Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Meat or Greet

Enlarge poem

I’ve got tummy ache.
It started under fallen yellow arches
back when a large Coke was the real thing to do
and a sticky flesh slab in a bun was kinda fun
garnished with forced smiles and the gourmet tastes
of tik and ketchup brew
an inside sewage kind of stew

I’ve got tummy ache
E numbers flash before my eyes in
ecstatic effluent excess
effusively leading me to farty Smarties parties
these days even baboons on raids
prefer their yoghurt fat-free
But oh! The shame of Aspartame!
Just google it and see

I’ve got tummy ache
and as I soften ‘neath the gentle hymns of Kenny G
apathetic victim of supermarketed allergies
I wend my way through the miles
of sacred shopping aisles
a weekly wedding cavalcade
that covers more than it unveils
(meat crimes hide with elegance
behind the words we’ve loaned from French
but that’s another tale)

I’ve got tummy ache –
it’s bubbling over with stout-soaked stoats
and well-swilled wines
marinaded fish eggs in a vodka-coated slime
served on a bed of dollar bills
in a globulous gobbing tribute
to the overfishing trawlers of today
and the brave sailors of the past
who would not rest until the last
Mauritian dodo had been eradicated
and they could laugh off their scurvy stench
displaying all the scary teeth of the Great White Human
folk memories repeat in the throat
while I bite another leg of stoat

I’ve got tummy ache
growing groaning self-raising in my gut
too much affection for confectionery
insulating my skin with insulin
just another junk-food junkie
cos the sugar on the label
is no natural bee-buzz
but a snorting crystal rush
and the caffeine and tobacco
waging war against the calories
lifts me high above the cane fields
till my buzz-balloon bursts

I’ve got tummy ache
and it’s not the tinned chakalaka or the Boerie en sous
or the joy of soy or the polony with pesto
or the Allah cart halaal or the kosher whore d’oeuvres
or the screams of the lobsters
or the muffled shrieks of oysters
or the pizzas with enough garlic to subdue
the five thousand being fed
or the sobbing of the widows of the suicidal farmers
seed-bank slaves of the millionaire marketing men

It’s the fear of a dumb animal watching his species
drink-drive the boxed-in bloodied path to the abbatoir
and I don’t want to admit it stresses me out
in case they line me up like a Kommetjie beached whale
whose last meal was plastic bag in fishing line batter
and put me out of my misery with a caring gunshot
without asking me why
because they always know best

I’ve got tummy ache –
time to stop the caramelizing and start animalizing my mind
through my animal eyes
letting in pure-earth-blood-love in the
vibrant roots and shoots and leaves that fill my family feasts
so it pumps through my continents of praying-river-body-being
and though my head might throb with wallet-ache at the
conscious A to Zees, alpha to omega-3s,
my belly-ocean croons at the news
that I’m quitting all this food abuse
one day at a time.
My gut says:
a single beefburger
or drinking water for the rest of your life?
You choose.
My spleen says:
beyond the wallpaper ads that clutter our minds
it really is that simple.
You choose.
My heart says:
beyond the ‘O’ blood-type excuses for still pursuing
the warty slaughter rituals of a bygone aeon –
you choose.

And I don’t mean Coke or Pepsi.
I’m not talking Virgin Cola or Virgin Active.
Not banana shake or bubblegum.

I mean listen to what the whales are saying and choose.

Remember what your uncle monkey
hollered in your holy sinews and choose.

Softly press your leopard-pad paws into night-soaked soil
forget your paunches lift your haunches
to the lean heartbeat game of game views and choose.

Stoke the blazing mantra echoes through the wilderness of caves
recreate your mammal molecules and chew
the cud of full-cream free range choices
knowing that the cows will bless your mellow songs
and the blossoms and super food seeds
will fruitily toot their melodies
you’ll no longer be saucily screwed
by the millionaire marketing men but
making steamed fresh love with taste-budded fingertips

My tummy ache is a part of me.
It’s led me on a voyage to the magical styles
of the infra-red range of aisles
to intuitive desserts richer than chocolate-death sauce
to slow curry-concertos of local food and
global garden barley and oat cuisine
to Gorgonzola gratitude with every meal I’m given
spicily stirring love and Popeye spinach into every meal I share
and so creating with my cooking a rarified kind of air
coated by unseen painters and players.

Molweni! Sawubona! Bonsoir! Goeienaand! Greetings!
Tonight I welcome you to my table.
Let us drink to the health of the millionaire marketing men as we
welcome their companies’ imminent transformation
(or demise)
and then let us eat.

Simric Yarrow

Featured Poem:

Gathering Dust

Enlarge poem

A new exhibition is being curated
In the All-Africa Museum of World Culture
Where, subject to strict temperature controls
The complete set of Stonehenge uprights is on display
In another room, a signed Folio of the renowned shaman, Shakespeare
And some Grimes Graves ancient arrowheads
Please mind your fingers as you pass. Refreshments are available
Along with souvenir replicas of the Mona Lisa (a recent purchase
made at smiling gunpoint)
The original cast of The Marriage of Figaro
Stuffed and tastefully mounted
Right next to the section showing
Admirable bits of admirals’ rears
All contained, of course, within the European room. A room with
Medieval pedigree reaching back to the times of
True-Cross-Splinter collections and saints’ worship-worthy knucklebones

Beyond this faintly rotting gathering of gods so dead
That sacrilege is no longer deemed to apply
A woman waits, burning her journals, and weeping like her mother did
For her gene-generations tell stories from other caves
Whispered on days of blessing and mourning
Sung over moving dunes under starlit skies
In forgotten tongues that only scorpions hear
And single-filing children seeing scimitars
Feel the dust-walls fall and dream of feelings
Those Victorians failed to crush in drabness

And having felt the power-pulse they move on
Confident that heaven alone archives what is true
Here, perhaps, new cathedrals of the senses
Collected collective celebrations
Will rise in sandstone dreamblocks and shine for all.

simric yarrow

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Biography

Simric Yarrow is a performance poet, award-winning actor, musician and teacher based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Recent performances have included collaborations with musicians Jamie Jupiter and Chris Tokalon, and visual artists Claire Homewood and Mike van Rooyen, as well as featuring at Badilisha’s Fire Word Fridays and Poetry on Long. His first collection of poetry, Flying on the Lucid Fringe was published in 2009. He is also known for the poetic house he built with his wife Carey – a unique double-storey mud and straw affair proving that you can be eco-friendly in the suburbs.

Simric Yarrow

simric yarrow
simric yarrow

Biography

Simric Yarrow is a performance poet, award-winning actor, musician and teacher based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Recent performances have included collaborations with musicians Jamie Jupiter and Chris Tokalon, and visual artists Claire Homewood and Mike van Rooyen, as well as featuring at Badilisha’s Fire Word Fridays and Poetry on Long. His first collection of poetry, Flying on the Lucid Fringe was published in 2009. He is also known for the poetic house he built with his wife Carey – a unique double-storey mud and straw affair proving that you can be eco-friendly in the suburbs.

Meat or Greet

Enlarge poem

I’ve got tummy ache.
It started under fallen yellow arches
back when a large Coke was the real thing to do
and a sticky flesh slab in a bun was kinda fun
garnished with forced smiles and the gourmet tastes
of tik and ketchup brew
an inside sewage kind of stew

I’ve got tummy ache
E numbers flash before my eyes in
ecstatic effluent excess
effusively leading me to farty Smarties parties
these days even baboons on raids
prefer their yoghurt fat-free
But oh! The shame of Aspartame!
Just google it and see

I’ve got tummy ache
and as I soften ‘neath the gentle hymns of Kenny G
apathetic victim of supermarketed allergies
I wend my way through the miles
of sacred shopping aisles
a weekly wedding cavalcade
that covers more than it unveils
(meat crimes hide with elegance
behind the words we’ve loaned from French
but that’s another tale)

I’ve got tummy ache –
it’s bubbling over with stout-soaked stoats
and well-swilled wines
marinaded fish eggs in a vodka-coated slime
served on a bed of dollar bills
in a globulous gobbing tribute
to the overfishing trawlers of today
and the brave sailors of the past
who would not rest until the last
Mauritian dodo had been eradicated
and they could laugh off their scurvy stench
displaying all the scary teeth of the Great White Human
folk memories repeat in the throat
while I bite another leg of stoat

I’ve got tummy ache
growing groaning self-raising in my gut
too much affection for confectionery
insulating my skin with insulin
just another junk-food junkie
cos the sugar on the label
is no natural bee-buzz
but a snorting crystal rush
and the caffeine and tobacco
waging war against the calories
lifts me high above the cane fields
till my buzz-balloon bursts

I’ve got tummy ache
and it’s not the tinned chakalaka or the Boerie en sous
or the joy of soy or the polony with pesto
or the Allah cart halaal or the kosher whore d’oeuvres
or the screams of the lobsters
or the muffled shrieks of oysters
or the pizzas with enough garlic to subdue
the five thousand being fed
or the sobbing of the widows of the suicidal farmers
seed-bank slaves of the millionaire marketing men

It’s the fear of a dumb animal watching his species
drink-drive the boxed-in bloodied path to the abbatoir
and I don’t want to admit it stresses me out
in case they line me up like a Kommetjie beached whale
whose last meal was plastic bag in fishing line batter
and put me out of my misery with a caring gunshot
without asking me why
because they always know best

I’ve got tummy ache –
time to stop the caramelizing and start animalizing my mind
through my animal eyes
letting in pure-earth-blood-love in the
vibrant roots and shoots and leaves that fill my family feasts
so it pumps through my continents of praying-river-body-being
and though my head might throb with wallet-ache at the
conscious A to Zees, alpha to omega-3s,
my belly-ocean croons at the news
that I’m quitting all this food abuse
one day at a time.
My gut says:
a single beefburger
or drinking water for the rest of your life?
You choose.
My spleen says:
beyond the wallpaper ads that clutter our minds
it really is that simple.
You choose.
My heart says:
beyond the ‘O’ blood-type excuses for still pursuing
the warty slaughter rituals of a bygone aeon –
you choose.

And I don’t mean Coke or Pepsi.
I’m not talking Virgin Cola or Virgin Active.
Not banana shake or bubblegum.

I mean listen to what the whales are saying and choose.

Remember what your uncle monkey
hollered in your holy sinews and choose.

Softly press your leopard-pad paws into night-soaked soil
forget your paunches lift your haunches
to the lean heartbeat game of game views and choose.

Stoke the blazing mantra echoes through the wilderness of caves
recreate your mammal molecules and chew
the cud of full-cream free range choices
knowing that the cows will bless your mellow songs
and the blossoms and super food seeds
will fruitily toot their melodies
you’ll no longer be saucily screwed
by the millionaire marketing men but
making steamed fresh love with taste-budded fingertips

My tummy ache is a part of me.
It’s led me on a voyage to the magical styles
of the infra-red range of aisles
to intuitive desserts richer than chocolate-death sauce
to slow curry-concertos of local food and
global garden barley and oat cuisine
to Gorgonzola gratitude with every meal I’m given
spicily stirring love and Popeye spinach into every meal I share
and so creating with my cooking a rarified kind of air
coated by unseen painters and players.

Molweni! Sawubona! Bonsoir! Goeienaand! Greetings!
Tonight I welcome you to my table.
Let us drink to the health of the millionaire marketing men as we
welcome their companies’ imminent transformation
(or demise)
and then let us eat.

Featured Poem:

Gathering Dust

Enlarge poem

A new exhibition is being curated
In the All-Africa Museum of World Culture
Where, subject to strict temperature controls
The complete set of Stonehenge uprights is on display
In another room, a signed Folio of the renowned shaman, Shakespeare
And some Grimes Graves ancient arrowheads
Please mind your fingers as you pass. Refreshments are available
Along with souvenir replicas of the Mona Lisa (a recent purchase
made at smiling gunpoint)
The original cast of The Marriage of Figaro
Stuffed and tastefully mounted
Right next to the section showing
Admirable bits of admirals’ rears
All contained, of course, within the European room. A room with
Medieval pedigree reaching back to the times of
True-Cross-Splinter collections and saints’ worship-worthy knucklebones

Beyond this faintly rotting gathering of gods so dead
That sacrilege is no longer deemed to apply
A woman waits, burning her journals, and weeping like her mother did
For her gene-generations tell stories from other caves
Whispered on days of blessing and mourning
Sung over moving dunes under starlit skies
In forgotten tongues that only scorpions hear
And single-filing children seeing scimitars
Feel the dust-walls fall and dream of feelings
Those Victorians failed to crush in drabness

And having felt the power-pulse they move on
Confident that heaven alone archives what is true
Here, perhaps, new cathedrals of the senses
Collected collective celebrations
Will rise in sandstone dreamblocks and shine for all.

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)

Meat or Greet

Enlarge poem

I’ve got tummy ache.
It started under fallen yellow arches
back when a large Coke was the real thing to do
and a sticky flesh slab in a bun was kinda fun
garnished with forced smiles and the gourmet tastes
of tik and ketchup brew
an inside sewage kind of stew

I’ve got tummy ache
E numbers flash before my eyes in
ecstatic effluent excess
effusively leading me to farty Smarties parties
these days even baboons on raids
prefer their yoghurt fat-free
But oh! The shame of Aspartame!
Just google it and see

I’ve got tummy ache
and as I soften ‘neath the gentle hymns of Kenny G
apathetic victim of supermarketed allergies
I wend my way through the miles
of sacred shopping aisles
a weekly wedding cavalcade
that covers more than it unveils
(meat crimes hide with elegance
behind the words we’ve loaned from French
but that’s another tale)

I’ve got tummy ache –
it’s bubbling over with stout-soaked stoats
and well-swilled wines
marinaded fish eggs in a vodka-coated slime
served on a bed of dollar bills
in a globulous gobbing tribute
to the overfishing trawlers of today
and the brave sailors of the past
who would not rest until the last
Mauritian dodo had been eradicated
and they could laugh off their scurvy stench
displaying all the scary teeth of the Great White Human
folk memories repeat in the throat
while I bite another leg of stoat

I’ve got tummy ache
growing groaning self-raising in my gut
too much affection for confectionery
insulating my skin with insulin
just another junk-food junkie
cos the sugar on the label
is no natural bee-buzz
but a snorting crystal rush
and the caffeine and tobacco
waging war against the calories
lifts me high above the cane fields
till my buzz-balloon bursts

I’ve got tummy ache
and it’s not the tinned chakalaka or the Boerie en sous
or the joy of soy or the polony with pesto
or the Allah cart halaal or the kosher whore d’oeuvres
or the screams of the lobsters
or the muffled shrieks of oysters
or the pizzas with enough garlic to subdue
the five thousand being fed
or the sobbing of the widows of the suicidal farmers
seed-bank slaves of the millionaire marketing men

It’s the fear of a dumb animal watching his species
drink-drive the boxed-in bloodied path to the abbatoir
and I don’t want to admit it stresses me out
in case they line me up like a Kommetjie beached whale
whose last meal was plastic bag in fishing line batter
and put me out of my misery with a caring gunshot
without asking me why
because they always know best

I’ve got tummy ache –
time to stop the caramelizing and start animalizing my mind
through my animal eyes
letting in pure-earth-blood-love in the
vibrant roots and shoots and leaves that fill my family feasts
so it pumps through my continents of praying-river-body-being
and though my head might throb with wallet-ache at the
conscious A to Zees, alpha to omega-3s,
my belly-ocean croons at the news
that I’m quitting all this food abuse
one day at a time.
My gut says:
a single beefburger
or drinking water for the rest of your life?
You choose.
My spleen says:
beyond the wallpaper ads that clutter our minds
it really is that simple.
You choose.
My heart says:
beyond the ‘O’ blood-type excuses for still pursuing
the warty slaughter rituals of a bygone aeon –
you choose.

And I don’t mean Coke or Pepsi.
I’m not talking Virgin Cola or Virgin Active.
Not banana shake or bubblegum.

I mean listen to what the whales are saying and choose.

Remember what your uncle monkey
hollered in your holy sinews and choose.

Softly press your leopard-pad paws into night-soaked soil
forget your paunches lift your haunches
to the lean heartbeat game of game views and choose.

Stoke the blazing mantra echoes through the wilderness of caves
recreate your mammal molecules and chew
the cud of full-cream free range choices
knowing that the cows will bless your mellow songs
and the blossoms and super food seeds
will fruitily toot their melodies
you’ll no longer be saucily screwed
by the millionaire marketing men but
making steamed fresh love with taste-budded fingertips

My tummy ache is a part of me.
It’s led me on a voyage to the magical styles
of the infra-red range of aisles
to intuitive desserts richer than chocolate-death sauce
to slow curry-concertos of local food and
global garden barley and oat cuisine
to Gorgonzola gratitude with every meal I’m given
spicily stirring love and Popeye spinach into every meal I share
and so creating with my cooking a rarified kind of air
coated by unseen painters and players.

Molweni! Sawubona! Bonsoir! Goeienaand! Greetings!
Tonight I welcome you to my table.
Let us drink to the health of the millionaire marketing men as we
welcome their companies’ imminent transformation
(or demise)
and then let us eat.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.