Congealed pelargoniums to my right,

red-black in the ginger warmth of stoep-gloam,

and a deep-snoring boerboel behind me:

not rain but dry leaves molesting burnt air.


A threat of thunder, but no more. Silence.


This is what it feels like having nothing

to say, so instead I peel shrivelled skin

from a toe and watch it bleed. God help me,

reduced to so much less than a true wound!


Yet today a murderer has burst in

to a synagogue, slaughtered blameless ones

celebrating the birth of a new child

(and the president jokes about his hair),


five people die in a helicopter crash

outside a football ground, a famous chap

years younger and much fitter than I am

suffers a heart attack, they still don’t know


who butchered a man in a consulate

when he tried to collect marriage papers,

his fiancée waiting for him outside,

while some god, some psycho, some Jehovah,


some divine prick, grins.


Storm clouds groan, great Thor. Breathe slow.