Tag Archive: a poem of hope


Above: Sweden Summer of 1990

Below: Johannesburg Autumn of 2008

Greater Kailash S – Block, New Delhi early 1970s

​she is my all,

picking me up whenever I fall,

walking beside me, fierce and tall,

unafraid of what is yet to befall,

my all, my strident constant,

my friend, whispering away lows in flashes of an instant,

she is my all,

she is,

she is all … … …

​walking on broken glass, exhausted by all that is crass, seeking the green grass, that may still, yet, eventually come to pass … … …

​bracing howling winds of fate, of love, 

enveloped by darkening clouded skies above,

what becomes of the heart that feels too much,

but desolate emptiness,

merely traversing the daily grind,

fragile are the bonds, the ties that bind,

still hopeful, still searching,

for the solace that seems so hard to find … … …

Johannesburg Blues

​Johannesburg Blues.

walking in this city of diamonds,

gold deep beneath my feet,

sleeping under her rainy skies,

embracing my newspaper sheet.

i had a life long ago, a woman too,

now I’m just a huddle of rags

while the women walk past

never reaching into their Gucci bags.

she left me, or i left myself,

on these bleak Jo’burg roads,

searching for that fix

at these desolate crossroads.

now i stand alone,

these empty streets my bed,

my blood soaking the earth

with drops of beaten red.

so i wish you well, friends,

i wish you gold dust amidst the fray,

all of you who walk on and away,

leaving me to beg or borrow,

to get through another Jo’burg day.

_________________
published in http://spadinaliteraryreview.com/

awake, alone … … …

​awake, alone,

dispelling night cold as stone,

yearning, aching,

for a kinder, gentler day,

when rivulets of tears drain silently away … … …

​sashaying to strains, melodies strumming my veins,

in low plateaus, through deepest vales,

soothing life’s pains,

banishing icy rains,

hushing sobs, shushing wails, grasping day by its reins,

steering a course on the seas of fate,

where fear and trepidation pales,

free winds coaxing me ever onwards, into fresh pathways, along unchartered trails,

with hope,

always hope, within sight of the lighthouse,

keeping me ever afloat, bolstering my sails … … …

a hushed heart

​whispered memories,

fade, falling to the ground,

momentary kisses, flee, never to be found,

ah but what becomes of the tattered heart,

mutely shrieking, hushed, without sound … … …

love is kind,

how often have you been told,
but you flog me with your words,

you thrash me with your eyes,

you mangle me with your barbs,

yes, love is kind,

thank you for loving me so … … …

Gone are the white masks and sheets,

today the KKK struts in plain sight,

on nameless blood-soaked streets.

The past still lives,

breathes,

spewing hate,

stereotyping and profiling and generalising,

‘the Nigger deserved it’,

they still say,

as they continue to hate,

and to slay.

Justice is blind,

we are so often told,

but it’s deaf,

and mute,

and can be,

and is,

bought and sold,

just as they once,

traded,

bought,

sold,

flogged,

whipped,

lynched,

and raped human-beings,

and just as each of those human-beings of colour was called a slave,

today, in the 21st century,

a person of colour,

still better ‘know’ his or her ‘place’,

or face the racist murderers’ hate,

and be shot down,

and be clubbed

and be beaten,to an early, shallow grave

#blacklivesmatter

the sieve of fate

​i saw her, a revelation in glorious technicolour, standing by the bus stop,

she smiled at me, wrenching my heart off my sleeve.

i see her still,

now in faded black and white,

wondering where she may be, after all these years, months, days, moments,

with time trickling through our lives,

knotting destiny into a silken weave,

time, ah time!

slipping away,

down fate’s random sieve … … …

​fleeting dew disappears, in gardens of blazing petals,

another day recedes, ushering in night,

yearning to be caressed by the moisture of morn,

(to strains of lilting birdsong)

when another day is born … … …







talkin’ democracy blues … … …
the platitudes come fast and thick,

when gone is the carrot what remains is the stick,


when a government shuts its ears to what the people need,

puffed up on hubris and profiting from greed,


democracy dies a little each day,

what more can i say,


cos’ I’m talking democracy blues,

step out of your comfort zone,

and take a stroll in the other half’s shoes,


maybe you’ll understand a bit better then,

that it ain’t all just about being zen,


it’s about bread and water and jobs for all,

heed the people’s call or be prepared to take a nasty fall,


cos’ I’m talking democracy blues,

so get your feet out of your thousand buck shoes … … …


your hand to hold

​and though the day be harsh, the night cold,


my world is warm, with your hand to hold

​awake, through the long bleary night,

aching to shed the detritus of passing day, to soak in hopes’ light,


awake, alone,

floundering within my visionless sight,

waiting for this new dawn to break the desolation of cold dreary night,


hoping, hoping,

with all my being,with what’s left in me,

bracing for yet another merciless fight … … …

a phantom day … … …

jagged faultlines of memory, sunken crevasses of hopes, of dreams tucked away,

for another time, a better place, another year, a less harsh space,

for a phantom day … …

whispers of yesteryear,
ravaged promises, savaged oaths,

squirming away,
down gutters of fate,

so don’t tell me of destiny, no patronising me with vows of love,

i stand alone now,
under winter skies,

desolate, in the slicing sting of the rains that fall from above … … …

another day dawns,
night yawns,
scurrying away into days’ waiting arms,

memories of you,
meander through my broken being,

your smile, your very whole,

offering solace,
to my vagabond soul … … …

For Tony Benn
( 1925 – 2014 )

You have not passed silently into the coming night,

your conscience towers above the brittle edifice of capital and of greed,

for as long as there remain hungry mouths to feed,

your soul is enmeshed within our collective whole.

You have not passed silently into the coming night.

Your battle is done,

the war!

the war is far from won!

So we pick up your scarlet standard,

and we continue to rattle the foundations at No. 10,

though today,

today,

we pause,

today we say,

‘Hamba Kahle’*,

to you,

our comrade,

our leader,

our towering ‘Big Benn’.

for Anthony Neil Wedgwood “Tony” Benn.

(3 April 1925 – 14 March 2014)

* – ‘Hamba Kahle’ means ‘go well’ in isiXhosa/isiZulu

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