Saturday February 4th, 2012

The exercise:

A four line poem about: vultures.

We enjoyed a successful trip up to Kelowna today, under mostly clear skies (nice) and totally clear roads (awesome). We picked up enough eggs, cheese, and breads at the market to keep us going for a while, along with some spelt flour for pancakes, pizza crusts, and whatever else Kat gets the urge to make with it.

Tomorrow shall be a day of resting, and maybe a few other things. Mostly resting though.


The sands stretch out before me,
There are vultures overhead;
They invite me to dinner,
But I hope they starve instead.


Greg said...

Well, it snowed overnight here, so the world is currently a little quieter, a little brighter, and a little softer. Until it all freezes into ice, of course :-/ The dog likes it, despite the fact she's barely tall enough to run through it!
Spelt flour is fantastic stuff, I have some here for mixing into breads and pancakes. I might do sourdough pancakes for lunch now....
I hope your vultures starve too :)

He smiles and says he's a vulture
Of all and everything that's culture.
But vultures only ever eat the dead –
I think his culture's just in his head.

Anonymous said...

nice one marc; i envisage a bugs bunny cartoon with that one.

they swooped down on his money
his body was barely cold
with their voices smooth as honey
and their lawyers they paid with gold

Krystin Scott said...


Dappled filthy brown, a bulky winged beast
Exposed red head and sharp hooked beak
Hops down the road in search of a feast
Dinner lays dying, it’s outlook bleak

Sister Christian said...

Dear Kevin Carter,

Wherever you are night now, I hope you know it was not your fault. And there really wasn't much you could have done to help that tiny malnourished child with its limbs like pick-up-sticks and its ribs holding a bloated little body like a rugby ball, dark head hung down low. Helpless metres away from that vulture.

I cried when I saw that photograph - the one you took. I can't imagine what it must have been like for you to be walking around the Sudan in 1993 during the famine and have to come upon that sight in person. I don't know what I would have done, if it was me. I know you took a lot of criticism for taking that photo and then walking away. But I don't blame you for shutting yourself off, hiding your emotions so well that you couldn't feel them anymore, went through the world an alienated observer, trying to do your bit by showing the world what you saw, and not interfering in any way.

I have more in common with you than I'd like to admit. We both grew up in Apartheid South Africa. We both had Catholic parents who seemed not to understand that ALL people are equally worthy of respect, and we both struggled and questioned, confused by the paradoxes, unable to cope with the complexities. I guess one of the few times my femaleness gave me an advantage over you, was when it saved me from being drafted to the army the way you were. I can't tell you how sorry I am about the things you had to see during your national service. And thank God nobody ever gave me a necklace like the one you photographed being given to Maki Skosana.

During the turmoil of those years, I was dancing to Depeche Mode, wailing 'let me show you the world in my eyes' while you were silently taking photographs. I don't think I could have tried walking in your shoes, I'd have stumbled in your footsteps. But I hope you found your peace, sitting down next to the river, listening to the bakkie engine running while you breathed your last gulps of carbon monoxide and crossed over to meet your old colleague Ken Oosterbroek, who'd been shot and killed in a skirmish in Thokoza just days before the general elections.

It's been a long time since you went. I wish I could tell you things have changed dramatically. Maybe they have, maybe editors are more careful about the photographs they publish on the front pages of newspapers these days, maybe they're more politically savvy now.

Or maybe it's just getting harder to spot the vultures.

Sister Christian said...

[Yes, I know - that's so not a four line poem, and it's downright depressing! But it's what came, so I wrote it. Deep stuff on a Sunday.]

Krystin Scott said...

SC - Thought provoking. When it comes,you've got to let it flow. It's on topic, I doubt anyone has cause for complaint. Depeche Mode too? Your killin' me today. I have an 80's radio station playing in my head that I can't turn off. What's on your agenda for tomorrow Casey Kasem?

Sister Christian said...

Krystin - Casey Kasem? I just looked him up on YouTube, thanks for that. I'm laughing now, at his on-air rant about coming out of an up-tempo song and being expected to read a dedication about somebody's dog dying. Not funny, but funny. He sounds like my kinda DJ :)

Iron Bess said...

Finished completely demolitioning the kitchen today. Life is good.



Anonymous said...

Biology 101 : Poetry 2

Around these parts old Cathartes aura is called the 'Turkey Vulture'
Cause it's bald head reminds them of the head that once belonged to Thanksgiving dinner.
The truth is that that fleshy head was made for Vulture snacking,
Cause when you're head first in someone's guts to eat, 'no feathers' is a winner.

Marc said...

Greg - we're still waiting for the last of the snow to melt here. It's close, but the nights are still pretty cold.

That is a very clever way of telling someone he's brain dead. I approve :)

Writebite - wonderful rhythm to a miserable situation that happens far too often. Nice one.

Krystin - great imagery, I could easily picture that scene.

Sister C - no complaints here. Heck, I'm not even brave enough to search for the image you referenced.

Haunting piece of writing.

Iron Bess - sounds like fun! We did some major renos here just over a year ago (I'd link you to the pictures but I'm too lazy to find the posts. January of 2011 in the archives, if you're interested in tracking them down yourself)

Short and to the point, I like it!

GZ - haha, nicely done. Particularly liked the 'once belonged to Thanksgiving dinner' bit. And the last line too, obviously.