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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Three from Carapace 78

Carapace 78


Welcome to Issue no 78. A lovely mixture of long and short poems, some international contributions and, as always, the delightful work of Mangaliso W Buzani.

Gus Ferguson

Cover by Ann Walton: ‘Verbus’.Oil on canvas. Enquiries 085 456 7771.

Contributors to Carapace issue 78

Mike Alfred, Mangaliso W Buzani, Michael Cope, Patrick Cullinan, Lise Day, Gail Dendy, CJ Driver, Helen Frankel, Eliza Galgut, Dawn Garisch, Damian Garside, Alex Halligey, Hillary Hamburger, Rosemund Handler, Norbert Hermann, Hugh Hodge, Liesl Jobson, Clive Lawrance, Chris Mann, Medzani Musandiwa, Tolu Ogunlesi, Harry Owen, Beverley Pierce, Elizabeth Trew, Sheila Vanderplank, Crystal Warren, Alessio Zanelli, Lucas Zulu

Three from Carapace issue 78

Ink & Blood

I sink my teeth into cities
to taste the ink concealed
away in bookstores;
chew virgin maps, home
to landscapes untrod by human eyes,

and like a psychic fire detector
gauge the bolts of electric energy
from every traffic light making plans
to cast a stern gaze
upon my tireless feet.

Achebe marks the dog-eared boundaries
of Uppsala; Rushdie and Adichie dissolve
in haste into the multi-cultured ink of Birmingham,
Muldoon has no objections
to having his words vaccinated
before they step into the Rainbow Nation;

Lagos crams feuding writers on a single page
so that ink and blood leak
into all the pages lying beneath.
Ibadan is a sluggish maiden,
courted by out-of-print books
(and the occasional out-of-muse writer).

I sink my feet beneath the skin of far-flung cities
to flow like blood through vessels lit
by the flashlights of tourists unimaginative as cancer
I sink my teeth into cities
to taste the ink concealed
beneath the banality of blood…

– Tolu Ogunlesi


Another Banker

The Japanese banker bows, politely:
‘My father was a teacher too,’ he says:
‘Not an economist, nor sociologist;
But a real scholar – a calligrapher.’

– CJ Driver
from Hong Kong Portraits


A Poet Encounters Yeats

I went into the bramble grove
Because a ghost was in my blood,
And driven by nostalgic love
I penned a poem that was dud –
The dullest verse that ever strove
To imitate, with rhythmic thud.
The flatness closing in, I fled.
The brambles tore my shins to shreds.

– Michael Cope


Carapace in Little White Bakkie

Carapace 78

» read article

When the Icelandic geyser burst

Did Nostradamus predict this?
Was it not in a zillion charts?

And the oracles and the diviners?
Clairvoyants and the seers?

What were they doing? reading palms
Throwing bones, meditating, studying

The Book of the Dead, the Akashic records,
And the Aztec Calendar? and not warning

The endangered and the vulnerable.
Were they perhaps (some of them) embarrassed

To be found stranded amongst the ignorant
And the unsighted. Grounded and bewildered.

– Gus Ferguson

» read article

Reading: Steve Shapiro at Folio Books

of little consequenceFolio Books invites you to an evening of Haiku with Steve Shapiro.

Come and be enlightened and entertained by Cape Town’s foremost Haiku poet—Steve Shapiro, author of In a Borrowed Tent (winner of the 1996 Ingrid Jonker Prize) and of little consequence (published by the Unpublished Manuscript Press).

Event Details

  • Date: Friday, 16 April 2010
  • Time: 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM
  • Venue: Folio Books, 207 Main Rd
    (Opp Westerford High)
    Newlands, Cape Town
  • RSVP:, 021 685 7190

Book Details

» read article

Kate Kilalea Reads from One Eye’d Leigh at The Book Lounge

One Eye'd LeighAs those who receive the Book Lounge’s email newsletter may have seen, I’ll be introducing UK based poet Kate Kilalea, whose One Eye’d Leigh was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, next Wednesday at 5:30 PM.

Kate will give a reading from her book.

Event Details

  • Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2010
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: The Book Lounge
    71 Roeland
    cnr Buitenkant
    Cape Town | Map
  • Guest Speaker: Gus Ferguson
  • RSVP:, 021 462 2425

Book Details

» read article

Poetry Reading: Gus Ferguson and Finuala Dowling at Folio Books

Notes from the Dementia WardHolding PatternA press email from Folio Books:

Folio Books is delighted to be hosting not one, but two highly lauded local poets: Gus Ferguson and Finuala Dowling.

Gus Ferguson is a publisher, poet and cartoonist whose work the Witness describes as ”witty and playful, demonstrating the writer’s verbal agility (and) idiosyncratic humour. Intelligent, original, informed, Ferguson’s (more…)

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Three from Carapace Number 77

Carapace 77


Evidently the recession is over, the wolf has slouched away from the door. What this means I am not sure – it was writ large on a newspaper poster. It could be a marketing ruse to get people to spend more on poetry this festive season.

Saving is after all such a bad idea, meanly clinging onto stuff or borrowing from the library or belonging to book clubs and still moaning about the high price of books. It doesn’t make sense.

This issue is full of odd and delightful surprises, so try to read it from cover to cover.

May you and yours all have a brilliant new year and to all subscribers and readers, thank you.

Gus Ferguson


Robin Malan’s imprint Junkets Publisher is the Winner of the 2009 Arts and Culture Trust Excellence Award for Literature.

Contributors to Carapace 77

Mike Alfred, Michael Augustin, Mangaliso W Buzani, Carla Chait, Sue Clark, Jonty Driver, Finuala Dowling, Kelly Dyer, Alan Galante, Damian Garside, Abigail George, Nan Green, Rosemund Handler, Cecil Helman, Moira Lovell, Mzi Mahola, Adré Marshall, Mandy Mitchell, Medzani Musandiwa, Tolu Ogunlesi, Ethelwyn Rebelo, Douglas Reid Skinner, Beverly Rycroft, Damian Shaw, John Simon, Immanuel Suttner, Elizabeth Trew, Tim Volem, Janice Warman, Peter Wilhelm, Simric Yarrow

Front cover artwork by Michael Linders. Visit his blog at:

Three from Carapace 77


There’s not much space for old men;
still alive but museum material. Their
blood has cooled and they no longer
take chances unless it’s ten rand both
ways, occasionally twenty. They don’t
set goals or seek recognition. They’ve
seen too much to be convinced. They
no longer argue with the righteous or
the indignant. They no longer know
what’s important. Their wives on the
other hand, exactly know: they talk to
the children thrice weekly, they attend
all three grandsons’ prize-givings, one
after another. They cook delicious meals,
spend hours at the potting-table and
wake up each morning next to their

Mike Alfred


Duty Free

I have shared out my many lives
among dusty bags,half-zipped, duty-free, lone dwellers
on still-functioning luggage belts
in desolate terminals
around the world,
an endless circling that piles up my miles

yet another anonymous city will write
to my dreams
in postcards that will wonder if we’ve met before,
and who the fuck are you?
and if I shall come, or come again
& again;

and if you do what will you think of us?

Tolu Ogunlesi


Modern Zen

Macau – two thousand
And ten.

I live in China,
But need a visa to visit you.
You live in China,
But need a visa to visit me.

Would even a master even see,
Why you need a visa to visit me?

Damian Shaw

» read article

A warning when riding in the wind


Battling against the south east wind
my pump, tugged by a gust from the frame
fell to the ground with exactly the sound
as the name of this shaken quatrain.

1 nov 2009

» read article

Three from Carapace Issue 76

Carapace 76


As a publisher I have at times been accused of favouring short poems (mea culpa). One poet told me that she would cut in half all poems sent to Carapace?!

However this issue is not short on length as it includes a short story by Ian Newall, an exquisitely crafted ballade by Roderick Freemantle, which carries a PG warning and longish poems by Adré Marshall, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán and Gail Dendy.

We are delighted to report that there were several entries for competition no 9 – a record number in fact – and two readers, Gerald Seftel and Sue Clark got the answer 100% correct. Gerald’s was the first out of the hat and he will receive a book token for R250 from Clarke’s bookshop and Sue gets a virtual round of applause.

The answer was: Scatting.

The printing of this edition of Carapace is entirely sponsored by an anonymous donor. This generous subsidy and encouragement came just in time as we were facing the unpleasant possibility of having to increase subscriptions.

Gus Ferguson

Front cover artwork by Michael Linders. Visit his blog at:

Contributors to Carapace issue 76

Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Mangaliso W Buzani, Gail Dendy, Roderick Freemantle, Sarah Frost, Damian Garside, Kerry Hammerton, Rosamund Handler, Patricia Hanley, Colleen Higgs, Hugh Hodge, Kirsten Holmes, David Kerr, Moira Lovell, Don Maclennan, Mzi Mahola, Adré Marshall, Jenna Mervis, Kobus Moolman, Malika Lueen Ndlovu, Ian Newall, Beverley Peirce, Douglas Reid Skinner, Damian Shaw

Three from Carapace 76

No Small Matter

Moths can fly away.

No footprints left behind
no darkened towels –

just the empty sleeves
of old coats and sweaters

riddled with the holes
of trysts and passions.

Patricia Hanley



The woman, your friend, the one who has a name like yours,
her body shapeless after labour, breastfeeding
meets you in the street, not quite by accident.

It is an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, late.
Dogs sound off at each other,
like neighbours, testing limits.

Her older son pushes the pram
in which the baby sits, a small Buddha,
arms waving in disconnect.

Your dog strains at its leash,
disregarding your commands for him to heel, slow down.

As she tells you of the Pap smear results
she takes him by the collar, holds him back,
and you want to weep,
at words like malignant tumour, hysterectomy,
that fall from her mouth like burnt seed.

Sarah Frost



Each night I come home with dread
to the portico of dreams.
night after night,
in cities that I thought I knew
I wander helpless
looking for a rendezvous.

Dante awoke
into a world of war,
nausea and self-contempt,
knowing that poetry couldn’t
deliver him from death
though it was all he had
to fight it with.

Don Maclennan

» read article

Great entertainment at Michael Oak Waldorf, Kenilworth

Dear friends

Hope you can make this event. It promises to be an entertaining evening of acoustic music, laid-back vocals, and vibrant poetry. I will be there as a former Michael Oak parent; Pandori is a foot-stomping band of ex-MO violins and accordions; Ernestine Deane is a soulful vocalist and former lead singer of Moodphase Five among other top local bands; Nukphonic play intelligent groove music, fronted by ex-MO jazz singer Emily Bruce; Jacques Coetzee and Johann Kotze elegantly blend poetry with music. And there’s Simric Yarrow, mixing up poetry with theatre. All in aid of a great cause too (in other countries Waldorf education is provided by the state, but here those who want it and can’t afford private school fees need bursary support – which is targeted with diversity in mind).

So spread the word if you are able to, and come and spend a relaxing evening on October 10th, at Michael Oak Waldorf School – Marlow Rd (off Gibson Rd), Kenilworth.

~ ~ ~

ANNOUNCING – on Sat Oct 10th,

7 for 7.30 – 10pm


a funned-raising

acoustically-inclined evening of

Music & Poetry


top local performers:

Gus Ferguson

(“everyone’s favourite local poet”)

Ernestine Deane

(soulful vocal magic)


(acoustic Gypsy band)

Simric Yarrow

(word theatre)


featuring Emily Bruce

(original funky grooves)

Johann Kotze & Jacques Coetzee

(“songs uncovered”- guitar&voice)

book early to avoid disappointment

phone 021 797 9728

or 021 788 6613

or e-mail:

supper and refreshments for sale

(by Michael Oak class 10s)

tickets R50

(R30 under 18/ over 65)

profits to school bursary fund

CDs/ poetry books also for sale

» read article

Three from Carapace Number 75

Carapace no. 75


We had one response to Carapace Competition No 11 fromMervyn Dendy. He was 100% correct and wins a R200 booktoken from Clarke’s Bookshop. Here is his answer: ‘The maximis “Ockhams’s razor”: Entities should not be multipliedunnecessarily.’

We are always pleased to hear from readers – we don’t always acknowledge but this note from Brian Walter is music to our conch-like ears:

    Oozing new
    from the snailpress,
    vintage molluscadel

If you have friends that you think may enjoy Carapace, as I hope you do, please let them know that if they send their name and postal address to we will send a sample of the magazine so that they can decide on whether or not to subscribe.

Gus Ferguson

Cover graphic by Lynne Stuart

Contributors to Carapace issue 75

Mike Alfred, Mangaliso W Buzani, Yvette Christiansë, Stephen Coan, Sumeera Dawood, Nigel Fogg, Genna Gardini, Gregory Gilbert Gumbs, Rosemund Handler, Geoffrey Haresnape, Anne Isaak, Katharine Kilalea, Moira Lovell, Robin Mala, Sabelo Mgogosh, Tom Pow, Arja Salafranca, Walter Saunders, Damian Shaw, John Simon, Gordon Stuart, Elizabeth Trew, Brian Walter, Adam Wiedewitsch, Grace Winkler

Three from Carapace 75 (plus a letter to the editor)


for C

In our flat, with all its fittings,
loving is sistered to the futon.

You watched me take photos of your buzzard,
your girlfriend, all haw-head and coffee,
razoring Robbie.

That clean and squashcourt smell of bandaging,
fingers taking retribution from the spine, bed and tenant,
clothes catching at an elbow of something

You gather over the top of your cup, beautiful,
little albumen pearl, strained through knees.

Genna Gardini

» read article