“Stillness is leaking from stone and concrete” by Stephen Symons

Stillness is leaking from stone and concrete

Whether night or day
the world seems paused at 4AM —

Somewhere a grey priest
is ringing a church bell,
practicing for that moment
when the clocks cast off this spell.

I once gave a family
a jigsaw puzzle to pass the time
and now wonder if they ever
discovered it was missing
a single piece of sky.

Across the city, an old man
is watching that piece of sky
slide from the landscape on his curtains,
while next door, two lovers have become
the mapmakers of their own bodies.

Stillness is leaking
from stone and concrete
into the streets,
so each pool of reflection
is a duplicate earth distilled of humanity.

Most of the voices we know
have turned to dust and breadcrumbs,
snaring sunlight on the
floorboards of empty hallways.

Slowly, nature is making a temporary
comeback of clarity and vengeance
until each minute is missing a second
and each hour, a minute.

Eventually, all those seconds and minutes
will add to something
that is neither night nor day,
something closer to the purity
of a ticking clock in darkness,
marking that moment we
cast off the spell
before sleep,

and once again,

the streets will be full
of the languages
and laughter of countries
returning to blindness.

 

Stephen Symons is a graphic designer and poet. He holds an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Historical Studies. His poetry, essays and short-fiction have been published in journals, magazines and various anthologies, locally and internationally, including Prufrock, Carapace, Stanzas, New Contrast, New Coin, uHlanga, Aerodrome, Poetry Potion, The Kalahari Review, LitNet, Badilisha Poetry, Wavescape and Patricia Schonstein’s Africa anthology series. His short stories have also appeared in the Short.Sharp.Stories anthologies (2015, 2016 and 2017), amongst other anthologies and magazines. His unpublished collection, Spioenkop, was listed as a semi-finalist for the Hudson Prize for Poetry (US) in 2015. A selection of his poems was selected for an international anthology of contemporary poetry, titled A World Assembly of Poets (2017). Stephen’s debut collection of poetry, Questions for the Sea, was published in 2016 by uHlanga Poetry Press and received an honourable mention for The Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry in 2017. His second collection of poetry, Landscapes of Light and Loss, was published in 2018 by Dryad Press. He lives in Oranjezicht with his wife and two children.

Stephen has designed (cover and typesetting) the following books for Karavan Press:

Karavan Press title: Earth to Mom – Personal Essays on Loss & Love by Sue Brown

Earth to Mom

DESCRIPTION

A cow mooed and a dog barked, their voices travelling the still air from a distant hilltop. And the white tail of an airplane left a stripe on the baby-boy blue of the highest sky above.

Then pale rays warmed my back on the deck of the hut, steamed the acrid smoke smell from last night’s fire from my jersey, as I wrote of our own family’s catastrophe. Our own golden, unforgettable little prince, whose bold laughter rang out, whose tears fell and sadness echoed, and whose bravery inspired. Wrote our own tale of a visitation from an extraordinary small person. Of his lessons in great love and its loss, in loyalty and our limitations – and of being irrevocably changed by him.

Sue Brown’s son died of cancer a few days after his thirteenth birthday, leaving behind a Craig-shaped crater in the lives of those who knew and loved him. Sue chronicled this unfamiliar, tragic landscape of diagnosis and grief in The Twinkling of an Eye: A Mother’s Journey. In Earth to Mom: Personal Essays on Loss & Love, a collection of poignant vignettes written since the publication of her memoir, Sue addresses her son, still the magnetic centre of her family’s world, and tells the story of how they continued reshaping their bonds and finding hope and light beyond the loss of their beloved son and brother.

ISBN: 978-1-990931-92-5

Publication date: Autumn 2020

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue BrownOn New Year’s Eve of 2010, SUE BROWN’s twelve-year-old son, Craig, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. In the turmoil of the time, Sue instinctively turned her hand to writing. In 2017, six years after Craig had lost his battle with cancer, she published a memoir, The Twinkling of an Eye: A Mother’s Journey. She lives with her husband and their daughter in Cape Town. The family spends as much time as they can at Craig’s Cabin in Betty’s Bay. Sue continues to find hope and solace in the written word. Her new book, Earth to Mom: Personal Essays on Loss & Love, is a tribute to her son and the indelible mark he left on his family and friends.

Author: Sue Brown

Sue BrownOn New Year’s Eve of 2010, SUE BROWN’s twelve-year-old son, Craig, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour. In the turmoil of the time, Sue instinctively turned her hand to writing. In 2017, six years after Craig had lost his battle with cancer, she published a memoir, The Twinkling of an Eye: A Mother’s Journey. She lives with her husband and their daughter in Cape Town. The family spends as much time as they can at Craig’s Cabin in Betty’s Bay. Sue continues to find hope and solace in the written word. Her new book, Earth to Mom: Personal Essays on Loss & Love, is a tribute to her son and the indelible mark he left on his family and friends.

Jewish Literary Festival, 15 March 2020

12 March 2020: PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

JLF2020

Karavan Press author Dawn Garisch will be participating in this year’s Jewish Literary Festival (JLF). The festival is taking place on 15 March 2020 at the Gardens Community Centre in Cape Town, home to the iconic Jacob Gitlin Library, SA Jewish Museum and Cape Town Holocaust Centre.

Dawn’s event will take place at 10am at the venue “ISRAEL ABRAHAMS 2“.

Writing Jewish characters — when you’re not Jewish: Where angels fear to tread…
Helen Moffett, Qarnita Loxton and Dawn Garisch talk to Karina Szczurek.

This is the third edition of the bi-annual Jewish Literary Festival, a one-day event for lovers of literature and Jewish life. Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, 15 March 2020, readers can engage with more than 70 wordsmiths, poets, journalists, filmmakers and educators over more than 40 sessions. The presenters all have some Jewish connection, are engaged with subjects of Jewish interest or have a way with words and, with multiple sessions running simultaneously throughout the day, the organisers offer genres that cover fiction, sport, food, memoir, politics, journalism, the arts and more – a wide choice to suit all tastes. It is a literary feast of note. Don’t miss it! Tickets sell out quickly, so do not hesitate to book yours here: Quicket.

JLF_programme_2020

 

Blown Away by Books, Fish Hoek Library, 11-14 March 2020

Blown Away By Books 2020

Karavan Press authors Melissa A. Volker and Dawn Garisch will be participating in this year’s BLOWN AWAY BY BOOKS at the Fish Hoek Library. The festival is taking place between 11 and 14 March 2020.

Shadow Flicker launch at Book Lounge4Writing the Environment: where fact meets fiction

Novelists Lynton Burger (She Down There), Melissa A. Volker (Shadow Flicker) and environmentalists Colin Bell (The Last Elephants) and Richard Peirce (Orca: The day the Great White sharks disappeared)  talk to Robin Adams of World Wide Fund for Nature about telling stories that need to be written about our world.

Saturday morning, 14 March, 10:00-11:30, Fish Hoek Library.

Dawn Garisch at Open BookThis Writing Life

Tracey Farren asks novelists Dawn Garisch (Breaking Milk),  Qarnita Loxton (Being Shelley) and Trevor Sacks (Lucky Packet) where their stories come from. Do they arrive fully formed, or do uncontrollable characters dictate what will happen next? How do they write, and when, and why, and can anyone ever fully explain this writing life?

Saturday afternoon, 14 March, 14:00-15:30, Fish Hoek Library.

 

BLown Away by Books programme

Strong voices with unique stories find a home at Karavan Press

Catrina Wessels Rights Management | Regtebestuur

A new arrival on the South African publishing landscape warrants celebration, especially if the driving force behind it is someone of the stature of Karina Szczurek. Karina has been active in the industry as a writer, editor and critic for many years, and, in 2019, decided to realise her dream of launching her own publishing house. Thus Karavan Press was born.

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Her stated aim with the venture is to provide a nurturing environment to those stories that would otherwise have been left out in the cold. The notion of “home” is a guiding principle for Karina and Karavan Press has truly become a home for the authors it has published thus far. Through her guidance their work has made an instant impact on the local literary scene, eliciting wonderful responses at book launches, literary festivals and in the media.

As an avid reader across genres, Karina has a finely honed…

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Nancy Richards reviews Theatre Road for Breakaway Reviewers

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From domestic worker to diva – a truly South African story

“To a greater or lesser extent all biographies, auto or otherwise, tell the story of the times as much as that of their subject. In Ms Mtshali-Jones case, her story reflects the anomalies and atrocities of apartheid as well as her own journey through theatre. But to begin at the beginning, young Thembi, born of a childlike ‘makoti’ (new wife) grows up in rural Kwa Zulu-Natal with her grandparents. Her early childhood is simple, honest and filled with old school love and care. Things change though when aged 13 she is put on a bus to join her mother in Durban where her eyes are opened wide – and she sees white people for the first time…”

Continue reading: From domestic worker to diva – a truly South African story

Andy Martin reviews Shadow Flicker by Melissa A. Volker

Shadow Flicker_LR for web

“I should declare an interest. I have a special fondness for the part of South Africa where this novel is set: in and around St Francis Bay on the Indian Ocean side, down the road from J Bay, boasting some of the best waves in the world. And like everyone else I have an interest in trying to save the planet. So I am naturally drawn to a novel that pulls together a beautiful and moody coastline, a handful of lonely, messed-up characters, and a plan to build a wind farm. But, I’ve got to say, Shadow Flicker beguiled me way more than I could have expected. It’s a love story with a noirish edge …”

Read the entire review here: Goodreads

Surf Sweat and TearsAndy Martin’s is the author of the upcoming Surf, Sweat and Tears: The Epic Life and Mysterious Death of Edward George William Omar Deerhurst.

“I don’t normally read books about surfers, but this is like Truman Capote, with shorts.” — Lee Child