South African poetry


This video says about herself:

musical theatre with singer/songwriter Niki Romijn and bassplayer Erik Robaard based upon the poetry of the South African writer Ingrid Jonker.

From Poetry International:

Editorial March 2008

In March we welcome South Africa back into the fold – Liesl Jobson has put together a fascinating issue of classic and contemporary. We’re delighted that Ingrid Jonker, an iconic James Dean/ Sylvia Plath figure due to her talent and early death, is finally featured on the site. André Brink summarises her work thus, “In one way or another most of these poems concern an underlying awareness of a relationship – between woman and man, child and parent, you and I, ego and alter ego: and from this ‘double game’ arises a persistent impression of a life left incomplete, broken, shattered, condemned forever to search for the magic word, or the magic potion, which may restore the lost wholeness of the primal couple.”

We can also now read the very impressive Nontsizi Mgqwetho, active in the 1920s, “one of the greatest literary artists ever to write in Xhosa, an anguished voice of an urban woman confronting male dominance, ineffective leadership, black apathy, white malice and indifference, economic exploitation and a tragic history of nineteenth-century territorial and cultural dispossession.” Nor to be missed is Mazisi Kunene, said to have reconstructed the identity of the African continent, and Rustum Kozain, an accomplished prize-winning young poet.

Love poetry of ancient Egypt: here.

Caribbean-British artist Barbara Walker in South Africa: here.

Smoking causes psychological damage to children


This video is called Quit Smoking.

From Leiden university in the Netherlands:

‘Children who, during pregnancy, have been exposed to nicotine, have severe trouble in adapting their behaviour to circumstances if emotions are at work’, says Hanna Swaab in her inaugural lecture as professor, of today, 4 March.

See also here.

Coot and buzzards


In this video from near Schiphol in the Netherlands, coot parents protect their young against a grey heron.

Today, from a bridge over a canal close to me.

An old shelf, drifting in the water, has been provided by coots with branches and leaves for a nest.

Talking about birds: I still remember the two buzzards, circling each other above the Sint Pietersplein in the city center of Ghent in Belgium, on 27 February.

Special fungi on Dutch island


Hygrocybe coccinea and Hygrocybe virginea, in Wyre Forest in Britain, photo by Rosemary Winnall

Translated from #1 in 2008 of the magazine of Zuid-Hollands Landschap in the Netherlands, page 13:

Every year, the fungi research group of Voorne island does research on a part of the Duinen van Oostvoorne.

This autumn, mycologist Anneke Hoekstra was surprised by a strong rise in numbers of Hygrocybe mushrooms.

Anneke said: “Already in 2006, we discovered, on a dune meadow near the visitors’ center, a big group of Hygrocybe coccinea.

In 2007, a group of yellow-orange Hygrocybe, butter waxcap, and Hygrocybe pratensis, entered the scene; while Hygrocybe virginea and Hygrocybe russocoriacea were present in big numbers.

Hygrocybe coccinea was present now in five groups.”

Some of those species are on the Red List of threatened fungi.

Bush’s bombs kill Somali civilians


This is a video of a Somali peace demonstration in London, England.

From the BBC:

Three missiles hit Dhoble town early on Monday, reportedly killing four people and wounding 20.

People are fleeing the town, fearing more strikes. Residents say planes could still be seen flying overhead on Monday morning. …

US Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman refused to give the identity of the target, whether the strike had achieved its goal or how the strike had been carried out. …

Dhoble resident Fatuma Abdullahi told the BBC they were woken up by “a loud and big bang”.

“When we came out we found our neighbour’s house completely obliterated as if no house existed here,” he said.

Another resident said: “Right now – in full daylight – the planes keep flying over us. They are so low that we’re deafened by their engines.”

“We are poor civilians living in a simple town – what have we done to deserve this bombing?”

Local official Ali Hussein told the BBC that many people were fleeing the town.

The border with Kenya has been closed for the past year. …

The US bombed the area a year ago and residents said the same plane was again involved. …

Last month, a senior UN official told the BBC that Somalia was the worst place in the world for children.

See also here.

US missile strike kills women and children in Somalia: here.

See also here. And here.

And here.