And you start somewhere
Because anywhere,
Even a few steps ahead
Is better
Than this hell
Created and called home.
So you start focussing
On your job,
Meaning something to others,
Because you
Have nothing
To offer yourself.
And you get up,
Even when you find it hard
Even when sleep,
Is a sweet retreat
From reality,
Even when you fail
To see any sense.
And slowly it gets easier
There are small glimpses
Of hope,
A note of appreciation,
A smile on someone’s face.
One step each day
Turns into months,
And slowly you become
You start to believe
That perhaps
You do have a place
To call home,
And you realise
Home doesn’t need to
A person.
And He
Becomes your home.

Copyright Hiraeth 2017



We were seventeen.
We would sit on the carpet
And you would play
On the guitar
While we sang
K’s Choice songs
About 20 000 seconds
Since you were gone,
We sang it
Like we knew about loss,
Like it was real to us.
And this morning
I played their songs
At maximum volume
And sang along
About 20 000 seconds
Since you were gone,
I sang it
Like I knew about loss,
Like it was real to me.
And I realised,
We were beautiful,
Forever captured in our
Youth and naivety.
And every now and then
You play K’s Choice songs
In my dreams
And I
Like you are real to me.

Copyright Hiraeth 2017

Walk On

And one day
You lay the drama down
Like a coat that for a while
Was comfort,
Was love,
But now fits awkwardly,
Revealing all your
Every curve and contour.
And you take it off
Because your role is done
And although the rest still
Play their roles
(ever less convincingly)
You no longer can.
And without blame,
(Because stupidity
always requires two)
You stand naked
In your shame,
In your self
And with bravery
As your only companion
(but the one who breathed life
into you holding your hand)

Copyright Hiraeth 2017

All of it

I take on too much
And it is a lesson
I fail to learn.
How hard can it be
To just say “no?”
As hard as realising
That there is only this,
This life,
These moments that I
Want to fill to capacity
With creativity,
With goals to push
The boundaries of my
Insecure inner self,
With dreams that float
In and out of my consciousness.
I want to be all of it:
Mother, lover, dreamer, achiever
All of it
And more.
Because once you
Have tasted the fragility
Of life,
You offer
Your all.

Copyright Hiraeth 2017


I have been thinking
About empathy
And how things would be
If we could see
Humanity in each other.
The human staring back
At me,
Stripped of all pretensions.
How in some way
Everyone is doing their best
Coping with the unexpected,
The traumatic, the endless
Throws of life
And if we met there
You would not need a thick skin
To deal with my lack of
Emotional grace
And I would not see your pain
As weakness,
We would know
That each has his pain,
His cross,
And that those who are strong
Know we are united
In our brokenness

Copyright Hiraeth 2017

My zoo

I have consciously created a zoo for myself. Between three fish (one a Beta fish who ate her male – I find it difficult to like her; granted I understand the emotion, but chewing him fin by fin?), three dogs and two kids, I feel completely content. Despite all the responsibility draped around my neck and the thought that we might never see another holiday (who will stand in as zoo keeper?), I am peaceful, content. When life feels overwhelming and I succumb to anxiety, I see my goldfish swimming in peaceful harmony. When I forget to be present, my pack of dogs (I recently acquired a third one) bark for their daily play and bring me back to now. And late at night when my head hurts with all I still need to do, two sets of little arms reach around my neck and tell me I am loved. So if you are wondering why I am not writing…
I am really happy in my zoo.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016


was a really shit year.
There, I said it
Despite all my goals,
Childlike anticipation;
It very quickly became a
Mad rush,
An epic rat race.
And life happened
Life reminding that
None of this is
That the rollercoaster
Has an end.
And the very thought
Made me run even faster
Chasing the wind.
I have spent a lot of time
Thinking about 2017
And my motto is
Less of everything
Less activity,
Less investment into people
Who don’t appreciate it.
Just less.
And I know that
In the less,
There will be more.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

October’s Spell

It started in October.
Everything you did, said, implied,
Engraved on your face,
Got under my skin, my nails;
Your laid-back attitude,
That kept me calm, centered
Now aroused anger,
It went from complacency to
Laziness in my head
As the days passed.
By the middle of the month
I imagined myself booting you off
That damn Coricraft corner unit
With the two sets of removable covers
On which your outline had an imprint
And very soon,
On that same couch, with the olive
Set on, sitting side by side,
I said, “I am done.”
And your face revealed
You were done too.
And now when I read the news,
See how many celebrity couples
Are done
In October;
I think to myself
If only they held on for two
More months,
In January,
Things will be different,
(and that forsaken couch
will be clean)
Things always look more hopeful;

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

No translation

We speak different love languages
Mine is words,
His is affection
And despite his best attempts
And my enthusiastic moaning
And even a few counselling sessions;
Seven years in, we are no closer
To speaking the same tongue
And I have realised, it is fine
We are fine.
I will always be the one who writes
Lyrically about our love,
Capture the challenges in prose
Write essays in anniversary cards.
He will always be the one who
Shows love, who holds me every night
In a gorilla grip,
Who is practical, even when it comes to
Matters of the heart,
His cards an eloquent
I love you and the gift something
And I will admit,
That I have learnt his language
Become accustomed to it,
And in the dead of night
In his arms
I believe
Everything will be alright.

copyright Hiraeth 2016

I remember you

To the woman
Who lost a son
One of two
I remember the day
I remember you
I remember the ambulance men
Taking him away
From the NICU,
Carefully clearing his incubator,
The nurses cleaning it for the
Next arrival.
He was the strongest of the two,
But suddenly it changed,
As we were warned it could
And often did
(In a very clinical approach,
as if this were a laboratory experiment)
I returned to my room
And sat on the floor
And wept and prayed
That my son would
Make it.
I prayed for you, that your
Heart would be held
By Him.
I phoned my Dad and
Wept like a four year old,
I can’t lose him,
I love him so much already
He is so small
His entire body wrapped
In tubes, wires.
I remember your first visit
The next day
You were there for you remaining
Son, brave but broken,
Cloaked in loss.
I remember.
And even now, when I watch
My blue eyes run and pounce
On every moment of life,
I think of you
And how blessed I am to have him,
how he had to fight to be here.
And sometimes I wonder
If women who have problem-free
Pregnancies, realise how much
Could go wrong,
If teachers and therapists who
Work with these little ones
Realise how lucky we are to have them,
How much they have been through,
If partners realise that the mothers
Are forever scarred by the experience,
That there is always this doubt,
That you did something wrong,
That you were unable to carry them
To full term.
So on this Women’s day
I remember you,
I remember
your sons.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016