Night and Day: Poems by Abigail George

Image: Pixabay.com
Image: Pixabay.com

(For my mother and my father)

There is love here. A kind
Of resurrecting. A life instinct
Drowning in the gaseous life
Experience of the mother tongue,
Lungs, and hands of the stars.
The bluesy ‘contribution’ of
The song of a woman. The red
Pulsing action of the gills of a
Fish. The climbing-leaping hands of
A man gesticulating through
The air. You’re the birth and
Death and great life of me.
Night and day. Dark night and
Daylight. When the dark passes
Over me and daylight comes I
Think of the person I could have
Been. My rightful inheritance.
The sun, theories of the moon.
And when the sun kisses my
Forehead, my shadow, my shoulders,
The nape of the neck it heals
And strengthens me. I am again reminded of the
Tongue of a fish, the eyes of

A bird, (an eagle), the hands of a
Man and the bluesy song of a
Woman. Daylight and dark night.
Dark night and daylight. Even roses
Have a spirit that dances
Within them. The flame inside
My heart for you is made
Of natural collateral. Down to earth
Painters are masters in their
Own way. I am through with drunkenness
And cowardly behaviour.
Once you could do it for me.
I was just kissing the sweet dream of you.
The earth is suddener. Green and spiteful.
Snowed under by roses.
The worship of bombs and in
Pink praise of theology.
Ingredients of the amazing.
You don’t do, you don’t do
It for me anymore. I am through
Kissing the dream of you.
Kissing the epic-epic-epic
Sweetness of a media legend.


(For my mother and my father)

I am afraid of men.
Men who do not love me. Men who
Do not consider me
Beautiful in my own
Way. Men who do
Not consider me an
Artist. I am afraid of women.
Women who do not
Love me. Women who
Do not consider me
Beautiful in my own
Way. Women who do
Not consider me to be
An artist. So it is with quiet
Courage that I write
These words. I write these
Words for all women
Who are artists. I write
Them too for the end
Of regret. I write these
Words in memory of
My first love. This is
The autobiography of a poet.
The autobiography of bipolar.


(For my mother and father)

I didn’t feel the cold
Even when winter was
Supreme. I didn’t feel
The cold. Instead I imagined that winter was
The summertime. Acres of
Bold sweating weather.
Those were the days when
You wore suits to the office.
A dark navy blazer the first time I saw you
Again. Listen to me. I am
Digging to find you again
In memory. City people wear leather jackets
At the weekend but in my
Heartland men mowed the lawn at the weekend.
Women sunbathed on the
Lawn in white bikinis with thin
Spaghetti straps just like a star
(Marilyn Monroe). Children
Rode their bikes in the neighbourhood.
Swum in paddling pools.
Men drank more at the weekend.
Women smoked menthol

Cigarettes. Boys emulated
Their fathers. Girls inherited
Their mother’s tired sadness
And beauty. They looked up
To their fathers. Knowing
Innately that they would marry a man like him
One day. Their mother’s
Hair would smell of perfume.
Boys watch their mothers
Smoke and sunbathe. Their shoulders getting
Brown in the afternoon sun.
They watched their father
Make their mother a fruity little
Cocktail drink. I am digging
To find you in therapy now
Mikal. Grasping at every little
Thing. Grasping at nothing.
Remembering the first love
Of my life. Remembering Johannesburg.


(For my mother and father)

He fell asleep at his desk.
I think to myself that he
Just nodded off. He just
Fell asleep but a ghostly night
Of tomorrow discovered
There’s a supernatural
Surface found underground.
Beneath the chilled earth
After a burial. People gather
Around saying nothing of
Their own grief and loss.
Instead they eat potato salad until they are sated.
Nibble at noodles. Drink tea.
The roots mark the eternity
Of a sleeping tree in the
Cemetery. Everyone walks
Around with serious and
Grave faces. The sunlight-glow
And all of these natural wonders.
All of these natural things.
I walk and walk in circles
Talking to myself in my head.
What evidence is this?

My father fell asleep at his desk.
My father passed away in his
Sleep. My father died in an accident.
My father is alive and well.
My father is growing weaker
In a hospital home. I thought
Soon we would have to make
Preparations for his funeral. I
Thought he wasn’t going to come home.



(For Mikal)

Your laughter exploded
On the telephone. I just
Wanted to say how sorry
I was to say what I did.
Bombs danced inside my
Head. Behind my eyes. Went off
In my soul. Made fireworks
In my chest. I didn’t know
Then what I know now.
That there was room to grow
Infinitely. Now nearing
Middle-age I don’t test myself
Like that anymore. I’ve
Given up on men and women
And having a small tribe
Of children. On having love and relationships.
I’ve given up on improving

Myself. Calling that
Progress or maturation. Once your
Voice was thunder and your
Touch lightning but I’ve
Given up the ghost of
Your personality. I have
Gone the distance for you.
I am rain now breaking over pillows of grass
And winter pavement.
The plural of wisdom
To me now is to keep
On moving. To live under a sky so blue with
Gladness. I am falling like
The sun’s birth day. I am
Alive. I am falling. I am mistress. I am master.
My truth is spirit divine.


Poems (c) Abigail George
Image: Pixabay.com

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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