In Afrikaans, the word ‘vertrek’ means both room and departure.



Today it is nine years since I moved from South Africa to Portugal.

9 ~ an imperfect circle, unspooling.

the closest way to home

The closest way home is remembering what it smells like.



To be homeless is more than just being without shelter.  It is to be without a crucial point of reference from which oneself and the world is comprehended. ~ Tony Fry


Migrant conditions


is to

be longing.


dreams are unlikely maps

graffiti (on) art

graffiti (on) art

lately at night

i’ve been dreaming

of waking up

in a different city

of here and there inverted

of de-tours and re-turns

on these rambling sojourns

i stop not to ask for directions

instead i try

to spell out my name

to strangers


8 years

Today, it’s been eight years since I’ve moved from South Africa to Portugal.
I don’t quite know what to make of that number –

such a wobbly figure, and if it falls over, it’s an eternity.

(If made to stand again, it’s an empty hourglass.)

Two small globes, one on top of the other: my world here; my world there.
The O of surprise and the O of sighing that mark a migrant life.
A precarious balance, sliding mercurial balls holding each other in tension.
But holding each other, still.

And so I hold on too,

the ones I love on both sides,

the endless longing,

the story of two rings and two adventurous hearts

kept and woven into 8’s cross-armed embrace.