Archive for July, 2017



rustin’ 



swept along tugged by the currents that weave cobwebbed chaos hurling us tossing our malleable forms further into the poisoned seas as tide after merciless tide batters and shatters our mortality thrusting us deeper into the bowels of asphyxiating numbness and dumbness that has numbed down and dumbed us even more so because we need the charade to persist for our egos will and shall not whittle away as flesh decays and in that sliver of the blink of an eye is the hysterical maniacal orderly randomness of it all in its naturally-selected symmetry of nothingness because how am i supposed to wake up tomorrow or next weekend if not for some hardwired tripswitch that shuts all critical thought albeit for an instant but in that instant and in each of those instances the ego keeps on cashing in on deluded overtime and we you her him i us yes us all don’t even know that its happening all the time and that it has happened since the manufacturing of the illusion of time and that it is happening right now to me and perhaps to you too yeah hmm …


alright alright alright 



😀




my self-righteous scribble.



1.


windswept winters, numbing the soul, walking through this life, sidestepping many a pothole,



dreams dreamt when innocent and young, now being  marched to the gallows, to be mutely hung,



remember those moments, freely soaring across the azure sky, to the now where the death march plods on, to be interred in the cold ground to lie,



all those sentiments, visions of joy and peace, now scarred by reality, shorn repeatedly off like used up fleece,



where did those noble aspirations scatter, idealistic principles that burned bright, now seem hardly at all to matter,



why did we end up the way we are, mere husks, bodies regurgitating the daily charade, silent amongst the hoopla of this deadened parade,



finding a job, then hanging onto it for dear life, attempts at paying the bills, settling the never ending rent, trampling over others, till consciences are dumbed down and irretrievably bent,



saving up for retirement, for those fortunate few who can, walking the streets of shame, flinging a few coins in someones hollow tin can,



time flies by, as we hop from work to home, surrendering the humanity once cherished, once felt so deep, only to collapse inebriated, into a dreamless sleep.



2.



can we ever recover that pristine innocence, that belief in a world less cruel, while over flutes of champagne, we guzzle and drool,



are we so lost within ourselves that we no longer give a damn, living in our cocoons, a sterile, frigid sham,



where have our consciences hurried away to, leaving us empty, devoid of the truths we once firmly held, while into the plastic world around us, we have begun to meld,



are we so far gone that we absolve our consciences once a month or two, scribbling cheques to greenpeace and amnesty international too,



both worthy causes if truth be told, who wouldn’t need our charity if weapons of war were not manufactured, bought and sold,



how have we come to this place, where the weak are belittled, while the greed of the 1% is coveted, while humane values lie in cupboards, empty and closeted,



this meagre verse could go on, spilling words onto paper, mere self-righteous rhymes,



soon to be forgotten, as i scurry on, for ever more dollars, nickels, and dimes.





no walls to divide us





no walls to divide us.



we are all inextricably linked, our humanity a shared thread, our oneness flowing through our veins, our red blood reminding us that we are of the same family – the human family.

we have endured much, we have spilt each others blood, we have gone to war, we have meted out unspeakable horrors upon our sisters and mothers and daughters and partners and especially upon those whose humanity we have stripped, whose lives we have taken, and whose lives we have damaged far beyond mere words.

we are complicit, all of us, when hunger stalks the gilded streets, when abuse becomes invisible, when a far too few live obscenely ostentatious lives while the far too many merely exist, when ‘my country right or wrong’ jingoism and religious fanaticism attempt to fracture us even more.

but there is hope, or at least i hope that there will always be hope, when our shared human condition lights the spark that may one day repel the obscenities we view each day, when we stand up to our ‘leaders’ and say in one voice – ‘enough’, when colour and race and religion and caste and gender are consumed by the collective sentiments of indignation, when we all speak with one voice – ‘enough’.

enough of the killing, enough of the greed, enough of the savagery, enough of the abuse, enough of construction of walls that divide, enough of the machinery of war that propels our economies, enough of looking away, enough of turning ones back, enough of apathetic complicity, enough of our silence, enough of being led to slaughter each other, enough of the greed that leaves the many in a cycle of grinding poverty, enough of all of that and more.

enough is enough.

enough.






a friday repost





kindred spirits …




the whispers of fate,

the slight tugging of destiny,

the murmurs of truth,

effortlessly caress desolate hearts when kindred spirits meet.


a whisper here, a nudge there, a fragile breeze weaves the magic of dreams yet to be dreamed, of tomorrows yet to be savoured, of gentleness yet to be felt.


words may only express a scintilla of feelings kept carefully wrapped beneath layers of emotion,

those that remain unspoken envelope the thirsty heart yearning for union.


and then all at once,

the rustling of the leaves,

the touch of the breeze,

the swaying of the grass,

the coaxing of time, 


coalesce,


into one being …


you.









timeless love …


​our eyes mask many a sorrow,

torn hopes, bygone dreams,

lost in the folds of ceaseless time,

whispered murmurs, ebbing in the tide of tepid rhyme …



… but,

have these disjointed verses bound us through painful tears,

as we held each other close,

through the travails of the years,

our wrinkled faces smiling,

as the end nears.








my selfishness





my selfishness.



she took me in, when i was broke and broken,


she held me close, when i spun wordy webs, with half-truths spoken.



she mended my bruises, while i leeched off her spirit, a true light that soared free,


she breathed life into me, when i stubbornly refused to see.



she chipped away at the encroaching wall, that hid me from her, that distanced me from all,


she lent a hand, picking up my pieces, each time i stumbled, every time i took a fall.



she was too good for me, i can in truth say that today,


clasping my hand, as again and again i chose to cowardly crawl away.



today, i know that mere apologies are hollow, and sorry seems far too easy to say,


yet i am sorry, and ever thankful, for her infusing the light of hope, in far too many a darkened day.



today i also know these words are hypocritical, too easy while ensconced in my comfort zone,


today i also know, that for sentiments flung into the wind, it may never, in truth, be ever possible, to in honesty atone.







the stench of racism








the stench of racism.



1.


when rancid racism festers in cocooned fungal minds, narrow and deep,


the insidious venom of prejudice begins to seep,


infecting the consciousness of the ones who choose to blindly sleep.



2.


espoused beliefs held so true, seem stripped of feeling,


appearing feigned, designed, and branded as compassion,


while holier-than-thou conceit leeches humanity out of chests swollen with self-righteous passion.



3.


the racism, the prejudice is deeply entrenched,


enveloping the afflicted like a comforting shawl,


needing little to fester, and even less to mutate,


into doctrines of cultural superiority, jingoistic bigotry, religious intolerance, and racist hate.



4.


am I guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?


sipping my tea, shovelling more onto my heaving plate,


falling into comfortable oblivious blindness, without care,


as the stench of prejudice, of racism, of spousal emotional, psychological, physical abuse, of neglect for the old and ill, of homophobia, islamophobia, female-genital mutilation, xenophobia, of fanaticism and extremism of all shapes and forms,


of the cries of the multitudes in despair,


floats, unnoticed,


a deadly pathogen in the evening air.






too idealistic?

​too idealistic?






in this world so harsh and stark,


may we be the spark that dispels the dark.



may we hold onto each other in a warm embrace,


regardless of colour, creed, gender, or race.



may we accept that we sip from a single pond,



may we acknowledge that the spirit of uBuntu* envelopes us – in a unifying bond.



may we cherish this bounteous earth, our only home, with respect and kindness,


may we open our eyes, and resist greed-filled corporate, personal, and governmental blindness.



may we love all, irrespective of who they choose to love, gay or straight,


may we accept that ignorance breeds hate, so may we banish those forces, baying at the gate.



may we teach our young that the objectification of women is not right,


may we strive to make every night, an abuse-free night.



may we face all forms of prejudice with a united stand,


may we find renewed strength by clasping a strangers hand.



may we realise that there is no place, on this planet, for poverty, hunger, and human despair,


may we appreciate that this world has enough for all, to from the communal orchards share.



may we start by introspection, by tearing off the blinkers of denial,


may we pursue to change that which is callous within us, even though that may be our hardest, personal trial.



may we tear down the walls that are built to divide,


may we emerge into the open fresh air,


with no longer the need to hide.








* – ‘uBuntu’ is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity” – I am because we are.

i love her





i love her.



1.


she found me, as torrents raged around me,


she found me, when my wings were shattered,


she found me, when i was desolately crawling,


she found me, in the depths of despair,


she found me, trapped in the quagmire,


she found me.



2.


she reached down, her hand extended,


she pulled me out of, the lair of emptiness,


she helped me stand, after my legs had been battered,


she fed me, nourishing my soul,


she led me, into pastures green and alive,


she held me, in the cocoon of her embrace.



3.


i was not worthy, of her delicate touch,


i was not worthy, lying in a discarded alleyway,


i was not worthy, of her healing embrace,


i was not worthy, of her tender love,


i was not worthy then, i am not worthy now,


i had nothing, and still have nothing to give,


still, she loved me, and loves me still.


and i love her.




for my mother

for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008.



(dedicated to exiles, refugees, and the brave South Africans who struggled against Apartheid tyranny within South Africa).


My mother passed away after a lengthy battle with Motor-Neurone Disease, also called ALS.


This poem is also dedicated to all the brave souls who are courageously battling illnesses and terminal diseases.


May we always salute them and their families’ courage in the face of indescribably hard circumstances).



__________



I remember the tears she shed,

as she longed for her distant abode,

she wept often then,

as she pined for her children, Tasneem and Azad,

and felt the future looked bleak,

on that dim, lonely road.



I remember the tears she shed,

when that telegram came one afternoon,

‘regret to inform you stop father passed away stop’,

She wept often after that,

for their last goodbye had been said too soon.



I remember the tears she shed,

on that glorious day in a February not that long ago,

when the prisoner Nelson Mandela finally walked out,

breathing the free air,

she wept less after that, for then she knew where they were to go.



I remember the tears she shed,

soaring high above the African skies heading back to her land,

those tears came out in soft sobs,

but her eyes were smiling,

defiant and full of new hope,

as she held tightly onto my father’s wrinkled hand.



I remember the tears she shed,

some years later,

on that peaceful late April 1994 morning,

when she stood and proudly bore the voting ink on her aging thumb,

she wept a lot that April evening,

knowing that a new day was dawning.



I also remember that Thursday not long ago,

as she was slipping away slowly,

she seemed not to weep,

after all the miles and places,

and after all the tears that she had cried,

I remember that she wept little then,

as she drifted off into an eternal sleep.



___________


(for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008)


____________

peace and equality?

peace and equality?

when greed poisons our waters, tainting pristine nature,

when jingoism infects our minds, eroding our shared humanity,

when fanaticism corrodes our vision, seeds of division are sown,

when oppression lashes people, hate is nourished,

when prejudice spews vile invective, walls emerge between humanity,

when science is derided by obscurantism, we take a collective step backwards,

when love is bartered, emotions decay,

when flim-flam glitz is coveted, humane sentiments are sold into apathy,

when the pursuit of wealth at any cost is craved, far too many get left by the wayside,

when wars-for-profit are unleashed, killing innocents, the terror of makeshift bombs kill innocents,

when tolerance, not acceptance is preached, crevasses crisscross this common earth,

when far too many are left to scrounge for food, for dignity, the far too few are complicit,

when doctrines of us and them are promulgated, the body of the human race is splintered,

when poverty stalks the night, while slimey ostentation rules the day,

you and i,

him and her,

us all, are dispassionately wrenched apart,

when clean drinking water is a luxury, while numberless golf courses are irrigated, the parched earth trembles,

when food is dumped to maintain profit margins, while countless stomachs never cease to rumble,

we have all failed each other.

period.

Mandela Day, 18th July

Mandela Day
18th July 2017.

the great plains of Africa echo your name, you live in our souls, a radiant flame.

the notions of racial superiority quake in your shadow, in the teeming cities, in the rural meadow.

you had an ideal for which you were prepared to die, you banished the clouds of oppression, revealing freedom’s unfettered sky.

your courage as you spent twenty-seven years in Apartheid dungeons, was unshakeable, even as you bore the brutality of tyrannical truncheons.

your comrades and you turned Robben Island into a university of freedom, of hope, even as you were shackled by iron and rope.

your indomitable spirit reached far and wide, across the great lands and over the vast seas, infusing freedom-loving people with the strength to fight, against that festering sore, the scourge of Apartheid, with all their collective might.

and when that day came when you walked under the South African sun, tall, proud and free, we ululated, we danced, we cried tears of joy, for at long last the dawn of liberation we could finally see.

and still your battles were far from over, as you steered our teetering country away from the abyss, the violence of Apartheid so brutal in its death throes, your message of forgiveness, of reconciliation spread as far as the wind blows.

those were harsh times indeed, our beloved South Africa on the precipice of civil war, the stench of blood on the breeze, yet you remained firm, urging us to throw our weapons into the waters of our seas.

then dawned the 27th of April in 1994, when all of our peoples queued to vote, democratically and peacefully, to realise the ideals and principles you and your comrades and countless, nameless others, fought, sacrificed, and died for.

and on the 10th day of May a couple of weeks later, you became our President, our Commander-in-Chief, as the yoke of hegemony was cast off, after all the pain, the suffering, the savagery, and the grief.

your principles never wavered, you did not to the powerful bow, you remained steadfast in your dream of a better society for all, you taught us to rise up again, to stand upright, after many a fall.

your humanity, your conscience became a part of the wind, your message, your dedication to the human cause, inspired numberless more, breaking the latches of racism on many a shut door.

you were our Madiba, our father, our beacon of truth, your message imbibed by so many, the aged and the youth.

then came that sorrowful day when you passed away, and to the welcoming arms of our ancestors you made your way.

we cried, we sobbed, our world convulsed, having lost you as you no longer walked amongst us in flesh and in bone, yet your example, your life entire, became a lesson set in stone.

today we fight newer battles, the enemy not so apparent, not so clear, corrupt in words and in deed, we see the scurrying for power and for greed.

we see our beloved rainbow nation fracturing, your dreams of economic and social justice diluted by avarice, and not by need.

but still we cherish and strive and fight on, todays battlefields less easily defined, the enemy often within us, and harder to find.

still your revolutionary spirit, your unwavering belief in equality for all, your principled struggle never expedient, but for what was, for all, true and right,

it is still that undying spirit of yours that compels us to never rest, to never give up the just fight.

Viva Nelson Mandela Viva!

Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

Amandla! ngAwethu!

All Power to the People!

The Struggles Continue …

with President Nelson Mandela. Johannesburg 2008.

__________

http://www.anc.org.za/content/nelson-mandela

i am human.


i am human.

you hardly spare me a glance, as you walk past me, a fellow human, whom you pretend not to see.

you send me off to fight your wars, remaining comfortably ensconced in your ivory tower, while in the trenches i shiver and cower.

you dock my pay if one of your fine bone china cups gets chipped, you withhold my wages, while the hunger in my children’s stomachs rages.

your children still call me ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, though it was i who changed their diapers long ago, but it is still i who is the recipient of the epithets that you and they hurl and throw.

you use my body for your carnal desires, throwing some money on my stained bed, you use me as a lifeless rag, then dispose of me in a rubbish bag.

you claim to be so liberal, so open-minded and progressive, yet you ignore my plight, you discuss poverty in your chandeliered rooms, as i prepare some beans in the dim candlelight.

you send your cheques to greenpeace and amnesty, perhaps to assuage your guilt somehow, as you refuse to pay me my overtime due, your body weighed down by heaving jewellery, in red and white and blue.

you see me building your glittering skyscrapers and your glitzy malls, my hard hat pummelled by stone and dust, as i eke out a living, my dreams turned to rust.

you walk and you talk, leaving me to scrounge in the garbage heaps, for scraps of this and that, while your stocks and portfolios grow ever more fat.

i am invisible to you, to your posh and pompous kind, and i doubt your humanity will be ever anywhere to find.

you see me, a festering sore on your manicured lawns, a piece of dirt living on ‘charitable’ rations, and the first to bear the brunt of your police batons.

i am human, though only barely just, easily interred, once my purpose has been served,

i am human, though only barely just, as i get buried in a heap of dust.

am i human?




the refugee




i am the refugee.


squirming through my skin, moulting once again, roots flailing like driftwood, bashed upon the merciless shore, my tears falling like bitter rain.


home awaits the many, offering comfort and solace.


no home awaits the refugee, just bricks and scattered memories left to submit and to crawl, lost in the ashes of torn yesterdays, a withered identity beyond recall.


i am not a leech, i have committed no crime, i have been long displaced by the wayside, vanishing into the folds of time.


i am the refugee.


as my skin creases with dreary repetition, no abode, no place of solace is found,

having lost myself in half-forgotten alleyways, dazed by the glitzy lights that all around me abound.


i forever trawl, for a place to call home, a dream that within me, perennially stays,

through empty frigid nights, and scorching lonesome days.


i am the refugee.







blah blah blah …


blah blah blah …



what is this life i live, once simmering with promise, now relegated to pigeonholes of so many lives led.

what becomes of this multitude of lives, where gentle peace and brutal strife smash against the ramparts of my soul.

the erosion of hope, year by year, the fear of the corrosion of love, of giving it all, only to be discarded in the rubbish bins of glitzy shopping malls, where emotions are traded, where trust is a commodity, where truth has long past its sell-by date, where love is bartered for the flim-flam of possessions, where feelings are numbed, printed dead on a budget t-shirt, where lost souls wander the emptiness, and broken hearts litter the polished marble floors.

is this the life you thought you would lead, filled with promise and love and 2 and a half kids and apple pie and picket fences, is this the vault you now feel ensnared in, for the dream once dreamed sours fast, quicker than the vows taken that were meant to last.

where do i retreat to, to regain some of my youthful promise, to see the moonlight dancing on your eyebrows, when love was simple, when we were free of the straightjacket of suits, when clasped hands and butterfly kisses meant more than all the world, when through the pain we held onto each other, as the days and months unfurled.

don’t you feel trapped at times, pouring your heart out on insipid rhymes, walking alone in this crowd, feeling it all to be a vacuum of the banal, day in and day out, shrieking your lungs out, muted, as from cubicle to cubicle you wander about.

these words may make some sense to me, for i have long forgotten to see, the wonder of a spring rain shower, when i now i trample, obliviously, the delicate blossoming flower.

what has become of me, of us, as we stutter in the haze of apathy, brokering our humanity for a pittance, cloaking ourselves in what we deem as armour, meant to protect who knows what from what knows what, gradually chipping away at our very core, where once thrived dreams of something better, something more, more than this dreary parade, far much more than this charade, where we have forgotten who we really are,

when everything seems a cacophony of meaningless blah blah blah …










hope 3.0






hope 3.0




in the deadened desert of desolation,


in the prodding pain of the plains,


in the raucous ravaging of the rains,



hope abides.


hope, though still,
hope still remains.













the road.



how far does this road go, this path of life, these alleyways, these avenues woven as days, weeks, months and years crumble,


leaving us, at times upright, at times staggering as we waywardly stumble.




where does this road lead to, scrambling over boulders of pained time, helplessly flailing across the unknown distance still to be tread,


looking ahead, with no map, no sense of hope nor dread, yet oblivious to the many needles of passageways yet to be thread.




when does this journey of splintered hearts and fractured souls end, with us healing many times over, scrambling around at times in the dark, knowing not what lies beyond the next bend.




whom do we choose to venture along these boulevards, hand in hand, who are the fortunate ones who have another to hold, to gaze at sunsets, as together they lovingly stand.




why do i feel stranded, as if washed up on a desolate beach, walking amongst the throng, yet with that deeper connection always just out of reach.




why do i lose myself in the cacophonous crowd, my words dissipating in the wind, my verses becoming my only shroud.




why do i walk away when joy and peace and love is within my grasp, when our fingers are entwined, when onto hope we firmly clasp.




these questions billow through the misty haze of moments that slip away, in-between honeydew kisses,  smouldering in the cauldron of desire, fleeting smiles turned to ashes by the indiscriminate fire.




these questions jabbing at the core, immersed in rivulets of tears, seeking answers about this entire parade, is it all real, or is it merely a meaningless charade.




the questions come thick and fast, assaulting the senses as one tries to make sense, of love lost, of wounds still raw, of pain, of sorrow, and of seemingly unending strife.




the answer appears, blanketing the sun, cloaking the moon, an answer so simple, yet with profundity rife.




the answer:



this is life. 






a G20 scribble




The Markets Are Down 2 and a Quarter Percent.




banish the hubris,

toss away the choice words, mouthed by avaricious, broken tongues.




silence the chorus of appalled shock.

shred the hollow speeches.

tear down the gory platitudes:

the notions of ‘capitalism with a conscience’.

the lie of ‘trickle down economics’.

the wounds of ‘enforced austerity’.

the savagery of ‘neo-liberal capitalism’.




the 1% praising the gods of equality and freedom, the gods with which unmasked hypocrisy they mock.




drain the sewers.

flush away the insidious odour,

seeping up from conferences, summits, bilateral talks.




put it all in a closet and weld the key in the lock.

shut it all off.

douse the blinding lights.
pull the damned plug:


but hold on to that precious blue-chip stock.









are we human?







​what are we if not just human?






beings flailing through the quagmire of life,,


embroiled in emptiness so stark,


hoping to find some solace, some peace,


stumbling along in the dark.






what are we if not just human,


grappling the torturous grind,


stabs of reality wounding us each day,


enduring hollow platitudes,


cloaked in the veneer of strength we portray.






what are we if not just human,


filling the void with trappings of convenience,


deluded that it will dull the pain,


buffering us from truths that surround us,


losing ourselves within our selves,


celebrating the meaningless ornaments that we attain.






what are we if not just human,


no more and no less,


praying for a salvation beyond this realm,


buying redemption with lofty intent,


crawling in apathetic inebriation,


always on our knees, our backs forever bent.






what are we if not just human,



trying to make sense of all we feel inside,


while in truth the masks we wear,


shrouds ourselves in cocoons to hide.






what are we if not just human,


clinging to scraps we find here and there,



what are we if not just human,


jarring ourselves to care.







what are we if not just human,



rekindling the humanity that resides in us all,


refusing to look away while those around us slip and fall.






what are we if not just human,



striving for a world less harsh, more true,



what are we if not just human,


never forgetting that we all bleed red,


him, her, us, and me and you.





a journey






how far have i walked, how many pathways travelled, to reach this place, not yet of peace.



how many times has this heart been hollowed out, how many intertwined fingers wrenched apart.



how do i shroud the scars of wounds inflicted, of a soul battered.



how do i continue, through these vagabond alleys,


while the ache of yearning is still ablaze,


the trepidation of unknown tomorrows lurking, 


ever cloaked in that unknowable haze.






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