Friday, 27 July 2018

The moment you choose

There comes a time when you know
you're straddling
the stratosphere
and it's no longer a metaphor,
but real, hard fact

of your heart pulled
from end to end
between organic and elemental matter
and its happenings, and

you know this time
of the ancestral ringings
in your flesh and bone,
the marrow of your innings, the chance

you're given
to play, to spin, to curl
the thrust of your imagination

yonder all imaginings,
beyond all thought,
beyond the now

to rake in
all the past and present

in the roulette you never played
but knew
you were the ball in -

hammered, hit, bet on
by everyone's turning
to rest

into the moment
you choose.

Give Your Writing The Edge Workshop happening NOW!

Monday, 23 July 2018

The road ahead

I'd not had a chance
to clip your toenails,
the nurses at the hospital
didn't do it

and then the undertaker came
saying there'd be an extra charge.

And Christine said,
Go clip them.

And I did. And though your forehead was cool to the touch
your feet under our duvet
were still warm after all these hours
and in peace I made them beautiful

before socking and shoeing them
in your loyal hippie sandals
the road ahead.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Elegy for Norman

Elegy in 7 parts
for Norman (3.10.1949 - 23.7.2017)

1. Still watching a movie

This evening a year ago
we danced you to the end 
of love

and over

to a future you articulated
fully conscious, there for all
that was taking place within you,
about you, with and without us.

No script, no score - we improvisors both
couraged our conversation
by effort of will, of yes,
of grace, here we are -
at THIS juncture.

You knew it better than I
- I who was still lost in impossible wishings,
fantasies -
you turned

and put your teeth I'd cleaned
back in
for sleep.

I noticed, but did not heed
the meaning.

You saw the morning
from a different vantage.
But right now a year ago
we are still watching a movie.

2. Only the Poet's Wife

And when you said 
we must go together
as we thought had been ordained
I chose - replied, No,

the Poet's Wife will die with you,
but not the all of me -
I've much to do!

You nodded. Okay, that sounds fair,
you said, completely satisfied.

3. Legacy

The poet's wife is dead.
Her tokens part of your cremation,
her intimacies gone.

Her poems like yours
a legacy of sorts, a gathering
another must complete.

Who is that other?
Not one who with the poet's wife
would ever compete.

4. For fire

There's a freedom
manned by none

- that fragrance of an honesty,
that chopped fresh wood exuberance 
of being sundered to be used


5. Elemental

You don't want to be my darling,
you don't want to be my Love

- now all you want is
breath beyond lungs

stirring trees and oceans
with gleeful megalomania!

6. Clarify

Death did not part
so much as clarify
the parts we be
- you and I.

7. Pregnant

What happy memories I carry
into the future
I'm pregnant with.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Some words to my readers ...

Filmmaker Riccardo Magnanini asked me some months back to say a few things about my book to my readers, so I did, spontaneously. Riccardo recorded my words at Fort Mitchell near the peak of Tor Doone above Hogsback. You are welcome to view our probings.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

It is telling me to write ... the turnings of a soul ...

Exactly a year ago today I was woken in the early hours by a voice dictating unmistakeable words I obediently recorded. (At the time, Norman was in Bay View Hospital, Mossel Bay, while I was 35km distant.)
Exactly a year ago today ...

To turn as a leaf to autumn's call ... "The ripeness is all" (King Lear).

A discarded plaque made by the late Anton van der Merwe from Starways Arts Centre, featuring a poem by Norman.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

So quiet, but not

You've been so quiet, said one of my readers.

But quiet has gone. A lone, lanky, lovely visitor dropped in on me
entirely unexpectedly. How now to find
my silence, whence the new things come?

It is an opportunity to strengthen, to refine me, to define
the boundaries of my crankiness, the rudeness of
my solitude.

And then a friend
whose face lends me
its poem.


You've a bow-line arcing
up from your eye 
into your brow -

as if you've always held a quantum of your thoughts aside
- in case you'd one day need them 
for a dancing star.

- Silke Heiss, 8th July 2018

Monday, 2 July 2018

"We were suspended in a world that echoed ... " - Leslie Howard

I was touched recently to receive the words below from one of the audience members who attended the poetry reading in Barrydale on 16th May this year, where John van Wyngaard read for Norman, and we tracked through the entire set of love books with a total of 28 poems -

"I was one of the fortunate members of the Barrydale poetry group to attend Silke's reading of love poems by herself and Norman Morrissey. John van Wyngaard read the male voice.

It was early winter's evening, and we were gathered in the van Wyngaard home - warm and inviting, exactly the right setting for the reading of these moving poems. I was so struck, not only by Silke's telling use of words and cadence, but also by the quality of her delivery of words. Each word was like a  pebble dropped into a pond, where it reverberated in ripples of meaning and pleasure. The room was absolutely still, apart from the two voices, and for an hour or so we were suspended in a world that echoed with the beauty of the minds of two spirited poets. It was a privilege indeed." - Leslie Howard, author of Under the Moon poetry collection