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From Purgarory to Paradise


The fog has not yet lifted from the enclave. The candyfloss glow of the sun suspended above the horizon of the valley in the Jock of the Bushveld Concervancy [sic] where I have made my new home reflects on the ghostly blue of the dam in front of my house. One of the nesting pair of fish eagles does a low flyby. The distinctive call of the fish eagle is synonymous to me with Africa, pulling on my heartstrings as no music can. A primordial longing fills my very soul. Banished to purgatory for the best part of my life, this paradise is my just reward in my golden years.


the fish eagle’s call

amplified by dam water—

its catch is silent


An African Jacana teeters with its long toes on the emerald green leave of the pink water lily flower. It pecks delicately at something at the edge of the flower, before taking flight; long legs dangling behind it like superfluous appendages—its sharp, ringing tone cleaving the morning silence.

I am not alone: a blouapie (marmoset) with his distinctive cobalt blue and crimson genitals surveys my progress along the path to the jetty. Damp, golden leaves carpet the pathway, the pungent smell assailing my olfactory receptors, alerting me to the many unknown vegetation growing in abandon on the embankment—names of which I need to learn and applications I need to discover. Something scurries among the roots of the macadamia tree and plops into the water.


spring stirs in loins,

driving out the long winter

of dormant passions


Copyright © Suzette Richards 2018

Form of Poetry


Author: Suzette Richards
I’m a retired bookkeeper – born and raised in Cape Town; now living in the Highveld region. I’m passionate about writing. Since 2012, I have joined a number of online poetry sites where. I was nominated as one of the Best Poets (past or present) on World Poetry Day, 21 March 2013, in Dazed, a UK magazine. I designed the new poetry form, ©Suzette Prime in 2012, which is listed on
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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