One more
Finished, for Aradia
Happy boxing day
Happy Christmas
Heartwood Thrall (flightless birds)
For Oliver Banks

The wyke rests its wildness
Sleep now, beast, sleep
For we dance in the dawn
Deep in the heartwood
Morning light comes strafing
Parting the ancient oaks
Landslides under urchin paws
New pages in the book of stone
That fiend with giant hands
Who smacks eternal lips
Groans a query:
How long can this last?
Place of endless past
Vast nothingness space
Tree roots to the edge
And beast face behind
With fearsome breath
Salt in the whiskers
Fire torching the groves
Burning to the brine
The beck calling out:
We are clinging to you
You are our one hope
(But in cracked paving
Plants grow thick and free
Infinite capacity
Of this tranquil land
This rock and sand
This mist-wrapped sea,
To heal)
From beast cliff a bird keens
The peel rends
Stitches in the cloth of time
A final, futile roar appends:
This is richer than gold
The horizon lifts
The beck boils
Trees wrap the shoreline bends
Falling from the cliff,
Falling fast
Flightless, unflying, not trying to soar but resigned to the crunch of the floor
Tight with trappings
The last question unheard
Flightless bird

Stills by Ollie Banks

The Isiqalo Foundation (UK) supports educational and health awareness initiatives in South Africa focusing on HIV awareness and skills creation

The Isiqalo foundation aims to:

Fund programs in the disadvantaged community of the township of Masiphumelele in the Western Cape that facilitate and promote the empowerment and development of children and young adults