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Two Poems

Ode To Carbs
By Nic van der Merwe

Dear potatoes, dear rice:
I need you in my life
But you were torn away from me
Fouled by Tim Noakes’ trickery

Dear pasta, dear bread:
You’re always in my head.
I never knew what you meant to me
Until dear Tim Noakes’ trickery.

Oh carbs, sweet carbs
Your absence is like a barb
That sticks into the side of me
Placed there by Tim Noakes’ trickery.

My diet is quiet
Full of fat, but I don’t buy it
I need carbs in my life you see,
This desire borne of Tim Noakes’ trickery.

I eat the food my parents eat
Then dream of all carbs, so sweet
A taste I no longer see
Because of Tim Noakes’ trickery.

My life, once full, is now quite bare
And yes, of course it is unfair
I love you carbs, please don’t leave me
Curse you Tim Noakes and your trickery!

© Nic van der Merwe

Osip Mandelstam
By Ralph Goodman

As a train took him towards death Osip Mandelstam wrote poems.
The well-known author, Breyten Breytenbach, wants a reason.
His “Why would he do that?” is of course a Socratic question.
But the answer has to push language almost to its breakdown.

It’s a deep focus on what runs beneath normal consciousness,
A flaming core of lava that underlies the envelope of flesh.
An enlightening fire that strives to transcend death.
A gathering of memes – those new angels of the current age.

The connivance between cerebral cortex and primitive brainstem,
With intelligence for once not hindering speech with hesitation,
And the lizard brain not heeding unmistakable danger signals.
It’s poets metaphorically laying down their bodies on the railway tracks.

© Ralph Goodman

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