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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

An Experiment

resized_the-river.jpg

Promises

You said that in summer we had to go down to the river.
A Paradise where baby crocs chased tadpoles the size of fish!
And whirlpools sucked your toes into black holes where the toads lived.
You swore on our mother’s life there would be a tyre swing that we could both sit on and when we can’t swim anymore,
Stones as flat as five rand coins to launch across the water.
That’s what you said.

You didn’t say that the water would be brown and cold
Like freezing-cold mud in the morning.
Your loose toothed grin didn’t mention that.
You also forgot the mosquitoes that left their marks on my arms and legs.
And baby crocs don’t come out when kids are around.
As for the river bed? All jagged stones and thorny pebbles.

Down by the river isn’t paradise at all like you said it would be,
But it never is.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @13:22 #
     
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    This is nice an sad, Sally - suits my mood. My favourite image is the "loose toothed grin" because it's jarring, out of place, it makes me wonder.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    December 18th, 2008 @13:35 #
     
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    Melancholy goodness, Sally.

    Were you and Rustum in Bonnievale together?

    http://louisgreenberg.book.co.za/blog/2008/12/18/enough/#comment-10511

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 18th, 2008 @13:50 #
     
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    Thanks guys.
    Breyten Breytenbach comes from Bonnievale. Do you think my poetry will improve if I spend a spell in its grassy hills and vales?

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @14:07 #
     
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    As Rustum and Richard sensibly suggest, good poetry seems to come from misery, thwartation and conflict.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 18th, 2008 @14:16 #
     
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    Ah, I dare say all good creative writing stems from that very same inkwell Louis if you dig deep enough.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @14:27 #
     
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    Having said what I said above, you can also write well about love and happiness and meadows, but it's a much harder task to carry off, and sometimes harder to read. Perhaps happiness is defined by its short-lived fragility. (Definitely not a new thought, it dates back to, er, the cavedwellers.)

    I picked this off my Shelf apropos of something:

    My Mop

    When I look at you, Sunday morning
    after cleaning up the sweat and come
    and puke and broken glass
    of last night’s party,
    your woollen hair looks sordid.
    But when I danced with you
    last night, lampshade on my head
    kaleidoscope in my eyes
    you looked like a dreamgirl
    soap-scented, coiffed
    like there was no tomorrow.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 18th, 2008 @14:45 #
     
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    I read that as soon as you put it on your shelf. I enjoy your poetry immensely, this one especially.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 18th, 2008 @14:46 #
     
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    Misery doesn't do it for me; anguish is necessary. But I've learnt to write poems when happy -- fun, if usually unpublishable. I like the poems, Sally and Louis.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    December 18th, 2008 @14:49 #
     
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    I haven't been to a party like that in ages, Louis. Let's rock Calvinia! When all the rogering is over...

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 18th, 2008 @14:52 #
     
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    rogering?

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @14:53 #
     
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    Thanks, Sally and Helen. For me that's the fun of poetry. I can have a lot of fun with it, hone some images and chuck it out there without conserving it for later or bigger things.

    Now that I know someone looks at my Shelf updates I'll add stuff more often.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 18th, 2008 @14:54 #
     
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    Oh Sally. Oh young and innocent one. I feel o-o-o-l-d.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @14:56 #
     
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    PS @Helen - yes, anguish is a more apt word/state than misery which is solipsistic and debilitating.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    December 18th, 2008 @15:05 #
     
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    to roger (third-person singular simple present rogers, present participle rogering, simple past and past participle rogered)

    1. (transitive, vulgar slang) Of a man, to have sexual intercourse with (someone), especially in a rough manner.
    2. (intransitive, vulgar slang) To have sexual intercourse.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @15:16 #
     
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    Here are two snapshots of me being rogered:

    In his most accessible work to date, contemporary mystic A. H. Almaas shows readers how being present and aware in the moment leads to the discovery of our true nature. This relaxed condition of simply 'being yourself' allows us to be free from worries, attachments, feelings of inadequacy, preoccupation with goals and efforts to eliminate experiences we don't want.

    Through decades of clinical practice and research, Dr. Fehmi has found that different forms of attention affect the brain's electrical activity, which in turn has a profound impact on our mental and physical health. Many of us have simply lost access to a more relaxed, diffuse and creative form of attention, which Dr. Fehmi calls 'Open Focus'.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @15:18 #
     
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    And one more for the gallery:

    As you follow Anne's fascinating life story she describes - with practical and straightforward exercises - how you too can switch on your psychic skills. Anne reveals her own revolutionary approach - Etheric Energy Techniques (E.E.T.) - which enables you to tap into a person's thoughts and emotions, no matter where they are. Using Anne's methods of Future Life Progression, you can act now to change your own destiny.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 18th, 2008 @15:20 #
     
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    Louis, I feel your pain...

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    December 18th, 2008 @15:23 #
     
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    That makes me want to E.E.T. myself.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    December 18th, 2008 @15:29 #
     
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    Perhaps while you and Louis are in Calvinia :)

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 18th, 2008 @15:32 #
     
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    Who needs E.E.T? We have broadband. Much easier.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @15:33 #
     
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    L.O.L. @Helen

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    December 18th, 2008 @15:35 #
     
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    Or you could just pick up the frikkin phone.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    December 18th, 2008 @15:43 #
     
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    Open Focus, Louis, Open Focus.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    December 18th, 2008 @17:27 #
     
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    He who flies the Jolly Roger, must maintain allowable levels of E.E.T. so that open focus remains at a constant.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    December 21st, 2008 @23:07 #
     
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    Rustum, just spotted this. It is brilliant. Makes me think of the way that grad students make up sentences with jargon words they don't quite understand.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    December 22nd, 2008 @11:01 #
     
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    Oh Helen, how I miss marking! Not!

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