Archive for November, 2015

manic me

manic me … …

momentary desolation, fleeting, instantaneous manoeuvring, shifting gears,

creasing years,
hollowed out, spent,
pummeled bluebrown,
barrage of blunt tears,

blinded by fears,

but not today, not now:

today, now,
dreams soar,

of hopeful, peaceful,
less harsh, more gentle years …


the illusion of control

the illusion of control …


… so, life happens,
our infinitesimal plucking of strings,
somehow brings,
an idea, a glimmer of hope,
of control, an illusion really,

of just sort of kind of knowing on the whole,
just how the paths we dream up, are to be tread,

and so,

we weave, we dance,
oblivious to the fickle whims of chance,

we joust, parrying jabs,
picking at wounds,
scratching under scabs,

seeking this, that, whatever,
speeding on highways bound for never,

wearing our hearts on our sleeves, baring all, unashamed,

emotional sentimentality fluttering amongst dead autumn leaves,
starkly transparent,

yearning for that early ache,
that wondrous sensuality of synapses, sparking,
inflaming that early rush,

leaving me numbed,
in my shallow sewer, impotent and dumbed,

wasting away, lost in the well,
where no pebble ripples back



(got to let the cat out for reasons only the cat knows)


so where we,
before the cat’s bells began to tinkle,
thankfully not toll,

ah yes,

the illusion of control … …

for Dr. Carl Sagan
1934 – 1996

the mirage

just out of view,
shades of hope,


intermingling, racing through tributaries,

veins of scarlet blood,

streaking down,
cheeks moist with tears,


hither and thither,

as the years amble on,
as the flesh wrinkles …

leaving behind glimpses of soft,
gentle joy,

effortlessly, inexorably,

as dreams settle,
floating between laughs,

onto the barren ground,
soon to wither.

talkin’ yakkitty-yak blah blues … …

why do these tears fall like blood,
engulfed in a torrential flood,

when will these pangs take flight,
fleeing open night,

what can we do,
to be true,

to me, and to you …

sprinkled scribbles …

sketched against skin,

softly soothing, dipped in inked nectar, infused with desires unleashed,

to live, to taste the salt of sweat on flesh, to walk in the torrential rain, drenched in perennial desire,

scorching, broiling, slowly inflamed, centuries, months, moments, decades,

the moth to the fire … … …

talkin’ dreamscapey blues ….

slipping through sieves,
time leaves,

scurrying off, slinking away,
so let me hold you close, tight,

as dreams crash, plummeting,
spiralling gradually, slowly, agonisingly,
into freefall flight,

blinded by knowing whats right,

holding you close,
holding you tight …

memories of Madiba …

no more photographs, please!


( Sweden 1990 )

days skim along,
the rapids, white waters,
seconds moments years lives,

fleeting, strings in the common play, strung along,

plucked, teased,
echoes of longpast melodies,

of lips ablaze, tremulous, desirous, insatiable,

seeking yours,
savouring the moments,

since then.

after all this …

when tears have dried,
adhered, embossed,
etching each streak –

pain, joy, sorrow, grief, relief, release, fear, hope, hopeless,

every crevasse dug, every trench buried, in the minefield of scattered emotions, blurred tremors, whispers, murmuring,

beckoning, reaching out,
cajoling, consoling, offering sustenance, solace,

far far after all of this,

this burdensome shroud, these masks, these tongues,

creasing skin, chiselling out decades, months, moments,

shackled in crutches,

and still, somehow,
the murmur rises,
a cool crescendo swelling,

urging us to stand,
not on bended knee,

but tall –

for we may slip,

yet, still,
we shall rise,

we shall rise,
taller, with each fall.

hope resists!

hope resists …

pain surrounds, closes in,
encircles raw wounds,

picks at scabs,
freshly coagulated,

while stubborn, impertinent, brash, young, ancient hope,


as it has,


as it shall!

the cycle of hate …

reeking of venom,
soaked in the stench of rage,

still, silent, prowling,

lying in wait, to pounce,
maul, go for the jugular,
snap, sink teeth into,

then, of course,

allow the hapless prey to bleed out, then consume,

and naturally,
expel …

to be continued … … …

Humanity ?

Us men,
almost always,

myopic, impotent men,

our manliness oozing, seeping,

in swathes of red,
scarlet blood on infant skin,

dried on cold, dead flesh.

Who am i,
a man,

myopic, impotent,

my swagger puffed on conceit,

my country right or wrong,
my god not yours,
my culture your caste,
tribe, sect, ideology … … …

Who am i ?

a man ?
knitted into,
shared humanity ?

Perhaps ’tis time,
to let this rotten, festering,
glossy, botoxed, tucked, trimmed, diseased skin,


laying stark this sham,
this theatre,

these lies, the maggots burrowing deep,

into man,

chiselling, smashing,
beheading, hanging,
shooting, bombing, drone-ing, killing, raping, torturing, killing, killing, killing,

excising man,
ripping man out of humanity.

i am man.

memories: Exile & Home

Mrs. Agnes Msimang,
ANC Stalwart and mother to countless South African exiles, during the struggle against Apartheid tyranny.

Long Live the Spirit of The Women!

Now that You have touched a Woman, You have struck a Rock!

All Power to the People!

( the photograph below was taken at Luthuli House, Johannesburg recently )


the photograph below was taken in Delhi, India, sometime in the mid 1970s


The Women

(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)

Pregnant, your husband on the run,
your daughter, a child, a few years old,

they hauled you in, these brutish men,
into the bowels of Apartheid’s racist hell.

They wanted information, you gave them nothing,
these savage men, who skin happened to be lighter,

and white was right in South Africa back then,

but, you did not cower, you stood resolute,

you, my mother, faced them down, their power,
their ‘racial superiority’, their taunts, their threats.

You, my mother, would not, could not break,

You stood firm, you stood tall.

You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.

You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,

the scraping for scraps, the desolation of separation
from your beloved Tasneem and your beloved Azad,

my elder sister and brother, whom I could not grow
up with, your beloved children separated by time, by place,

by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,
whose skin just happened to be lighter.

You told me many things, as I grew older,
of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.

You were a fighter, for a just cause,
like countless other South African women,

you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,
of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,

you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.

Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,
a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,

all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.

I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,

the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land,
who fought, sacrificing it all for taking a moral stand.

I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed,
your body interred in your beloved South African soil,

you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,

of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.

I salute you!

(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,
who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)

human. merely human …

Mere beings flailing through the quagmire of this life,

Embroiled in this world of emptiness so stark,

Hoping against hope that we find some solace, some peace,

As we stumble along in the fearfulness of the dark,

What are we if not just human…

Grappling with the incessant torturous grind,

The stab of reality that wounds us each day,

While we endure and persevere and with hollow platitudes,

Try to placate ourselves with the veneer of strength which we always portray,

What are we if not just human…

Embracing the world with all the trappings of its convenience,

Deluding ourselves that the trappings will dull the pain,

While innuring ourselves to the outer truths that do surround us,

As we lose ourselves within our very selves,

While we gleefully celebrate the meaningless ornaments that we gain,

What are we if not just human…

Just human,

simply human,

nothing much more and no less,

Praying and hoping for a salvation beyond this realm,

As we attempt to buy redemption with our false gods and our loftily mouthed intent,

While we crawl through the moments of apathy and moral inebriation,

Never truly grasping the very essence of what is to be simply content,

What are we if not just human…

Trying and trying and still trying some more,

To make sense of the senselessness that we feel inside,

While in truth the masks that we wear,

Shroud us more from our very selves, for it so often seems that it is from ourselves, that we choose to hide,

What are we if not just human…

Though we cling on to the scraps of hope that we find here and sometimes there,

What are we if not just human…

If we cannot stop, and think,

and begin to once again to,
simply care,

What are we if not just human…

And in knowing that we are just human,

rekindling the humanity that must reside in us all,

That refuses to smile and stand aloof, while others around us slip and fall,

What are we if not just human…

Finding our feet, as we trudge along the pathways of this life that seems so harsh and at times unbearable too,

What are we if not just human…

If we cannot see in ourselves,

the images of him and of her and of us all,

the images of me and of you…

remember history

remember history


remember the slave-ships,
the manacles,
the trade in human flesh,
sweat and bone,


senegal liberia sierra leone …


remember the genocide,
the smallpox blankets,
the decimation of many entire peoples,


sioux, cheyenne, cherokee …


( and everything in between )


remember the lies,
the invasion,
illegal under international law,
of a country that somehow happens to be rich in oil,
and ruled by an old friend-turned-foe,
you know how these things go,

‘operation iraqi freedom’

iraq …


remember the lawmakers,
of the greatest nation on earth,
who voted to deny human-beings asylum,


syrian, iraqi …


live life now

live life now

clutching, grasping,
holding onto,

gulping down, hungrily,
each breath, every breath,

fearing the onset of the years,
the splinters of time


this moment, the very now,

numbed by repetition,
embalmed by trepidation,

of tomorrows yet to dawn,

suspiciously sifting through the strands of greying hair,

seeking clues,
the because to the whys,

the slow mornings,
restless nights,

jabbing reminders,
as years, decades,

scurry, scamper,
feeling it all slipping away,

standing, immobile,
stilled by the implacable sentinels at the doorstep,

these immovable sentries,
concealing the door,

that leads to today

A Recipe for Disaster

A Recipe for Disaster


A handful of lies about WMD.

A mindful of whipped-up fear-mongering.

A mouthful of brittle excuses.


Invade Iraq under false pretenses, killing countless human beings.

Keep the ratcheting up of fear on the boil.

Stir up tensions between various sects, playing one off against the other using age old financial and other additives.

Allow the marinade to fester.

Withdraw your forces.


( read the news )

Paris, France
November 13th 2015


their skies slayed,

lie cold,

tattered feathers,
mingled with fallen petals,

liquid red,


slashed doves,

their flight plundered,
plucked from our common sky,

on an evening in Paris


Liberté Egalité Fraternité

for Victor Jara
( 1932 – 1973 )


his song rose,
above the stadium of death,

his voice rose,
with each tortured breath,

they broke his hands, you see,
the fascists,

tearing his guitar apart,
this man who sang of love,
and of solidarity,
and of peace,

they broke his hands into pieces,

to still the raging strumming,
the strumming that is heard today,

and will be heard tomorrow,

they broke his hands, you see,
pinochet and his thugs,


his song still rose,
high above the shanties,

across the plains,
infused in the soil of Chile,

his song rose,
his song rises still,

Victor Jara’s song always will …


been a long time walkin’
my long tongues been a-talkin’

blistering my feet
slipping and slidin’ down church street

lookin’ for a job
with decent pay

and here’s what all the signs say
ain’t no jobs round here today

so keep on a-walkin’
and a-talkin’

braggin’ and a-baggin’
yappin’ and a-waggin’

knowing there ain’t no place
that’ll bear my kinda face

cos’ i know there’ll never be
home for a-hobblin’ one like me …

%d bloggers like this: