August Up North

by Annette Snyckers

The wind, the dry one, the dusty one,
it blows all August long, whipping up
red clouds under a porcelain blue sky.
In the city it tosses plastic and paper
between tall buildings
and ambushes girls on street corners.

Behind garden walls tender blossoms shake
on wood which seemed forever dead.
And in the bare, burnt veld
between the shacks of the poor,
green shoots pierce the black.

How do they, how dare they,
when for all the pale dead days of winter
there has been no rain?

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Cape August

by Annette Snyckers

Lime green Oak leaves
shrill on gnarled, grey branches,
Spring shall be
my place of pilgrimage.
I shall bend the knee
and make of it an idol.

I shall walk each morning
below the mountain
and watch new buds
unfurling, fuzzy,
sap rising relentlessly.