Sunday, March 31, 2019

30 Poems 30 Days: April 2019

Kerry O'Connor
Dearest fellow poets, toads, friends and wayfarers, I greet you at the start of NaPoWriMo 2019!
I am looking forward to a month of poetic genius and to be truly inspired by the word art of the poetic writing fraternity of the blogosphere. In addition to our seventh annual Prompt-A-Day, hosted by the toads of the Imaginary Garden, I have created a word list taken from the sonnets of William Shakespeare (because it is his birthday month, after all) and present it here today as an open invitation to anyone who would like to use it as a source of inspiration. If you use one of these words in your poem of the day, please leave a link in the comments section, so I can follow up and visit your blog or use the tag #skyloverwordlist on Instagram.



Saturday, March 30, 2019


Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth caterpillars 

in the beginning


darkly coiled
                         when nothing
                         was everything

then time
then space
then matter

from the infinitesimal
cocoon spinning

a cosmic moth
its black wings
and birthing stars

each a single
egg hatching
destined to be


For Bjorn's Weekend Prompt in The Imaginary Garden.

I love to write about creation myths, and to imagine how the universe began in a poetic way. Sometimes thinking poetically is the easiest way to make sense of the inexplicable science of the universe.. which all comes down to one's own tiny back garden. These two Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth caterpillars I saved from the road today made me think again how unique our planet is in the cosmos, how worth saving.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Erasure, at Dawn

Kerry O'Connor

They shadow their way into being
as night turns to dust inseparable these
smudge-painted dogs of Africa consume
the yellow plains sing with the centuries
to the first star rising over the eastern
foothills whose name is Khwezi morning
mist-tangled grasslands are wakening
here a flight of egrets startled from sleep
now a bark a whine a soft-falling paw
a flicker of white tails as the pack filters
away through the thorn scrub a vanishing
trail all paths lead to this dawn of erasure

For Get Listed! March Edition hosted by Sanaa in The Imaginary Garden.

The African Wild Dog, known in isiZulu as Inkentshane but also called the Painted Wolf, is a canid native to sub-Saharan Africa and the only extant member of the genus Lycaon Pictus, an individual species not of genus Lupus. The 2016 population was estimated at roughly 39 sub-populations containing 6,600 adults, only 1,400 of which were reproductive. The decline of these populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution and disease outbreaks In South Africa there are fewer than 400 free-ranging wild dogs left – 130 of them in the Kruger National Park, and 160 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Lexicon of Beasts


Let me tell you the names of Nguni cattle
in your own language that you may learn
the love of Africans for their beasts of home lands
here is the cow, white bird that does not rest
here is the bull, Mfezi, mark of the spitting cobra
here is the calf, caterpillar of the Marula tree
speckled black and the beast which is like clouds
bringing rain grazing in the veld beside
the old ox who is stones and sky
In Africa cattle know the man’s whistle
know to follow with the patient stride
of one who cuts right through the herd
of one who is like a small boy playing in mud
In Africa cattle carry the sun across the sky
on their sweeping horns that stab the storm

This is my take on Kim's Weekend Challenge: Nomenclature
and after reading W.S. Merwin's poem, After the Alphabets.

The indigenous Nguni cattle of Southern Africa all have distinctive, symmetrical markings on their hide which are given poetic names by the people: The metaphorical interaction between the tribe’s natural surroundings and the beauty of Nguni hides led to the formation of over 300 illustrative words. Names are associated with animals, birds, plants and other natural wonders. 
Read more HERE

Nguni Cattle
Stock photo (Royalty Free)

Here follows a list of the traditional isiZulu names of those I have included in this poem:

Meaning: “stones and sky”

Meaning :  “the bird that does not rest”

Meaning: “what cuts right through the herd ”

Meaning : “small boy playing in mud “

Inkomo engamafu
Meaning : “beast which is like clouds"

Meaning : “the caterpillars of the Marula tree"

Meaning : “Spitting Cobra ”

Even the cattle’s horns are named – “what stabs the rain”

Thursday, March 21, 2019

After the Moon

Kerry O'Connor

The moon is hunting tonight stalking
the dark culverts a white lion prowling
the margins of extinction knows well
the barren  pathways of its narrowing orbit
despite a billion stars now born upon the hour
what is one less rock polished by its lone
rotation around a planet slowly sinking into
its own sea one less lion in a random universe
where life itself is a thing unregarded

This poem is a tribute to the life and work of W.S. Merwin, who passed away on March 15 2019.
I was inspired by the style of his poem After the Spring, and by Margaret's Artistic Interpretations Challenge on Real Toads.

As I began to write about this month's full moon, my youngest daughter sent me this photo of three white lions she photographed in the town of Reitz, on the road to Johannesburg. All these sources came together in the few lines of my poem.

White Lions
Reitz, South Africa

Saturday, March 16, 2019


Poetry Reading on Instagram

I will leave
with the leaf torn
lying fallen, damper
than mist’s grave silence
winds from this flowery bed.
I will implant with tears
my grim March
driven mad with the stench
of mud and marigolds.

An Autumnal Dirge for Magaly's Weekend Challenge: Homographic Fun

Friday, March 15, 2019



When did the grass grow this tall
over my grave? Could it be that long since
I was swallowed
head first
by the ravening earth?

There was a broken light, I remember
before the dark consumed
my eyelids
and the cold chewed
on my raw bones.

But how strange
to have been forgotten so

A Traditional Friday 55 for Fireblossom Friday: Ask a Question.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Fallen Temples: Aether

Fallen Temples

Landing by Tomasz Zaczeniuk

Part 3

They never erected a temple, nor formed a cult,
Aether being too pure and blinding for mortal eyes
to fully conceive, the rarefied breath of the gods.

When darkness took night in coital embrace,
a vast river of quantum light was born from chaos;
Cosmos uncoiled itself from the event horizon.

But man is rooted in known dimensions of
human physics: he longs to touch, hold, keep.
Thus love binds only flesh, while the infinite god

waits in some wayside shrine for one true mind
to grip the quintessential thread: All turns to one.
And souls bridge through ether, in universal fusion.

This is the final part of my new series of poems, "Fallen Temples", inspired by the genius of surreal artist, Tomasz Zaczeniuk.
Also submitted to Visual Verse.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Fallen Temples: Chronos

Fallen Temples

Broken Time by Tomasz Zaczeniuk
Used with Permission

Part 2

Though men still bend the knee before his shrine,
they do not know his name, these generations;
forgetful of the beginning, when he first blinked:

The cosmos streamed from his eyes; chaos, birthed:
aether brought to be, while he, unaging father of hours,
took up his scythe and raised consciousness from confusion.

The present does not exist, but is perceived in the fleeting
expressions on faces of indifferent men, who fail to know
that past is no better than imprecise memory, reaped.

Ah, Chronos, hold up a mirror to the unwitting passer-by,
unveiling truth: bid man genuflect before the reflection
of his own imminent demise. The future consumes all.

This is the second part of my new series of poems, "Fallen Temples", inspired by the genius of surreal artist, Tomasz Zaczeniuk.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Fallen Temples: Horus

Fallen Temples

The Temple by Tomasz Zaczeniuk
Used with Permission 

Part 1

In time to come, a prayer could resurrect
Horus from his ruination; to ascend, a new sun,
above the collapse of civilizations.

An avenging god of broken light,
thus awakened to lift his hollowed eyes
from speculation of this eroded temple:

stone has crumbled into bleached sand
of a desolate shore and sea is mere memory;
the sky a shattered mirror of fallen stars,

the falcon god might rend the fabric of heaven
with his granite-fletched wings, and never again
contemplate the baseless pylons of human history.

This poem is written in collaboration with surreal artist, Tomasz Zaczeniuk, featured at The Imaginary Garden in this month's Art FLASH! prompt.

Friday, March 1, 2019



I recently 'notebooked' this poem from my archives, one of my early pieces written back when I first discovered the magical world of internet poetry. I can hardly believe that was almost a decade ago.
I dedicate this post to all my wonderful friends with 'steady arms', for the kind support you have given me all these years.