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I will come apart in little pieces for you.
I will lie strewn among your books and papers and precious things.
I will lie with my eyes closed and my heart panting until you sit back and open your chest - break open your bones and your flesh and let me wrap myself inside you and mend that thing in you that aches.
Recent posts

Saturday, raining

I've been sitting here, wrapped in a blanket, sans coffee, for 20 minutes trying to get a photo of the sweet little bird that has been visiting at my window all week. He spotted the sun damage and is stealing the rest the blind thread by thread.


The silver bracelet broke 
and was lost in the sheets.
My heart followed.


Therapist: Have you ever stolen anything?
Man: A coin from a fountain.
Therapist: So... you stole someone's dream.
Man: It's my dream now.


A pigeon came into the kitchen to eat the dogs food.
It followed the light to the window instead of the door. It settled on the tap and from there threw itself against the window pane over and over again as if effort would change the outcome.

The dogs jumped at the cupboards and the boys, trying to help, found a bucket; unsure what to do with it.

When I took hold of the bird its wings were open and it resisted slightly as I folded them against its body. The flight feathers were hard in my palms and I felt its bird-bones, warm and white; the way I see them lie half-eaten on the lawn sometimes.

As my fingers closed over its breast, its heart beating higher up than I expected, it moulted.

Each short soft grey feather on its underbelly peeled out of its sheath, through my fingers and fell, still in rows and shields, into the sink.

We stood there, the bird, the boys, the dogs, and I until its heart had calmed.

Then we walked outside and it sat in my hand for a few seconds before it flew off.


Near heaven

You and I have lived running our hands along the veil,

comforted that no love is lost forever beyond our words.
Confident that it is not heaven that assigns us the past tense.

Miss Fitzpaine, by heart

Miss Fitzpaine brought her 5-year-old self to breakfast, newspaper under her arm in lieu of a dolly. She wore a little grin as she made her way past the gentlemen’s table. Oom Eric had positioned himself mid-aisle, knees bent and back precariously locked while he unpacked his pantry of jams, salt and sugar from the small basket attached to his walker. As Miss Fitzpaine passed him she stopped, drew back her newspaper and, with a perfectly coached tennis forehand, landed a shot on his rump.  'Spank you on the bottom,' she shrieked and muddled away as fast as her 82-year-old body would allow.The old men took their turns at her game every morning. Each of them had their limit of patience, depending on their being a gentleman or proximity to dementia.

I was introduced to Miss Fitzpaine for the first time at Sunday lunch; the only meal of the week that inspired residents into their shone shoes.  Chef had to make considerable extra effort turning mutton into lamb and frozen into fresh,…

Go away, moon

Go away, moon. 
There are no lovers here.

nagvissie 19 July 2011


'How much of human life is lost in waiting.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Broken Pane

The relief when the shattering is over.
Walking over the splinters and shards of the broken pane,
grinding, with small echoes, the initial shock underfoot.
All so easily referred to in the past tense from this position.

The Point

I am freedom fighter writer inquirer
I am granddaughter lover mother
I am cynic skeptic comforter
I am menial labourer and mogul

I am my only advocate and defence

I am muse sometime friend confidant
I live uncomfortably on the learning curve
I hold forth that solitude is a position of strength
Perhaps someday I will claim to belong

The edges of self-made pedestals cut and crumble

Who are you, at the point of a knife?


my hearts out on the curdled sea
my souls up on the ledge
my cheeks against the sharpest edge
what are you, my love, to me?

The Man on the Bench

'Your subtlety is overwhelming,' he said.
She wasn't sure whether this was a compliment or not.
She sat next to him for some time, until her mind came round to his.
She decided she would see him again.

Easy Life

While I was taking these photographs two Mozambican men stopped to ask why I was 'photographing trash'. In their country one could always find something beautiful to photograph they said. 
Later, when I got to the tidal pool they were there collecting the red starfish. I asked what they were going to do with them. 
'We dry them and make decorations for rich white people to put in their homes.'

The Tea Tin

Final instructions:
Please, for heaven’s sake, check that the Tea Tin actually has my ashes in it before throwing it over the rail. It would be a pity if the lid should open and shower Lipton’s tea bags all over the Orange River. Also, perhaps see that someone has thought to take my ashes out of the little plastic bag they’re supplied in by the crematorium. Picturing, in slow motion, the Tea Tin lid opening mid-air and the sandwich bag sliding out, little white tie-tag and all, like a bag of chicken giblets, only to plop into the water and sink to the bottom, intact for all eternity. I may as well have opted for a coffin.

Perhaps it would be best just to wedge the lid down tight and choose someone with a strong arm to turf the Tea Tin over the edge to avoid any undesirable mishaps should there be a hit and miss of the rail, or the rocks, or the river itself. We wouldn’t want those who actually do turn up to see me off ending up with grit in their teeth and ash in their eye.

I’ve been thi…


There will be nothing
- not even silence -
to mark the turning
of this page.

Slow Fires

Burn the old self from my bones
and build me anew
of ash and tears,
of passion and wind
in the slow fire of your voice.

(Prompted by The Layers - Stanley Kunitz)