(16th-22nd February)

Format: Triple

…They clawed, they slapped, they fled, leaving behind them a trophy of banners and brasses crudely arranged round the big drum. Then that end of the street also shut its windows, and the village, stripped of life, lay round me like a reef at low tide…

This is from ‘The Vortex’ in ‘A Diversity of Creatures’. Four boxes of bees have been dropped in the street in a crowded country village on a hot summer afternoon. They swarm into the air, stinging everyone in their path.


This is the second stanza of the poem “South Africa”

“Here in a large and sunlit land,
Where no wrong bites to the bone,
I will lay my hand in my neighbours’ hand,
And together we will atone
For the set folly and the red breach,
And the black waste of it all;
Giving and taking counsel each
Over the cattle-kraal.”


This is the second stanza of the poem “The Settler”.

“Sudden the desert changes,
The raw glare softens and clings,
Till the aching Oudtshoorn ranges
Stand up like the teeth of kings – “


This is the first verse of “Bridge Guard in the Karroo.”