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That Coyote Moment, Messenger and Vision: Read Poems From Isobel Dixon's The Tempest Prognosticator

The Tempest PrognosticatorAerodrome recently featured two poems by Isobel Dixon.

The poems are called “That Coyote Moment” and “Messenger”. Both poems are about foxes, a “flash in the drab” interloper in a station, and a “roadside fox” for which neither traffic nor news would stand still.

Read the poems, and then try The Tempest Prognosticator for more of Dixon’s wonderful poetry:


Russet and frost
roadside fox
to be sidelined so fast.

Karina Szczurek tweeted a poem from The Tempest Prognosticator earlier today, paying tribute to Dixon:

The Tempest Prognosticator is Dixon’s third collection of poems, praised by writers in South Africa and abroad.

Also known as a Leech Barometer, a Tempest Prognosticator is a 19th century invention that uses leeches to predict storms. The leeches are kept in small bottles inside the device. When they become agitated by an approaching storm they try to climb out of the bottles and trigger a small hammer which strikes a bell, signalling changeable weather.

Dixon is alert to the quirks and oddities of the world where nature and our constructions coincide, as with this strange Victorian reference. She practices a stylish, time-honoured kind of poetry, well-crafted poems which make you want to return to read them again and again. This wide-ranging, appealing collection also contains fascinating conversations with Eugène Marais, Adamastor and Nonqawuse, ‘richly and vividly observant poems’, as Gabeba Baderoon writes, which ‘teach you how to read the world anew’.

Several of the poems in The Tempest Prognosticator have won prizes in international poetry competitions, establishing Dixon firmly as a poet here and in the UK. It is, as JM Coetzee writes, ‘a virtuoso collection’.

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