1. Hogsback (The Edge Mountain Retreat), 12/10/19;
2. Grahamstown (Reddits, Cafe D'Vine), 25/10/19;
3. Cape Town: Tokai (The Book Shoppe), 4/11/19;
4. Cape Town: Claremont (Exclusive Books, Cavendish), 5/11/19
Now, at my laptop at my parents' dining room table, I sit opposite my mother, quietly reading in her wheelchair. Her entire left side is paralysed and her body has as good as no independence anymore. She holds her lapidary brochure in her right hand. Flash photos of cut and labelled gems, displayed on royal red backgrounds, gaze at me.
My parents' presence at the Cape launch of Greater Matter at Exclusive Books, Cavendish, Claremont, on Tuesday was one of the most precious gifts to me personally.
"If I could, I would have got up and embraced you," my mother said.
Having had to have been so publicly present, both online and off, for the sake of marketing and selling my book, has felt unnatural, even stressful.
Don't get me wrong. I love reading aloud to people, I love intimate public events, which poetry readings mostly are. I love the microphone, which allows for whisper-soft words to slink into listener's hearts. And I love the fact that readers have bought Greater Matter and are being nourished by it.
But the tide is rolling back now.
I look forward to being in the arms of my beloved. I look forward to composing poems again, applauded by the stars and grasses. Perhaps more people will come towards me, who have felt themselves privately heard, or who are questing for more of the chime they sense hums in my book.
There'll be further books, further readings, to build and nurture the "good/ By quiet natures understood" (W.B.Yeats, Prayer for my Daughter).
I thank Exclusive Books, Cavendish, and Eva van Belle for the photographs from Tuesday's launch.