Welcome to The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Group

The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Group – more opportunities for poetry

“So much depends . . .”


The Red Wheelbarrow was launched in January 2021 with a view to providing opportunities for poets, and those who love poetry, to meet and read. Our aim is to provide an inclusive platform for poets from diverse traditions, and at different levels of experience.


We offer weekly Zoom readings every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Evenings consist of a reading by a featured poet, lasting for between 25-50 minutes, followed by a ten-minute break and an open-mic session, in which anyone who’s ‘tuned in’ to hear the featured poet would be welcome to read from their own poetry or from the work of another poet. Depending on the length of the open-mic session, we will probably wrap up at around 9:30 p.m. Your hosts will be the poets Jacques Coetzee, Melissa Sussens and Nondwe Mpuma.


We hope that you can join us in this adventure: we’re looking forward to providing poets with a vibrant space in which to share their poetry.


Yours in poetry,

Eduard Burle, Jacques Coetzee, Melissa Sussens, Nondwe Mpuma


Made Way

Jayne Bauling

Made way a thousand greens

sharp in spring, then mellow,

that dressed the hills, lopped

chopped, a brutal felling,

ancient roots wrenched from soil

by machines that screamed –

made way for stripped brown slopes

spiked with a thousand-thousand

macadamia saplings.

Made way bushbuck and duikers,

all shades and many sizes

of mongoose, and vervet monkeys fled

before the push to prosper;

made way a steep bank

where bee-eaters nested,

made way forest buzzards and fish eagles

bereft of tall trees, their absent calls

a gaping silence.

Made way.

JAYNE BAULING is best known for her YA novels which have won several awards, with two being DBE-approved school set-works. She also writes short stories and poetry, and contributes stories to FunDza Literacy Trust. Her latest YA novel Smoke Across the Sun was published in June 2021. Find her on Twitter @JayneBauling and Facebook as Jayne Bauling Writer https://www.facebook.com/Jayne-Bauling-Writer-165514616870712/

A Very Old Story

Karin Schimke

Have I told you the story

of my mother’s mouth —

my mother’s weeping mouth,

toothless in pain, her

mouth wounds, the

bleeding palate, the

blood on her chin, the

blisters, the clear run

of the sores on her

gums, her lips swollen —

during that time she lost

all her coordinates, but

pushed back, pushed back

hard at the dark from the blur

of the pain and the blue blindness

of her eyes without their glasses?

Of her bed of days? Of her sleeping,

the light and heavy on- and on-ness

of rest I hoped would heal what had

hurt her? The mouth of my mother?

My mother’s mouth.

On the ninth day of that time,

resurrected like the unremarkable

miracle of every woman whose luck

ran out when she married, my mother

spoke from a mouth that had been broken.

Her sentences were clean as hospital sheets. No,

I have not told you about my mother’s mouth.

It is a story longer than her own life.

KARIN SCHIMKE is a poet, writer, translator and editor. She works from Cape Town. Her Instagram account, where she talks about books, is @readingdarling.

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Stephanie Saunders

The Medieval ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’

includes mythical creatures, big fish and birds

and a gyre of livestock, and crowds of thin, pale,

naked people, tangled in an awkward orgy,

which also involves fruit and surreal objects,

the meaning of which is lost to us.

This is shown in a cryptic triptych, flanked by

a panel with Adam and Eve and God, in Eden

(pre-serpent) on the left, with more fantastic

shapes and creatures.

Hell, on the other side, depicts severed ears,

darkness, demons, fire, instruments of music

and torture and a pale self-portrait of

the artist, Hieronymus Bosch, peering out

from behind a shell-limb-branch-thing.

Five hundred years on, our modern earthly delights

would be just as incomprehensible to him:

symbols of wealth, status, power, fashion, sport,

conspicuous consumption, mass media

entertainment, luxury cars, travel, lifestyle.

The orgies would be more explicit,

maybe with less fruit.

The creation panel an abstract painting,

an expression of the ‘Big Bang’.

On the right, the panel depicting hell, would be

a problem. People nowadays create their own.

STEPHANIE SAUNDERS has written poems which tend to be humorous or satirical from her schooldays. She has had poems published in various publications and has featured at the McGregor Poetry festival. Her two collections of poems are The Last Fly of the Day and Placebos. Her other interests include art and the outdoors.

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