Winnie Thomson

The taste of lightning

Jean- Louis had spent the afternoon painting. He was a fairly talented artist, but he was lazy. This time he was using the fashion pages of Marie Claire, as his models. His technique was good, and he reproduced the photographs skilfully. Two weeks later Hugo, an artist friend came to see Jean-Louis’ latest works.

“Shit, man, J-Lou, these portraits are damned good. Yeah – they’re ‘commercial’, but they’re still bloody good. Did you have a model or are they copied from photos?”

“No, it’s a model – a French girl who was visiting- she’s gone back to Paris.”

A feeling of metallic, dark nausea filled my mouth. I knew he was lying – how often had he lied to me before?

Mish Damstra


We swing through the heights
on a cosmic trapeze,
our safety a golden thread
Ascending the universe,
beyond breath, all matter,
all that is

Passing The Little Prince,
ghosts and spirits,
we’re high wire flyers
There, in dark stillness,
clouds gather fierce and round,
shorn wool, grey with chill

I swing through the heights
on a cosmic trapeze
Coming through thunder,
strong and long,
to rest in rays of turmeric
on a trampoline sun

My safety – these golden threads,

Beryl Eichenberger

Mind storm

In comes the storm,
a clanging, scattered

In her mind, jagged threads,

A door creaks.
Tender husband
enters the storm.

He takes her anger,
envelops her gently,
lets her rage.

Peace descends slowly.
Tense, unheard rooms
fall quiet, easy.

Limp cool hands
in silent acceptance
flick in zigzags across her lap.

The brilliant lightning
throws their sky
into surreal silhouette.

Anne Hope

Broken branches fleeing
before furious winds
forcing my little Fiat
into the face of the storm
bucking like a frightened horse
as it confronts the gale
seething streaks of lightning
replicating the rhythms
of the riotous elements
in the cocooned cabin
of my racing heart.
Closing in around me
in dark swirling clouds:
the Power of God .

Christina Coates

My feet are the ground;
decades of here
like the elephant.
I am about to be the person who,
leaving my shadow, the storms of the past,
is home at her feet.
A plateau of pain –
here is where I need to make,
alongside this forest,

The elephant sees what I am doing;
the herd of her eye
watching me.
She listens forever
to what I want.
Leaving my shadow,
coming through the storm,
the bird shows its face;
life awaits an island.

I hasten to heights
I have longed for.
Healed now I am still,
my body, my cells renewing
my life – a quiet place.
The big storm is out.

Coming through,
I walk across the years,
the storms of my life.
I came to my marriage,
I find it, waiting
for the place to reveal itself.
I am home. It is a place
of thirty years
and I am surrounded by
the brink of hounds
and birds beautiful.
Stepping into it means
rewiring the elephant,
to be under her reorganizing eye.

I’m washed up on this garden
years after I had shipwrecked.
I wait;
I am a plant.
I shake myself, the soil has settled.
I am rewired for the process – to go
The thunder is over.
The sky is singing.

Cornelia Bullen-Smith

My empty nest syndrome
(analysis at 55)

I chanted to my sparkling wisdom of the here and now,
fearing lightning, yet longing so for stormy thunder.
eyes closed, I summersaulted smartly into disappearance,
entering the breathless void of de-boned shoulder tasks.
Hoping that

I might attempt  again again again to dance into my life –
a baby butterfly, drizzled with a zillion kindly stars.
sprightly, I might slippy slide on new beginnings
into the joyfilled garden of life’s wonderous possibilities.
Hoping that

or maybe sooner
I shall gently jiggle the kaleidoskope of hope
abandon myself to living in the lushness of lovely wonderful me’s,
multifocal, colourfully glowing, revived, complete.

Ilze Olckers

Drowning – not waving.

The fear was different and true.
Still, intermittent on the corrugated roof
and you were in hiding.

Then all hell breaks loose again.
Monsoons of misery running between doors
top soil soiling the ocean.

Even though in a manner of speaking you gave it up
marveling at this one moment of peace
and your heart was brave.

A reprieve, a dance
giving birth in trees.
Birds drowned.

Trellidoors, sensors, beams between you and the electric fence
group areas – gated villages.
Even though most of life was ahead of you

coming through the storm
quietly circling buildings making your mark.
Not this, cowardly glancing through windows at 2 am .

Karin Andersen

A storm, from the verandah at Fairview.

Lightning, accusing, says “You will remember me.”
(Don’t stand under the electric blue of lightning.)
The sky tastes of lost love and warm honey
Flying ants drop their wings at my feet.

Thunder curses under a blanket of rain.
The earth sighs in dreams
as the storm hunches its back
entering the green gate, pregnant with rain.

Linda Price

Silent Thunder

I remember how you swept from the bed,
a solitary strand of forget-me-nots
that streaked my fuming flesh.

You turned away and failed to see
the dew drops that tickled my moist mouth;
and danced across my Gucci smile.

My purple grin never creased;
while inside my skin, silver sunlight sliced
and bovine breath cracked bone.

I lay aghast and A-glitter;
and watched you walk away and leave behind

Mary Monaghan

She wanted that storm but
it knocks her off
balance, keeps her guessing,
sweeps her away.
from all sides, whipped
by the wind she
off balance, out of control,
at the mercy of the storm, turned
this way and that. It will
have its way.
descends and
then –
she emerges,

Varsha Patel


Pieces. Shreds of me
on the marble floor of my grand room.
Pretend praying, pretend playing.
No Mission Statement, no Vision.

My fucking father.
Sorry doesn’t make anything right
And my mother?
Scattered, lifted, by the good old Cape Doc.

My legacy.
I cower behind the brass lock, slipped into place.
His footsteps slam past my door.
Clouds mushrooming up in me. Like Jericho.

Money trapping me
Behind the locked door
Shards of me dissolve
in the acid of the fancy air.

Pieces. Shreds of me.
Forever broken
by his bites.
I crumble.