100 Words

100 Word Challenge #9: Hope Springs Eternal

Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay

Our autumn solstice what can I say
Promise of spring is six months away
I hope by then to discount my fears
Roll-out so far will take 15 years

Vaccine apartheid, nations squabble
In South Africa, our hopes wobble
Trying to figure out and understand
Why there’s no strategy, no damn plan

March goal for health workers won’t be met
ANC blame supplies, but forget
We’re in the dark, don’t know where or when
The rest of the nation can feel safe again

I pray we survive winter
Call me next Spring
I’m sure we’ll survive
Then I’ll sing



Does a deadly future loom or is it not all doom and gloom?

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Covid-19 has wrought great disruption to our physical, emotional and spiritual lives.

Easter and Passover are upon us, and Ramadan will soon follow. These religious events gave me pause for self-reflection, because my spirit is weary from the constant worry of when this global crisis will end.

Each country has handled the pandemic in different ways — some more successful than others — but hold on to hope now that vaccinations have begun.

South Africa is lagging — that worries me.

We could point the finger at developed nations in the northern hemisphere for prioritizing their own populations and hoarding…

GiaB prompt #18: history

Image by David Peterson from Pixabay

Today, April 27, we celebrate Freedom Day to remember that historic day twenty-seven years ago when races mixed and queued together to cast our ballot.

Following a series of tense negotiations and years of liberation struggle, South Africa held its first democratic election on April 27, 1994.

My husband and I took part.

What a magical day it was!

Although whites with permanent residence in the country could vote, we took our responsibility a step further. We applied for and received our South African citizenship and pledged allegiance in time for the election.

Desmond Tutu, the renowned anti-apartheid activist and…

50 Words

Fifty Word Challenge #31: Zombies

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Blinkered blind
Absent wide-angle lens
Confined perspective
Shuttered mind

In camouflage
Khaki dismisses
Rubber bullets
Mortal kisses

Rifles, bombs and guns
Riot gear and faces hid
People targets on a grid
Cannot hide or run

Heartless automatons
With your riot shields
Obeying orders
Crossing borders

People shall not yield


I approached this topic back to front.

I googled the definition of zombies, already having an idea in mind to avoid writing about monsters and such, because they don’t interest me. The same goes for horror movies and books — life presents enough actual horrors.

I guess for some, a creepy…

Read on because this is a fantastic opportunity — you can do it too

Image by mohamed hassan from Pixabay

Many Medium writers are putting decent bucks in the bank by writing on News Break and are not afraid to say so.

This gave me the confidence to come out and tell the truth without feeling I’m betraying my Medium family.

There are many obstacles to being paid as a writer based in South Africa — Ko-Fi is a no-no, Stripe doesn’t operate here and one can only use PayPal to receive payments which have to be withdrawn to a local bank account within 30 days with rigorous foreign exchange oversight. Receiving royalty payments from Amazon is another nightmare.



GiaB ‘Dear Genie’ prompt #2: forgiveness

Image by Alexis_Fotos from Pixabay

Buffeted by winds of war
And cries for more
Freedom of expression, unshackling from suppression
People die neglected as the headlines fade
No progress made in myriad nations
Locked in dispossession

I watch dejected
Peace plans rejected
Statistics, graphs and charts,
Victims an abstract art of
Numbers, numbs the senses
To offences

Who will agitate
Against the power-hungry haters
Perpetrators, cruel dictators?
We are spectators
Toothless commentators
Tossing words at perpetrators

The world condemns but never acts
Despite presented with the facts
Proxy wars, brutal ambition
Blind to humanity’s condition
How can I sleep
While many millions weep?

What holy…

GiaB prompt #15 illumination

Image by Gerd Altman from Pixabay

Behold the glowing clouds
Phosphorescent greens and blues
All hues mesmerize, inspiring awe
Heart and mind in accord, record as glow
Vibrates, creates, rotates and swirls
Pearls of iridescence, spectrum of the heavens

Shadows speak of possibility
Nature’s ability
While waves oscillate
Short, long — a silent song
Stretch and bend
No end and no beginning

Day dimming now, mother moon
Welcomes the evening shift
Life-giving sun drifts away, creates another day
The fading blaze reveals the
Silhouettes of trees
Sentries of the night

Breezes tease, delight the drifting clouds
Hunkered round the moon
Basking in her warm reflection
Of departed rays ’til…

50 Words

Thrifty Word Challenge #28: Life on Mars

Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech — Percy Rover’s first drive March 4 2021

No weeds or parasites
Veggie garden will be alright
Hoping I can shit tonight
This Martian earth not quite right
Without extracting CO2
And mixing it with my own poo

Need more water
Feeling lazy but I ought to
Go outside, squeeze some soil
Damn, the spacesuit makes me boil

Hard to believe it’s only three weeks since Percy (Perseverance) landed on Mars!

What a barren place.

For an excellent read, I recommend Andy Weir’s “The Martian” — way better than the movie. I’ve read it three times.

And I’m the proud owner of a limited-edition copy signed by…

100 Words

100 Word Challenge #5: Working through the pain

Image by Engin Akyurt on Pixabay

Don’t tell me to get over it
When toothache rules the roost
Twenty thousand tablets
Hold no power to reduce

The agony of throbbing jaw
Even if I swallow more
Will I find sleep, a gentle shore
Escape from this relentless war?
Now I’m crawling on the floor
Another day to go before

I see the dentist, what a hero
He’ll reduce the pain to zero
(Though not as handsome as De Niro)

Friday the 13th lucky day
2019 ends in play
Gone are the pain and tooth
That’s the bloody truth, forsooth

Now another agitation
Pills have conjured constipation



Thrifty Word Challenge #26: Happiness

Image by Lenka Fortelna on Pixabay

I awake to
A solo symphony
An avian aria
Penetrates the curtained panes
Each line ends with whistling trills
Beating in my heart

I open my eyes
Catching hubby’s
Sleepy gaze
I whisper, “Can you hear it?”

We smile
Together in happiness
Our mutual radiance
Eclipsing the rising sun


This happened yesterday — perfect timing for this prompt.

We all know people who go through life with blinkered senses. They don’t know how much they’re missing.

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” — Thich Nhat Hanh.

Nature and…

Caroline de Braganza

Wise Old Woman (WOW). Forever curious. Emotional Health, Self, Politics, Society, Spirit and Music. Essayist, Poet, Humorist.

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