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  • Remember when it rained on the rondavels?

    All things were streaked with grey and begrown with moss

    Incessantly stroking the beloved soil

    New as a tendril-sprout struggling from between two rocks

  • I began reading romance novels at the age of nine.  Tryna du Toit and Paula, and Elmar Steyn sagas about dashing Cape Colony gentlemen with romantic French names like Armand or Guillaume, who risked their lives […]

    • Thanks for sharing. Sad that it didn’t end happily ever after. I’m a romantic too.

    • First, I wanted to point out that “terrible, tangible thing” and its alliteration, *chef’s kiss*. I liked the feel of the tone in this. It’s really personable, not just because the context. It feels really natural, if that makes any sense. Like someone sitting down and relating their story to you one on one. Also, I know the length was part of the challenge, but it feels like just the beginning of a story. I want to know more. I would love to see this continued.

  • ZannieRose, I would never have thought of “birth and baptism” — thank you!

  • Thank you so much, ZannieRose, Juanita and Sphiwe … your kind words have lifted me up! Blessings to you all!

  • Standard – a poem by Leona Labuschagne

    The shells we build around ourselves from birth

    The cells in prisons and monasteries and asylums

    In which we cower for cover

    The nightmare we can’t wake up out of

    Be car […]

    • ‘Clean me up, wrap me up
      in toasty towels of Your kindness’ – this is an unusual phrasing for beseeching. I would not have thought of it. It seems to blend both birth and baptism.

    • Lovely prayer!

    • oooh Wow, thank you for this .It ministers to me ” Raise your standard over me, Declare me Your property”. a life consecrated to God. Thank you so much for this!, May He continue to use you for his Glory.

    • Thank you so much, ZannieRose, Juanita and Sphiwe … your kind words have lifted me up! Blessings to you all!

    • ZannieRose, I would never have thought of “birth and baptism” — thank you!

  • The ultimate all-encompassing temptation – to not trust God         by Leona Labuschagne

    Introduction to the memoir titled Be Jubilant, My Feet:   The Beginning (or how we imagine it happened)

    In the South Af […]

  • Born 1923, died 1973

    My father, baptised Pieter Borchardus la Grange, originally of French Huguenot stock, was born on 17 March 1923, the second child of four: a sister, followed by three brothers.  He was a […]

    • Kim replied 2 months ago

      I found your family’s memoir fascinating and particularly like the way you impart the details with a clear understanding of each family members strengths and weaknesses and make no apology for it.

      typically I find these sorts of memoirs self-indulgent, but yours was refreshingly candid.
      I have great sympathy for your mother – I can imagine she was damned if she did and damned if she didnt.
      Did she stay married to your father all her adult life? or did she eventually find the courage to follow her own dreams?

      Thanks for sharing

    • I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Found it fascinating the way you told the story with very little emotion much like the Mother and Father. It changed it up a bit the way you introduced new themes with a date and moved between years. Well done on an ode to your family- highlighting the harshness of those times!

  • Mary Magdalene – Poem 2 of 2022 by Leona Labuschagne

    Mary, He is not here

    He gave his Enemy the slip

    in a manner of speaking

    Knowingly leaving His tidily folded face napkin –

    a message that He would be bac […]

    • Beautiful.
      Thank you for that.

    • Interesting and thoughtful take on an old story. I particulalry like the image of the neatly folded face napkin.

    • There is so much tenderness in your poem. It is so timely with Easter coming. I especially like the image ‘shimmering before you weaping eyes how gently he calls your name. Thank you for this lovely poem.

    • I love poetic retellings of a well-known story (and vice versa) and i found this one thought provoking. The use of the phrase “quantum leap” somehow brought the biblical setting closer to the 21st century reader, at least for me. Thank you for writing!

  • Many thanks, Gokatwemang, for your kind words!

  • Dankie … appreciate your empathy!

  • Boots – Short story 2 of 2022 by Leona Labuschagne

    Let me lose myself in action lest I wither in despair.

     Those were the words written on a small index card Hannah’s dad found on the pantry shelf behind the […]

  • Dear Bev, Isabella, Dianne and Ana
    Thank you so much for all your encouraging words! Yes, you are right, this is the first part of a book … I am ‘testing the waters’ so to speak, among all you wise people… : – ) Thanks for allowing me to do that.

  • Air – poem by Leona Labuschagne

    The diving bell spider’s ephemeral bubble

    Is a pulsating dream

    Blown-built with infinitesimal dragged orbs of sky

    Working stolidly for a spider’s transient lifetime

    Not kno […]

    • Love it. Good job.

    • Wow, amazing vivid imagery.

    • Hello Leona,
      I had to google the diving bell spider and I’m glad I did. I like the explanation of its unique life in your final two lines. I am of an age which hiccups at the split infinitive ‘to not die’. May be ‘not to die’ would work as well? I very much enjoyed reading your poem.

    • I learned something new because of your poem. . I had never heard of the diving bell spider before. I like your imagery, especially the line ; infinitesimal dragged orbs of sky Thank you.

    • Oh my, such a mix of science, imagery and philosophy. I really love this, Leona. It’s very well done. I love the “dragged orbs of sky.”

  • A Town called Emerald

     1952

    I grew up on a South African farm – actually a small-holding of 58 morgen – at Weenen, a tiny KwaZulu-Natal village not far from Tugela Ferry, which was where my father had also […]

    • Hello Leona. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your submission. I’m a fellow South African, and the familiarity (as well as the historical sprinklings here and there) struck me with immense fondness. I haven’t read any of your previous work. Is this a memoir you’re working on?

      • Dear Bev, Isabella, Dianne and Ana
        Thank you so much for all your encouraging words! Yes, you are right, this is the first part of a book … I am ‘testing the waters’ so to speak, among all you wise people… : – ) Thanks for allowing me to do that.

    • I was totally absorbed in your world and your words. I felt like I was there with the kids in the town.

    • Hey Leona – you say this is a work in progress – but I’m curious to know if it’s fiction or memoir. I was totally captivated and want to know more!! Also – I loved the phrase: ‘which means that I knew more than I knew I knew.’

    • I enjoyed reading this, although it is more like an establishing of setting for a longer work than a short story. You are a good writer and your detailed descriptions of places and people give your reader a clear sense of the place and the kind of people who live there.

  • Thank you Juanita, Christian and ZannieRose, I appreciate your comments so much!

  • Adapt – poem by Leona Labuschagne

    A cult is driven by fear –
    Mindless franticality triggering conflict within
    now choosingly oblivious
    formerly free-thinking
    motley more or less aware
    crowds, wat […]

    • ”fearfully-foreknowingly ”- love this.

    • Hello Leona,

      Your poem paints a frightening picture for the future. The final line nails it. Well done.

    • Leona, this is an amazing wake up call! Having just finished reading “The Lilac girls” by Martha Hall Kelley, this line “division is the catalyst to control” resonates with me. Thanks for this awesome poem.

    • Thank you Juanita, Christian and ZannieRose, I appreciate your comments so much!

    • Hi Leona
      I wonder whether this is a “frightening picture of the future” as Christian says, or an equally frightening picture of the past. Unfortunately we don’t learn from history. Thank you for sharing.

  • Holiday by Leona Labuschagne

    Once, when she was about ten years old, her parents – or rather, her mother – decided the family needed a break. That sounded strange, since as far as she could tell, they were a fat […]

    • There is nothing worse than disappointing a child. Very sad, but well-written.

    • Such a good story. My heart dropped when it looked like they weren’t going to get their holiday and then really sank when that came true and they had to leave.

      I hope you publish this. It’s a great read.

  • Guarded by Leona Labuschagne

    At the beginning of the second term, her father arranged a lift for her with the Mosterts from Ladysmith. She was terrified of the three-hour trip with strangers, sitting in the […]

    • Leona,
      Thanks for atttempting this exercise.
      My favorite verse was away, awayer and awayest and plan to plergerise (I dont know the spelling. I mean to copy-paste) it in my writings.
      I also loved the flashback system of writing. Rare gift you have here.
      That said, I think you should be consistent in your tenses. You went from past and finished in present tense. Show us the conflict the youn girl was having. Make it real until the reader sympathizes with her.
      Goood work Leona. Willl be looking for this space for more of your writings.
      remember six, not 6

    • Leona, wonderful as always. Will tell you the rest of my comments over some java.

    • You have made a good beginning — I can see this being a continued story. Why does no one cry except Gran, and how does her boarding school experience work out for her? I can picture her sitting in the middle of the crowded back seat with her doll clutched tightly. Reminds me of a time we gave someone’s grandchild a ride back home from an event. We didn’t know him and he didn’t know us, and he was worried we wouldn’t get him home safely.

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Leona Labuschagne

Profile picture of Leona Labuschagne

@zabalala

Active 8 hours, 15 minutes ago
Short Story : 9
Poetry : 5
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Flash Fiction 2022s : 0
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Show, don't Tell June 2022's : 0