Archive for November, 2017

repost :  she

she comes to me, in moments desolate, the warmth of her balm a soothing pleasure under the swaying palm,

she comes to me in moments painful, her presence infusing my emptiness with sense,

she comes to me in minutes, hours, days,
and though she may be a million miles away,

it is her who quells my nights,

it is her who brings solace to my waking day.

for my dear cat who is no more …

when sad and weary,

our friends who are so hairy,

pick us up, lifting our spirits high,

wiping away tears,

as our dreams soar through the sky,

these are our friends,

more loyal than homo-sapiens for sure,

that’s why she is so special,

because when my furry friend feels I am under the weather,

she’s got the touch,

and she’s got the cure …

The Tears of Mother Earth …

Mother Earth weeps, her cries silenced, by the clinking of champagne flutes, as yet again, men myopic with greed carve out plans to plunder her more.

how much more shall you take, she moans, while men with noxious lust whoop with joy, their greed tainted with blinkers, knowingly stripping her further, in a blinded frenzy of self-serving savagery.

Mother Earth is ill, diseased by the ceaseless pillaging, by us, her children, siphoning more and more, till heaven knows when, she shall be hollow to the core.

are we so blinded, are we so callous, are we so lost in our glazed orgy, to hack away her dignity, her bounteous nurturing spirit, her selfless giving of herself, to let her children, us all, to eat, to be healthy, to live, to breathe in the freshest air and to bathe in the most pristine rivulets, flowing through her very veins and arteries, those very arteries and veins which we slice and dice each day.

our Mother calls to us, beseeching us, asking only how much more can she be expected to give, how much more are we going to take.

her wheezing spasms are felt by us all, her pleading for help resounds, as we chip away at her lungs, poison her waters, belch bile into her air, continually desecrating our shared commons.

our Mother is as mortal as you and i, for she too bleeds, for she too chokes, for she too lies weakened, ill after being brutalised by her very own.

as we avert our unseeing eyes, our deafened ears to her simple needs, we turn our backs to her, refusing to acknowledge her consistent gifts to us all, epoch upon epoch, millennia upon millennia.

as we avert our complicit gaze, we stand indicted, we stand forewarned, that her bounty is finite, for if we plunder evermore, she too shall be forced onto her knees, exhausted by her persistent and consistent motherliness, for she too can give only so much, for she too is aging and in need of tending, for she too is mortal.

and when that time comes, as it does to all that is mortal, that she fades and slips away, it shall be us, her very children, consciously and with savage intent, who rained down suffering on her, our Mother, till she said in a hushed whisper:

I am famished.

I have nothing left to give.

farewell, my children.

The Moth

The Moth …

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 misty winter haze.

am i the ache, consumed by you, you who embody all that is true.

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

ignorant that a love such as this existed,

ever before …

the stream of life

the stream of life …

the meandering stream of our lives, hopping over smooth pebbles, jarred by jagged rocks, swirling down maelstroms, surfacing in placid waters, washing up all our carried detritus on tiny islands of hope, coursing through the rapids of fate, just as life races on, a perpetual journey wrestling the still waters where hope itself, seemingly lies in state.

our lives, the daily grind, the cacophony of the banal, remains afloat, seeking solace in between crevasses, welcoming the temporary respite from the incessantly onward flow, stripping our skin bare, raw wounds inflicted by the flotsam and jetsam of these travels, the travails of the many masks we wear, seeking respite in the promise of an endless sea, always just around the corner, where for once, we may moult our broken skin, and where for once, we may just be.

the rising and ebbing of the tides, leave us gasping for breath, a seemingly endless cycle of the distant beacon of joy, only to be blinded by the silt, as the stream rolls on obliviously, leaving us gasping for breath, a twig snapped in two, while destiny offers us the mirage of a peaceful shore, only to be struck by the truth, the tired realisation that the stream rolls on, evermore.

we are torn apart by the ceaseless wear and tear, the infinite tears lost in the deluge, our fleeting laughs, our vanishing smiles, being pounded against the silence of the shallows, with hope a seductive vision, prodding us to go on,

to not sink in the greying depths of despair,

while we continually fall for the falseness of the charade,

grasping for just another breath of life affirming air.

A Tribute to Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.

( Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (10 July 1956 – 6 April 1979) was a South African operative of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He was convicted of murder by the brutal Apartheid regime. He was executed by hanging in 1979 )

You were the tip of the spear, the pointed tip of Umkhonto-we-Sizwe,

“The Spear of the Nation”.

You held true to your principles,

your values in your struggle against Apartheid racial discrimination and savagery.

The state feared you, and so many like you.

They feared the blazing tip of the spear that would fracture their arrogant, hollow ideology.

You, Comrade Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, were 23 years of age,

yet decades ahead, a beacon to the indomitable spirit of the revolutionary that you were.

The grotesque Apartheid regime executed you, at 23 years of age.

They could not silence your final words –

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.

Tell my people that I love them.

They must continue the fight”.

Your paid the ultimate price.

You made the ultimate sacrifice,

so that we who breathe the air of freedom may today and always salute you,

a true martyr to the cause of humanity and dignity and free from the shackles of racism and racial supremacy.

You were a beacon of resistance.

You remain a shining light that shall forever guide us even in the deepest night.

They executed you,

yet they could not,

they cannot,

they will never quell the fire of revolution.

The fire that you held in your heart,

the fire that shall always shine true.

Hamba Kahle*, Comrade!

Amandla! ngAwethu*

Matla ke a Rona!*

The Struggles Continues!


* – “Hamba Kahle” is an isiZulu and isiXhosa saying that means “farewell”, and was rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid, when it was put to song and sung at funerals of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom, justice, equality, democracy, and dignity for all.

* – “Amandla Ngawethu” means power to the people, and was also a rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid.

* – “Matla ke a Rona”  was a revolutionary slogan that means “Victory is Certain”


Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (10 July 1956 – 6 April 1979) was a South African operative of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He was convicted of murder by the brutal Apartheid regime. He was executed by hanging in 1979






Mandela …

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 in1994, 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!

Amandla! Ngawethu!

All Power to the People!

The Struggles Continue …

walking together …


will you walk with me, my friend, my love?

our tattered shoes carrying us across our shared earth,

imbibing life from this, our common soil,

calloused hands testimony to the sweat, the pain, and our grinding toil.

will you share with me your abandoned hopes, your desolate fears,

sharing together simple joys, amidst falling tears.

we shall share a life together, not devoid of sorrow, loss, and not of hardships free,

but i shall always remain true to you, and you shall always remain true to me.

will you take my hand in yours, my love, my friend,

we have much to traverse still,

with many a worn-out shoe yet to mend.


we shall walk hand in hand, vowing against injustice to always take a stand,

never to be a part of the soulless, numbed parade,

never to be seduced by the ostentatious, plastic charade.

we shall together, as one, carve our own road ahead,

walking on many a path yet to be tread.


will you walk with me, my friend, my love,

as we lay together, your hand in mine,

gently kissed by the glorious sunsets, with you, my only love,

basking in radiant sunshine,

enveloping us from above?

a few reposts: dreams

dreams …

simple dreams of us, not of riches, gaudy and plush,

dreams of the exquisite tingle of our lips brushing – of being swept away, imbibing that intoxicating rush –

dreams of soaking up our shared copper sun,
your silky hair bathing my face,

through whispering rivulets of streams, our haven, our secret place –

dreams of souls knit together, of yours, and of mine,

extricated from the numbness of this plastic pantomime –

dreams afloat on streams, on the ripples of our murmuring desire,
alive, inflamed,

forged in our cauldron of love, sensuous, fiery, never tamed –

simple dreams …

The Scent of Earth.


Rain on parched earth, the rejuvenation of life,
nature showering her realm with promise.

Rain falling, infusing the rebirth of dusty leaves,
nourishing the roots of thirsty trees.

The rains remind me of you, the earthy aroma replenishing the day,
your earthiness firmly rooted, revelling in the trees that in the rains sway.


The rains are much akin to you, as I imbibe renewed hope from your cauldron of giving.

The rains are much akin to you, as I breathe again, for you make each day worth living …

the wanderers smile …

sidestepping shrapnelled

shards of jagged life


deeply veiled

fleeing from salivating strife

sewing a tattered soul











a patchwork of forgotten lies spoken
a wellspring of

dreams broken

flung to the winds

cast away

the wanderer …
committing the crime

every bend
attemped rhyme

to inure time


upon endless


to bury pain
on cue

to mask loss


on cue


to paint on

the wanderers smile …

Memories of 1994


The shackles have been cast off.

Chains broken.

People once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.

Free at last!

Freedom came on the 27th day in that April, 1994.

Freedom from prejudice.

From institutionalised racism.

From being relegated to second-class citizens.

Freedom came and we danced.

We cried.

We ululated as we elected our revered Madiba.

President Nelson Mandela.

Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.

Black and white and brown and those in-between,

All hues of this rainbow nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.

Today we pause.

We remember.

We salute.

The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

23 years ago.

Today we dance.

We sing.

We ululate.

We cry.

Tears of joy and tears of loss.

Of remembrance and of forgiveness.

Of harsh memories.

Today we pause.

We acknowledge the tasks ahead.

The hungry.

The naked.

The destitute.

Today we must reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.

From want.

From racism that thrives still.

From hunger.

From eyes without promise.

Today we also reflect on unfulfilled promises.

On the proliferation of greed.

On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.

Today we say
We will take back the dream.

We will renew the promise.

We will not turn away.

Today we pledge:

To stand firm.

To keep the pressure turned on.

To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people need to savour the fruits of the tree of freedom*

And till that time,

when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.

And we shall continue,

to struggle.

And to sing out loud:

“We shall overcome” …



* – last words of freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu  – executed by the Apartheid regime.

A M A N D L A !

N G A W E T H U !


With apologies to W.H. Auden …

( for W.H. Auden )

tomorrow for the grueling work to begin,

the rebuilding of trust,

the sweat and the toil.

tomorrow for reflection,

the search for a new beginning, the hard tasks that lie in wait.

tomorrow for the farmers to till the land,

for the teachers to share free knowledge to all.

tomorrow for the effort,

to strive to build a new nation, to shake off the weight and the burdens of the past.

tomorrow for all of that …

but today,


the gleeful, joyous, teary-eyed celebration of freedom …

when tyrants tremble : Zimbabwe

When Tyrants Tremble …

when tyrants tremble,

at the fury of those who tremble no more,

their veneer of stability seems rotten to the core.

when the trembling ones shake off their long-hushed fear,

the trembling ones,

tremble now with a rage that injustice everyone can hear.

when tyrants tremble,

as the dispossessed shake their foundations of tyrannical conceit,

tyrants tremble,

when the common ones expose the phantoms of tyranny’s deceit.

when the trembling ones

refuse to be cowed and bowed and beaten down again,

the trembling ones,

scream their vehemence as they have little to lose and freedom and dignity to gain.

when tyrants tremble,

their trembling resounds and echoes around the world,

tyrants tremble,

in far-flung tyrannies,

as the peoples’ flag is unfurled.

and finally when the trembling ones,

take back the citadels, the streets, the squares, and the parks,

the trembling ones,

send a message to power that revolutions may be triggered by the merest of livid sparks.

and that tyranny may reign for a decade or a generation or even two,

but tyranny must eventually succumb to the rage of the common ones,

that seemingly appears suddenly out of the bright clear blue.

this isn’t a warning or a threat or a declaration of ill intent,

this is a sober lesson in history for the peoples’ history with oppressive stasis can never be content.

when tyrants tremble,

they should know that there will someday come a trembling surprise,

for the garbage heap of history patiently awaits each tyrant’s wretched demise …

Zimbabwe 21st November 2017

Zimbabwe 21st November 2017 …

And When the People Rise!

and when the people rise


of being bludgeoned

by the jackboot of suppression


the demand is simple




for the better


not the hollow, empty rhetoric of ‘freedom’

heard in the corridors of power


the demand is simple




for the better


a better life

devoid of the tyranny of rampant power

without the imposition of mores and norms

free of the shackles of the party-line

the religious diktat

the militaristic hammer


and when the people rise


by the ceaseless abuse of power

as the old-guard refuses to see the writing scrawled across the wall




a simple demand


for the better


a better life

for the living and for the ones still to be born


the writing scrawled across the wall, and walls across the world


is simple




for the better

a new way to forge the future

with fresh ideas and the opening up of the boulevards

of opportunity for those who have remained outside for too long


and when the people rise


of the promise of a new dawn

the future is a blank-slate lying amidst the debris


for if the rising of the people


a beginning may be written anew

out of the seed of change which into a tree of promise grew


a new beginning may be written afresh

with the values of simple humanity and gentle tolerance

so that what has passed and what has been endured may never

be visited again on those to come, and on those who bear the wounds on their flesh


for when the rising of the people


the road ahead may be fraught with thorns and more pain

for change is pock-marked with the scars of the past, and the memories do indeed remain


so when the rising of the people


the hope is for the common good, for the tolerance of the one and of all


the hope is for a better, more just today, and a tomorrow where the ideals of justice and of truth are firmly rooted, never to be shaken


the hope is that in the name of peace and humanity, may the new oath be taken …

freeversing the blues

tears trickle down far too many a cheek,
while bigotry and hate like raw sewage reek,

down these cellophane faces in plastic towns,
while hope in the well of misery drowns.

the fractured spirits never seem to mend,
even when swallowing the latest trend,

gagging at the emptiness of last week’s buys,
desperately polishing facades while the barren heart cries.

we crawl as we trawl the roads for joy,
spitting yesterdays away like some overused toy,

fleeting moments never savoured whatever the ploy,
we become the enemies we seek to destroy.

why do we slam the doors shut on faces hungry and needy,
don’t we already have it all for us to be so callously greedy,

while we suck the blood and drink the tears of the ones we chase away,
condemning them to ghettoes in which they absolutely must stay.

when will we excise the demons on which apathy feeds,

will we ever kill off sweatshops serving our wants and not our needs,

will we ever stop putting guns in children’s hands,
will we perpetuate the lie of where the tomahawk missile really lands.

what grotesque metamorphosis have we been subjected to,
where we whistle down corridors oblivious, blinded to all that is true,

throttling the many for the benefit of the few,
all the while supping on heaving tables as if we don’t have a clue.

will we continue to feign ignorance of marital, partner, and child sexual abuse,
discarding each fractured soul as if they were stale news,

blindly turning our heads and thusly perpetuating male hetero-patriarchy,
keeping the blinkers on, while banishing the sordid truth we pretend not to see.

when will people of colour all around the world be seen, as human beings and not merely chattel,

as people, as a part of humanity, and not as some half-bred form of vassal,

to be used and discarded like stale garbage that needs to be trashed,

while on single malt whisky we gleefully get smashed …

… and when will all the world share in the bounties of this earth,

so that we may truly bring a more equitable,

a more fair, a more just world to birth  …

choosing to love another, regardless of gender or colour,

a revolutionary act in a time of hate.

choosing to love another, beyond gender or creed,

reveals humanity’s true face,

beyond gender, religion, or race … …

our dreams

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 …

a child of war and terror

a child of war and terror

as she lies bleeding,

the girl who skipped, hopped to school,

all of nine and a half years old,

with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was her father’s pride.


as she lies bleeding,

shrapnel lodged in her torn stomach,

she stares at her skipping rope,

blood soaking it the colour of cherries her mother buys.


as she lies bleeding,

she sees human shapes all around, thick in the black smoke,

blurred visions of scattering feet, 

shoes left behind,

hearing nothing but the pinging in her smashed eardrums.


as she lies bleeding,

she slips away and then she is dead,

a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl,

whose laugh was her father’s pride.



as she lies bleeding,

even in death she bleeds some more,

shrapnel wedged in her torn stomach,

stealing the light from her bright innocent eyes.

as she lies bleeding …

in jallianwala bagh in ‘19,

johannesburg in ’93,

leningrad in ‘42,

freetown in ‘98,

soweto in ‘76,

beirut in ‘85,

hanoi in ‘68,

st. bernadino,














aleppo still.


as she lies bleeding,

a little nine and a half year old girl,

whose laugh was her parent’s pride,

we know she’ll bleed more,

tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn,

with shrapnel in her stomach,

ripped open and torn.


as she lies bleeding,

a child of war and terror.

as a former refugee, the child of political refugees, this scribble of mine resonates deeply within me, and reminds me always about the plight of those who have been displaced from their homes for the far too many cruel reasons we witness in the world around us.

The Immigrant …

Seeking solace. Seeking a home.

The immigrant finds, rotten prejudice.

Fungal anger.

The immigrant, alone, hoping for,

A solitary chance.

To belong.

The immigrant, alone,


an outside entity.

Eternal outcast.

A viral threat.

A reeking odour.

The immigrant, ever alone,

and alone knowing,

that no place exists,

but that lost home …

War Clouds Gathering …

the fear is palpable,

sweaty, reeking,

stagnant, primal.

the spectre of thermonuclear war,

the ravenous vultures circling overhead.

all at the switch of a button.

infantile lunatics at the ready, exchanging taunts, rotten school yard bullies,

while the rest of us,

the people, forced to hear the terrorising drivel and spewed vitriol of ad libbed threats,

of the hubris of dictators,

whose people starve,

engaged in their machismo, their infantile game, their egos puffed and swaggering,

their testosterone fuelled male ugliness putting on an obscene, murderous show.

they have rested easy,

ensconced in their grotesque wealth,

cocooned and coddled,

while countless souls sleep hungry and wanting,

while numberless souls slog for minimum wage.

these men are unspeakably dangerous,

unhinged, seeing this world of ours as their fiefdom,

devoid of humanity,

brimming with twisted, smug arrogance.

we the people, can not,

should not, and must not sit silent,

lest we be complicit by being mute.

we the people,

can not, should not, and must not allow our indignation to be squashed.

we the people, have for far too long,

been battered blue by the actions of such men,

always men,

who have rained death and destitution and destruction upon millions.

we the people, can not, should not, and will not, 

sit quietly on the sidelines, as these men attempt to lead us to the precipice,

the brink of horrific suffering for our fellow human beings.

we the people, can not, 

should not, and will not allow our voices to be hushed,

our collective outrage to be beaten down,

for we are now in the deep,

murky waters of hate,

and unless we rise as one,

we doom ourselves to choke, gag,

and drown …

repost: I am Woman

I am Woman.

just when you think you’ve broken me,

with your cowardly fists,

with your diseased tongue,

I will not cower.

your fake macho shell does not frighten me,

your violence will not silence me.

I am I,

the mother,

the sister,

the partner,

the woman!

I am me.

I am Woman!

and you are not.

nor can you ever be.

withered feelings, like frozen tears, litter the dusty floor, splintered shards of vows,

once meant never to be broken, lie callously shattered,

strewn across the carpet of dreams, torn and mercilessly tattered.

why does love die, with hearts tearing each other apart, while desire dimly begins to fade,

retreating to a far off place, in the bleakness of the shade.

we were once loved, exalted to the crests of joy,

but now we sit in the corner, not unlike an old forgotten, used toy …

these days, without you,

wasting breaths meant to be kisses,

squandered caresses, lost moments of yearning desire.

these days, without you,

pilfering smiles meant to be hearty laughs,

seeing the time out in between, lost in the embers of love’s roaring fire …

hate speech is not free …

when prejudice and hate are spewed forth, in conventions and meetings and living room lounges,

humanity shudders.

when doctrines of superiority and racism are flung, in talk-shows and Q & A’s and town halls and pillow talk,

humanity recoils.

hate speech is not free, it enslaves the fungal minds of like-minded bigoted folk,

hate speech is not free, it denigrates the dignity of swathes of humanity, 

who are still, still, still trying to shake off racisms’ tyrannical yoke.

hate speech is not free speech …


stranded on this isle of the casually cruel,

bracing against callously random fate,

we have held on this far,

let us hold on a little further …

in love with hope …

she comes to me,

offering solace, gentle words whispered in my ear,

she placates me,

her words a tender caress, dispelling fear,

she seduces me, as sure as she breathes fire into my soul,

she teases me, offering glimpses of the promise of being whole,

she heals me, when i’m down, battered blue black,

she picks me up, shuffling my self as bones achingly crack.
in love with her, i know now, without her, i would not cope,

in love with her, i know now, she is abiding hope,

hope lives,

hope breathes,

always … …

neither here nor there …

traversing the meandering bylanes of life,

tears fall,

through the cauldron of strife,
memories like jagged shards of sorrow,

hewn into a torrent of emotion,

flow on …

               and on,

cascading over raw wounds,
                reaching, without


peace …


clinging onto filaments of hope,

while hollow words


slinking away to settle,

           on tattered scrolls,

while life persists,

so long as the river rolls…

stricken …

​myriad interwoven strands of distilled feeling,

intoxicate me, leaving me reeling,

while forever more, I look up to you,

as I lay stricken, as I lay kneeling … …

a silly schmaltzy scribble …

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

you may look past me, choosing not to see me at all, as I pick myself up from yet 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,

yet still,

I will be as faithful as the coming in of the tide … …

the comedy of mid-life surprises … …

we have been around a while, we have had our share of tears, and of many a smile,

life has often been kind, though at times it felt like all joy, all peace, was left far, far behind,

now our hair greys and thins, and we have chronic medication in more than a few tins,

we may have seen and heard it all before, yet, and still there is a wish felt deep within our hearts core,

perhaps not of rose-tinted love, or falling stars streaking across the skies above,

perhaps just a need to feel human again,
for the sun must shine after a shower of rain,

so why don’t we give it a shot, for who knows,
things may get a bit steamy, if not desirably hot … …


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 …


weighed down, bound by the travails of this life,

at times desolate,

at times with seemingly no respite.

the sunken talons of the drudgery of the days,

clawing deeply, shackle each breath taken,

wresting joy away.

the fierce mauling of time, swatting dreams once dreamed,

left to fester in the chords of the unfinished song.

still we trudge, still we stand upright, still we scribble odes for tomorrow,

still we somehow cope,

still we carry our drained bodies,

still we persist, still we somehow hope …

nothing leaves a heart reeling,

more than the heart,

filled with an abundance of feeling 

spilled words …

what are these words, this ink on parchment, scribbled odes to love and to loss,

beseeching the fates, the rolling of the years, imploring them to be gentle,

yes, what are these words strewn across flimsy paper,

wrenching souls laid bare, offering comfort only in knowing that we shall never, ever cease, to dare to care …

twilight tales … … …

birds in free flight, 

nestled, settled, basking in the peaceful moonlight,

awaiting for night to descend aflutter.

humans, you and i,

forage for tidbits of peace,

and as moonlight beckons,

we draw every shutter …

lost and found

lost and found …


i was lost,

scrambling for scraps of love, of life,

desolate, empty, my heart seemed destined to ceaseless strife,

lost in between murmured promises and yearning for free abandoned flight,

only to be cast aside in the deep dark of night.


you found me,

strewn across festering boulevards,

you picked me up as i lay broken,

your love breathed life into my deadened soul, 

after all the trite words were casually spoken,

your essence,

your being, lifted me,

my heart once more in free joyous flight,

you found me,

you saved me from myself,

you ushered in spring days,

after so many a corrosive night,

you found me …

searching for better days

seizing breaths


breaths ever fleeing,


holding on.

fingers raw,

the mind a sprawl,

while below,

the cackling sniggering chasm,







souls numb,

absolved as dumb,

hearts hard,

admiringly referred to as being hardy,


ever on

and on.


making a stink,


deeper into inviting arms,

plush sofas,

leather chairs,

plastic smiles,

promises of far too many miles,

all yet to be trodden upon,

many yet to be trampled on,

but all that too shall be all lost in the haze,

while scavenging,





trampling onwards,


ever on,

and upon,



just chasing the dream,

and just,

just –

searching for better days …

love concedes

love concedes … … …

love concedes, through bitter travails,

love recedes, into closeted wardrobes,

love exhausts, lover and loved alike,


love endures, through the years,

traversing valleys of tears,

dispelling untruths,

exiling paralysing fears.

A Poem for Jawaharlal Nehru



The moon cast an enveloping shadow over the teeming multitudes,

as they made their tryst with destiny**,

with you as the bearer of the light,

and at the stroke of the midnight hour,

you emerged an icon, from the long and desolate night.

Long years had passed,
since those humid evenings spent,
languishing in jail,

yet your mind remained unshackled,
putting words on paper in the dim candlelight,

as the gaudy glare of empire began to pale.


you live,

within us,
though not amongst us,


your discovery,
your glimpses,

smoulder within me,

your immortal words,
my compass.

I am now,
the soul of nations,
once suppressed,

that have,
found utterance.

I am now,

I am now,



* – ‘Pandit-Ji’ was the name that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was respectfully called.

** – excerpts from Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech on 15th August 1947

history shall judge us …

history shall look back upon us, and a light shall be shed, upon this time when the few were fattened and sumptuously fed, while the many were wrung till the last drop they bled, to the hypocritical wars that for resources were fought, and the complicit silence of the power-brokers was bought, where children went hungry and were pummelled by shrapnelled lead, when obscene chariots roamed the streets and not a word was said, about the inhumanity of this technologically advanced human race, propped up and gaudy as it showed its skewered face, allowing the few to pillage and plunder, as the hopes and dreams of the many were torn asunder.

yes, for these are the days when noxious ostentation does rule, caring little that its modus operandi is so patently cruel, as long as the diamonds are adorned and the gold is worn, it matters not the billions of families’ that are torn, torn apart so the machinery of greed flourished, while the child remained forgotten, mattering not that billions of souls were left malnourished.

yes, history shall look back and judge us with withering hindsight, when we perfected avarice, fine tuning it as best as we could, while ignoring our fellow beings as though they were hewn from wood, and history shall not be wrong to judge us in a horrified light, for even as we read these words, the many lie huddled under bridges, on yet another bitterly cold night …


the stench of racism

the stench of racism …


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.


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.


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.


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 …

The veins of Africa …

interwoven veins, crisscross this land,

this continent, connecting the north to the south,

the east to the west, veins infusing life, binding peoples, wrapped in the canopies of the forest, buzzing in the cacophony of the cities, silent in the arid deserts,

meandering between the mangroves, flowing gracefully into the oceans, knitting us together,

despite the slashing of these veins,

the plunder of these lands,

the desecration of the peace of the ancestors,

tearing these veins open,

pilfering the continent’s innards,

gold and silver and copper and platinum and diamonds and so much more,

so much more painful in the millions of souls herded as cattle,

packed onto the slave ships, doomed to live and die in shackled misery,

oh yes, these veins have felt it all,

these veins that continually, silently, peacefully, benevolently,

spread the precious gift of life across these lands, this continent – Africa …

the skin we moult

and when this shroud,

the skin we moult,

traversing eons, sipping kisses, lapping tongues,

mingled meadows of scarlet red,

the standard waves amidst,

the smoke, the swollen pollen, detritus of ills scarcely-forgotten,

to flutter on the ramparts,

aloft, again,

for the pot simmers,

and the light of hope glimmers …

no walls can divide us

no walls can 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 …

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 … ?

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 ?

seeds …

swept up

by the dust

scattered remnants

of lives once whole




in cold dead dry ground.


swept up

by the dust

seeking a glimmer

of hope

of the promise


a better tomorrow.


swept up

by the dust

sinking roots

hoping to belong







for days







where one

need not


ever smiling

and to be

always strong.

the seesawing of my mind

the seesawing of my mind …

sleepless nights creep past,

clawing at the edges of my mind,

days spent shuffling through the blur,

adrift, untethered,

clambering through the thicketty haze,


lost amidst the racing minutes,

revelling in an insom-maniacal daze,

at times reeling,

feeling spent,



the words, the scribbled verse,

for better or worse,

a sanctuary, secluded,

shielded from barbed tongues,

barbed words casually spoken,

seesawing, walking the tightrope,


fingers scraped,

wreaking bloodless wounds,

the quest continuing for a shard of hope,

the ability to cope,

staying afloat,

bracing the torrents,

ever mindful,

of being perched on the precipice,

of my seesawing mind,

fearful of sliding up-down,

the perennial slippery slope,

a man on a wire,

no safety net, no rope,

aching to stand up,

to walk unaided once again,

through the fog,

the blur,

the haze,

the daze,

lashed by these blizzards of pain,

through the thicket,

on a rapid runaway train,

hurtling against the embedded grain,

seeking respite,

craving refuge,

from the incessant,


slicing rain.

I want to kiss you so much more,

where bigotry no longer stabs at the core.

I want us arm in arm on long walks,

where prejudice these boulevards no longer stalks.

I want you, if you’ll have me,

we shall build our own world,

warm and loving and free … …

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