Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Close to the bone

Enlarge poem

too close to the bone
that’s the reason
the reason why
the reason if
the reason that the flatness
it’s the reason for the flatness
and for the concentric circles
the unbearably concentric circles
and the pride, the pretending pride
that never relents, never reveals
the crestfallen eye, the crestfallen mouth
the bitter under the stretchedout smile
the held breath of warm flooding loss
the quivering inside the locked jaw
the betrayal in the bones

like this i can’t live, like this
yet i do
i can’t live so tightly and so sprightly, yet i do
i can’t live so roughly and so toughly, but i am
go on, i can’t go on, and on and on and on
treading and trodding, all those legs
and legs and legs and legs
and pantyhoses and underpanties
and panting pansies
and prettiness with curvy lipstick
parenthesis of coyness in smiling
and small sanitary fishponds carping with koi
and used-up water filters, clogged
with black stuff like snuff
and used up ozone,
seethrough skyholes
worn out, my favourite soft old shirt
worn through from plain old wear and tear
simple aging

here inside my own house and my own bones
simple shrinking, and bending like an old tree
or a fence pole that’s got grey and knotted
and wire uncurling
hair floating to the ground, to the floor
wafting off
wearing out
wear and tear
here and there

Rosamund Stanford

Featured Poem:

Forefathers

Enlarge poem

Through the neck. On the back
of the back. Bent, bullied, boasted.
Stood. Slept against coir: its lumps.
Bones have stood vertical and held.
Held up. Tall. Hard. Bridges. To the
top of the day. The days. Every day.
Up. Upright. Arrow-browed. Gaunt
bridges: up of the plunging up.
Shouldering bones. Shouldering trees.
Shouldering progeny, storm-sodden
ewes. Raising. Lofted sheds. Planted
poles going high. Roofs lifting to a
pitch. Crops tall as cane. Thatch
streaked by season. Straight and dry.
Trees slowly. All over. Eucalypts. White
shanks into the cloud. Clouds on stalks.
Blood. Litmus of rising days. Sapgreen
insect juices into the up. Up. Standing.
Long cheekbones. Lean. Sculpts. Tall.
Tall hands. Nostril bones. Tall and
aquiline. Foreheads: Forefathers.
Coursing. Coursing. Bone.

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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

Rosamund Stanford grew up on a farm in East Griqualand, South Africa, and studied literature, history and politics at Cape Town University. She has worked as a script writer and an editor in education and IT publishing, and is now a contract writer and editor. She has written non-fiction books about HIV and short fiction. Her poetry has appeared in New Coin, in the anthology In the Heat of Shadows – South African poetry 1996-2013, and has been translated into French. Her collections of poems are The Peeling of Skies (Aerial Publishing 2004) and The Hurricurrent (Deep South 2011).

Rosamund Stanford

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Biography

Rosamund Stanford grew up on a farm in East Griqualand, South Africa, and studied literature, history and politics at Cape Town University. She has worked as a script writer and an editor in education and IT publishing, and is now a contract writer and editor. She has written non-fiction books about HIV and short fiction. Her poetry has appeared in New Coin, in the anthology In the Heat of Shadows – South African poetry 1996-2013, and has been translated into French. Her collections of poems are The Peeling of Skies (Aerial Publishing 2004) and The Hurricurrent (Deep South 2011).

Close to the bone

Enlarge poem

too close to the bone
that’s the reason
the reason why
the reason if
the reason that the flatness
it’s the reason for the flatness
and for the concentric circles
the unbearably concentric circles
and the pride, the pretending pride
that never relents, never reveals
the crestfallen eye, the crestfallen mouth
the bitter under the stretchedout smile
the held breath of warm flooding loss
the quivering inside the locked jaw
the betrayal in the bones

like this i can’t live, like this
yet i do
i can’t live so tightly and so sprightly, yet i do
i can’t live so roughly and so toughly, but i am
go on, i can’t go on, and on and on and on
treading and trodding, all those legs
and legs and legs and legs
and pantyhoses and underpanties
and panting pansies
and prettiness with curvy lipstick
parenthesis of coyness in smiling
and small sanitary fishponds carping with koi
and used-up water filters, clogged
with black stuff like snuff
and used up ozone,
seethrough skyholes
worn out, my favourite soft old shirt
worn through from plain old wear and tear
simple aging

here inside my own house and my own bones
simple shrinking, and bending like an old tree
or a fence pole that’s got grey and knotted
and wire uncurling
hair floating to the ground, to the floor
wafting off
wearing out
wear and tear
here and there

Featured Poem:

Forefathers

Enlarge poem

Through the neck. On the back
of the back. Bent, bullied, boasted.
Stood. Slept against coir: its lumps.
Bones have stood vertical and held.
Held up. Tall. Hard. Bridges. To the
top of the day. The days. Every day.
Up. Upright. Arrow-browed. Gaunt
bridges: up of the plunging up.
Shouldering bones. Shouldering trees.
Shouldering progeny, storm-sodden
ewes. Raising. Lofted sheds. Planted
poles going high. Roofs lifting to a
pitch. Crops tall as cane. Thatch
streaked by season. Straight and dry.
Trees slowly. All over. Eucalypts. White
shanks into the cloud. Clouds on stalks.
Blood. Litmus of rising days. Sapgreen
insect juices into the up. Up. Standing.
Long cheekbones. Lean. Sculpts. Tall.
Tall hands. Nostril bones. Tall and
aquiline. Foreheads: Forefathers.
Coursing. Coursing. Bone.

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)

Close to the bone

Enlarge poem

too close to the bone
that’s the reason
the reason why
the reason if
the reason that the flatness
it’s the reason for the flatness
and for the concentric circles
the unbearably concentric circles
and the pride, the pretending pride
that never relents, never reveals
the crestfallen eye, the crestfallen mouth
the bitter under the stretchedout smile
the held breath of warm flooding loss
the quivering inside the locked jaw
the betrayal in the bones

like this i can’t live, like this
yet i do
i can’t live so tightly and so sprightly, yet i do
i can’t live so roughly and so toughly, but i am
go on, i can’t go on, and on and on and on
treading and trodding, all those legs
and legs and legs and legs
and pantyhoses and underpanties
and panting pansies
and prettiness with curvy lipstick
parenthesis of coyness in smiling
and small sanitary fishponds carping with koi
and used-up water filters, clogged
with black stuff like snuff
and used up ozone,
seethrough skyholes
worn out, my favourite soft old shirt
worn through from plain old wear and tear
simple aging

here inside my own house and my own bones
simple shrinking, and bending like an old tree
or a fence pole that’s got grey and knotted
and wire uncurling
hair floating to the ground, to the floor
wafting off
wearing out
wear and tear
here and there

Comments

Your email address will not be published.