Art by Annette du Plessis

Annette du Plessis, Like Spoken Flowers – A Universe Within and Without

Hand stitched embroidery

Two Poems

A Brief Account of His Escalating Petulance

His silence, at the start, a small nuisance
like gnats in a cramped kitchen.

His silence, a snorted Harumph, smug
sniggering from a secret room.

His silence behind a bogus smile
like a clown, or a hyena.

A silence whose tongue grows dry.
A silence that’s seen

its own shadow in forgotten things.
Silence with questions,

unanswered, coiled like a cottonmouth.
Silence that lies

in wait, that shakes its head
and points at someone else.

His silence, a behemoth in a glass factory,
broken pieces,

like so much rubbish and roadkill,
lie in its wake.

Silence that says you can’t go back:
it’s time to pull up stakes.



By The Water’s Edge


 A toad flicks its tongue
out and back
in a fraction of a second,

captures prey and
retracts its eyeballs
into the roof of its mouth.

Above, stars
flame and flash out,
their charred remains

reduced to the dust
on a picture frame or
his lately unused chair.

And I’m left bereft
by the sudden death
of love (first, the duplicity,

then, hurried desertion),
and by loneliness’s morbid
growth, heavy and slow.

Haunted, for days
I yearn to go back
to the edge of the water

and sit. I’m tired
of waiting for whatever
is waiting for me.




Lenny Lianne is the author of four books of poetry, most recently THE ABCs OF MEMORY, reissued by Unicorn Bay Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from George Mason University and has taught poetry workshops on both coasts of the US.  She lives in Peoria, Arizona (USA) with her husband and their dog.


Annette du Plessis is a South African artist who works in many different media, including embroidery. She has been awarded an FNB Craft Vita Award and a Certificate of Excellence from the Eastern Cape Department of Arts and Culture. She has been involved in several community art projects, serving some of the poorest communities in South Africa. Her work is in many private and public collections. Read more about her creations here:



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