I have final proofs of my book The Craft – selected poems 1989 – 2016!! And a mockup of the cover! It will be published some time in the next three months, by Douglas Skinner’s Left Field Press. I am excited. I haven’t published a book of poems since Ghaap – Sonnets from the Northern Cape in 2005.
Here’s a mock-up of the cover. The image is a detail of a porcelain tile by my friend Christina Bryer, from her series entitled ‘Swatches’.
And here is an excerpt. The head is, of course, that of Orpheus.
The head sings
The Head: ‘On the left of the House of Hell,
Next to a white cypress, is a well
Fed by a spring. Don’t go near.
There’s another spring in the dell
By Lake Memory, cold water wells
From it. This water is defended
By the unsleeping guards of death.
When you see them, you must call
To them, saying,’
Chorus: ‘I am a star that fell.’
The Head: ‘Tell them,’
Chorus: ‘I am a child of Earth
And Starry Heaven,’
The Head: ‘as in the spell,’
Chorus: ‘But Heaven is the realm of my birth–
You yourselves know this is the truth.
My throat is dusty and my tongue swells
With thirst. Quick, give me the clear
Cold water of memory, let me bathe
In it and drink it, let it heal me whole
And mend me where I am wounded.’