Archive for February 13, 2016

A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen … … …

it was a rain-swept monsoon day,
way back then, so many moons away

when i felt the music strumming in my veins,
setting me free like a runaway horse without any reins

you sang of simple truths,
your verse spoke to people just like me,
in my lonely, wasted, and desolately quiet night,
as you screamed out tragic human wrongs, and of everyone’s plight,

‘bobby jean’ spoke to me,
of that girl down the street,
glimpses of whom, we as innocents would furtively meet,

and ‘the river’ that flowed through my ever-barren heart,
led me down further roads of thunder,
when slowly i finally learnt that the hardest part was fighting on,

and never to surrender,
to the hard-luck dreams that were born to run,
while i danced in the dark,
with memories vivid and stark,

even as i whined like that dog who for forever lost his howling bark,
and then a ‘human touch’ came along,
and ‘better days’ seemed real, not just words in a song,

and still you sang and swayed and spoke straight into my unseeing eyes,

as gardens of secrets were opened, and as your fist punched the skies,

in an anger that i too felt and in whose cauldron i too burned,
as we saw murder get incorporated, while on its wobbly axis, our fragile world apathetically turned,

and then suddenly i was told that i was all grown up,
working on a highway of scattered ideals,
and absolving myself by sprinkling some coins in a waiting cup,

well, after all these years of walking along so many a thorny road,

with an armour of your verse covering me, even as i hear them taunt me and even as they continue to goad,

but now i can feel myself fading away, into the bleakness of this coming night,

just like the ghost of that old tom joad.


For Wendy Cope
(b. 1945)

(Inspired by her poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)


I may not have brought you flowers.

I know I was always late.

You tolerated my moodiness,
and my ever-increasing weight.


You said men were like buses,

and you had grown weary of waiting,

Of putting up with my quirks and my fusses,

though we barely knew we were dating.


Ah, but we weathered the squalls;

Your patience has always been saintly.

And now that old age palls,

our tiffs are recalled only faintly.


We laugh at youth’s follies and know,

the beauty we had sought unaware;

It’s as wide as a calm river’s flow,

and as timeless as our years of care.

(Inspired by Wendy Cope’s poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)


Special thanks to Donald Webb of ‘Bewildering Stories’ for kindly editing this poem

Infinite tendrils,
weave exquisite patterns,
forming an immaculate, delicate sheaf,

while morning’s dew whispers,
tales of forgotten woes,
left scribbled on every leaf.

Murmurs float gently,
across solitary trees,
to distant forests deep and dense,
teasing the waving grasses,
while coquettishly inflaming every sense.

Listen! For the murmurs whisper to us all,

listen carefully,
as the whispers recall,
the crushed memories of the lovers’ call.

For the whispering leaf shares,
a story that may travel,

to you, to me,
if we still our minds,


gaze upon each leaf,

if we can be hush,
if we can still marvel.


in the debris of the past,
scraps of casually discarded emotion.


in hastily trashed yesterdays,
an inkling of moments flung away.


in heaps of rubbished words,
that tiresome sigh of defeated thought.


in the layers of moulted skin
the wilting self that once was true.


in the reflections between the ripples,
for the whispered pangs of roaring desire.


in the blank eyes streaming endlessly,
an echo of the faintest sigh of new life.


Searching … … …

feelings, ragged,
splintered, sandpapered,

velveteen gentleness,

swirling tongues of fire,
serenading sensuous brushstrokes,

on canvas,

whirling, afloat,
on an old bridge not far from where she used to live,

imbued with life,

a symphonic crescendo, of shared heartbeats,

fading between notes, entwined,
an orchestral rising,

conducting passion,
electric sparks flaming into musical echoes,

at the precipice,
beyond the rains, of dazzling rainbow hues,

lost in void, eternally,

scalding the depths of rhyme, ravaged by the endless song and dance and mime,


for a prolonged, privileged, generous bouquet of shared time … … …

Tempestuous waves lashing,
weather-beaten shores of being,

smashing cliffs,
futile defences.

Feeling erosion,


donning my armour,
shielding me,

from cold,
wet waters of fate,
until now.

Armour pock-marked,
battle-fatigue claws at my throat,

a once orchestral crescendo of promise,

now jangling chords of dissonance,

beating deep inside my heart,

yet, yet,

stemming the cacophonous onslaught,

surrendering to the inevitability of change,

knowing, knowing,

that from the jagged rocks of memories,
from the frigid waters of destiny,
from the dissonance of infinite chords,

there always is,
as there always shall be,

the promise of a new symphony … … …

              A L W A Y S

Embers fade,
disappearing into the hushed night…

Petals wither,
falling on the soft grass…

Words pale,
obscured by the anguish within…

Faces blur,
dimmed by the galloping years…

Kisses lose,
the urgency of those bygone depths…

Feelings recede,
lying dormant in shielded vaults…

Love loses,
fatigued after numberless skirmishes…

Pain flees,
seeking new wounds to inflict…

Scars remain,
sentinels against,

the dilution of memory.

‘smile’, she said with a wink,

I smiled.

‘kiss me’, she said, pulling me close to her cinnamon lips.

‘kiss me’.
I kissed her.

‘I’m happy’, she whispered, her warm breath in my ear.

‘I am whole’, I whispered to her,

and to myself:
‘I am whole’.


Papa Francisco





U2’s 360° Tour
Soweto, South Africa
February 13th 2011

%d bloggers like this: