Potjiekos Moments

for NaPoWriMo (and GloPoWriMo) 2016 – Day 6 (to prompt)

potjie cooking pot - pixabay

Wafting odours,
Rich and sensuous,
Simmering through the lid.
Poised above the crucial fire,
Meat seared,
Vegetables layered up
From thickest and hardest
To thinnest and softest,
All resting in your secret sauce,
Until, hours later, the end arrives
When spoon slips in,
Stirring thoughts and feelings,
Mixing the life from natures source,
Swirling all together,
Now boiled and brewed
To be more,
Ready to sustain
A few more lives for
A few more hours,
A few more moments for
A few more memories,
Senses fully entrenched,
In glorious all-consuming consumption,
The ritual of The Potjie,
And The Potjiekos,
A mouthful of moments,
Creating momentary pause,
A sigh,
And deep satisfaction.


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


The prompt: “Today, I challenge you to write a poem about food. This could be a poem about a particular food, or about your relationship to food in general.”

Potjiekos is a traditional Afrikaans meal made in South Africa using a three legged iron pot (varying in size depending on how many people you wish to feed!) over a wood or charcoal fire.
The fire must be set just right and kept burning for anything from 2 to 4 hours (I prefer at least 4 when cooking with meat).
The ingredients that can go into the pot are many and varied – from seafood to red meat or chicken filled up with vegetables (or even the vegetables only!).
This is something I learnt to make here (having grown up in the UK) and is one of my favourite meals. I usually use simple beef cubes, lambs neck or chicken as my meat base and I have my own sauce ingredients – which remain my secret! 🙂

That Month

For NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 4 (to prompt)


I am born dead
Faster than sunrise
Slower than sunset
Higher than the tallest tree
Deep below the roots beneath
Bathed betweeen the clouds and sky
Wrapped around a lullaby
Yet no-one sees me come

I am the month
To grasp and squeeze your heart
Breathe fire into your lungs
Drive poison to your belly
Pour blindness in your eyes
Swamp insanity through your brain
Dump intricate nervous pain
Flood despair into your being

I am the time
You hope will never come
That keeps you on the run
Yet creeps up on you fast
Whilst your head stays in the sand
Buried in your comfort zone
Spinning all alone
Until I arrive

And everything changes

© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane


The Prompt: “Today I challenge you to write a poem in which you explore what you think is the cruelest month, and why.”

How did I do?


The Song of Life

The SOng of Life - Jan 13 2016 - morguefile

Then more come
And I wonder how we will all fit
But the guards shout and push
And somehow we all get in

We feel movement
The journey begins
We stand squashed together
Scared, silent, bequeathed

To what? We may never know
Why? We may never know
Where? Maybe we don’t need to know

It is enough to still be standing
In the moment
This moment
The only one that matters
Right now

We might all die before the next one
And I still need to sing it
The song of life
The endless melody of being
With harmonies of now
‘All contributions gratefully received’
From everyone present
Each one heard
Listened to

Someone just needs to start

To produce the note around which all harmonies
All heartbeats will build
Until the music ends
And silence lives again


© Copyright 2016 Robin McShane

Meeting Beelzebub – #2

This is very different to the Villanelle I posted yesterday. The villanelle came about as I ‘played’ with the ideas from a first poem, which developed into a second and then into the villanelle. I thought it may be fun to post the three and show some poetic, creative progression!. As I say, the first two are very different in style (free verse) and flavour. Do hope you enjoy them!
Maybe I should name them “The Beelzebub Trio”! 🙂

Anyway, here is the second one – I will post # 1 tomorrow!
I would love to hear your comments…


photo credit - morguefile.com

photo credit – morguefile.com

Beelzebub came to meet me in Cherry Lane,
Lined with Honey Blossoms and Jakarandas,
Flowers blooming, sun shining,
A fine day.

Stopping before me, he smiled and winked.
Flicking his tail nonchalantly,
He curled one taloned finger,
Beckoning me to follow.

Strange, really, I didn’t feel dead,
After all, this was just an afternoon’s stroll,
At least, that’s how it had begun
Before horny appeared.

I stood my ground, breathing air sweetly,
His smile turned to a frown,
Unfurling the black-nailed finger
He pointed directly at me.

“Follow me!” he commanded.
Not being one to be ordered around,
I stayed my feet,
He was not happy.


© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane

Peace In The World

Peace In This World

There is a peace
To this world
Yes, there is

There is a peace
To be found
If we let go

There is a peace
Through release
From the mind

A place
Where the heart
Wants to go

Where it sings
Through the being
Of itself

And whispers
Through the winds
Of its song

And breathes
With the light
Of its kind

There is a peace
To this world
That, I know


© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane
As per this blog’s copyright statement

Life Simply Is


Please, let’s not ask
‘How’ or ‘Why’
‘If’ or ‘When’

Life simply is
As it is

Questions, choices, clutter the path
Obstruct the flow

Life just wants to happen
As it needs to
In its own

If only we could feel it
Flow with it
Be the part that is ours
Without the questions

How much easier

We are human
Questions are what we do


© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane
As per this blog’s copyright statement

Drops From A Web

Drops from a spiders web - may 15 2015 - morguefile

In fine lines, rain rolls along filigree filaments,
Collecting at strand’s lowest dip,
Pouring into drops,
Edging to their final fall,
Slipping from their sleeve,
Dragging tendrils behind,
As gravity pulls the load,
Cohesion, bringing up the rear,
Tears the last liquid from the webs’s grip,
Plunging the whole
Until the earth absorbs
Drops dissolve,
Beings for fleeting moments
That never were…


© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane
As per this blog’s copyright statement
Thank you



Sparked by
The Light of the Universe,
Enraptured by
The Love of Being,
Captured by
The Lure of Life,
Earth fulfils her purpose,

In silent sways and circles,
She pursues purpose,
Immune to attempted intervention,
Indifferent to proposed diversions,
Impartial to destructive intention,
Impassive to flagrant whims,


She simply carries on.


© Copyright 2015 Robin McShane
As per this blog’s copyright statement
Thank you