dowling. Beverly lives in Cape Town with her family.

Room Thirteen

Enlarge poem

I married a gambling man.

lucky for some
he says as I
thread my body through
the green gown
in room thirteen.

No jewellery the nurses ordered so
I hand him
my wedding ring. Eleven years married
I’m wheeled away to

wake up again in room thirteen
broad bandage across my chest.

He’s still there. Slides the ring back
on. Tells me

It’s not the hand you get dealt
It’s the way you play it.

Featured Poem:

If this bed could talk

Enlarge poem

If this bed could talk
it would say:
here you lay with him
in this hollow
worn there by the lying together the lying above, below
the side by side of sleep.

It would say: this island in the middle:
your youngest child
colonized it at midnight for years
wanting only your tired hand
burrowing for it like a mole
before she finally fell asleep.

At this end
the bed would say
your son (once a boy)
flung his sleeping bag on the floor
to bring out the night near you both
after reading a horror story
too late

This bed would say: here, beside me
your mother stood
wearing your apron
saying:
please eat something
I will make anything if you would just eat.

And here sat your daughter
singing nursery rhymes
while she stroked
your stubbled head.

And here
the bed would sigh
is evidence of how you have worn me out
worried me away to barely nothing
through days and days of lying here;
(here
it would whisper
in this hollow
while they all slept
you lay awake

Waiting.)

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (1)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (1)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Room Thirteen

Enlarge poem

I married a gambling man.

lucky for some
he says as I
thread my body through
the green gown
in room thirteen.

No jewellery the nurses ordered so
I hand him
my wedding ring. Eleven years married
I’m wheeled away to

wake up again in room thirteen
broad bandage across my chest.

He’s still there. Slides the ring back
on. Tells me

It’s not the hand you get dealt
It’s the way you play it.

Comments

  1. I had the privilege of hearing Beverly talk about poetry and illness in the UK at the 26th Aldeburgh poetry festival this November 2014. How inspiring to make such treasures out of life’s experiences good and bad.

    Andrew JAMES

Your email address will not be published.