Tag Archive: a poem about life


International Womens Day

She Walks Alone …

she walks alone,
barefoot in the paddies of rice,

breaking her back for some precious grains.

she walks alone,

in jo’burg town, with a black eye,

smacked around by him the previous painful night.

she walks alone,

in the streets of neon hazed manila,

along the pristine hedges of rotten london,

on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented jeddah,

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.

she walks alone,

bearing the burden of mother and daughter
of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag,

she walks alone,

through your streets and mine,

standing up as she is beaten more down,

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple,

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.

she walks alone,

in factories and in mills and in buses,

in schools and in brothels and in places in-between.

she walks alone,

staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,

violated by those who from the pulpit preach.

she walks alone,

my sister and yours,

my mother and yours too,

my lover and your beloved as well.

she walks alone,

caged by society in its invisible prison,

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste,

she walks alone,

but she is the conscience of me and you,

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair,

she walks alone,

and though fearful of you men she may seem,

be warned that she may not forever be this alone,

for she too dreams and thinks and believes,

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps,

and she too will rise and in rising slay,

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay,

and she too will demand her rightful place,

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real, human face …

Advertisements

image

Old Sof’town*

1.

In old Sof’town,
the jazz struck chords,

the jazz lived, it exploded,
out of the cramped homes,
rolling along the streets,
of old Kofifi,

in tune to countless blazing heartbeats.

In old Sof’town,
Bra’ Hugh breathed music, Sis’ Dolly too,
and Bra’ Wally penned poems that still ring true.

In old Sof’town,
Father Trevor preached
equality and justice,
for all, black and white and brown,

and all shades, every hue,
even as oppression battered the people,
black & blue.

In old Sof’town,
the fires of resistance raged,

‘we will not move’ was the refrain,

even as the fascists tore down Sof’town,
with volleys of leaden rain.

In old Sof’town,
the people were herded,
like cattle,
sent to Meadowlands,
far away and cold and bleak,
as the seeds of resistance,
sprouted and flourished,
for the coming battle.

In old Sof’town,
the bulldozers razed homes,
splitting the flesh of a community apart,
only to raise a monument of shame,
and ‘Triomf’ was its ghastly name.

2.

In Jozi today,
we remember those days,
and those nights of pain,
that stung our souls.
like bleak winter rain.

Yes, we remember old Sof’town,
as we struggle onward,
to reclaim our deepest heritage,
and build anew,
a country of all hues and shades,
of black and of white and of brown.

And yes, we will always remember,

and yes, we will never forget,

the price that was paid,
by the valiant sons and daughters,
of old Sof’town,

those vibrant African shades and hues,

of black,
of white,
of brown.

* Sophiatown was also called ‘Sof’town’ and ‘Kofifi’

         __________

http://www.sahistory.org.za/place/sophiatown

image

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

memories of her … … …

yesteryear … … …

memory slips,
                        slides,
cascades,
                 through the blurred veil of time,
        sifting through memories,

of you,
            your loveliness ablaze,

sweeping across meadows,
                  my stranded heart still in flames,
                 the furnace burning bright,
                          raging in the darkness of this night,
                  coaxing nostalgic yearning,

over years left behind,
             between thoughts of kisses entwined,
                
                 and still,
                 and yet,

this heart may never forget,
           the caress of your voice,

breezing between today,
           last week,

all the drifting yesteryears,
                     lost in your deepest eyes,

even as days turn to night,

even as time continually flies,

scattering pieces of my soul,
              hither and thither,
             knowing it may never be, again,
whole,
           ah! but the memories persist,
as summer begins to wither,
            you are all i remember you to be,

between the wild rose,
        amidst the thorns,

bathed in dawn’s dew,

I live,
        I breathe,
                        I savour,

the sweetest thoughts,

of you, only you … … …
           

silly scribbles … … …

what is home to the vagabond soul,
                   spiralling,
                   splintering,

                   skewered,
                   unwhole,

plodding along
                 paths of
              broken glass,

comforting,
                   cajoling,
                   assuring
             my tattered soul:

these desolate moments
               
                  must

                  also
           
                  pass … … …

U N T I T L E D

on the cusp.

trawling turquoise seas,
cast adrift,
                   your eyes caressing fitful slumber,
                        whispering paens,
           soothing the ache,

of this weary traveller,
parched,
               thirsty,
                            alone,

cresting waves,
                           treading water,
             hither and thither,

a tattered heart,
                             a wounded soul,
        bathing my being,
                                      nestling,
       in cocooned dreams of your honeydew lips,

seeing,
            feeling,
                         tasting,
                                      your breath,

soaked in visions of you,

the mirage,
                    a crescendo fanning flames of desire,
                                            of love, lust, tremulous fingers,

brushing your hair away,
sipping kisses,

consumed by the furnace,
your body, mine,
                                    entwined,

hungering for your tongue,
fiery,
         insistent,
                         true,

soaring above vagabond skies of blue,
             unshackled at last,

             craving only you …

The African Rains

image

uBuntu - the philosophy of the interconnectedness of humanity

Soaking,

the rains settle,
meandering over jagged faultlines of our memory.

Drenching,

the rains settle,
streaming through veins,

the thud-thudding of the heartbeat of Africa.

Absorbing,

the rains that settle,
within each of us,

herald rebirth.

And,
if you listen,

if you strain to hear,

while shedding the raucous noise of your inner turmoil.

If you listen,

the whispers of the ancestors,

speak to us all,
lending us warmth,
urging us to stand,

even though we may
stumble,

even though we may fall.

image

u n t i t l e d

running,
                   in flight,
                                  bracing the currents,
                       thrashed against the cliffs,
                of jagged fate,

broken-in, kneaded into acquiescence,

worn-down,
                     stretched-thin,
soon-to-be yesterdays trash,

dumped,
               strewn in the muck,

filling landfills of destinys rubbish bin,

bashed by chaotic waves,
headed for,
                   primed,

course set,
                   for yet,

another controlled crash.
                                         
         

image

watching the building ablaze,
the smoke and flames,

live on tv,

hearing the accounts,
of people fleeing for their lives,

when slowly,
the televised footage split into two split-screens within screen,

or maybe it happened in an instant:

on the left-side – the building on fire, anchors and guests talking about how this could have happened etc.

and on the right-side – the viewers are informed that the new years eve dubai fireworks display will go ahead etc.

and then it happened,

the countdown began,

5 … 4 …

and by now the entire television screen showed a sailboat building burst into a fireworks extravaganza that may have lasted 25 minutes,

more or less,

while the building ablaze,
just over the bay,

burned away.

and the cheering was audible,
the gasps and oohs and aahs,

and I was dumbfounded.
and no one was saying a thing,

and I felt I had finally,
lost all sense,

i must be mad, i thought.
you are, a voice replied.

all because this did not make sense. at all.

normally suchlike razzmatazz pomp & extravaganza,

and people fleeing burning buildings,

hardly ever meet.

and now, they collided,

making it stark to mad me,

that just as the old saying goes,

the show must go on.

and,
furthermore,
perhaps more ominously,

the show will go on,

to put that magic sparkle into a million waiting eyes,

no matter who fries.

      ________________

pic courtesy: http://www.johncoulthart.com

on repetition: new years day …

the years have chased,
cajoled,
time has a-rambled & a-rolled,
just another year,
where loves’ wares,

love, the commodity,
and us, all of us,
mere commodities,
traded as futures,

hastily stitching gaping wounds, with superficially strong sutures,

add some smiles bought and sold,
dignity bartered,
amalgamated, merged, lost & battered,

thin skins moulting,
spawning breathing thicker skins,

just another year,
same dreams to be shattered,

no bleating hip-hip-hoorays,
just the ever-fixed smile,

bright teeth bared as hands morph into machetes, hacking,
gleefully as the beast slays,

and while some burn, the fireworks elicit oohs, many an aah,

with kafka in the shadows, shaking his head,
this is farce gone too far,

to dampen the collective hope,

not more crumbled platitudes,
meant only to soothe, to apply the balm, to help the other half cope,

with what,

just another year,
reborn, the umbilical cord cut,

just another year,
working, eating, buying, buying,

as we scamper ever on,
with our eyes sewn tightly shut

on hope: tomorrow is ours

image

years ebb, flow,
tangoing the same old dance, rehashing the same tired show,

temporarily anaesthetised,
inured,

cured, from the accursed affliction,
buy, drink, eat, and buy some more,

as the machine grinds flesh and bone,
rendering hearts frigid as stone,

years like tides, slip away,
sweeping this beach of dreams,

common dreams, shared through the uBuntu of being human,

hope, for a less harsh world,
more food, less war,

education, not the burning of books,

treating each other as human,
shedding the cloak of indifference,

to revel,
all of us, the people,

bathed in the warm light of true freedom, real justice,

as bigotry, hatred, racism, misogyny etc etc etc in the corner cowers,

for we shall always,
always, be many, many more,

for tomorrow shall dawn,
and the future is ours …

image

the subtle constant of mathematics.

image

rigorous proof.
simple. constant. real.

not this implausible charade,
illogical masquerade,

all our perambulation,
wasted wordy navigation,

our tottering,
our swaying,

our constant need,

to believe,
clinging onto inexplicable human need,

the belief in fantasy:

fantasy as staple nutrition,
upon which our collective illusions, and delusions,

continally feed

image

image

on fate, destiny & futility: starstuff …

image

stringed, strung,

theoretically plausible,
infinite universes within a bubble,

floating in the space, between spaces,

where time, and days and kisses and tears and fears and smiles and anger and all of this and lots of that,

oh and faces,
all blurring into nothingness,

starstuff, is all,
agonisingly close, or chillingly far,

starstuff is all,
we ever were,

starstuff is all,
we still are …

        ______________

inspired by Dr. Carl Sagan

on compromise: half-measures

on compromise: half-measures.

galloping, striding, marching,
hand in hand, lovers in the sun,

sozzled, numb,

to hell with what is real,
what bleeds, who feeds,

its salivating, seducing, irresistible,
fun, fun, fun,

chasing fleeting pleasures,
momentary, vanishing between blinks of unseeing eyes,

tempus fugit,
                        as time flies,

paying obeisance,
to house & home,
the car, bar,

ameliorated apathy,
dousing guilt,

with the blade of excess buried deep,

embedded to the hilt,

filling our lives with half-measures,

skewered in the pan,
flashes,
of ashes,

not savouring the drop of dew, the nectar of life,

instead striding, marching,
galloping, on and ever on,

to empty, hollow pleasures,

this is life,

lived out, dumbed down,
in glitzy,
half-measures

scarred by gentle caresses,
ripped apart by tender kisses,

fractured within,
a ceaseless masqurade without,

when,
           does the ache mend,
lose its sting,
                       soften the blows,

while destiny,
                        fate,
    tomorrows not yet dawned,

shedding tears for pain unmourned,
                     battered blue,
                     and black,

always an arms reach away,
from my weathered backpack,

to venture, to plunge,

into the waters of chance,
where hopes dreams joys,
all dance,

a lifetime away,
yet embossed on the mindscape,

a fleeting moment,
vanishing,
                  an eternal nostalgic glance
                    

on futility: my flaccid tongue

words scrawled, scribbled,
excised, living breathing feeling,
             wrenched,
             amputated,
             inured,

words, scribbled scrawl,
bloated on self, bulbous grotesque ego,

urging,
            cajoling,
                           purging,
            contrived hysterics,
            lofty idealism, crass,
            authoritarian brass,
            wooden, ablaze with
            mock shock,
            and awe,

thrashing around,
words, scribbled scrawled gibberish,

flaccid, as the tongue,
from which they were wrung.

jo’burg breeze

tasting you,
                     breathing you,
                    feeling you,

                    exquisite,
                  bittersweet
                     touches,

undulating,

swaying in the jo’burg breeze,
             
             for just knowing you,
          infuses emotions of mirth,

of simple joys,

                         of peace …

image

cloaked, shrouded,
misted within silver clouds,

moonlight slips, slides,
cascades,

drizzles down,

like her soft hair,
her velveteen swirls,
twirls,

that caress my face,

like moonlight,
on an overcast jo’burg night

image

strumming moments

strumming moments

notes,
discordant, awash in today,

plucking strings, teasing chords,

strumming along,
tuneless …

my song 🎼

whistling bob & billy

whistling bob & billy.

image

she came to me one night,
the stars breathing light,

caressing away feeling,
as i lay kneeling,

soothed deep until numb,
speaking words rendered dumb,

her kisses grew,
rampaging through,

tearing at a thudding heart,
sliced agonisingly apart,

eyes dimmed, tears streaming,
clawing at walls, imprisoned by dreaming,

breaking free, shackles broken, bent,
consigned to the now, this ever present,

plastic shell,
this enduring hell?

yet, yet, hope persists,
hope resists,

for as another year flees,

hope blossoms,

in fresh leaves,

defiantly dancing,
on living, breathing trees.

image

why do i miss you …

… strange are the ways of fate,
stranger still,
is my aching heart,

my thud-thudding heart,
’tis all yours,
through and through,

why, you may ask,

but,
i have not a clue,

but ’tis true,
i don’t know why,

i miss you …