Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

The poet and the underwriting & Welcome to this poem

Enlarge poem

THE POET AND THE UNDERWRITING
Be strange to me.
I am tired of outward forms,
Listless in similarity,
Paralysed by monotony,
Bored with my proliferating selves
And my words spiral…
Away from me.

The poet.

The guns will be strange.
The sjamboks and people rising
From crouched positions
In hidden places will be strange,
Will tear reality into being
And cup the inner voice
In the outward show
Of clenched fists
And the inarticulate cry.

The dead bodies will be strange,
Will underwrite every word
With an unyielding solidity,
For there can be a little ambiguity
In poetry of the coldest,
Most naked flesh.

The poets most of all,
Most of all, will be strange,
Will die desperate deaths

When all their spun phrases
Take sudden turns
And metaphors need be ripped
From the guts.

And then will their cries,
Will their fearful cries,
Be any stranger
Than the rest?

WELCOME TO THIS POEM
Welcome
To this poem,
Make yourself at home.
Would you care for something
Refreshing, some light relief?
A cup of tea perhaps?
You must be exhausted reading
All these poems,
And when one thinks of the unfigured
Multitude (can you bear
The thought?) cross-breeding in bottom drawers…

It is a long, bitter winter’s night and who dares
Be an arbiter of taste in times like these?
And- oh the poet?
He’s not in today
He’s out selling life.
The big companies pay
Well, not forgetting the benefits,
And they love him
When he is angry.

Paul Mason

Featured Poem:

My Mother’s Knowledge

Enlarge poem

Imaged again, she stirs:
My mother

She has sloughed out of me blackly, beautifully,
Slurring each glaring day into the next,
Since her passing

It is early May. I walk up Cavendish Street,
Wearing a jersey although the sun shines.
It is that time of the year that
Reminds you of the intimacy of Time,
Liquid ambers loosing their leaves,
The sun shedding its last brilliance before winter,
Putting me in mind of other times.

Times she guarded the stone of her pain so closely,
Forbidding its fall into our common water to ripple…
And all the time the brain behind the eyes
that danced with the multiform meanings of autumn
was cannibalising itself.

Wintered in, in front of her mirror
She told herself what she had known
From the first diagnosis :
To clothe her remaining days
In the mantle of deliberate miracle,
Its blue penumbra holding us beclamed
Until time

Knowing the end, she said
I had hoped it would not be so soon

Gone, she has gone:
my mother

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Paul Mason is an English Teacher, workshop facilitator and published poet. Paul has published poetry, short stories and critical reviews in South Africa and the United States.

His and Peter Esterhuysen’s dialogue of poems – Comeback – was published by Botsotso Press and Bodhi Books in 2009.

Paul Mason

Biography

Paul Mason is an English Teacher, workshop facilitator and published poet. Paul has published poetry, short stories and critical reviews in South Africa and the United States.

His and Peter Esterhuysen’s dialogue of poems – Comeback – was published by Botsotso Press and Bodhi Books in 2009.

The poet and the underwriting & Welcome to this poem

Enlarge poem

THE POET AND THE UNDERWRITING
Be strange to me.
I am tired of outward forms,
Listless in similarity,
Paralysed by monotony,
Bored with my proliferating selves
And my words spiral…
Away from me.

The poet.

The guns will be strange.
The sjamboks and people rising
From crouched positions
In hidden places will be strange,
Will tear reality into being
And cup the inner voice
In the outward show
Of clenched fists
And the inarticulate cry.

The dead bodies will be strange,
Will underwrite every word
With an unyielding solidity,
For there can be a little ambiguity
In poetry of the coldest,
Most naked flesh.

The poets most of all,
Most of all, will be strange,
Will die desperate deaths

When all their spun phrases
Take sudden turns
And metaphors need be ripped
From the guts.

And then will their cries,
Will their fearful cries,
Be any stranger
Than the rest?

WELCOME TO THIS POEM
Welcome
To this poem,
Make yourself at home.
Would you care for something
Refreshing, some light relief?
A cup of tea perhaps?
You must be exhausted reading
All these poems,
And when one thinks of the unfigured
Multitude (can you bear
The thought?) cross-breeding in bottom drawers…

It is a long, bitter winter’s night and who dares
Be an arbiter of taste in times like these?
And- oh the poet?
He’s not in today
He’s out selling life.
The big companies pay
Well, not forgetting the benefits,
And they love him
When he is angry.

Featured Poem:

My Mother’s Knowledge

Enlarge poem

Imaged again, she stirs:
My mother

She has sloughed out of me blackly, beautifully,
Slurring each glaring day into the next,
Since her passing

It is early May. I walk up Cavendish Street,
Wearing a jersey although the sun shines.
It is that time of the year that
Reminds you of the intimacy of Time,
Liquid ambers loosing their leaves,
The sun shedding its last brilliance before winter,
Putting me in mind of other times.

Times she guarded the stone of her pain so closely,
Forbidding its fall into our common water to ripple…
And all the time the brain behind the eyes
that danced with the multiform meanings of autumn
was cannibalising itself.

Wintered in, in front of her mirror
She told herself what she had known
From the first diagnosis :
To clothe her remaining days
In the mantle of deliberate miracle,
Its blue penumbra holding us beclamed
Until time

Knowing the end, she said
I had hoped it would not be so soon

Gone, she has gone:
my mother

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

The poet and the underwriting & Welcome to this poem

Enlarge poem

THE POET AND THE UNDERWRITING
Be strange to me.
I am tired of outward forms,
Listless in similarity,
Paralysed by monotony,
Bored with my proliferating selves
And my words spiral…
Away from me.

The poet.

The guns will be strange.
The sjamboks and people rising
From crouched positions
In hidden places will be strange,
Will tear reality into being
And cup the inner voice
In the outward show
Of clenched fists
And the inarticulate cry.

The dead bodies will be strange,
Will underwrite every word
With an unyielding solidity,
For there can be a little ambiguity
In poetry of the coldest,
Most naked flesh.

The poets most of all,
Most of all, will be strange,
Will die desperate deaths

When all their spun phrases
Take sudden turns
And metaphors need be ripped
From the guts.

And then will their cries,
Will their fearful cries,
Be any stranger
Than the rest?

WELCOME TO THIS POEM
Welcome
To this poem,
Make yourself at home.
Would you care for something
Refreshing, some light relief?
A cup of tea perhaps?
You must be exhausted reading
All these poems,
And when one thinks of the unfigured
Multitude (can you bear
The thought?) cross-breeding in bottom drawers…

It is a long, bitter winter’s night and who dares
Be an arbiter of taste in times like these?
And- oh the poet?
He’s not in today
He’s out selling life.
The big companies pay
Well, not forgetting the benefits,
And they love him
When he is angry.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.