My Mother’s Kitchen
By Jacqueline Leach Dove
My mother’s kitchen has an ant farm
And confusing tins with tea.
A territorial cockatoo who struts about,
Causing unsuspecting toes alarm.
My mother’s kitchen is eclectic
More artist’s liar then cooks abode.
The pots upon the stove quite hectic,
Declaring with gusto their mother load.
My mother’s kitchen is at times
Heavy with unspoken words
As duty wrestles with desire
Amongst the whey and curds.
My mother’s kitchen is the place,
Visitors first spy when they arrive.
Flowers, art, bead work embrace
All with eyes to absorb it’s grace. Or
(those whose eyes have artistic taste)
Hark, who is this whose skipping in,
Joanna clasping fresh-picked flowers
The daughter of the next-of-kin,
She who is destined for her own kitchen?
City of heat, and dust and rats
By what means do you beguile me?
Perhaps it’s gazing up at bats,
floating upon water feeling free.
Or perhaps despite your many drat’s
It’s simply where I’m meant to be.
Summoned here by God above
To learn more truly how to love.
One Single Impression: Slowly
I emerge Beneath the weight of heat.
Is hope still out there?
Love and faith….
On these I do await.
Monday’s Poetry Sketch – diminishing rhyme
I write this poem as Jacqueline
with a mind that’s sharply aquiline,
my thoughts soar high and then align
transposed on paper line by line
using of my brain each atom and ion.
Others ideas I must not pirate!
for it would make them rather irate.
Battling instead with feeling second rate
till seeing through the eyes of one whose eight.
The prompt at the Monday Poetry Stretch for this week at Miss Rumphius is to write a “love poem you write cannot include any terms of endearment or words of adoration”. Here goes.
“Look, Mama, look!”
“That’s lovely” I say
peering up from a book
for the gazillionth time today.
Why do I find this so hard?
Is my heart made of lard?
Why do I even still bother?
It’s because I’m their mother!
MuM i luvy i lik uoow i wil hug yoow.
The challenge this week at Poetry sketch, was to write in macaronic verse, a form which includes two or more languages.
I enjoyed doing this but I’m not sure it will make sense to anyone else. It includes two languages from South Africa, Zulu and Afrikaans, and the official language of Mozambique where I live, which is Portuguese. My English spelling is atrocious (I’m completely dependent on spell check, so I apologise up front for any misspelling of the other languages.)
VAMOS EMBORA PARA PRAIA
(Let’s hit the beach)
Hey man, let’s make like the swallows
who’ve vai-ed north for the spring,
and vamos embora para praia – Zalala!
Alas the Referba mense have hamba –ed off
So there’s no chance of a lekker prawn braai.
But it’s so hot the fish are jumping out the water
(Lakip enhlange amanzini)
and there’s no better place to go shoot the breeze.
We’ll take popcorn as padkos as we swerve potholes,
checking out the coconut machambas and spectral water buffalo.
Rapido, rapido, let’s go, let’s go, vamos embora para praia.
There used to be a group of people living here in Quelimane who gathered for sun downers every Friday evening at the Referba. Because we were all working in difficult situations and Quelimane is thin on light relief we would celebrate with gusto all birthdays. A ‘committee’ would even be formed to plan artwork and possible theatrical productions. Often these celebrations would take place at Zalala Beach, a 45 very bumpy drive from here, where the sea is brown. The Referba mense (people in Afrikaans) have long gone, but we are going to Zalala this weekend for the first time since October last year, and I will be remembering….
It’s so hot the fish are jumping out of the water is a Zulu saying.
It’s Twilight Time in Quelimane
“The best of times, the worst of times?” perhaps,
The fierce sun, it’s anger spent, has gone to the other side
Crepuscular bats, killer mosquitoes and those ubiquitous rats abound.
Disabled beggars, neglected street dogs and rotting garbage –
retreat from sight if not from mind. The as yet ethereal moon
whispers promises of dancing in the moonlight, feeling free.
But the screen swing door bangs loudly shut against disease
as duty beckons, it’s the graveyard shift of getting children
safely off to dreamland.
It’s twilight time for us in Quelimane? – perhaps
In limbo between the known and what’s next
I wander what about it I will miss.
The bat laden coconut palms a certainty, rats scurrying across the stage
behind the sermon giver, a maybe . But most of all
the absence of those I’ve met. The fun, fun times
of not so long ago and learning to find the treasure hid within
the earthen vessels that we humans are.
Here goes my attempt at a sijo, as explained at The Miss Rumphius Effect
A family of four crowded together on one big bed – with cat
It’s early in the morning, yet the sun is up – full blast
Excited voices, crumpled sheets – two children doing schoolwork.
This morning, at about 6.00am, Benjamin was his normal “yeah it’s a new day” self, sitting at the end of our bed. When he suddenly declared, “I feel like doing some work!” Without waiting for a response he went to fetch his maths workbook and bemused us no end sitting on his haunches painstakingly but enthusiastically reading “circle the right answer…”. Of course Joanna followed suit when she awoke. Probably never happen again. Though we often stay bed-bound as long as possible while I read them books.
Awake at 6 – hot
I am evaporating
what mark will I leave?
MY SIX YEAR OLD
Looking like a ghost
malaria in her blood
she is solid joy.
The prompt last week at One Single Impression was movement. But as broadband was not allowing much movement last week I’m doing it now.
From bed to green pool
From hellish to heavenly
let’s go round and round