Monday, 31 March 2014

Ready... Steady... Move Your A-Z

Getting ready to pump the blogosphere from tomorrow for a whole month together with 2,000 other maniacs!

What a time we're going to have!

Last year this time, I was out of work so I had a lot of time to write each day and to then also leisurely browse through other people's blogs to comment on so many of them.  The reverse is true this year.  My job is highly demanding (timewise as well) and I've taken an easier route.  As well as being a storyteller, I'm also a poet so, for now, it's going to be poetry all the way, every day.  I hope you'll join me in enjoying some new and some old works which I'm revisiting.  So, instead of agonising over what to write, I'll plonk a poem down on the tea table and go visiting.  A much more pleasant pastime.

Looking forward to visiting you.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day (to those who are celebrating it today)


On this day and always, let's embrace the lives our mothers and grandmothers endured to provide us with the life we can all live today.  The vision of a stay-at-home mother who did nothing all day was perpetuated by a complicit media to keep women in their place.  The media are still at it but we live in a different time now - a time when people in general are learning to embrace the understanding that the genders, although different, are equals one to the other. 


The Good Old Days
Happy Mother's Day My Most Wonderful Mother.  You are always missed!
When men were men
Those magnificent men
Who worked a full day
To bring home the pay


Weren't suitable
To work at all

A women's job was
To know her place
To know how to act
For the pleasure
Of a tickle from a feather
Or some other noble delight
Bestowed on her
By her man
Her magnificent man

What a life she led
As she lazed about the house
All day
Beautifully groomed
And dressed
In all the finery
Given to her
From the charity
Of her man
Her magnificent man

She never did do
A hard day's work
Except for those little delightful duties
Designed to please her man
Her magnificent man

How I miss those halcyon days
When men were men

And women?
Well women
Were chattel
Whose worth
Was "Hells" of a lot less
Than cattle!

Yes to be sure
How I miss those halcyon days
Days which
Have built up women's sway
To pave the way
For the strength
Of Women Today!

That is why we can
In absolute honesty

Happy Mother's Day

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - "Ulale Kahle, Madiba" (Sleep Well, Madiba)

This is a most beautiful Zulu song called Mbube - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - written and sung by Solomon Linda in the 1920s and 1930s while he worked for Gallo Records in Johannesburg, South Africa.  You can read all about it here:  You can also listen to the original song on this page.  It's well worth it.  Given that the song was recorded during the 1930s, the musical timelessness is amazing.  Today's musicians could learn a lot from the days of 'original sound'.

Here is a later (also excellent) rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight by the American band, The Tokens.  

A little bit of politics, if I may:  All of this occurred before what became known as 'apartheid' gripped our country in 1951 and, on archived film recordings of Mbube, one can clearly see races (black and white) working comfortably together to make beautiful music.  I'm grateful we're out of that time but cannot accept what the present corrupt regime has been doing to our wonderful country since 2009 and, as Madiba sleeps the long sleep, The Lion Needs to Roar on 7 May, 2014 to rid our country of the rot.

This post was initially inspired by the photograph below which my friend, Claudia, had taken in Vilakazi Street in Soweto.  I haven't written a post about the death of Nelson Mandela, the man who, with F W de Klerk, the then President of South Africa, moved the country away from apartheid into democracy (that they were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together says much, even though that once noble prize is now noble no more).  At the time of his death, there was too much politicking going on and the timing wasn't right for me.  

This then is my tribute to a man who went to prison as an angry, hate-filled, young terrorist and emerged 27 years later as the humble, Christian, Statesman whom we South Africans (of all races) admired and still do.  

The Lion Sleeps Tonight 
"Ulale Kahle, Madiba" (Sleep Well, Madiba).

Claudia with a mural of Madiba in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Quickie update on The Daighacaer and Blogging A-Z 2014

Oh my, how time flies.  It was almost a year ago that I got to know so many of you.  In this year, my life has changed direction so many times, I feel quite dizzy.  What hasn't changed, though is my commitment to completing 'Escape from Mount Vilipend', the first in my epic fantasy series, The Daighacaer.  I was getting so frustrated that I just couldn't get the thing finished but, in hindsight, I needed the time for reflection.  The end is now in sight (one chapter to complete and a bit more of one other) and then I can send it to an agent.

I've been totally blessed to have an editor work with me even though I haven't quite finished.  With her invaluable input, I just know that the very best of the story will be showcased. :)

April begins another exciting annual Blogging A-Z event and, as much as I wanted to have all my 'days' written and ready so that I could concentrate on others' work, that was not to be.  This year, I've decided that I'll write a poem a day, going through the alphabet.  I haven't decided on a theme as yet so I'll surprise myself with this as well...

This is my little feral rescue kitten whom I've called 'Paisley' because of his beautiful markings