Autobiography of a Poet: Three Poems by Abigail George

Image: Eboni via Flickr
Image: Eboni via Flickr
Image: Eboni via Flickr


Fabulous ochre –
Every poem has a spade.
Prehistoric flash.

Smile agony –
Mirror. Touch. Vertebrae.
Permanent body.

In the playing field –
A throat, a song, a future.
Bathing in the tension.

Balancing hours –
Misty past. Heart out of date.
A swarm’s exposure.

Reflections faithful –
Time. Place. What a heart is.
Antique systems go.

The poet is a shell –
The end is like a small church.
Tasting like clean straw.

Separation veiled –
Silence is a lovely place.
Flesh wax-like and wired.

Nursing dancing shrouds –
Skinny grass cool to the touch.
Depth not a bad place.

Words like tigers. Rain –
Shadows invasion heavy.
Air. Sunshine. Accident.

The work of grownups –
Lines pressuring instant heat.
Fools. Cowards. Strangers.

Society’s bride –
‘Milk’ a representative.
Suburbia vague.


My cousin has two
Small children, girls,
Daughters. Golden
Breakthroughs. Miracles
Every one. While I
Have none. Only the
Distillate of winter’s
Unquiet. Winter’s branches
Of reckoning. Winters
Storms. Like new bees
In the universe. The
Arrival of the half-sea
Half-river. I am lovesick.
Lovesick for a child.
For children of my own.
Tangled in the story
And art of it. Of life.
Dancing away and into
The arms, the passage
And the mother tongue
Of infertility’s ghost.



In my winter’s night of dreams
And visions you’re there. I
Find myself in the interiors
Of a museum. With love here are dahlias in my hands.
Do you accept it or refuse it?
When daylight falls lonely
I find a lost ghost of a soul.
All these years I have lived
A secret life and inside the painted
Blue you will find the hidden.
The electric. The mountain and the field’s spark.
There was some sadness behind

Her smile, her eyes. The speed
Of darkness too. I know you.
I wanted to tell her. I’ve been
Where you are. My mother, my father’s wife.
When love speaks it brings with
It our dreams. Pure and healthy as water.
To us it speaks about Paris.
When love speaks to me there’s a story
Behind the poem. The poetry experiment.
It speaks to me about the emptiness
And grief before it speaks to me about
a portrait of a child or the sun.

Older. Further. Beyond. The discovery
Of it a thousand times in a day.
Bodies and limbs made out of
Sunlight. This woman’s work saves autumn.
The ethereal of the monster abundance
Of that season’s change in the air.
The harshness. The struggle-ish.
The gratitude of the narrator.
Here comes the remainder of the
Blemished sun craving Noah’s ark and his animals.
More, more. The quiet sea says to
The coast. I want more of you.

Poems: © Abigail George
Image: Eboni via Flickr

About the author

Abigail George

Abigail George’s fiction was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She briefly studied film at Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council, Johannesburg, Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and ECPACC (Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council) in East London. She has been widely published from Australia, to Finland to Nigeria, and New Delhi, India to Istanbul, Turkey and Wales.
Her blog African Renaissance can be found online in Modern Diplomacy under Topics.
She contributed for a year to a symposium on Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine. She is a poet, fiction writer, feminist thinker, essayist, and a blogger at Goodreads.

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