Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Moving, the World

Posted by Simon Halliday | Tuesday, August 01, 2006 | Category: |

Just so you all know, I have moved! I now stay in digs with my longstanding friend Seraj. Our digs is called Castle Pebble on account of it being the cottage at the bottom of the property of the house Castle Rock. It’s in Constantia, very close to the top gate of Kirstenbosch Gardens – in fact I am looking forward to frittering away many of the hours of summer in the Gardens. I have taken my laptop to work there previously and my proximity now can only facilitate further enjoyment of the idyllic setting that it provides.

The move itself was chaotic. It was all really on account of the attempted hijacking (née armed robbery) at my old digs. Although it is sad to leave that place, it is also a dramatic relief. I was often paranoid driving into the parking bay, the play of the shadows often seemed to me to replicate the form of a person. I am told that such replaying is a fairly typical example of post-crime stress, or simply PTSD. Ah well… it is occasionally reassuring to be a textbook case and to follow some of the textbook patterns (for example it is good and ‘purging’ to discuss these kinds of things on an open forum such as this).

Otherwise, like everyone I have been thinking on Israel and Lebanon, the wonders of Western-Middle Eastern politics, world power, Condi Rice, the UN, sovereignty, the Geneva Convention, poverty, economics, war. All of these are tied up.

Anyway, I was sent a mail by a friend of mine in protest to the war in Lebanon. It contained photos of the innocent victims. I wrote the following poem as a result of one of the photographs. You can read it beneath this message.

Anyway, I love you my dear friends. Peace.


Danny the Champion of the World1

children should not be

held up by their feet

like dead pheasants


can sear us so

a man was holding

a boy by his feet

having picked him

from the wreckage

of a bombed truck

his skin was ashed

his navel clean

his hair hanging

my seared brain

is ashen now

my hair hangs

wet as I cry

I did not know him

I knew Danny: my memory

of fat pheasants, shot well.

1In reference to the children's story by Roald Dahl.

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. nice.

    The Israeli war made me seriously bleak, too. So I made a big bleak post about it on my blog. Then I went and chilled out in the forest to try and feel better. Luckily it worked.

    Glad about your new digs, dude. :) It's a good place. Lots of yummy trees to hug.