Friday, 13 November 2015

After the Poetry Festival by Christine Coates

After the Poetry Festival

Christine Coates

Wake to cuckoo ‘meitjie, meitjie’

guinea fowls, bulbuls, Egyptian Geese

kettle for tea, open window, write a poem

on hair, youth dew and vomit

breakfast on terrace, dove-blue-grey

mountains like cardboard cut-outs

I expect to see stage-set swans bobbing between.

There’s the yellow rose of Texas on the table

bacon and eggs, and the little dog barks

coffee and friendship under the honeysuckle

at Frangipani.

The slow drive back through the Breede Valley

cardboard cut-outs turn to

high and heavy bergs

cool vineyards in October green

wheat fields cut to stubble

the road to the Great Nowhere reversing –

slow peace-pace busy,

the tunnel, the toll, the traffic

the turn from the sea and city

Table Mountain and past flying flamingoes

a paper man in a boat waves a flag

on the Black River

and the N1, M5, N2, M3 –

routes to home.

From: McGregor Poetry Festival 2014 Anthology

First published in 2015 by African Sun Press
in association with The McGregor Poetry Festival Committee
ISBN 978-0-620-64600-0

The Poet:

Christine Coates is a poet, writer and visual artist from Cape Town who spends many hours walking on the mountain or besides the sea. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She translated her great-grandfather's Boer War journals and presented them in parallel text as a handmade, leather-bound book. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela three times. Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals: New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review 2002, Africa Focus. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize anthology in 2011 – 2014, Deep Water Literary Journal and scrutiny2, 2014. Her debut collection of poems, Homegrown, was published in 2014 by Modjaji Books. Her short story The Cat’s Wife was highly commended and published in ADULTS ONLY, (ed) Joanne Hichens, Mercury Books 2014. She has also written a cookbook; From the Heart; family, food and memory. Christine belongs to Finuala Dowling’s monthly poetry group and a women’s writing collaborative; The Grail Women Writers.

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