Archive for December 18, 2018

the shackles of time 

the shackles of time …

i wish we could wish away these years,

my aching for you, consigned to an ocean of tears,

the thoughts of you, swirling in a cauldron, the heat my very soul sears.

my mind awash with what-could-have-beens,

if only time had been kinder, a decade here, a decade there,

seems so easy to write, but strangles my being with a noose bound tight.

time, they say, the great leveller of all,

embossed on its canvas the fate of so many,

whom destiny chose to rise, and those it deemed to fall.

my fate and yours seem like parallel lines, for though i feel you, close and dear,

we shall not meet, or so i fear,

for though i have swooned at the glimpse of your smile,

time’s sense of humour, thrashes this heart that beats for you, against the cliffs, drowning in a sea of blue.

i often ask, why this torturous game of chance, why this savage lonesome dance,

why these fleeting moments, why is time so arbitrarily unkind,

when there is a palpable meeting, of heart, of soul, of body of mind.

i yearn for your touch, i burn relentlessly, for a touch of our lips,

to feel your sweet breath, to savour our phantom kiss, a dreamy luxury i have been condemned to forever miss.

time, that ever present deceiver, flung me to cross your path, where a smouldering fire was set ablaze, within me,

doomed to never fall into each other’s arms, merely acknowledging the impossible, while scattering the ground around you with enticing charms.

this ache, this ceaseless pounding of my senses, at times a silly charade does seem,

for there are many temptations on my side of the stream,

yet this feeling will not relent, it shall not dim,

dancing to the tune of time’s inescapable whim.

if only for a while, were it possible to breach this maelstrom of time and of fate, if only i could step across the impassable threshold that keeps us apart,

a lifetime i could live in those moments few and true, to taste your mouth as i have so often dreamt, to have your hair fall over my face as i imbibe the smell of all of you.

these are cobbled words, scribbled here and there, certainly not a poem for which anyone should care,

yet these emotions are real, this yearning ache, this all-consuming desire for what-could-have-been,

torches my being entire, stranded on my island, neither here not there,

but what of these permutations does time even care,

and all i am able to do, is to lay out my heart for you, still hoping against hope that some time we may be able to share,

all the while embracing these dreamscapey emotions,

that are ever so rare …

For Dr Maya Angelou
(April 4 1928 – May 28 2014)

Vanquished by the day one may be,
Beaten down by the barren night.

Faltering at times,
at times upright.

Still one stands.
One still fights.

For though one falls,

One must rise*


*this poem was inspired by the poem ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou

weighed down …

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 …

when will i see your smile,

near me,

feeling your warm breath against mine,

when will i feel your touch,

beside me,

peppering your kisses with saffron whispers,

when will i hear you,

your lips against mine,

cajoling me, again,

to wait,


a little


while i whisper back,

knowing the hunger,

to remain stronger,

painting on the smile,

of the mirthful dream-monger,

while keeping at bay,

the raging cauldron


within my being entire,

sizzling, scorching me to the marrow,

the unsaid charade,

theatre for the conscience,

played out,

and in,

just beneath the veneer,

of dreams,

of you,

cascading through,

seducing the fabric of our shared time,

so clear,

crytallised, pristine,


yet, yet,



sheer …

I told her that I love her.

she smiled.

I vowed to love her forevermore.

she smiled.

I said “let’s walk this earth together, not knowing where the paths lead“.

she smiled,


the kiss I miss …

awaiting her breathy murmur,

a voice lost in gnarled memories,

of less desolate nights.

awaiting her dusky whisper,

adrift on the breeze

of time,

thawing gnawing gloom.

awaiting her lucid memory,

surfacing, filling voids,

the crevasses of years passed,

stilling cacophony of banal din.

awaiting her deep kiss, when our souls fused into one,

for in all this world, 

it is that kiss,

that i most miss …

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.

For Bantu Stephen Biko.

Born: 18 December 1946

Murdered: 12 September 1977.

You fanned the fires of black pride,

facing down the racists trapped in their hollow white hide.

You breathed inspiration, infusing the many with renewed vigour,

though always knowing you were in the crosshairs of Apartheid’s trigger.

You never wavered, you stood tall and strong,

your words decimating the paltry platitudes of the fascist throng.

Your spirit, your courage, your words fanned the embers of resistance, with unshakeable determination,

you stood firm, always upright as you battled the scourge of racial discrimination,

and today, we as a people owe you the grateful tributes of a democratic nation.

They tortured you, they killed you, they murdered you, but they could never quell,

the conviction you instilled in a generation, the thirst for freedom and for dignity, and the tolling of the bell.

We salute you, fearless son of Africa, we remember you today, as we shall in all the tomorrows yet to come,

we shall never rest until the principled ideals for which you were killed are through our collective struggles won.

Only then shall we honour your selfless sacrifice, your dream of an equal society for all,

Only then shall we have truly honoured your eternally defiant, your ever valiant,

your forever truthful revolutionary call.

Viva the undying spirit of Steve Biko!

The struggles continue!

as we get on by …

through half-dreamed emotions, the tears and the laughter of years in between, finding their way back, settling in our souls, coaxing hope out of despair, trying to keep it all together,

as we get on by.

nothing fills the void of restless desolation more than memories, just floating on the wind, dandelion seeds scattered hither and thither, seeing at last the impermanence of this fragile life,

as we get on by.

hidden in the folds of joy and of sorrow, when fate often flits past, its brushstrokes lingering on the mosaic of our lives, leaving only  traces of colour,

as we get on by.

the hammer of time bangs incessantly on, as we walk, as we talk, as we love, and as we dance in the spring rains, not a care in the world for those fleeting moments, we travel,

as we get on by.

we stare at our reflections in the mirror, age carving lines on our worn faces, where did all those years go, trickling down the sieve of time, leaving us to walk on,

as we get on by.

looking back through the willowy mist, we share pocketfuls of regrets, things we could have said, things that should have remained unsaid, dreams unfulfilled, knocking on the door, urging us to let them in, and it may just be, that in those moments, we clutch onto hope, and perhaps it is that sliver of hope that keeps us dreaming,

these gentle dreams we dream,

as we get on by.

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 …

%d bloggers like this: