By Julia Vaughan
Petticoat in Mafeking
Fourteenth of October, Eighteen Ninety Nine Ada wrote to her sister, Emily The great Siege of Mafeking had begun Four children, under twelve, to keep safely Fifty-seven letters detail the horror Dug outs under wagons, surrounded by Sandbags, the new, safe-home in a hollow Ninety-six pound shells, dynamite craters Shelling from three sides, men shooting from two Crashing through brick walls, making monster holes A joy to find whole shells that did not burst! Water supplies cut off, Typhoid kills too. Cows are stolen. Paper is scarce, so too is bread. Relief comes on Thirteenth of June Nineteen Hundred.
26 bones Dainty, plodding, neat, or sprawling. Ballerina’s bunioned, bound in satin Policeman’s pounding pavements Model’s mincing down long catwalks Gran’s gnarled knuckles, still working fine. 30 joints Young and mobile, arthritic and crackly Flexion to extension, rotating or frozen Osteopaths know what’s best To maximise what we’ve got Move it or lose it has never been truer. More than a hundred muscles Tendons and ligaments Working together for Yoga poses and marathons, Walking hallways at night Sprinting for trains departing soon. My feet need love They ache and crunch. Finding bliss Barefoot on sandy beaches Sinking into lush lawns Fragrant oily massages Watermelon pink varnish.
inspired by Karlin G Love piano solo
Dark chocolate Vegan friendly It’s lure is infinite Desire so elementary Melting bitterness No restraint Lingering sweetness Perfect on a Valentine’s date Dark chocolate 70 percent cocoa Fair-trades co-operate Be good to the planet is all the go. 70 percent of the world’s cocoa It’s hard to believe Grown in four African countries Low food miles hard to achieve Fantastic if it’s organic Flavonoids a plenty Anything more romantic? Nibbling another square gently Melting bitterness No restraint Lingering sweetness Can’t stop after row eight!
Off to the mountains Breathe Nyanga air Crisp. Fresh. Cool. Off grid. Paraffin fridge and lights Mesmerising wood fire. Bracken Hills Dam Trout fishing until dusk Frightened Jackals circling ever closer Walk through forests Feral pine and wattle Grassy hills Dogs gamble and run. Lichen covered granite boulders Perfect picnic seats. Peaches and apricots Taste better than ever Almost freezing Gairezi River, Sparkling clear and gurgling. The rock you found in the middle, Water smoothed for eons Wood fire heated steaming hot water Deep soaking baths. Languid afternoons Clouds coming in the windows! Unwind, Forget the world. Fall deeper in love, Become engaged. Diamonds at Troutbeck Hotel Joy of unexpected telegrams.
Julia Vaughan moved to Australia with her husband in 1989, and began writing poetry after attending inspiring Victorian Surf Coast U3A “I just don’t get poetry” classes. Having poems dotted sparsely across the internet, she dreams of becoming an accomplished poet. When not dreaming, she can be found walking the beaches with her two Vizsla dogs.