Photo Kristopher Roller

It’s the wee hours of the morning. It’s properly chilly, dark and the wind occasionally shifts and carries the faint whiff of unburnt diesel from the neighbours (thankfully almost silent) generator. There’s no load shedding as the local power company calls it — I’ve just turned on the kitchen lights before stepping out on the balcony — but this neighbour is almost always running the generator. Likely he’s got a massive herbal grow facility tucked away under the house or something equally dodgy going on. The horizon is the same inkinesss all the way up to the line of ships…

Photo: Javel Williams

It’s a typical late winter morning in the village. The sky is not so much grey as it is silver, the water is glassy at the backline, the surf foaming as it crashes and from the viewpoint, it looks for all the world like pouring cream lapping at the shore. The horizon is hazy and a few of the larger ships in the outer anchorages are visible, the rest is a shifting, undulating spectrum of silvery sea and sky. The air is just perfectly chilled, not cold, just enough to remind you it’s still winter in this little village on…

Photo by Richard Verdoorn

The bunch at the next table are anti-vaxxers — one of them’s holding court, telling the others (and anyone else in an earshot) that covid-19 was developed by the See-Eye-Hay and the vaccine is bogus. Thankfully her companions are not nearly as learned as her and there are no major verbal histrionics in response to this devastating news that’s been kept from billions of the world’s population. I swing around to check how busy it is inside and seeing a short queue, I take this as my cue to leave the anti-vaxxers to continue on their own.

Thankfully I’d been…

Conversations in a pandemic (1)

Kate and Nadeem find themselves thousands of miles apart in a global pandemic; these are bits of their spoken conversations and a lot of their unsaid words.

Image: Kira auf der Heide

Nadeem looked into the eye filling up the screen, scarily close because she had the phone at a weird angle so he could see right up into her left eye and just a slice of her face. The tip of her slightly curved nose loomed large above a surprisingly delicate chin. Her usually symmetrical and well balanced face took on the look of a piece of pine two-by-four…

Hindquarter of the #NinjaZenBearDog in an ocean of mercy.

we give thanks for the beauty in people, places, hearts and minds.

we give thanks for the hands that hold us with deep, gentle, growing and learning love.

we give thanks for every ounce of good energy shared

we give thanks for the deeply beautiful lessons of the day

we give thanks for the lessons of the kind that drags its fingernails across the chalkboard of your very soul

we give thanks for the voice to shout out loud the injury

we give thanks for the (eventually) peaceful choice not to shout

we give thanks for the work-out of the…

Photo Irma Sophia

The village is on fire. Palls of smoke hang in the air, burning embers from piles of rubbish, tree trunks, tyres, bricks and boulders litter the roads. On Twitter I see images and video clips of a gunfight on the streets near my Nani-ma’s place. In the village where my parents saw their days out, another video of a gunfight in the streets. A black cloud hangs over the city and a dear friend talks about what his chances are if the building he’s in gets set on fire. The supermarket on the corner below him was looted and set…

Conversations in a pandemic (5)

Photo by Arisa Chattasa

Nadeem stared at the scene on the screen; the pale wall with cracks running down it, a pot plant that had seen livelier days and the expanse of Kate’s desk piled with papers, books, cups, another limp pot plant, stationery and what looked like a ring-light & microphone set-up. Then she swooshed in, a blur of buttercream and turquoise with streaks of black curls. Hey, I was in the shower and almost forgot, thankfully, it’s set to auto-answer.

She looks at her screen and sees his smiling face, glistening eyes and listens to the silence…

Photo by Hilbert Hill

Twitter has become my go-to space for some inkling of the news engulfing the world, a laugh and finding generally good reading from authors known and unknown. It’s also a quagmire of racism, sexism, populism and just plain jism too, depending on how far down the rabbit hole you go. …

Melville, March 2021

It’s grey, rainy and cold enough to put on socks and shoes, a jumper, throw a jacket over everything and pick up the umbrella as I go out the door. It’s Joburg, so I know to expect a few delays; the traffic lights and the locals go a little berserk when it rains. Instead of leaving more space between themselves and the car in front, they tailgate even closer to each other, like they’re afraid of being alone in the rain. And they pick up speed instead of losing it. Just over a kilometre into the walk; I find the…

Photo by Green Chameleon

Known Fears

Way back somewhere in early twenty-twenty (writing it out like that seems to be kinder than just using the digits) people are still traumatised — I took on a ghost writing assignment from a client. It was for a journal and the client pretty much had free reign to shout out loud what s/he wanted to, within the general confines of climate stuff.

I duly got onto the gig — excited by the ideas s/he had initially proposed to draw links between the economically driven needs of modern society and the irredeemable loss of natural habitat and biodiversity. …

Jesh Baker

Writes stuff, bakes stuff, stuffs around in the garden

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