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Sea Creatures: Poems by Abigail George

sea creatures

Sea Creatures
(A poem in experimental haiku)

Milk is a vision –
Barefoot sewed to the shoreline.
Gulls are sweet as dew.

Driftwood plucked from air.
You are a lifetime ago.
Ghost story – sea.

Mapping stems – flora
What resides there is a glove.
Echoes. Avocados.

The science of winter –
Champagne’s protein flourishes.
Even pigs eat fruit.

The mouth is too smart –
The warmth of the soloist.
Leaves fall to the ground.

Precious childhood games –
Bleak winter groans. Holding hands.
Small sea creature. Ghost.

Kind of royalty –
My dad is a piano.
Pomegranate seed.

Doors open. Frozen –
The sun breathes like a furnace.
Pumping in and out.

Too pretty. Too thin –
Forests are educated.
Yes, significant.

Elixir of life –
The posed fruit of living cells.
Prose. Food for thought.

Young lover’s suicide –
Romeo where art thou hatched?
She has sprung the ark.

Elijah said so –
Because Elijah said so.
Novels remind us.


Ruined Geraniums

Chasing wild sheep and ambulances
An insomniac’s trick
I have discovered an empire
The empire of the introspective
I am a superwoman and actor
Dramatic and always being
Brought to life by it
Provocative and enchanting
Exotic and intimidating
How to stay calm under pressure
A wolfish din far away in my head.


The Rural Countryside

The rural countryside
Has its own welcoming committee.
It has its own encyclopedia.
It has its own dictionary.
Every year I throw a parade
In my honor. Why not?
Why is family always hurting family?
Describing matters in the system.

Do they not have anything better to do?
Like make love, instead of war.
Stories about family life
Will mature you in old fashioned ways.
Sickness depends on culture.
Maturity depends on your mother.
Great poems are meant for the dark.
For night swimmers. For viewpoints.

The rape of the lock is found there.
At the end of the world.
The halo of the laughing carcass.
Ghost stories and erosion.
Birthday girls and photographs.
The dodo bird and the rhino’s horn.
Excuse my blood, my church hat.
While I visit the museum.

Fragments of summer
Ravenous village of stone –
Sadness is wasted in youth
A wilderness history of it
We are on a path walking
To meet each other on a road –
A road filled with studies
I have a wounded body

So we meet in a rural forest
Or on that sunny road –
You have a wounded body
I was scared of that vision
In all of its sacred glory
We are lovers of the Arctic Circle
If it still exists. We were family
Once. Daughters and sons.
Before we were poetry.


For Mum

Pale feminist you.
Bliss in a vintage dress.
Under a potbellied sky.
With your rouge pots.
Your lipsticks that taste like cream.
Your comaed flowers.
They plant their halos.
You dig them up.
You plant them somewhere else.
Somewhere where there is sun.

She knows the world.
She knows it in the Biblical way.
English is not her first language.
She has two daughters.
Her son is the baby of the family.
The avocado tree is flowering.
It is being brought to life.
Resurrected somehow.
The pomegranate does not.
Something is in the way.

Nature’s bride.
With climate change comes an elegant mess.
Mum is nature’s bride.
Her hair is a halo. Tungsten.
I worship this angel.
All her trilogies. Her choir.
With her sibling rivalry.
She carried me in her womb for months.
She was there when I realised my dream.
My dream of becoming a writer.

She raised me lopsidedly.
I have forgiven her for that.
With a little bitter, a little sweet.
I admire people who live in the wilderness.
There is squalor out there. Cacti.
I worship the hills in her eyes.
The valley that covers her physically.
She experienced loss early in her life.
We never talk about it.
Our family is like that.


Bough Down
(A poem in experimental haiku)

Aloes from Bethelsdorp –
The green world’s-majority is not my home.
Only Goethe’s throne.

Mum’s June wedding lace.
Dad’s glove was lost at the church.
His Mrs. Dalloway.

There were her roses.
Granadilla hands in earth.
Ice lungs frozen. Night.

Dolls in childhood – dead
Things. Once attached to slippers.
Church. Girlhood friendships.

Origins of wives –
Daughters, girls. A dramatic gulf.
Ruined geraniums. Roasts.


On Illness in Southern Africa
(A poem in experimental haiku)

Cracks. Healthy fiction –
Pomegranates. Troubled life.
Bleeding fruit. Cement.

Diary of Salt Lake –
Passage into Bethelsdorp.
Myths of beloveds.

Roses. Stars. They hover –
Suffering has a numbed womb.
Cross the seas threshold.

Honed crystalline grief –
Life in the Northern Areas
Quotes luminous cores.

Houses should have dogs –
Walk, dig holes or cha-cha with them.
You’ll relive childhood.


(A poem in experimental haiku)

Mouth of frost. Berries –.
His shoes do not smile at me.
Odes. Autumn a gift.

Keats did not grow old –
Reach the autumn of his years
Honeyed-cells think of dust.

Keats had a-bees swagger.
Hands. It stings. The-death in Italy.
Romanticism a-porcelain-cup.

Plush lunch of blood.
His surgical instruments –
The lamb in autumn.

Moons under weather.
Sun – terrible mannequin.
Autumn has arrived.

Love has a dumb skull –
To touch it will mean a death.
Trees leaves are like flames.

Black dirt under sky –
Keats. A grandiose weapon.
Gaps. Mockery blooms.

The lip of limbs melt –
Killing the wires of a world.
Paradise’s fever.

Rain scorches his boots.
Night is a shock absorber –
Cold to the touch. Food.

How I envy him.
Autumn is a stuck record –
Its roots immortal.

His words – red blooms. Salt.
I want this god’s mother tongue –
Taste conversation.

All poetry © Abigail George
IMAGE: Tamsin Slater

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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