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

  • The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry

C.J. Driver

Here, at the water’s edge, in a cabin on stilts,

I am listening to what the reeds are telling me

in a kind of breathless whispering, As if…as if…as if…

so indefinite that the words are like swallows flittering low

but too fast to be caught by anyone or anything

except as streaks on the edge of one’s retina

like smears of ink on a faded Chinese manuscript…

And then, in your most matter-of-fact voice, you say

It’s just the noise of the wind in the reeds and the water moving

when the reeds are shuffled backwards and forwards.

So you scoff at me like a post-modernist philosopher:

Do you really think you can hear what the reeds say?

You may as well try to catch the swallows as they curve

down to the meniscus of the water and then upwards.

The water-margins are where trouble-makers were sent

by the emperor and his mandarins when they’d had enough

of their insidious garrulity, inconstancy, duplicity.

Even here at home, even in what was once my own country,

the soul gets sent away, out of all imagining.

What the reeds are saying as the wind passes between them,

are aspirant conditionals, as if, if only, and provided.

As if everything, that’s what the reed-bed is saying,

which isn’t much different from as if nothing,

when nothing and victory may be synonymous.

It’s no good your telling me it should be otherwise;

if you can’t hear what I hear when the reeds gossip to me,

it’s because you seem to know precisely that this is personal;

you suppose the noise is sans significance, the words without meaning.

Even when you think there is nothing that matters,

something does. And that turns out to be the biggest puzzle,

that there should be something at all, and not just nothing.

This is what I am having such trouble with, when I hear

that persistent chorus. I feared those voices would be baleful;

instead they are kind of peaceful, kind of accepting,

maybe even kind of kindly, here in the water-margins.

Featured on 13 May 2021

  • The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry

Larry Schwartz

It’s just a trick

of light

that plays on

you and me

a sleight of hand

that deals the dark

also daylight


The flicker

keeps us

out of sync

in our antipodes

Featured on 6 May 2021

  • The Red Wheelbarrow Poetry

Annette Snyckers


The first warmth of spring

sits comfortably on my shoulder,

the smell of pine and fynbos mingle

like a cocktail I would love to taste.

I am walking in the still plantation,

tree shadows fall in slanted spikes

across the sandy path.

The dogs run ahead,

turning dark, then bright,

into shadow, into light,

dry twigs snap, a hadedah objects

and screeches up into the blue.

7 March 2016

Now at summer’s end

the stream creeps underground

autumn dust hangs in the air,

the forest creaks – tinder-dry.

She leaves behind her

mother, sister, dog,

she runs ahead alone –

hell-bent, three shadows

fall across the sandy path.

No one sees

how they grab her –

into shadow,

into that final night.

No one hears --

dry twigs snap,


a hadeda objects

and screeches up into the blue.

Featured on 29 April 2021

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