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Dambudzo Marechera: Experimental Haiku by Abigail George

Image: remixed

(Experimental love poem in twelve-haiku)

A necessary kindness –
the dull flame of desire
when rapture ruled (it was a Saturday night)

Shapes of nude leaves –
the only way that you could-fly (let go of Africa)
you are in my world-life

You took her-breath away –
your lover had a starling-mouth and
she was made of pale fire.

When the world was better –
she-was-more than a woman to you
transforming imagination.

The eternal la-la-London-song –
it is a-dark-bitter chocolate night
haunting winter London-earth

your European-lover (that you showed off) –
your honey listens to the-stars-balancing-act.
she was good to you.

Cold whispers of snow –
you fed the-aristocracy the bastille (the university a cathedral)
(and) river teeth of your soul.

You were the drummer –
the slate is missing on which-you-wrote-your-love-story
she did the vocals.

Avalanche in your soul –
all those years of making-love-for-fun, cruising
comrade anguish (Starboy).

A riot gang inside your head –
now people sing. People laugh (as if you were never alive)
cemetery on-your-mind.

The fire in your eyes –
your mother was thick with young
your death a crime.

(life and flesh) emergency dripping-red –
a-broken-man but also defiant (in your campaign).
(the) serenaded nocturnal sigh.


(A series of twelve haiku)

Bleak companions.
(little) (angel) you’re with home-coming her.
Decaying beings.

Full throated horses.
The ploughman’s evening-sky has fallen.
Cold stars in heaven.

As slow as baked bread.
Lonely crestfallen birds bloomed-out-of-nothing.
The tears that I’ve cried.

Those wise monsters.
Slow tongues of honey’s northern skies-of-flame-and-snow.
Wake in hollow tree.

Calm. Selfless. Composed.
Through starving grass and tree falls-the-night.
Chirping birds. Warm earth.

Reminds me of you.
Sunless nation ending in-mighty-once-there-was-beauty-here-winter.
Bleak companions.

Sunburnt empty house.
Teams-of-horses and men designed by God.
A wind. Dust leaps up.

Autumn’s roof shall pass.
Nothing belongs to burning-you in-any-way.
And snaps up the air.

Faded twirling leaf.
The beauty of the night branch-to-branch.
Abandoned to flirt-with-the-wind.

This compared to love.
The wide-eyed-dying-fearful vision of a hunt.
A scentless rosebud.

Mouth. A smile. A frown.
As white and numbing as melting snow’s-glorious-wreck-of-cloudlet.
Wedding of grass against-life.

Sparse lissom river.
Each move like a woman’s column-of-vertebrae.
Vows of the river.


(Experimental poem in twelve haiku)

Moonlight on his skin –
cocoon found-in tranquillity (a map)
stars a-guide in his eyes

Wretched blindfolded –
decay and sin found in night
off the savage coast

Dutch moonlight on his skin –
(he is) a man who writes poetry (while)
our souls clothed in sleep

(these) Dignified records –
you’re my-editor and inheritance (of Kadesh and cedars of Lebanon)
of Dutch ghosts

That strange summer land –
(and as you move) towards immortality
get-a-car ride on the wind

When years flow like the-days –
the sun and days compensates (for the lack of you)
when fears flow like the-river

I-worship all of you (poet-man) –
you became a better man (smiling, praying, recovering on the highway)
(this) image of tigers.

Tucked away from (frozen) sight–
the day you cease to exist.
Birth and death’s fingers (will be)

sealed up tight heavy –
you were my cure. My window (into the outside world)
where is the river (where lovers walk hand-in-hand)

Shadow on the sun –
(you’re) my brain’s compass. (look!) My chipped (front) tooth.
I’m far from perfect.

Show me how to live –
Dutch champagne supernova (wearing your clothes and shroud)
winter underneath (mortars)

I cannot ignite you (for the life of me) –
you navigated and uplifted-me (I ask you to light my way)
with your stone-voice Saviour.


(Experimental poem in twelve haiku)

Love and let love –
this image of a grace full heart
never loved before

Sacrificial tigers –
until the morning comes
don’t pass it up

give me your sweet soul –
scarlet flesh-red multiplying (and)
we give peace a chance

Sounds like October –
freakish and subliminal (images of a)
dragon bonfire

morning rising in-Boston –
of the futures of falling-snow
nosedives into hell-fire

lungs filled with smoke –
I hope this reaches you wherever-you-are
like some power switch.

When I look at you –
putting-on-the water for strong coffee (give me all the details)
on this holy day.

Liked. Loved. feasts of spring –
we sit through the silence of-prayer (I ask you to)
please never leave me.

(Locked) into solo mode –
spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter
monk to hell and back.

Like Boston-Plath and Sexton –
I want to move with-a-man like you.
Please-see-the glitter machine

to-kill the fickle pain –
the mirror takes a look at-his-face.
I’ve idolised you.

Boston-youth personified –
here it comes. Angel healing (with their)
horses of passion.


Poems © Abigail George
Image: remixed

Abigail George
Abigail George
South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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