Thursday, April 05, 2018

New Poetry by Abigail George

As I came home

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

    Even when it hurts like the sun. The spark
    of manhood or woman-speak. Even when
    it hurts gulls made of flame on an island.
    Even when it hurts glaring or silence and

    tears. Even when it hurts treacherous smoke
    or clouds. Even when it hurts arrows or a
shoreless continent. Even when it hurts love
    or swept away sea or wound. The tall,

    green-shifting universe is all proof I need
    that once I was loved by you. My hands are
    lonely. Beneath me lies gracious fury. At
    the end of the day, I find a mountain there.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poems. Rudyard
Kipling. Thomas Hardy. At the end of suffering
    comes joy. At the beach, I watch seawalls
    fall. Man, beast, bird bodiless from where

    I stand except the English poet Rupert Brooke.
    Except Rome. Finding the source of the Nile.
    I turn my eyes to see your liquid eyes. Your
    sun-like face and I wonder who your God is.

    I’m tired with work and suffering. Rain
    waters the scorched earth. Lust can comfort
    us in primitive and savage ways. I think
of the bottom of the world. More beautiful than words can
    ever say. I think of the crying of a wild
    bird. The loneliness found in a city. The
    shining centre of the earth brighter than
    the sun. The devil is a ruthless creature that
mocks the non-humanity in all of us. It is
Christ that possesses me entirely, completely.
    I think of those inheriting control. Those

    fetching angels that have taught me that
    guilt is a lifeless unruly whirlwind. All I
see is thin people wearing enigmatic smiles
    eating air on the covers of magazines
    with self-mastery. Icy people with lofty
    ambitions but I am not one of them. He
    looks older, more handsome with the beard.
    I could start my life over with somebody
    new but my brain tells me we’ll probably
    be strangers for the rest of our lives.
    Reading has taught me that even solitude
    can be miraculous. Futility. Loneliness.

- Abigail George 2018

Pushcart Prize nominated Abigail George is a South-African based blogger, essayist, poet, and short story writer. She is the recipient of 2 writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, one from the Centre of the Book in Cape Town, and another from ECPACC in East London. She is the writer of 6 books. She briefly studied film at NFTS (Newtown Film and Television School)  followed by a stint at a production house. Her latest essay ("Paradise") has been published online in Entropy and deals with themes of clinical depression, despair, loneliness, hardship, isolation, peer pressure, and mental illness.

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