In other countries, I become a different person.
In Uganda, I drink beer after Tuskers beer,
and in Barbados, home-made herb rum.
In Alaska, I drive a four-by-four.
In Ireland, I stick out my thumb.
In Greece, I share a room with strangers.
And everywhere, I get up before dawn,
climbing out of windows if I have to,
scrambling to catch first light.
On the sacred isle of Iona, adrift in the Hebrides,
I walk along a beach, confessing,
clutching the hand of an impossible man
I have known for all of three days.
And I skydive into love, freefalling,
wind whistling past my ears.
A day later, I kiss him
in the middle of the night,
in the middle of a storm,
spray wet on our faces,
caught in the boom of a kettledrum.
At home, I never do any of these things.
I’m a white-wine girl who doesn’t see sunrise.
My car is small and second-hand.
I seldom take risks.
And while I might fall in love,
I no longer jump out of planes,
hurtle into the heart of the wind.
But maybe I should. Live in another country.
for Sean McDonagh
From Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books, 2009)
Read my interview with Helen on Litnet.
Read four poems from Strange Fruit at Rustum Kozain’s blog,
To purchase Strange Fruit, contact Colleen Higgs at Modjaji Books:
You are cordially invited to Strange Fruit’s launch – Helen will be reading – at the Cape Town Book Fair on 14 June 2009 from 17h30 to 18h30 at the DALRO Stage in the CTICC exhibition halls.
Four wonderful new Modjaji poetry collections go to the printer this week. The volumes are available at the special offer of R100 each if you buy one this week. They will sell for R120 plus in the shops when they are out. The books are:
Please, take photographs by Sindiwe Magona;
Burnt Offering by Joan Metelerkamp;
Oleander by Fiona Zerbst;
Strange Fruit by Helen Moffett.
All four collections are available for R300, if you buy them this week.
If you’re interested, contact Colleen Higgs at Modjaji Books: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Modjaji Books
Modjaji Books was started in 2007 by Colleen Higgs. Modjaji is a new independent press that publishes the work of South African women. “Modjaji – which means rain queen – is a press that will make rain and generate spaces for new voices to be heard that otherwise may not find a platform.”