Archive for January 18, 2018

Vincent and Ludwig

Vincent and Ludwig …

“we are mere vagabonds, scraping here and there, never belonging anywhere, and never wanting to belong somewhere” said Vincent to Ludwig.

“yes my dear Vincent, we walk this earth with tattered shoes, our madness binding us in friendship, feted now and then, yet mostly left to ramble through our lonesome lives” Ludwig says, looking down at his weather-beaten boots.

Vincent and Ludwig share a smile, each knowing the feelings felt when sinking deeper into the depths of despair.

“your ‘sunflowers’ always bores a hole into my heart, my dear Vincent, your flourishes live in the swirls and your warmth and love for humanity shines through, tearing at my insides” Ludwig murmurs to Vincent.

“just as your ‘ode to joy’ bores a hole into my soul, with your unselfish, transcendent love for all living beings, alive and resounding in every note” Vincent says, looking into the distance.

“what are we, my dear friend, tortured by our inner demons, left to rot by the wayside, torn and broken by this harsh world all around us” Ludwig asks Vincent.

“we may be mad, and maddeningly so, my friend, but why do we see the smiles washed off the faces of the sane, why do we we tears trickling down from far too many eyes” Vincent says with a rueful smile.

“yes, my dearest Vincent, it often appears that this whole world, this whole veneer of civility, these people who have enough yet always clamouring for more, while those who have nothing hunger for just scraps” Ludwig says, almost to himself.

“and we see it every day, in their greed glazed eyes, their grubby grabbing hands, their world they call sane” Vincent mumbles.

“what are we then, Vincent, in this world of naked oppression, in these places of vulgar ostentation, in the midst of all this madness” Ludwig asks, looking to his friend.

“we are sane, my friend” Vincent says tugging at his phantom ear.

“sane, yes Vincent. sane” Ludwig says with a smile, his fingers feeling his ear that once could hear.


for my mother Zubeida Moolla (1934-2008)

Dedicated to exiles, refugees, and the brave South Africans who struggled against Apartheid tyranny in South Africa.

This poem is also dedicated to all the countless brave women fighting for their rights and against misogyny, gender bias, male hetero-patriarchy, gender based violence, female genital mutilation, equal pay for equal work, sexual harassment and abuse and the many evils that women around the world suffer on a daily basis)

letter of condolence from President Nelson Mandela to my father when my mother passed away.

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.

President Mandela’s mother and my mother sometime many decades ago when Comrade Nelson Mandela and my father, among many others were arrested by the racist Apartheid regime.

(This photograph was taken probably in the mid to late-1950s or early 1960s)

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