poetry break by two drops of ink poetry collections

Poetry Break by Danie Botha

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. ~Leonard Cohen~ Click To Tweet

What stays behind

faded mattress

warm to touch—

labor as I gather the dent

left behind

by your brittle body


at loss

when I fold the pink dress

(the one you loved: did something for your skin),

clasp your hymnal,

unhook your wedding picture


how to pack

an entire life

into a faded suitcase,

without spilling tears on the content,

deciding, what stays behind


yesterday’s shackles


on wet sand

leaving man-on-the-moon



ocean’s breath inhale

embrace her restless pulse

slant eyes against

a rising sun

step wide—a jelly fish!


clean slate:

(a virgin beach) each morn’

along the debris-line

screech gulls, a cormorant

make manacles fall wide

Greetings and goodbyes

Departing years ago, set several situations

in motion, the price of which we’d pay

in equal installments, distributed,

over the remnants of a long outlandish life. Off

to foreign land we’d fled; separated by an ocean,

half a continent, a border, and some more—

and yet, the distance merely that, a

measurement: the hand that held the phone.

Landline was the cheapest. Each time, I marveled

at the cleverness of Alexander Bell, as I listened

to the tender timber in her voice, as if, standing seven steps

apart. Pappa also wants to speak to you, Mother

always said. As I waited, he’d shuffle closer, in

slippered swollen feet, his dancing days were over.

When are you coming back he’d croak,

hopeful, oh so hopeful, that the world he wished for,

would be like it was when we were little

and Studebakers, shining status symbols. Each

weekend I would call, and once a year, or

less, cross the sea by plane to say hello. Cramped intimately

with total strangers, shoulder touching shoulder,

sipping tepid tea, or sweetened sugar shakes

from ques’nable concentrates, a plastic taste that lingered.

Release a rental car, slip seamlessly from lane to lane,

to reach the senior’s sanctuary. Rewarded: raw emotions

rolling free, our tears, soon would mingle—

clasped her hollow hand, the puckered skin with solar spots.

Is there a way to measure love, or loss,

or longing; a life that could have been? When bursting

from her brimming eyes, her shaking voice, her

joy no match for mine. Father joined us seven seconds

later. The dozen days we had, we clutched with

care to our somber beating breasts.  And that was that.

Professionals by now, of greetings and goodbyes.

Danie Botha

Poetry Break by Danie Botha two drops of ink


Danie Botha was born in Zambia. It’s true that they could watch the hyenas at night from their hostel bedroom windows. He completed his school education and medical training in South Africa. Anesthesiology specialization followed later. He has called Canada home for the past 19 years. He blogs about positive aging, ethical medicine, and writing as healing. He writes short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry and contemporary and modern historical fiction. He has published two novels, a novella, and a short story. He draws, fools around with a camera, and is a fitness enthusiast.

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