Long Tom

by Angela Prew

Long, certainly, six feet five he tells me,
with feet to match: thirteens,
do they make thirteens?
The chunky teen has stretched
into the slim man, returning
home to us each evening
sharing tales of sad derangement,
of people driven manic
living like rats in their handmade shacks.

His spirit of adventure drives him
round this unfamiliar peninsula
climbing Table Mountain, riding
trains to distant corners, unfazed
by stories of assaults,
of attacks for cellphones.
Of murder and mayhem.
Yet underneath his pillow, as I change
his sheets for laundry, I find
a much hugged teddy bear.

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The Trunk

by Angela Prew

The trunk had lain, unopened,
for sixty years or more.
Wondering what it held, I searched
and found the key,
creaked it open, peered inside;
books were there, long out of date.
Matric history teaching of a land
that never was, facts altered by ambitious men,
telling of white conquests in black Africa;
propaganda for the young.
Novels fell out, carefully packed,
favourites of teenage years.
Shoes, once fashionable, acme
of my sixth form taste, lay at my feet.
Dresses, good material, I could
use to sew new clothes;
a blazer, worn with pride, the legend
still shining on the pocket: Junior Hockey Team.
I held it up against me, eyes unfocussed, remembering.
‘Gran,’ the girl beside me cried,
‘It fits me, may I have it please?
On Saturday, I’ll wear it to the dance.’
Delighted, she ran to show it to her friends.

Bushbaby

by Pam Newham

It’s his first visit.
Mocha-soft skin and tangled curls,
this miniature Mowgli who,
with the wisdom of two,
sees no need for clothes.
Feral child.
He disrupts ant-streams
and challenges fat geckos.
“Yook, I a yion,” he roars.
But when the warhogs
move towards the house,
his calamata eyes grow wide.
I scoop him up and he holds on tight.

Waldorf

by Lise Day

Waldorf 1

First she finds two straight sticks
not too thin nor too thick
sands and smoothes each one
chooses the yarn freshly spun
‘In through the front door
running round the back
peep through the window
and off jumps Jack’
Class five tasked to teach class one
so teenage boys must forgo
their macho images just so
stitch by stitch bit by bit
my granddaughter learns to knit.

Waldorf 2

Even now I am old and wear purple
shocking pink varnish on my toes
don penguin patterned socks
and my luminous lime green crocs
wear a battered hat with roses
love to dance to golden oldies
I cannot get an eyebrow raised
Waldorfians are quite unfazed
considered eccentricity is the norm
to be different is to run true to form
the only way I can make my name
is to let my grandchild play a computer game.

Waldorf 3

In this season of festivity
we present the age-old nativity
my daughter longed to be Mary
or a pretty angel at least.
My son fancied the role of leopard
till he discovered it was shepherd.
My granddaughter on the other hand
desires a role far less grand
she wants to be the donkey mild
who carries Mary and the unborn child.

Waldorf

by Lise Day

Homespun

First she finds two straight sticks
not too thin nor too thick
sands and smoothes each one
chooses the yarn freshly spun
‘In through the front door
running round the back
peep through the window
and off jumps Jack’
Class five tasked to teach class one
so teenage boys must forgo
their macho images just so
stitch by stitch bit by bit
she triumphantly learns to knit.

Waldorf 2

Even now I am old and wear purple
shocking pink varnish on my toes
don penguin patterned socks
and my luminous lime green crocs
wear a battered hat with roses
love to dance to golden oldies
I cannot get an eyebrow raised
Waldorfians are quite unfazed
considered eccentricity is the norm
to be different is to run true to form
the only way I can make my name
is to let my grandchild play a computer game.