Tales of Caution : Summary

TALES OF CAUTION explores relationship issues like infidelity, long distance relationships, courtship and acidic relationships. Poems which elaborate on these issues include Being The Partner, Plight of Sailors, The Kaapstad Incident, Fetish Liking, Too Cold for Comfort, Changing Love, among others.
In most of the poems, I make use of verse and a bit of prose. You will find a great deal of rhyme and rhythm in these. The book opens with a titular poem called Tales of Caution and closes with a cautionary note titled Tarry a While.
The poem Tales of Caution is about a father giving counsel to his son. His rather unfortunate personal experiences inspires him to warn his son about the dangers of violence. He encourages him to work hard if he is to have a good life. He concludes by imparting that altruism should be a life principle and that he must not throw caution to the wind in all his endeavours.
Further in the book, this poem is complimented by Never Shed Your Tears, which is about a son who has fallen victim to his wayward life, and the father reminds him of how this has come to be. He tells him of how failure to plan is actually a plan to fail. He is tormented by the fact that his son failed to take heed of his prior counsel.
Plight of Sailors, The Kaapstad Incident, Being The Partner and Thieves from Muldersvlei touch on issues affecting marriages. The prevailing economic challenges has seen people travelling across borders in search of descent livelihoods. However this has proved self defeating in that some partners get carried away and forget the families they left behind altogether. Some spouses who have stayed behind end up engaging in extra marital affairs.
Some have embraced diasporean lives with a change of behaviour and end up engaging in illicit affairs and activities. Being The Partner is a Babakazi-like (aunty-like) approach in that all parties in a marriage are instructed in turn on how to cherish and nurture the relationship.
Tipsy Odds and Trapped In The Past wanders over the rather sensitive and dark issues of witchcraft among the African communities. The former being about a parent who admits to being a sorcerer and how her minions have destroyed the livelihoods of her children. This brings to light how entities believed to bring security and power in African tradition have actually brought damage and hindrance to the lives of others. It closes with the woman atoning in front of a traditional court and wondering if she will ever be forgiven. The later talks about inheritance issues where a deceased’s spouse and children are abused (even spiritually) by the husband’s relatives. From the Poet’s eye, we see how the husband died and how his estate was seized from its beneficiaries. This is real and I felt it wise to talk about it.
Mantis Friend talks about being real in relationships, while The Puppet Show warns against procrastination and teaches about the importance of time. An Ode to Nature celebrates the diversity of the savannah grasslands. Lessons of hard work and hope are drawn from the animal kingdom, and a subliminal call to emulate and conserve is made since these are shown to be beneficial to mankind.
Several poems talk about how some relationships fail to stand the test of time. Loss is another issue raised by poems like Yellow Chiffon, In Memoriam, among others. It’s all summarised in the short poem Wander Over Yonder, which was inspired by the sudden disappearance and loss of Malaysian airliners. These glimpse at eternity and seek to bring closure by imagining the departed are at peace in worlds “they chose”.
Caiden’s Verse is a celebration of life and how children are a source of happiness and strength even in trying times. Fatted Inception and The Primrose Path explore the rather sad issue of abortion and cruelty. Where the existence of a being is inhibited by the ill perceptions of strife and fear.
Ultimately, the book closes with two poems that seek to implement all that has been said. Breaking Walls is a desire to do good and excel given any circumstances, good or bad. It’s a positive confession and an affirmation for the fight towards good and success. Tarry a While is a sincere note by a mature being to all those growing up. It seeks to educate them, in brief, of the dangers in the world. He encourages them to make some time for his counsel so that they may embrace the world with an informed attitude. He likens the world to a dark, moonless night, full of hounds which devour. However he encourages them to be strong, hopeful and careful. He encourages them to have a positive mindset and candidly tell them that life is what they make it.


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