Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

House Keeping

Enlarge poem

We set the house in order
when we went away.
Dried the plates,
and the strange cutlery,
changed the sheets,
and pulled the bathmats straight.
It would be cleaner even,
than you had left it.
We wanted to be asked again,
and by other friends,
who needed time and space.
Took care with the towels,
kissed the pets farewell.
And sometimes,
before the door was locked
and the key kept safe,
walked from silent room to room,
touching each thing
in its own perfect place.
And what difference
was there really,
between your snapshots
in Kruger or Mozambique?
Just, a stolen thing,
a slight romance,
a vicarious family.

Jane Berg

Featured Poem:

For you - Untitled

Enlarge poem

I’m beginning to think,
you were to me,
something like a book.
And so, I could never really see you,
other than, along the most concrete lines,
the stable words,
that always were, and weren’t you.
Fathomable, unfathomable.
At best I read you casually,
as one sees maps,
Or highway posts,
instinctive, distinct,
flashing past in the dark.
Or by chance,
and predictably,
Where the spine was most worn thin.
And who in the world,
could have known,
when closed,
what strange language,
those words made,
folded over and over.
And perhaps, it is another’s place
to mourn you,
Who gave you up to the world instead.
I’m sorry, I don’t go back,
That, I stack away,
Distort, forget,
I have stories I like to tell of you,
I have a story I like the best.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

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Biography

Jane Berg is a photojournalist, poet, and writer, working in Grahamstown, South Africa. She is currently completing her degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. She majored in English and is a member of the Cycle of Knowledge Performance Poetry Group. She was awarded the Keven Carlean Scholarship for Academic Achievement in Journalism for 2013, and first place for the 2015 Foto Fence Competition, Portrait Category. Her work is concerned with gender and environmental issues. Born in Brazil and raised between England and South Africa, her accent confuses most people. Her poetry is a way to, as Rilke said, “live the questions” of identity and belonging.

Jane Berg

Biography

Jane Berg is a photojournalist, poet, and writer, working in Grahamstown, South Africa. She is currently completing her degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. She majored in English and is a member of the Cycle of Knowledge Performance Poetry Group. She was awarded the Keven Carlean Scholarship for Academic Achievement in Journalism for 2013, and first place for the 2015 Foto Fence Competition, Portrait Category. Her work is concerned with gender and environmental issues. Born in Brazil and raised between England and South Africa, her accent confuses most people. Her poetry is a way to, as Rilke said, “live the questions” of identity and belonging.

House Keeping

Enlarge poem

We set the house in order
when we went away.
Dried the plates,
and the strange cutlery,
changed the sheets,
and pulled the bathmats straight.
It would be cleaner even,
than you had left it.
We wanted to be asked again,
and by other friends,
who needed time and space.
Took care with the towels,
kissed the pets farewell.
And sometimes,
before the door was locked
and the key kept safe,
walked from silent room to room,
touching each thing
in its own perfect place.
And what difference
was there really,
between your snapshots
in Kruger or Mozambique?
Just, a stolen thing,
a slight romance,
a vicarious family.

Featured Poem:

For you - Untitled

Enlarge poem

I’m beginning to think,
you were to me,
something like a book.
And so, I could never really see you,
other than, along the most concrete lines,
the stable words,
that always were, and weren’t you.
Fathomable, unfathomable.
At best I read you casually,
as one sees maps,
Or highway posts,
instinctive, distinct,
flashing past in the dark.
Or by chance,
and predictably,
Where the spine was most worn thin.
And who in the world,
could have known,
when closed,
what strange language,
those words made,
folded over and over.
And perhaps, it is another’s place
to mourn you,
Who gave you up to the world instead.
I’m sorry, I don’t go back,
That, I stack away,
Distort, forget,
I have stories I like to tell of you,
I have a story I like the best.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

House Keeping

Enlarge poem

We set the house in order
when we went away.
Dried the plates,
and the strange cutlery,
changed the sheets,
and pulled the bathmats straight.
It would be cleaner even,
than you had left it.
We wanted to be asked again,
and by other friends,
who needed time and space.
Took care with the towels,
kissed the pets farewell.
And sometimes,
before the door was locked
and the key kept safe,
walked from silent room to room,
touching each thing
in its own perfect place.
And what difference
was there really,
between your snapshots
in Kruger or Mozambique?
Just, a stolen thing,
a slight romance,
a vicarious family.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.