February 1, 2017

A Poem by Bilkis Moola and Artwork by Shameeg van Schalkwyk

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Bilkis Moola is an Educator who works as a Head of Department in Languages at a school in Vukuzakhe, a township located in Volksrust, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.  Her first published anthology, “Wounds and Wings:  A Lyrical Salve Through Metaphor” was received throughout South Africa and launched her poetic persona.  It evolved as an introspective quest for recovery from her personal narrative of an abusive marriage.  She presently divides her time between professional responsibilities and  postgraduate studies in Education.  Her pen continues to sketch the flotsam in her mind from the passion in her heart on shreds of paper that bloom into poems.

   Visual artist- Shameeg van Schalkwyk



“I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I can see that it’s a delightful story”.

Henry James from “The Portrait of a Lady



The Portrait of A Lady
A Tribute to Janine Pickett:  La Fleur d’ “Indiana Voice Journal
Theirs is a transcontinental fresco painted in a sky
sprinkled along the band of a luminous Milky Way;
brushed in his visage of her soul’s sparkle
kindled by embers in a chimera -
tapped by her finger on a keyboard’s patter
from his ghetto to her galaxy.

Cradled in his city celebrated for her mountain’s table -
he served his paintings on a platter
delivered to the land of the Indians
at the Crossroads of America.

In France, lives a poet who scribed ekphrastic verse -
“Bizarre Bazaar”, he named the artist’s portrait of starvation:
the skeletal frame of a child’s forage for crumbs -
salvaged off the floor where Anushka crumbled.

She is the perfume of petals in pink and white -
La fleur d’ Indiana, the Peony
bequeathed from her namesake, Paeon -
Greek God of compassion in she who heals;
the root of prosperity married to the promise
of hope.

Their transcontinental fresco from his ghetto to her galaxy
sweeps screens -
sprinkled along the band of a luminous Milky Way
tapped by her finger from his palette.

Splashed in colours of vibrant red
the Cardinal fluffs her feathers and flies to the sun.



Poetry © Bilkis Moola
Artwork © Shameeg van Schalkwyk


I am humbled, and beyond grateful for this loving tribute by these two amazing artists! Thank you Bilkis, and Shameeg. ~Janine Pickett

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