Archive for October, 2018


S M I L E





smile




let us walk,

knowing not the paths ahead,


let us talk,

knowing not each others tongues,


let us breathe,

the simple joys of life,

away from shredding strife,


so, take my hand,

in yours,


and let us walk and talk,


through many tears,

and an occasional smile,


as we walk on,

and on,


past our final mile…








Why, they ask her,



“why him?”.


She tells them that the day she met me,



that day when we laughed and when we spoke,

.

she felt, for the first time,
that all she needed to be,



was herself.




from google




the palette of dreams …





straining to hear

the thud-thudding of your heart


amidst this cacophonous crowd.



so

i close my eyes


and

i see you


floating on clouds

unfettered

free to just be


your wings spread proud

unclipped


skipping

hopping

across sunbeams


sketching your open sky


bathed in

colours vivid

alive


fiery

earthy

warm

fierce

gentle


each 

brush stroke


infused with hues


from 

the palette of your dreams















Mother natures’ Thread …



Meandering,

skipping over,


bubbling through the streams’ flow,

the grotesque gaudiness washed away,



if we only,



hop, skip, peacefully tread,

on the path unbeaten,



the course nature embroiders us together,

thread by echoing thread …




I don’t know why the comments keep disappearing so thank you Neha and Christopher once again in the event my responses don’t appear.




travelling a new path …




Walking through the thicket, nettles stinging our hearts,


ever on the lookout for pathways of promise, yet forever treading the beaten track.


the hands of fickle time, jabbing these bodies, our shells to continue on ahead,


passing myriad alleyways of beckoning promise, a different course to chart alone,


though thorns dig deep, we persist, blindly trudging this dreary old way,


study hard, work harder, get married, have kids, buy a house, pay off the mortgage, babysit the grandchildren, develop illnesses, totter unsteadily on walkers, lay bound to our beds,


the well-travelled alleyways so many stumble through – over and over, and over again,


staying on the narrows, not going against the grain, banishing the murmurs, that whisper in our ears, to take a chance, to veer off the road, to stray down a more twisting thicket,


into an unknown realm, of dangers that may litter this course, of the light of hope that may shine in the dark,


oblivious of dragons that may lie in wait, hugging the shawls of comfort zones, soon to tattered by time and fate, to be left in the open, to brace the elements,


the same howling winds of that other well-trodden way, stung by similar twists and tragedies, tripping and falling, finding love perhaps, another one who has chosen to swim the streams alone,


we may lose our footing, sliding down slippery slopes,


but with a raging fire of hope, burning deep inside, knowing this has been our unique journey, far from the well-worn shoes of that other life,


stepping ever onwards one tiny inch at a time,


beholding beauty not even known,


tasting the sweet nectar of something new,


swimming the seas of uncharted waters,


thrashed by deafening winds,


tossed around by slashing waves,


till in the distance, we spot land,


and as the tides wash us ashore, we drift into fatigued sleep,


awakening to the soft chirping of the birds,


surrounded by swaying palm trees,


the hues of nature so vivid, the feelings in our soul so true,


as we feel talcum sands beneath our feet,


hearing the familiar music of life,


the sounds of the living surrounding us,


as we find this new abode teeming with life,


a world of peace we have at last found,


as we disappear into the sunset of a new day,


with the countless others,


who also chose this other way






nature at peace

from google




Nature at Peace




Settling on a branch, the solitary bird sings of its desolate pain,


the leaves of the tree shielding the bird from the jabbing rain,


the delicate branch straining to bear the weight of the bird,


while all across the savanna, on countless branches, the echoes of plaintive birdsong can be heard …



… offering respite to the weary, rest for the weak, relief to those seeking a momentary escape from the scorching day,


the trees, sharing their bounteous shade, sweep the detritus of the day away …



… all of nature, in harmonious rhythm,


as gentle night embraces the savanna,


soothing all in a pristine feeling of ease,


as all of nature finds succour,


in the safe cocoon of nature’s comforting peace




from google

art by banksy






an as-long-as-it-rhymes scribble …





just what am i doing, scribbling these vaguely rhyming rhymes,


as people are disposed of willy-nilly, in these terrifying times.




where riches and high office are what matter most,


regardless of the billions of souls just barely surviving, as long as the parties continue, all vying to be the most hospitable host.




just what am i doing, as brokers funnel millions, wading through the murky machiavellian mire,


and as the 99% sink deeper, into the bowels of deprivation dire.




words such as peace and equality and freedom and justice and democracy have been from us putridly pilfered,


snatching our language of struggle away, leaving us with slogans so feebly filtered.




i often ask myself as to why i even bother to belch out so many a scrawny scribble,


impotent as they are, dribbling down as hypocritically doleful drivel.




i have no response to these inquiries so earnestly enquired,


all i can say is that i am sick to the marrow of being so terribly tired.




exhausted, fatigued of carrying in my pocket cold change – always just a couple of coins, and never crisp new notes,


to fling at the coarse beggars who stain the windows of my magical mercedes, even as thoughts of that new yacht in my mind freely floats.




is this the world of humanity? humanity stripped of being kind and being humbly humane,


this callous world of wealth obscene, these ugly societies of greed insatiably insane.




how dare we call this world our collective mother, our mother whom we have so savagely stripped,


of all she has to offer us, her very children who have defiled her, plundering all we can, as we ravaged her being, and as her soul we have ravenously ripped.




we make pompous speeches, we have conferences, we prattle on as we tediously talk,


all the while we lust after this portfolio, and that deal, treating each other as prey whom we surreptitiously stalk.




i have been searching for a home, an abode of peace and stillness, while all around i hear the pin-striped cackling crowd,


the ones who barely see anything beyond their green-backed shroud, where the anthem of greed, they bellow out arrogantly aloud.




the words of religious piety are mumbled, us versus them, our creed, our caste, our tribe, our race, tattooed for all to see on our conscienceless consciousness,


we go to war, we kill and we maim, we abuse and we discard as damned refuse, as we build walls between humans, creating boundaries of morbid monstrousness.




just what am i doing, to really feel alive, to love, to embrace, to share, and to not allow myself to be drawn into the cult of only me, me, me,


but to breathe, to hug another soul, to go against the grain, to simply be, and in being, be.




just what am i doing, to be a part of the whole, to be an infinitesimal grain in our collective soul, to use my bare hands to help save our shared humanity’s teetering tree,


in truth i am doing nothing, i am a mute spectator, not wanting to ever get my hands dirty, to be content to sit on the fence, to perch myself away on a hill, to do nothing at all, but see, see, see …





they do not see me at all

art by banksy




they do not see me at all …




1.



They do not see me at all,


as I walk through these desecrated avenues,


of soul-deadening frenzy.



I see them rushing past me,


and no matter how hard I holler and call,


they do not see me at all.



It seems at times, that invisible am I,


for when I reach out, and shriek, and when on my knees I crawl,


they rush past me,


for they do not see me at all.



I have tried to raise their ire,


I have taunted and goaded them,


till exhausted and fatigued,


to the cold damp ground I fall,


still they rush past me,


for they do not see me at all.



I stand mutely, waving my hands all around while scribbling verses in my unintelligible scrawl,


still they rush past me,


for they do not see me at all.



They rush past me, knocking me over without ever looking back,


trampling over my fallen form,


they look past my limp crumpled shadow,


as they whine on in their monotonous drawl,


and they still do not see me at all.



2.



When they look my way,


flickers of recognition crossing their faces,


I crawl back into my nothingness,


cocooned as the day begins to pall,


hoping, tired and broken,


to be back in the space,


where they cannot see me at all …











am i 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?



President Nelson Mandela’s letter of condolence to my father when my mum passed on – Johannesburg April 2008





President Nelson Mandela’s mother and my mother in the late 1950s or early 1960s protesting the imprisonment of their loved ones – photograph courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation






my mother – a true story …




My mother used tell me this with tears in her eyes.



My mother left South Africa in the 1960’s to join my father who was in political exile at the time in Zambia and Tanzania.


My father was a close comrade and friend of Nelson Mandela and shared the cell next to Mandela during one of their periods of being jailed by the Apartheid security services.


My father later escaped from Marshall Square jail along with his comrades, Abdulhay Jassat, Harold Wolpe, and Arthur Goldreich.


The four escapees were then were spirited out of South Africa as there was a then £2000 reward for them to be captured – dead or alive. 



In 1970 my father was deployed by the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) to India to be its Chief-Representative there.



I was born in New Delhi a couple of years later in 1972.



My mother and father spent two years in Mumbai (then Bombay).




One afternoon my father fell and broke his leg.


My mother knocked on their neighbour’s door of the apartment complex where they lived. 



The neighbour was an elderly Punjabi lady.



My mother asked the elderly lady for assistance in calling a doctor to see to my injured father. 



A Zoroastrian (Parsi) ‘bone-setter’ was promptly summoned.



My mother and the elderly neighbour got to talking and the lady asked my mother where they were from, as their accents were clearly not local.



My mother told the elderly Punjabi lady that my father worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had been forced into exile to continue to struggle to raise awareness internationally about the appalling situation in Apartheid South Africa.



My mother also mentioned that they had to leave their two young children (my siblings, whom I met only later in life) behind in South Africa, in the care of grandparents, and that they were now essentially political refugees.



The elderly lady broke down and wept uncontrollably.



She told my mother that she too had to leave their home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on their back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and when Pakistan was torn from India and formed, due to narrow religious and sectarian reasons, whose repercussions are felt to this day.



This was also a time when religious violence wreaked havoc, and untold suffering and death for millions of human beings.



The elderly lady then asked my mother what her name was.




‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’.




The Punjabi woman hugged Zubeida some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, by religion and all the things that seek to divide humanity,  wept, for they could understand the pain and trauma of a shared experience.



The elderly Punjabi lady told my mother that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she too felt the pain of exile after being forced to become refugees, and what being a refugee felt like.



Zubie and her husband Mosie (my father) and the family next door became the closest of friends.



Then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress (ANC) office was to be officially opened.



The elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes.



A year or two later, the elderly lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi.



The elderly lady telephoned Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live there, and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi, and that she should not feel alone.



Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi in the mid-1970’s.



Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, till the both my mother passed away in 2008. 



My father and I still feel a close bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi, and vice versa. 



A bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two countries of South Africa and of India, shattering the barriers of creed and of time.



A bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience.



That is why I shall never stop believing that hope shines still, for with so much religious bigotry almost consuming our world today, there will always be a woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, and as a fellow human being.



And that is why, I believe, that there will always be hope.



Hope in the midst of unbearable pain and hope in the midst of loss and of unspeakable suffering.



Hope.


For we can never give up hope for a better world.


Never!






(For aunty Lata’s late-mother, my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi, India)



President Nelson Mandela and my father – late 1950s or early 1960s

President Nelson Mandela and my father – Johannesburg 2000s

21st Century Slavery

https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/





21st Century Slavery.



the brutal slave-ships of centuries ago, from the cradle of humankind, the continent of Africa, may no longer ply the seas,


the unspeakable horrors meted out to the millions of  human beings are now conveniently forgotten.




today the ships of commerce and of Capital carry the noxious cargo of slavery – neo-slavery – as they ferry designer goods from the aisles of slaves in the free-trade zones of this world.




the slave-owners mentality has changed little,


the promise of the filthy notes of money,


the 20-hour long shifts enforced inhumanely,


the shackles of bonded labour, of small hands sewing high-street apparel,


reeks of ugliness, of the depths of depravity that the 1% are gladly willing to rain down on fellow human beings.




the vile stench of greed, sinks it’s talons into the souls of those in need,


in need of a few grains of rice, of some beans, as tears down the cheek of humanity perennially streams,


while labourers who sweat and toil build obscene skyscrapers that in the ashamed sun gleams.




the migrant workers who built countries with their calloused bare hands,


enslaved by colonialism and forced labour, of being auctioned as if they were soulless machines,


only to be flung when death visited them, into the emptiness of savage ravines.




today we see the same, on 24hr television screens,


the stories of the ravages of hunger, the tears of mothers and fathers, the little faces whose innocence has been stripped,


whose very sense of dignity is continually whipped,


all so we may drink champagne and shuck oysters and dance and fuck,


never for even a second thinking about the 99% ensnared in the rotten muck.




these words of mine may be obscene, but the ugliness of man lies elsewhere,


somewhere, everywhere,


while immigrants are vilified, ripped apart from them, the  tiniest sense of decency,


while as before they are treated as mere disgusting currency. 




these impotent words i spew make not a scintilla of a difference,


they just pour out and swirl down into the gutters of apathy,


so I lay my pen down now, in disgust and self-loathing,


of being a part of the machine that off human beings slave,


from the moment they are born and till they are thrown into countless a nameless grave,


yes i lay my pen down now, rotting inside, as the bile erodes,


the platitudes i scribble.




yes i lay my pen down now, knowing i am merely spouting inconsequential drivel,


that will disappear into the gutters,


quietly,

silently,


even as my empathy continues to shrivel …





https://poetryphotosandmusingsohmy.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/wednesdays-words-to-ponder-phillis-wheatly/




Dear all,


Please visit this site and this absolutely heartwarming and hopeful and moving and touching piece on Phyllis Wheatley – with my friend Léa’s deeply personal tribute to a giant of a woman – aunty Aggie Msimang – a giant in the struggle for freedom and democracy and justice in South Africa. 


Léa has posted this deeply moving piece on Phyllis Wheatley and I thank you, my friend Léa, for making me read up more on Phyllis Wheatley as well as about the countless other women who fought and struggled and dedicated their lives to the cause of humanity. 


Merci beaucoup my friend and comrade and fellow-traveller.


https://poetryphotosandmusingsohmy.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/wednesdays-words-to-ponder-phillis-wheatly/



Please do read Léa’s other brilliant pieces and do follow her here on WordPress – her blog and her writing are so needed and necessary in this cold and callous and unjust world we find ourselves in.



For hope and for justice and for gender-rights and for equality and for fairness and for peace and for truth. 


I salute you, as I salute them all!






The Conceit of a Man





How dare I stand before you, a man – to recite a poem on women and about the rights of women the world over?



Am I not the perfect caricature of that man – who deems himself capable, and so very able, even entitled?



Yes, aren’t I that man who thinks he understands,



who believes righteously that he knows what it has been like, and what it is like being a woman in this crass, misogynistic world.



The man who presumes to know and to empathise about countless women’s deeply personal and painful truths that they live each day, not just at times,


I am that man who thinks it possible, even admirable of him to scribble out a few rhymes. 



Isn’t this what caricatures like me have always done – speak on behalf of, or drone on about women, their struggles and the need of the now, the forging ahead in the countless battles yet to be fought for the emancipation of women,


yes caricatures indeed, us men who beat down with bloodied fists the very same women, for whom we hurl a few slogans around, utterly meaningless as they fall to the blood stained ground.



But never will I admit to the profanities I have spewed, in-between off hand chats with male friends, those chats about how many chicks I have screwed.



The man before you stands and pontificates about all that women need – the liberal manifesto – equal pay for all, the right of a woman to determine what is best for her body, the calling out of the lewd catcalls and the uncouth slow-eyed once-over leering stares, shamelessly violating the woman, even as she with contempt at them all glares.



The man, oblivious to the hypocrisy, prattles on and on, speaking on behalf of women the world over, so attuned to their struggles, harping and carping, about feminism and women’s lib, all the while with a self-congratulatory tone so condescending and glib.



Ah but the facts speak for themselves, and they stack up time and time again, from time immemorial, to today, to a backdrop of the shrieks of collective pain.



The time has come and long passed, for the facts to be driven into the consciousness of every man, every boy, every girl, every person this wide world around,


if for once, we may actually, onto a sliver of hope hold, it must be to accept our complicity in this sorry parade, while dusting off the grime and slime of this endless charade. 



The facts are brutal, they speak for themselves – the facts are grotesque, screaming to us all,


for as the worn-out adage goes, we stand together, or together we will fall.



The facts are plain to see, they condemn us for our inaction, the facts are unalterable, they will never be what we want them to be, even as we sew our eyes shut not wanting to see. 



I should perhaps apologise for not being more positive, and for being so abrasively cynical,


but I would rather say what I’ve said now,


and say it ever more,


because somehow I feel,


the platitudes will be dished out on Women’s Day and whenever our consciences are pricked,


by news reports of the unspeakable crimes of the savage treatment of women, the truths we live with daily, the said and the unsaid, the unspoken behind-the-picket fence abuse,


where no matter what we may think, it is us men who shroud ourselves behind the veil of complicit silence, seeing only what we choose.



Yes, so I would rather say all of this, gagging in this stench of rotten egos laid bare, as the truth we unpeel,


instead of gurgling out more lame, old feel-good, and utterly meaningless spiel,


while us men, the chosen ones, the patriarchy at its most hideous,


still, and for quite a while longer, I’m sorry to say,


expect the woman to always kneel.




anti-Apartheid poster from the 1980s

#MeToo

the air and the flute

art from google

the air and the flute …




air caresses the flute,


unseen,


leaving not a trace

of itself.




a gentle melody,

lilting notes,

echo invisibly,


fused

by passionate breath mingling with air,


unseen …

art from google

a child of war and terror

art by banksy





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,

manchester,

baghdad,

brussels,

london,

tripoli,

miami,

jenin,

paris,

kabul,

raqqa,

basra,

mosul,

gaza,



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.






art from google








from google





These days …




These days, so jarring and so harsh,


leave us contorted, face down in the vicious marsh.



These days, so painful and so hard,


slice into our souls, sliver by jagged shard.



These days, so defeating and full of hurt,


fragment the pieces of our being, our heart dragged through the cold wet dirt.



These days when we feel slammed down and kicked around,


these days when not a glimmer of hope is to be found.



These days, when our very own, splinter our days and nights,


these days when the ones we love the most steal our sunshine and shatter all comforting lights.



These days are cruel, every moment seems like an internal duel,


these days that reek, of a deep pain that allows a torrent of tears to stream down each cheek.



These days when all seems lost,


these days when our heart feels mangled and tossed.



These days must pass,

these days must leave,


as all days do,


slipping and fading through life’s sieve.



So that we may smile once more,


as we smiled so many times before.



So that we feel solace envelope us within the cocoon of peace,


when the pain and the hurt, relents,


so that at long last,


these dark times may finally cease …




oncoming tides 

oncoming tides.

morning again,
tugging moonlight,
another

night slipping,
yielding, ceding,

the routine waltz of attrition,
dancing,

heartbeats afloat,

drifting back on cottonwool clouds,
shedding yesterdays moulting skin,
shadowplays of encroaching light,
cajoling hearts,

unshackled,
fluttering along the ramparts,
wrestling to adorn,

the props, the tools,
myriad masks,

shrouds,

smiles,

hides,
yet, yet,

yet hobbling still,
coat-collar turned up against mornings chill,
winding down alleyways of dreams,

of hopes,
braced ( i hope )
to weather,

more oncoming tides …

​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 …


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 pendulum swings,

while the mania in my head,

strips me bare and yanks me,

into the cauldron of love.


Once again,

never divining the tea leaves,

knowing, always knowing,

the gnawing knots of unease,

that curl into a fist.


My isolation is a shield,

a suit of armour,

tightly clad around my self,

once worn,

then discarded,

taking its place,

on my barren shelf.


Love, mania and verse,

coalesce, beseeching me,

with timeous forewarning,

not to tread into the quicksand,

that slippery bog of promise.


Yet,

in times past,

in moments present,

tis’ that very promise,

that I cling to.


At times I lose,

myself in the crowd,

rebelling in the solitude found there,


at times I claw,

my way back to the now,

aching for the pain that stings,


the buried voice that sings,

dirges to forgotten emotions,


scribbled verse that flings,

the toys out of my cot,


while I wait,

for the mania to stop,


knowing,

always knowing,

that it shall be,


merely a matter of time,

before the other shoe,

must, as always, 

drop.




talking regurgitated impotent worldwide injustice blues …




i have been here so many times before, spewing forth words that must be by now a repetitive bore.



scribbling this and that, having said it all so many times, these tired, paltry, meagre words seem to be just cobbled together to rhymes.



all my belched words appear impotent to me today, scribbled over and over again, reeking of stale garbage, stinking in the rain.



words and emotions felt deep, gnawing at my being, spat out, to ears unhearing, thrust before eyes unseeing.



so i ask myself why carry on this wordy parade, of simplistic rhymes, of grammar unsound, yet feeling compelled to keep going on this endless merry-go-round.



all my walls shattered, my ramparts battered, yet still i need to throw up these words, hither and thither scattered.



but i ask myself how can i stop, when most of humanity is used as a ragged mop, when the few like vampires feast on the human blood they suck, squeezing out sweat from the many who are condemned to bleed in the muck.



i see the good people all around me, burying their heads so they never may see, their selfish religiosity on display for all to ooh and aah, while their own religions’ humanistic tenets they keep afar.



the curse of neo-colonialism, neo-imperialism, and of bonded labour, strangle the many, while the 1% their champagne do savour.



misogyny, child-abuse, spousal and gender violence, hetero-patriarchy, female genital mutilation, in 2017 upon women everywhere is still what is endured, with all dignity slashed, while platitudes are spoken from pulpits, the sham of indignation hypocritically rehashed.



governments the world over spending trillions on weapons of death, while pleading poverty when it comes to free, dignified, professional health.



the 99% still slaves to the tyranny of shameful wages, the conditions that have tortured so many throughout the ages.



words of struggle and of principled defiance, words like ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘justice’, ‘equality’, have been cynically pilfered, by those in the corridors of business and of political power, while choking grimy dust across the planet does continually shower.



my mother is still paid so much less, than the very men who conjured up this economic mess, and if she demands higher wages she is castigated for the thoughts, while the business tycoons, the government men blather on about their newly-acquired luxury yachts.



the struggles of Nelson Mandela and of Martin Luther King, are neatly repackaged gutting out their sting, remodelled to be acceptable, while burying the essence of their revolutionary call, the demand for free education, health, housing, dignity, justice and work for all.



we wear these icons of resistance on t-shirts made in sweatshops in bangladesh, the ultimate betrayal of their sacrifice, of the humane values they espoused, while the fires of resistance are with brutal, apathetic drivel doused.



this planet, our common earth, is being pummelled each day, nature itself is for profit ravaged, caring not that we shall leave behind an earth that has been for greed savaged.



when by the most powerful, ugly male egotistical, macho posturing is bleated out, beating the drums and threatening endless for-profit wars, the rest of us are petrified, for the mighty have long reaching claws.



racist notions of supremacy are bandied about without a murmur of indignation, the evils of casteism, religious fanaticism, tribal and narrow sectarianism, grotesque nationalism, gay bashing, and misogynist sewage is poured with glee, and still we turn our collective heads, pretending we can’t see.



when speaking truth to power is deemed a capital crime, how impotent i feel scribbling yet another listless rhyme.



when societies are structured to create a craving for the materialistic trappings of capitalism, how easily tainted into swear words are the values of socialism.



what is demanded are not mansions of ostentatious gaudy gold, each replete with a marbled hall, but water, food, electricity, dignified work, health, education, housing, and peace and dignity for all.



they truly want us divided, on religious, caste, racial, narrow nationalistic, sexual orientation, male-female, and all the other lies, while all the while the hungry child for just some food cries.



they know if we break out of our narrow cocoons, they shall have to face the wrath of a united world, a world become one, for then none of their machinations shall suppress us, and only then shall our truest battles be hard won.



i may be a hypocrite for scribbling these rhymes, but then so are you for not hearing the bell tolling for a radical changing of the times.



how long will it take for us to rise, to dissent, to question everything that has been to us said, from the economy to religion to race, class, and to gender too, what will it take me to see what is right in front of me, and for you to see what is right in front of you.



when shall we cast off these shackles that imprison us, the shackles of apathy and of looking the other way, not realising that together we can and should and must strive for a better day, not perhaps to rid us of all suffering and all pain, all oppression, and perhaps not in one fell swoop, but at least taking our first steps towards progressive progression.



these scribbled, worthless words, seem nothing but an empty vessel drummed on and on each day,



but from the heart i do write,



about what i believe to be wrong,



and what i believe to be right.







they do not see me at all …


1.


They do not see me at all,

as I walk through these desecrated avenues,

of soul-deadening frenzy.


I see them rushing past me,

and no matter how hard I holler and call,

they do not see me at all.


It seems at times, that invisible am I,

for when I reach out, and shriek,

when on my knees I crawl,

they rush past me,

for they do not see me at all.


I have tried to raise their ire,

I have taunted and goaded them,

till exhausted and fatigued,

to the cold damp ground I fall,

still they rush past me,

for they do not see me at all.


I stand mutely,

waving my hands all around while scribbling verses in my unintelligible scrawl,

still they rush past me,

for they do not see me at all.


They rush past me, knocking me over without ever looking back,

trampling over my fallen form,

they look past my limp crumpled shadow,

as they whine on in their monotonous drawl,

and they still do not see me at all.


2.


When they look my way,

flickers of recognition crossing their faces,

I crawl back into my nothingness,

cocooned as the day begins to pall,

hoping, tired and broken,

to be back in the space,

where they cannot see me at all …







the subtle constant of mathematics …




Rigorous proof.

Simple.

Constant.

Real.


Not this implausible charade, this illogical masquerade.


All our perambulations,

wasted wordy navigations,

our tottering,

our swaying,

our constant greed,

to believe,

clinging onto inexplicable human need:


The belief in fantasy,

fantasy as staple nutrition,

upon which our common illusions feed.



when gloom sweeps down, sinking its talons into my skin,

it has always been you who guides me out of the fog, out of the doom, out of the bog.

it has always been you,

ever gentle,

ever loving,


ever true …

her moist eyes met mine,

entangled like twisting twine,


we laughed off all the years that have past,

while smiling at those still to be passed …



my starved eyes, aching for a glimpse of your smile, ready to beguile, their thirst quenched, seeking simple joys, not million dollar toys, finally, coaxed the ocean of your eyes, to reveal the kernel of truth beneath the veneer of lies, so love me now, today, where fractured dreams are made whole by the sea spray, plunging deeper into the ocean shimmering in your eyes, hoping we may breathe, like the terror of time, high on up into blue skies, where love roams unshackled, in that ocean so deep …

in your beautiful eyes …




Your eyes sketch skies,

a silken canvas.


Your touch,

the smell of your hair,

seduces me,

in an avalanches of curls.


Our kisses like tributaries fanning out, eroding life’s cold hard stone.


In your arms,

in the shadows of your form,


I am whole,

I am never alone.




We will weather the storms of fate, we will face the winds of life, together“, she said.


There was nothing for me to opine.



So I took her hand in mine.






no more wasted moments …



No more wasted moments,

strewn like salt across the wound.


No more wasted moments,

discarded as empty specks of trust.


No more wasted moments,

in dire need of thorough shredding.


No more wasted moments,

far too many of them to count.


No more wasted moments,

spent on wretched emotions left to dry.


No more wasted moments,

reeking of the stench of rotten feelings.


No more wasted moments,

coarse and vulgar and mutely violent,

no more wasted moments,

spent on the vile disregard of the silent.


No more wasted moments,

grasping each moment with a trust anew,

no more wasted moments,

embracing each moment for it to be true.






I’ve walked many a mile, alone, desolate, aimless“, I said.


not anymore“, she said with a smile,


we have found each other, even though it may have taken a long while“.




art by Pablo Picasso



100% total schmaltzy mushiness 😁 …




She knows she has my heart in her palm, she knows she is my life’s soothing balm.


She knows she lives deep in my heart, she knows we cannot imagine being apart.


She knows her love is my shining light, she knows she blazes within me bright.


She knows all of this and more, 

she knows neither of us have felt a love so pure …


😁😎😊




Nature at Peace …



Settling on a branch, the solitary bird sings of its desolate pain,

the leaves of the tree shielding the bird from the jabbing rain,

the delicate branch straining to bear the weight of the bird,

while all across the savanna, on countless branches, the echoes of plaintive birdsong can be heard …


… offering respite to the weary, rest for the weak, relief to those seeking a momentary escape from the scorching day,

the trees, sharing their bounteous shade, sweep the detritus of the day away …


… all of nature, in harmonious rhythm,

as gentle night embraces the savanna,

soothing all in a pristine feeling of ease,

as all of nature finds succour,

in the safe cocoon of nature’s comforting peace …








you have become my all.


my everything.


your love raging through my veins,


warming me during these desolate nights of piercing, stinging rains.




you are my all.

my eternal flame,


a constant beacon, drawing me ever closer,


sheathed in the glorious sunshine of your love,


a precious gift, bequeathed unto me by the generous heavens above.




you are my all.


my everything.




you are the radiant brilliance of a flowering rose,


your fragrance filling my being, merging as one with my soul,


as our hearts seek each others,


aching to be closer than just close.




your essence is soaked within my every pore,


i have never felt a love like this before.




so allow me to thank you for loving me so completely,


your blazing furnace scorching me,


as i have bathed in the ocean of your pure love,


a love so rare in this cruel time and empty place,


yet i am made whole,


as my hands caress the soft, gentle, beauty of your exquisite face.




you are my all.

you are my life.




you embrace me, as I do you,


shielding each other from the pain, the cold, the strife.




you have picked me up whenever i have stumbled,


as i continue to vow to do,


always lending you a hand,


as the wrinkles on our faces grow deeper, and as the years pall,


i will be by your side,


each time you slip,

and every time you fall … 





with aunty Aggie at Luthuli House ANC Headquarters in Johannesburg – 2000s




Hamba Kahle* uMama Agnes “Aunty Aggie” Msimang




Our mother and comrade Agnes Msimang has passed away.


Aunty Aggie dedicated her life to the struggle for liberation,


she spent decades in exile with young children and faced the pain and difficulties of a life in exile – distanced from her country and family. 


Aunty Aggie was a second mother not to just me, but to all ANC exiles in India who took shelter and received unconditional love and motherliness from the amazing, caring, politically principled woman that she was – and all under the harshest of circumstances of exile.


Aunty Aggie returned from exile with our family and continued to work in the African National Congress (ANC) till the last days of her life. 


Her life of selfless struggle, her love for all, her unwavering stance as a revolutionary, her life as a freedom fighter for the noble cause of liberation from Apartheid tyranny and oppression, must serve as an inspiration to the younger generation who breathe the air of freedom because of the sacrifices of people like aunty Aggie and so many others. 


Aunty Aggie will always be a very special part of who I am as a person.


She was indeed a motherly figure who offered comfort and solace when times were hardest during our years in exile, forced to leave her home to fully immerse herself into the revolutionary movement against Apartheid.


Today we pause,

today we reflect,


today we give praise and shed tears of deep grief and sorrow in this most heartbreaking of times.


It is never easy to share ones sentiments about a person so close to our hearts who has passed away, but with aunty Aggie I will always be her “sweetiepie” and she will always remain my mother, my beloved aunt, my strength and my inspiration to try and my best to emulate her principled belief in freedom and justice for all, in the values of non-racialism, and to be a true human being. 


I have never managed to come even close to the principles and values imparted to me by my beloved aunty Aggie, but I pledge once again to honour her life by continuing to try to live as aunty Aggie would have wanted to me live – a life of always speaking out and struggling to fight injustice wherever it may be found, and to stand firm and with one’s head held high no matter what this harsh world may throw our way. 


Rest in peace, respected aunty Aggie.


The example you have shared with countless comrades shall never fade.


You will continue to live within us all – your children and your comrades.




Hamba Kahle* uMama Agnes Msimang!


Long live the revolutionary spirit of Comrade Agnes Msimang!


The Struggle Continues!


Viva the spirit of the women Viva!






* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.





with aunty Aggie in exile in India – mid 1970s

We are one Race = Human

from google



We are one Race = Human …




1.




The bigots on all sides try to inflame our petty egos,


to inflate our hollow pride,


bigots on all sides try to abuse our beliefs,


so blinded by our puffed-up arrogance –


“my country right or wrong”,


“my religion and never yours”,


“the colour of my skin and not yours”.




Politicians on all sides try to divide us,


their narrow ambitions riding on our emotions,


trying to pollute all that can, if unquestioningly followed, tear us apart:


nationality,

language,

religion,

gender,

tribe,

race,

sect,


drumming up fear, always fear,


of my fear of you,

of your fear of them,

of our fear of them all.




Their hypocrisy is stark,

as jarring as a rabid dog’s wailing bark,


their intentions far from noble,


their hope is to keep us all, shivering with trepidation,


in the dungeon of racist,

nationalistic,

sectarian,

religious,

casteist,


notions of superiority,


as we throw punches,

as we hurl abuse,


at each other in this purposely infected dark.




The clergy on all sides as well, want us huddled in fear in the deep suffocating well,


of carefully crafted sectarian hate, of artificial religious walls,


of dogma and of semantics, of only picking each other up,


if they are one of “us”,


but never if one of “them” slips,


and falls.




We have danced to these toxic tunes for far too long,


we have served their diseased interests for ages,


dictating who can belong,


allowing the blood in our veins,


to be boiled as it ceases to flow,


and simply rages.




The monsters of Capital and of greed,


have kept us all in line, shackled by the fictitious belief,


that trickle down wealth will bring us all some relief,


while amassing fortunes and sending the young to war,


for their invasions of plunder, of opening up new markets,


even as the gravely wounded soldier knocks on death’s door.




2.




No more!


The future is ours and it will be built with our bare hands, though not as before,


because we stand today as one race,


the human race,


we stand together today,


and their batons and bullets we are prepared to face!




No more!


The times ahead are ours, and the furnace of meaningful change burns bright in our collective core,


for we stand today as one race,


the human race,


we stand together today,


to banish the old and build a new world in its place!




No more!


The years ahead shall be filled with trials and tribulations, but we will let the light shine as we open every locked door,


for we stand today as one race,


the human race,


we stand together today,


and we shall reclaim our commons, our wide open shared space!




No more!


Tomorrow the healing will begin, of countless a festering sore,


for we stand today as one race,


the human race.




We stand together today,


we stand firm and we stand tall,


firm in our convictions that we will always lend our hands to all,


to never again, to never let, another human being break down and fall …



from google

Paul Robeson – from Wikipedia

from google




“Ol’ Man River”* with Sister Doris …



Walking down an unknown street,

I heard sister Doris calling out to me,

with a Bible in one hand,

and another to shake and meet and greet.





We spoke as strangers, of me being from the land of Mandela,

of her standing all day at that corner,

preaching the word, as she broke into song,

a song which bound us together instantly,

a song that made us both in the midst of the throng,

for an instant,

belong.





She sang from her soul, deep and resonant,

I joined in too,

it was an old song of injustice and of struggle,

of brutality, of the nameless slave,

too many of whom were robbed of even a grave.





Sister Doris and I sang loud, our eyes streaming tears,

two people from opposite ends of the world,

who knew the history of blood and of whips,

of unspeakable pain,

of unimaginable fears.





“Ol’ Man River” echoed for a brief moment of time,

Sister Doris holding her powerful truths,

and I woefully out of tune,

in so many ways, that all I could do was stand in shame,

for thinking, even for a moment, that I could understand the pain.





We parted ways, sister Doris and I,

and today when I look up at the sky,

the blue expanse of freedom way up high,

I feel my eyes water as I break down and as I cry,


still holding onto the conceit,

that I knew, that I could feel, that I could even dare to think,

of the numberless, of the nameless, of the trodden upon ones,

who still slave on,

the souls still in shackles,

who continue to invisibly die …





from google




* – “Ol’ Man River” sung by the late, great Paul Robeson.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Robeson




My poem dedicated to the memory of Ahmed Timol’s, who was severely tortured and murdered by Apartheid’s Security Branch, recited by Luthuli Dlamini in the documentary “Someone to Blame” by Enver Samuels and aired on SABC 3 on Sunday 14th October 2018





Ahmed Timol – A martyr to the cause of Freedom …



(dedicated to the undying spirit of Ahmed Timol, brutally tortured and murdered by the Apartheid regime, and to the countless others who made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for liberation)





They tortured you, as you waged your struggle in the just battle, 


they murdered you, as you made the grotesque walls of Apartheid rattle.




Your indomitable will, your unshakeable principles, your unbreakable spirit,


soars high today in our collective African skies,


your ultimate sacrifice for freedom, inspires generations, as you  silenced their cowardly lies.




Today justice has prevailed, after decades of insufferable pain, years of deeply gnawing hurt,


today their lies have been consigned to the dirt.




They tried to murder an ideal,


the revolutionary spirit that burned bright in your heart,


they tried to silence you, not knowing your memory shall never depart.




They tried to kill you,


but they will never silence you,


for you live,


through the expanse of our land,


mingling in the rivers,


standing high upon our shared revolutionary hill,


they tried to silence you,


yet the hunger for justice will never be still,


they tried to silence you,


but the memory of your martyrdom never will.








https://www.tvsa.co.za/actors/viewactor.aspx?actorid=3725

http://www.youtube.com/sabc3


http://www.ahmedtimol.co.za


https://khulumani.net/truth-memory/item/1350-someone-to-blame-the-ahmed-timol-inquest-an-enver-michael-samuel-film.html



Mushy Rhyme





mushy rhyme …




your love reaches high above, as into the heavens it transcends, lending me a hand to climb out of the abyss where my being often descends,


your love is a warmth that in my void inspires, coaxing me gently in those desolate moments when hopelessness transpires,


your love is a lighthouse that through the mist of life shines bright, a constant in the fog of my blindness, always a beacon of hopeful light,


your love dispels the vacuum of every encroaching night, as it wraps me in your cocoon, a shawl warm and tight,


your love sprinkles flourishes of gentle joy, in the numberless times of skewering pain,


tending to my wounded spirit, a calm balm massaging the hurt out from the cold slicing rain,


your love is a breath that reaches inside me, instilling my world with renewed hope,


as the endless hours of reality jab and sting, guiding me through the seasons in which I fear I cannot cope,


your all-encompassing love holds me so very close, as I stagger under the burdens of excruciating, back-breaking weight,


it is your love that finally relieves me, by unburdening the detritus of cruel fate,


your love permeates all around, as I breathe your gentleness through every pore,


filling me with a once unknown bliss, a special tenderness that I have never felt before,


your love sweeps away the agony of losing my sight, my failing eyes driving me to anger, bordering on the insane,


it is your love that leads me to see that in the desert of blindness, there still falls the healing rain that is a balm to my pain,


your love warms me with your whispers of a truthful ethereal peace,


murmuring words of solace that this ache shall also cease,


your love reaches down into the pit of my gloom, extending your ever-comforting hand,


as you lift me up, from the bowels of despair, so that on my feet I may again  stand,


your love rests deep, in the recesses of my injured soul, 


gathering the shattered pieces, making them once again, whole,


your love sates the furnace, this blazing cauldron of passion in which I burn,


filling my restless nights with dreams I once chose to spurn,


your love is a torch, a shining light that leads me back to our shared pathway,


far from the thorns that on the boulevards of diamonds casually lay,


your love is a precious gift, far too special, a truth I shall always endeavour to cherish,


always and forever,


a treasure that stays within me,


an intrinsic part of my life,


without which I shall no doubt perish …


























schmaltzy mushy “it has got to rhyme” 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 scour the earth for a peaceful place,


where bigotry does not bare its grotesque face,


and after all the years spent seeking,


we have found every nook and cranny where racism lies reeking.




All our desires, all of our dreams,


lie trapped in a gilded cage it seems,


still we search 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.




We find only intolerance and it’s poisoned dart,


and it seems that tolerance did long ago depart,


but we cannot be ever apart,


as we traverse these bumpy roads in our ricketty cart,


always,


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


these are the truths we embrace forever more, in the deepest depths of each others heart …





Peace Dove art by Picasso




rhyming love and anti-bigotry scribble …



We lie on a bed, stung by many an intolerant thorn,

our love dismissed with bigoted scorn,

rattling the foundations of every societal norm.





We scaled the hateful walls of divisiveness,

we banished the boundaries of race,

of gender,
class,
tribalism,
ageism,

of religion and of creed,

we have walked hand in hand, upright and never cowering,

refusing to feed the beast of sectarianism,

of communalism.





We have refused to feed the weeds of hate,

we have ripped out the roots of fear that keep human beings apart,

we may be only two, our love hardly piercing the putrid flesh of discrimination,

or the smiling facade of accepted segregation.





We know our union is strong,

standing firm, however harsh the storms that batter us,

we have cast off the shackles that bind,

for true love like this, is truly far too rare to find.





Our path ahead may be beset with the bile of holier-than-thou judgment,

with the jabs of barbed words callously spoken,

yet our bond, our tethered connection is firm,

we shall not let hate shatter us, our love shall remain unbroken.





We tighten every strand, to keep our love buffered from the choppy oceans of racist fungal minds, who spew misogyny, blinded by their twisted notions,

while we grow ever closer, sharing the years of our love’s emotions.





So we walk tall, hand in hand, always standing firm,

finding solace in the overwhelming humaneness of the vast majority of our shared human race,

taking heart of the tide that must change,

as bigotry gets swept away,

allowing us all to share a common,

dignified,

free,

prejudice and racist-free world,

as we inch by inch, keep on the fight, to raise the flag of hope,

so we may all bask in its comforting shade,

as it is, at long last,

unfurled …







the beauty in you …




My eyes have travelled across oceans, beyond valleys and peaks, across the vast savannah and swirling in murmuring streams,


my eyes have travelled far and wide in many kaleidoscopic dreams,


my eyes have travelled here and there, and through places in between, yet your beauty remains a constant, skipping off the most radiant sunbeams.




I have felt the touch, the wild deluge of the monsoons, drenching me in its cleansing rain,


I have felt the touch, of moonlight cocooning me, a soothing veneer, that has kept me sane,


I have felt the touch, of your body, your lips, your being a healing presence, your unspoken words a melodic refrain.




You come to me in moments alone, when this world seems empty, a chalice brimming with tears,


you come to me in moments dark, your delicate whispers banishing away all my dreadful fears,


you come to me in moments of splintered thoughts, your wondrous self offering shade from the scorching sun that sears.




The beauty in you lends a lifeline to me, dispelling my mute vacuum, raising me from life’s empty hole,


the beauty in you douses the flames of my self-immolating fire, breathing life into me to once more be whole,


the beauty in you is a sublime truth, a truth of love and of belonging, a truth that has firmly taken root, in my once barren soul.



art by banksy





lost echoes of our love …




In the garbage heap of torn dreams,


long doused embers now cold and dead,


lie festering wounds, choked by dread.




Lost echoes,


whip up raw wounds, tearing at the scabs excruciatingly slow,


flayed by dimmed memories of long ago,


twisted, mangled emotions in our garden where flowers no longer grow.




Lost echoes,


creeping along life’s blade,


skewered sunlight condemned to the bleakness of the shade,


leaving a cowering form, torn apart, and afraid.




Lost echoes,


brewed in a chalice of once sprinkled kisses,


simmering on the furnace of burnt out wishes,


separated by deep crevasses, slipping into today’s yawning fissures.




Lost echoes,


now mere incomprehensible trashed thought,


charred, stuttering, a love reduced to absolute nought,


in life’s bazaar, where love is not love, but a commodity to be haggled over and bought.




Lost echoes,


dimming, dragged down bleak alleyways of curdled hate,


blinded by destiny, all hope lost to the tick-tocking clock of fate,


knowing now that it is all much too late.




Lost echoes,


unfeeling, just numb streaming tears,


burdened by the hopeless detritus, of far away splintered fears,


our shells, this life we carry, into the crowd as engulfing flames sears,


while we stumble,

while we fall through the cracks, as agony chuckles and leers,


at the hopelessness of all these days and months of the passing years …




art by banksy




just talking life  …




walking through the thicket, nettles stinging our hearts,



ever on the lookout for pathways of promise, yet forever treading the beaten track.



the hands of fickle time, jabbing these bodies, our shells to continue on ahead,



passing myriad alleyways of beckoning promise, a different course to chart alone,



though thorns dig deep, we persist, blindly trudging this dreary old way,



study hard, work harder, get married, have kids, buy a house, pay off the mortgage, babysit the grandchildren, develop illnesses, totter unsteadily on walkers, lay bound to our beds,



the well-travelled alleyways so many stumble through – over and over, and over again,



staying on the narrows, not going against the grain, banishing the murmurs, that whisper in our ears, to take a chance, to veer off the road, to stray down a more twisting thicket,



into an unknown realm, of dangers that may litter this course, of the light of hope that may shine in the dark,



oblivious of dragons that may lie in wait, hugging the shawls of comfort zones, soon to tattered by time and fate, to be left in the open, to brace the elements,



the same howling winds of that other well-trodden way, stung by similar twists and tragedies, tripping and falling, finding love perhaps, another one who has chosen to swim the streams alone,



we may lose our footing, sliding down slippery slopes,



but with a raging fire of hope, burning deep inside, knowing this has been our unique journey, far from the well-worn shoes of that other life,



stepping ever onwards one tiny inch at a time,



beholding beauty not even known,



tasting the sweet nectar of something new,



swimming the seas of uncharted waters,



thrashed by deafening winds,



tossed around by slashing waves,



till in the distance, we spot land,



and as the tides wash us ashore, we drift into fatigued sleep,



awakening to the soft chirping of the birds,



surrounded by swaying palm trees,



the hues of nature so vivid, the feelings in our soul so true,



as we feel talcum sands beneath our feet,



hearing the familiar music of life,



the sounds of the living surrounding us,



as we find this new abode teeming with life,



a world of peace we have at last found,



as we disappear into the sunset of a new day,



with the countless others,



who also chose this other way …






the girl with the book

from google





The girl with the Book …





We stood beside each other, in the icy sleet and the piercing rain, 


she held a book in her hand, Nelson Mandela’s “Long walk to Freedom“.




She asked me if I had read it, and I betrayed my ignorance,


“I don’t like politics, its too dirty” I said,


“Everything is political”, she replied as I felt myself being read,


by her eyes chiseling into mine, until I shook my head.




“What comes of politics, when it is all a corrosive pond of muck?”, I asked,


she nodded, “we would not be standing at this bus-stop, were if not for people like him”, and she looked away,


“but his was a struggle for freedom from the tyranny of Apartheid, nothing close to the politics of greed we witness each day”, I said with a self-assurance so plain,


“his comrades and him struggled against Apartheid, yes”,


“but his political creed was the bedrock upon which all his ideals lay”,


“and that was the politics of revolution, and of pursuing a political end”, she smiled at me,


“and was it not his selling out that lead directly to this, our country’s mess?”, I pushed back,


“and you say you’re not interested in politics yet have such stinging political views”, she looked me straight in the eye,


“he sold out so that you and I may share this bus stop together, he sold out so that you and I may walk these streets as citizens, he sold out so that you may vote, he sold out so that your door is not knocked down at 3AM because you hold these views”,


“he sold out so that you and I and all the different races in this country can ride this bus that we are waiting for”.




As we got onto our different school buses she waved goodbye.


in the sleet and pouring rain,


I smiled and waved back, never to see her again.




The girl with the book.


The girl with Nelson Mandela’s “Long walk to Freedom” in her hand,


and I knew then that there is, and that there will always be hope,


even as today looked and felt impossibly bleak,


there will always be hope,


for a better tomorrow, less cruel and more just,


as long as we carry in our eyes and hold in our hearts,


that passionate,

unbowed,

principled, 


steely streak …







during Apartheid South Africa



she who is free …



I would have called out to her, across the the green fields she walked,

her silhouette fading in the distance.




I would have called out to her,

she who walked her own path now,

free from all the weight that caged her will.




I would have called out to her,

yet I remained still. 




what she said

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 lives trying.


it’s enough‘, she said.



L O V E

art by banksy




seeing you …



seeing you,

wraps my day in blanketed warmth,


seeing you,

feeds a hunger buried deep,


seeing you,

radiant in my dreams,


so close, so far,


scorches me, that burning furnace, an unquenchable desire,


the endless supernova of your ravenous fire …




art from google






a baobab tree – art from google




Passion …





undulating, lengthy, scorching kisses,

peppered with sensuous caresses,

with you, i am one,

a bouquet of feelings, infusing every pore,

our bodies in unison, fused at our passionate core.





scribbling verses on on your fiery skin,

dedicating odes to you, my love,

melting into a poem of desire,

burnished against our writhing bodies,

inflamed, on fire.



.

these nights of hungering need,

these days aching to upon each other ravishingly feed,

swept up by our orchestral crescendo,

the symphonies coursing through our veins with greed.




no scribbled verses may even begin, to convey the heat of our shared cauldron,

we become one, we are one, when the stars in the sultry nights disappear,

our sweat trickling off our flesh,

the sparkle in your eyes so crystalline, so clear.




though the years have vanished and slipped into cupboards to sleep,

though the wrinkles have imperceptibly on our brows begun to creep,


we have yet many moons to savour,

bathed in moonlight of our hearts beating as one,

within each other so immeasurably deep …


art from google


“Irises” by Vincent van Gogh



an unashamedly mushy lovey-dovey scribble …




I want you in my arms tonight, I crave your touch ever gentle, ever so feathery light,


I want you to kiss me hungrily beneath our African night, I want to sip the nectar glistening on your lips so bright,


I want all of you and more, I want to pick up seashells with you on our talcum shore,


I want you to clasp my hand, your fingers intertwined with mine, I want to be dazzled by the love we share, a flame that continues to brightly shine,


I want to escape this daily grind with you by my side, deep into the recesses of our souls, where there no longer is the need to scurry and to hide,


I want us to make love, our bodies and minds and hearts becoming one, I want to feel the heat between us like the blazing sun,


I want to promise you love forever more, a vow, an oath, kept safe deep within our core,


I want to grow old with you, my love, my light,


I want to savour every moment shared together,


forever and ever, with the knots of love binding us tight …



“Wheatfield with Crows” by Vincent van Gogh

.                 .             .               .

from google



Drowning in her Eyes …



Drowning in her eyes,

eyes chastising me for looking away,

till my gaze got caught, in her eyes’ captivating sway.



“I fear I would drown in your eyes”, I said in a whisper,


“drown”, she murmured.





from google

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