Vertigo: Poems by Abigail George

Image: Pixabay.com
Image: Pixabay.com


I’m glad I never gave up
      On my mother. Even though
      There were times that I
      Came close. There were

      Days when I wondered how I
      Was going to get through
      The night. How I was going
To survive another day as a nomad.

Dreams are made up of stardust,
      The origins of heat and dust.
      Smoke and mirrors. Summer’s
      Strange shadow is a memoir of
Yesterday, and yesterday is an open-space where wildflowers grow.
      There are cracks in the threshold of America.

      Please step carefully or
      You’ll lose your heart.
      There are signs that Africa is maturing.
      Nourishing the souls of

Her people again. There are signs
      That Africa wants to be the
      Caretaker of the world again.
      Media has become a thinking
      Translation. Africa says that
      She wants to free her people.
      Every child is envied and loved for their innocence,

Tenderness, vertigo, how they forget
      The maelstrom of life. Their occupation of washing
      Their sins away bath-time or in a swimming pool.

I think back to high school with nostalgia.
      How I tattooed my palms with ink.
      How I wrote love letters to a boy
      In whose world, I did not exist. (Would never exist).
      I think of all my English teachers.
Africa, Dhana, Smith, all male, all male.
How everyone of them planted this, this
Small, magical seed within me, to write.



It started to rain and I
      wondered where you
where, Atom.
      Every sickness has a
      Naked language. A
      When you come into
      this world, you’re not
prepared for anything.
      You’re not prepared
      For life, for living, for
      spirituality, for a church
      Gradually you gather these
      to you, towards you. You
      accumulate them like buried
treasure or something like that.

      A tear falls off this
cheek. That’s the mystery
      of life. In this dream, I am standing
      With Atom in a rain-forest
      Surrounded by space, matter,
      Beast, animal, nature, and
      Here the supernatural speaks
      To me through (man), and
      Woman and doomed child.
      That intrinsic struggle of life.
      My brother, my father, my mother,
      Our animals, our pets. Our
      Dogs, Atom’s kitten and the
World speaks to me of love,
Tenderness and vertigo and
I’m falling, falling, falling
           With open arms through

The blood-knot.
The opinion poll.
The years of darkness
That I thought would
Always be there, gone



This is a love letter to a bone
woman. I’ve known betrayal.
The betrayal of a man. The betrayal of a
woman. Betrayal close to home.
Betrayal from far away. Betrayal
and words come to me “lost in
translation”. As wet as leaves
after a storm. After the gathering
of rain clouds. I knew betrayal
marking its position in mythic phases.
Deep and mysterious as an
           upturned glass of red wine on carpet.
I knew of betrayal the same

way I knew the self-conscious chambers of a broken heart. Glory
in past times of the overcoming
of pain and suffering. Emptiness
and helplessness. Hopelessness and tears. I knew
betrayal in the flesh. The same
way I knew of religious gatherings
growing up. Its peaks and troughs.
The breakthrough rhythms of stars, night, sunlight that left me feeling
wretched. The same way I knew Christianity,
I knew of the disturbance of betrayal.
And so, betrayal became my wild
Saturday, the experience of floodgate,
story, kite, occupation and to escape
from the hurt I began to write to both
           the bone man and the wrist and elbow woman who had
betrayed me in the first place.



I forgive Ambronese (for the hurtful things that were said)
      And I forgive Rooka.
The love they never
      gave me. I went through years of darkness.
      Deep suicidal depression.
Masked by illness and disability.
      There’s a world out there
      Filled with dreamers. For
      Every dreamer there’s a sinner.
      For every sinner, there’s a
      Dreamer. I am always writing
      From my heart and there’s
      Truth in what I write, of this
      I am aware but I’m always
           Asking myself these days,

      Am I writing for God, for the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am writing for His grace, for His glory, for his
      There’s a waiting game. A time for everything
      Under the sun’s grace, the glory of the moonlight

      There’s order in suffering (death must come).
      A kind of finality. There’s chronic emptiness
And a wound that just won’t go away.

      There’s the emotional reading of matter.
      The writing of the future is an invasion.
      The writing of the past folds of metaphor.
      Knots that have to be undone with fury.

There’s madness in embracing the paper.
      The image of the blindfold staring forth.
      Love and family life has always nourished
Me, my soul, my wandering spirit.

      You’re the woman with white shark teeth,
      the storm in her eyes and an alphabet in her
      soul, I want a man to say to me. To discover my faults, my limits,
      My intellectual-side, the history of my shadow (the wolf in sheep’s
clothing). It is
      in that man’s arms that I want to lose myself in.


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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