Archive for January, 2017


the damned are banned

​The Damned are Banned.



when an entire people, adherents of the religion of Islam, already pummelled and damned by the savagery of war in the countries they call home, are banned from entering a country that hails its freedoms and liberty as being sacrosanct, a country of immigrants itself, a country that was built on the genocide of the indigenous peoples that inhabited that land, and on the backs of countless human beings barbarically abused as slaves from the continent of Africa, one cannot but think back to the early days of the barbarism of Hitler’s nazism and its singling out of the entire Jewish people for extermination.


but then again, just a few days ago, we heard from the powers that be that they thought the Holocaust was a “sad” thing.


Goebbels would have been proud. 


the parallels are chilling.


and this is not 1930s Germany.


this is the world we live in today.


and its 2017.

Not I* – http://wp.me/p7GMeY-zj

​they said she was opinionated, they castigated her for not following the norm, they dismissed her for being loud-mouthed, and spoke disparagingly of her for flouting cultural, religious, and sectarian narrow-minded claptrap, they damned her for unclipping her wings and soaring free into the open skies.


she is you. 


and may you always be you.

you

​when gloom sweeps down, sinking its talons into my skin, it has always been you who yanks me out of the fog, out of the doom, out of the bog.


it has always been you,

ever gentle,

ever loving,


ever true

​hope resounds.



hope resounds, across the rolling savanna, easing its way through the deltas, mixed in the silt of the rivers, embroidered in the rain clouds, murmuring in the gentle backwaters, sketched across the spice infused skies.


hope resounds, in the eyes of the children, the heartbeat of the people, the thud-thudding of a continent, through thriving cities, in quiet villages, infused in the soil of the yawning plains, embroidered into the fabric that binds us all.


hope resounds, in the blessings of the ancestors, embedded in the hustle and bustle of the towns, drawing deep breaths within the millions, exhaling the fatigue of countless souls, crackling in the fiery rainstorms, called to earth in the forks of lightning.


hope resounds, in the birdsong of the morning, the drumbeat echoing in between rain forests, the laughter of children at play, the groans of ripe fruit on trees, the sighs of cities asleep in the night, the flapping of birds in dusky flight.


hope resounds, in the hopeful promise of peace, in the joyous celebration of life, in the harmony of the crickets in the grasslands, soaring above the stubborn deserts, in the gurgling of water in the oasis, in sleepy willows, in the happiness carved into strangers face.


hope resounds, as it always has, as it still does, and as it always will. 



hope resounds.

the palette of colour 

​the palette of colour.



earthy desire awash with rustic tinged passion, hues of emotions sketched, aflame with strokes of roses,


your lips, mine, tracing feelings deeply etched, autumn browns, winter charcoal,


infusing each breath hungrily, teasing out love from the palette of colour, a desire imbibed not by bright reds,


but by the wild swirls of abandoned flower beds.



​on the precipice.



less than a hundred years ago, the most technologically advanced nation on earth fought two world wars.


in the second of which, a concerted, highly mechanised, and utterly ruthless campaign was orchestrated to kill every man, woman, and child of a specific religious group – 6 million souls perished in that barbaric attempt.


there were tens of millions of dead throughout the world at the end of that world war. 


nuclear weapons were used for the first time to horrendous effect on the people of hiroshima and nagasaki – effects of which are being felt still.


all of this happened during a time of “progress” in the fields of science, technology, medicine, amongst other human endeavours that were hailed as great leaps forward for the human race. 


the ideas of individuality were supressed by the rabid jingoism of nationalism and appeals to baser human emotions. 


robust intellectual discourse was overshadowed by the instilling of fear of the “other”. 


human beings were seen as fodder for the wars that were fought – both cold and military wars. 


this idea of “us” and “them” on a grand scale persisted until less than thirty years ago, and it’s talons are sunk deep within the mindsets of many today.


there is the simplistic nature of political discourse that once again pits “us” versus “them”. 


there is the maniacal jingoism that appeals to the very worst of human emotions. 


the most powerful technology is being usurped by the powerful to keep the weak in “check”.


today, once again, appears to be the age of the demagogue.


the politics of hate and fear is being promulgated by the very powerful against the not-so powerful.


entire races of people are being made scapegoats, entire religions are being vilified, entire ways of life, and of loving are being branded as being “sinful”.


wars of aggression are being waged, human beings once again cannon fodder for the powerful.


people are living under the jackboot of oppression and occupation.


the obscenity of the accruing of personal wealth trumps the needs of the many. 


following the two world wars that were fought less than a hundred years ago, the world came together and said “never again”.


the time is now for those two words to take on a new meaning. 



never again!

loser 

​loser.



i have lost, in almost everything that i have done or do.


i was terrible at school, worse at university, and barely scraping by in life too.


which is why i will always be thankful to you.


thank you for not letting me lose you.

walking

walking.

we walked, silently.

the lapping of the waves the only sound.

we walked in silence.

at long last.

after a lifetime of words.


we embraced the stillness of having nothing to say.

reflections 

​reflections.



the passing of the years roll on, decades distilled into momentary flashes, fleeting memories of days gone by, of feelings run dry.


reflecting, some wounds healed, a few raw, gnashing into the now, lost in the whys and the how.


standing here at the crossroads, divergent paths leading to the unknown, having walked down these roads long ago, all that remains – the endless charade, the hollow passing show.

let’s 

​I told her that I love her.

she silently smiled, saying nothing at all.


I promised her heaven and earth.

she did not respond.


I said “let’s walk this earth together for a while, knowing not where the paths lead”.


she smiled.


“let’s”

​the thorn and the rose.



the rose blooms, on tender stems with jagged thorns.


unbeknownst to the flaming rose, the thorns offer a sheath of safety.


protecting the rose, uncaring of their visage, the thorns are silent sentinels.


if only the thorns of my life, were merely a cocoon of safety, shielding me from the storms of life.


if only I were enveloped by thorns, weather-beaten, yet buffered from strife.

our embrace

​our embrace …



when we kissed, beneath the rainy Johannesburg skies, i was swept into the cauldron of aching desire.


when our bodies writhed, a dazzling confluence of two souls fused as one, i was swept away by the murmurs you whispered into my ear.


when your heart beat against my chest, the sweat slick and salty on our two forms, i was swept away by the tides of passionate need.


you swept me away on that night, merged with thunder and lightning and the torrential African rain

and

since those days of togetherness, i have been swept away by you,


time and time and time again …

our journey 

​cinnamon kisses,

sprinkled on honeydew lips,


quenched the thirst,

of parched desire.


take my hand“, she said, “our journey has many more miles ahead


we the people.



as the forces of reaction grow louder, as the fascism of right-wing politics seem to be burgeoning, as the misogyny and racism and attacks on the rights of those who love differently echoes through the corridors of power, as all of this and so much more fills the air we breathe with a noxious stench, may we the people resist! may we the people erect the barricades, may we the people look back to all those brave and courageous souls who stood upright and fought the battles of yesterday – and not give in to despondency, may we the people resist and in resisting may we send a clear and resounding message to the forces that choose to divide, not unite, engender narrow nationalism not fraternal internationalism, may our message to them be clear, concise and loud – no pasaran! you shall not pass, for though you may wield the whip of power, we the people shall not give in to your tunnel vision of the politics of hate and divisiveness, for We The People always have been, and shall remain many, many more. Take heed of history for you stand rickety on the losing side and lose you shall, despite your gains here and there, lose you shall and lose you will, for We The People have been and always shall be many, many more. many more than the 1%, many more than the vultures of capital and greed, many more than you are, and ever shall be. 


We The People are many, many more.


Amandla!

Venceremos!

Aluta Continua!

hope endures.

​hope endures … … …



in the claws of grinding dismay, hope endures.


in the talons of savage reality, hope endures.


wedged deep the thorns may be, yet hope endures.


bruised bloody the soul may feel, yet hope endures.


beyond these words, hope endures.


past this paltry rhyme, hope endures.


soaring into the boundless sky, hope endures.


running free in fields of flowers, hope endures. 


hope endures, as life batters the day,

hope endures, as today shatters the night,



hope endures, as it must, for the paths yet to be tread,

hope endures, as it must, for the perilous journey ahead … … …


a wounded heart

​a wounded heart.



picking up this wounded heart, off the emotion splattered floor, where dreams lie scattered, of all that once mattered, now just making my way to the door, searching for an exit, over the detritus casually gnawing at the core,


so don’t talk to me of love,


I just can’t take any of it,

anymore …

​inequality.




the fire rages, inequality scars the skies,

smoke billows in the air.


yet we hold the line, putting up the barricades,


for there are many, many more of us who care … 

shackles 

​shackles.



I shall be free of these shackles that bind me, the hazy smog that blinds me, the inert stasis that grounds me,


I shall be released from this invisible cell that cages me, the gilded bars that trap me, the comfortable shell that cocoons me,


I shall be free, to be me, I shall be released, to be able to see …

distant shores

​distant shores …



when you strolled into my life, ’twas beset with emptiness, restlessness, strife,


when you ambled into my world, ’twas but a maelstrom which bubbled and swirled,


when your hand took mine in yours, we shared the peacefulness of distant shores,


distant shores where troubles were washed away by the sea, where two souls merged, I into thee,


distant shores upon whose beaches we walked alone, leaving behind a world hardened as stone,


distant shores of love, joy, and of peace, where time itself felt it would cease,


ah! those distant shores of my silly dreams, crushed and broken by waking,

only to be ripped apart at the seams …



​faltering, knots binding my being entire, aflame, inflamed, dazzled,


is how I felt when I saw you …

disjointed rhyme …

​holding hands, we traversed the chasms of life,

hand in hand, through bleak times and strife,

holding each other in rain and in sunshine,

never letting go of your hand in mine.


we scoured the earth for a peaceful place,

where bigotry didn’t present its grotesque face,

and after all the years spent seeking,

we found nooks and crannies where racism lay reeking.


all our desires, all of our dreams,

in a gilded cage lies trapped it seems,

still we scan these lands for respite,

beyond the hate, despite the spite. 


how long will we have to walk these pathways,

seeking simple gentleness along life’s alleyways,


or perhaps there exists no such place,

across the earth,

for tolerance long ago did depart,

and yet we cannot be from each other apart,


for what we have found in each other,

the simple love of two souls merging as one whole part,


those are the truths that we have embraced in our heart …



unreasonable rhyme …

​unreasonable rhyme …



reaching out for handfuls of hope, the scarlet sky painted bright, shedding the detritus of day, welcoming brooding night,

shattered dreams like shards of glass, litter the crimson floor, punctured wounds flee, behind every closed door,



the rain falls like ashen tears, sweeping the boulevards clean, tattered rags shroud expectations, famished and lean,


rainbows merge into a raucous canvass wildly sketched, feelings stab at the heart, each dagger deeply etched,


is there really only one truth, standing naked and bare, beyond the alleyways of darkening emotions, stripping away all care,


the smiles turn plastic, all joy fleeing past, leaving stranded passengers, never knowing how long the wait will last,


when does sorrow end, scabs and wounds just starting to mend, or is pain like hope, ever elusive, ever just around the bend,


when trees weep, as poison slowly into their roots begin to seep, how long do the thoughtful frolic, how much longer do the sentient sleep,


left behind to mop up the coarse floor, humanity slithers out the main door, the legacy – a rotting festering sore,


these words make no sense to me, they prance on the page blinding my eyes, discarding reality as ever hurried time flies,


why write such drivel at all, knowing the words will slip and fall,


perhaps to jar me into wakefulness, or else I would sleep through it all … …

​I looked down and saw her calloused hands, as we tried to make ends meet, we worked hard and lived frugally, feeling ourselves mired in the bog, barely having enough to eat.


“these days must pass”, we whispered to each other, after yet another gruelling day, through night in and day out, the pain gnawed silently, as we saw our dreams receding,

farther and farther away …

​the girl with the beret on the bus … … …




i saw at the bus-stop on a bitterly cold winter morning, her beret tilted to the side.


we exchanged polite smiles and furtive glances, till along came our ride.


we sat across each other and soon we spoke, breaking the ice with talk of the ice battering our bones.


we spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we’d encounter, and we spoke of life’s pathways and where we were headed.


thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything about the other except our names.


we often laughed about duelling parents, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking our selves.


our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trustful of the depths in our eyes.


we spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent hours in those short-haul trips baring our souls to each other.


she was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing and still wanting to know, as was I on those mornings so long ago.


we spoke of lovers lost, of lost loves, of our ache for something tangible, something less gaudy, something more true.


I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, as we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes.


there was nothing romantic about us, nothing but truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold, cold world understands, though never judges.


our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing no one else knew us except ourselves.


her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all.


then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones.


I often think of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting still for the ride in the morning chill.


I think of her often, and I know that I always will … … …




( with thanks to Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” )




your flame …

am i the moth, seduced by your flame, destined to burn out in a blaze,


am i the bee, drawn to your nectar, bound to lose you in the wilds,


am i the ache, consumed by you, rendering me inert,


am i all of that and more, drawn inexorably to your core,


never knowing a love like this before …

on repentance …

​on repentance …



i promised much, mouthed oaths and vows,


yet i delivered nothing, or little at all.


and looking back, i was nothing but an immature child,


though even saying that is being exceedingly mild.

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enough 

​she said that she had seen them all.


the promise-makers, the vow and oath-takers, the silken tongued smooth talkers, the quiet intense brooders.


she asked me if I could love her. truly love her.


I said that I would spend our life together trying.


‘it’s enough’, she said.

​on thorny paths we scramble, we crawl, ever struggling to rise, to stand tall,


while all the while the machinations of destiny, of fate,


cut our feet, leaving us trembling as we so often trip, slashing our hopes as we so often fall …

rainswept light 

​rain sweeps away tears, dispelling hidden fears, across this bleak night, with hope just out of sight,


and yet my heart glows, enveloping me warm and tight,


bathed in the exuberant radiance of your soul’s gentle light 

drowning in her eyes …

​drowning in her eyes …



her eyes met mine, chastising me for looking away,


I fear I would drown“, I said in a whisper,


drown“, she whispered back.

​a silly schmaltzy scribble … 



you may fly away ever so far, leaving me wounded, tending yet another fresh scar.


you may look past me, choosing not to see me at all, as I pick myself up from still another fall.


you may not know me, our gaze destined never to meet, while I dream of our paths crossing, the lucky happenstance of seeing you walking down your street.


you may not know the feelings that I hide, tucked away neatly on the inside, still I will be as faithful as the coming in of the tide …

​won’t you … ?


allow me to take your hand in mine, fingers kneading, knotted, wrinkled, from teasing out too many a paltry rhyme, somewhat scarred from the scraping of passing time.


we may walk a while, distilling the essence of love, far away from this time, hand in hand, epochs away from the polythene grandstand.


we have seen so much, seen it all it sometimes feels, holding on to sanity, just barely grasping onto a filament of hope, when all seemed bleak, when life splintered and felt far too much to cope.


won’t you let me take your hand in mine, far beyond mere words, long past mouthed vows, sharing the silence of weary travellers, who may have seen so much before, and yet persist, hoping, always hoping for a kernel of substance at the core.


won’t you take my hand in yours, it’s yours to take and to hold, away from this bazaar where feelings are traded as commodities, bargained over, casually bought, and callously sold.


we shall share pristine moments, shutting out the passing parade, fleeing from the boulevards of excess, as far away from the fickle charade.


won’t you take my hand in yours, allowing me to take yours in mine, knowing the pathway may be littered with nettles, and knowing this too, that we will always have each other, when the storms pass, when the dust settles.


won’t you … ?

let us leave this place …

​let us …



let us leave this place of jagged shards of glass, this place of crude spiked splinters,


let us leave this place of rotting words, this place of camouflaged jibes,


let us leave this place of race and of class, this place of us and of them, this place of prejudice and of tribes,


let us forge our own path ahead, choosing the simple purity of love instead,


let us walk on together till our hair turns white and till our skin wrinkles and pales,


we will have each other at least, if all in all, our great escape fails …

​when tears like blood drip down bruised cheeks,

when racism and communalism like putrid sewage reeks,


when hate and intolerance feed off propped-up fears,

when the boiling oil of jingoism scalds and sears,


the light of hope dims as fractured humanity hobbles and uneasily walks,


and the vultures of greed, of prejudice in the corridors of power lasciviously stalks …

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