Archive for September 24, 2018

double-helixed uBuntu*

from google

double-helixed uBuntu* …

these interwoven veins





this common

‘I am because you are’*

all of us
as one


… uBuntu*


* – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses the “belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”

from google

from google

South Africa: Heritage Day 2018

Today we celebrate our shared heritage,

through smiles and tears, the ache of the past and the hopes of today and tomorrows yet unborn.

Today we share our Africanness, our blood enmeshed within each other – bright red thumping through countless veins, reminding us of the spirit of uBuntu – I am because we are,

we are because of each other, fellow travellers through the travails of life, seeking not riches nor title, seeking the bright sunshine of peace banishing the darkness of strife.

We are one people, myriad hues of the rainbow enveloping us all,

lending a hand to each other,

every time we stumble, each time we fall. 

from google

from google

Life, delusions, and Scribbled Verse …

I remain alone, never letting anyone in, my ramparts solid, my walls tall and impregnable,

I remain alone, always dousing the hope, my words of departure articulate and allowing me to unashamedly mope,

I choose this lonesome way, having tasted the nectar of love, and punishing it to always slip away,

I have chosen this path of quiet solitude, the cowardly one, shrouding my heart with armour, knowing I lack the fortitude.

Love has touched me deeply, I have loved with all my might, I have immersed myself in the cauldron of desire, yet I always seem to deliberately douse the fire,

these are not easy confessions to make, to share my inability to walk the long path of love, to always look for that escape, leaving good pure hearts scattered, as I search for the window where I can my slipping away make,

these scribbled words tear into my heart, puncturing my soul, fracturing my mind, as I sit and wonder why it is that I choose to never be whole,

I make no excuses, I sputter no half-baked reasons for my fleeing from love, while I have hurt the gentlest souls, the ones who deserved so much more, not the cowardice of a man, who always seems to find the exit door.

These words sound to me like comfortable self-pity, so easy for me to accept no blame, laying it all out, yet still brimming with the moping of the lying man, who feels no remorse, who will not accept the shame,

these hollow words as empty as the “it is not you, it is me” cop-out refrain, so easily blabbered forth, so conveniently absolving me of the cause of any pain,

how many times have these callous words been spoken, how they have fractured loves that were real, how many times have they left good souls broken,

and still my conceit above says it all, my belief that I have the power to cause fractured hearts and injured souls, the hubris of man who believes himself able, to injure the ‘weaker sex’, for ‘man is so much more capable’.

I rail against misogyny in my scribbled verse, I damn the narrow mindedness of male chauvinism, it is I who so effortlessly dons the mask of the ‘liberated man’, all the while it is I who am a part of my genders’ ‘entitled’ clan,

oh yes, I scribble against this evil and that injustice, I speak the loudest, claiming to be progressive in thought and in mind, but it is I who refuses to see, the vestiges of male superiority, which tightly do me bind,

what becomes of this world when so-called ‘unchained’ men like myself live in our cocoons of self-righteous comfort, what becomes of the struggle for gender equality, what is the future when I spout my egalitarian beliefs, so hypocritically solemn, while I am blinded by the fact, that I am part of the festering problem,

yes, I wave the rainbow flag and I shriek out the necessary slogans, I march alongside my ‘sisters’, I pour my drivel scribbled on pages as I delude myself that I really do give a damn,

what happens next for this world of inequity, this world of abuse, this world of gender-based violence, this world of female genital mutilation, this world of women enslaved by man’s convenient norms of male-centred religion, this world of the shackles of oh-so convenient culture and tradition,

what happens to this world when those empty like me beat the drum of giving a damn,

when all in all, when it is boiled down to the harshest truth,

I remain the ever hypocritical man?

from google





The girl with the beret at the Bus Stop …



I saw her 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 chills battering our bones, as we shared sandwiches, for each other just a slice.

We spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we encountered, we spoke of life’s pathways and where we hoped we were headed, as we confessed, what we feared most, was the banality of a life we so fiercely dreaded.

Thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything except our names, our conversations so true they scorched like roaring flames.

We often laughed about the funny stuff we experienced, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking us, all these chats, drowned out at times, to the soundtrack of the squealing brakes of our bus.

Our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trusting the depths in our eyes, feeling a kinship, that logic defies.

We spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent what felt like hours in those short-haul trips, baring our truths honest and deep, feeling for once, the harsh shadows of daily life retreat.

She was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing so much 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, a mirage always just out of view.

I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes, even as all around us our world was covered in rust.

There was nothing about us but truth, nothing but a truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold world understood, far from the slicing of all the threatening grudges, we knew, our sharing was beyond all that, as we often in complete silence sat.

Our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing that one else knew us, no one could ever relate, even as we were innocently oblivious of the often cruel hands of fate.

Her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all, the two of us ever mindful, of the ache that did in each other dwell.

Then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones, feeling a vacuum I did not know my life could ever fill, a random friendship so tightly bound, that decades would pass till a friendship as profound as that was found.

I often thought of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting for her ride in the morning air, feeling that we somehow remained connected, heart to heart, in a way impossible to articulate, for it was us, just us, with whom we felt we could only ever relate.

I think of her often, my friend on the bus all those years ago, sharing parts of our life, profound and without judgemental fears, through moments of agony, and through the smiles and the tears.

I must confess that to this day, whenever I pass a bus stop, I glance at it even as I know,

I shall not see that girl in the beret,

from so many years and lives ago …



(inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” from the album ‘Born in the USA)

(also inspired by “Raspberry Beret” by Prince)


ps: happy birthday to “The Boss”

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