Tag Archive: a poem of hope


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Summer 1990


sunset over Jo'burg


fleeting dew disappears,
in the garden of blazing petals,

another day recedes,
ushering in night,
yearning to be caressed by the moisture of morn,

to the strains of lilting birdsong,

when another day is born … … …

Vincent and Ludwig #5

“i paint starry nights, Ludwig, to help me forget each torrid day”

“and i compose odes to joy, Vincent, to keep pain at bay”

“we are alike, you and i, dear Ludwig”, Vincent says as he sketches a smile

“yes Vincent, we are alike, our tattered shoes yet to carry us across so many a mile”

my wishes are simple … … …

my wishes are simple,
desires few,
gazing upon a leaf,
nourished by dew.

my wishes are simple,
dreams hardly grand,
hearing birdsong in this desert,
together, hand in hand.

my wishes are simple,
my heart calm,
resting with you ‘neath this palm,

years rattling bones,
wrinkling skin,
greying our hair,
ever so thin … … …

embers of love … … …

Rivulets of tears,
flow into gutters,

hearts break,
whispered truths shatter.

Love persists,
stubborn, obstinate,

a tempestuous deluge,
seeking murmuring eddies.

Love persists,

lost at times,
floundering in muddied waters.

Love persists,
when stormy clouds gather,

the embers crackle, burn, tinder aflame,

deeply knit,
out of the piercing rain … … …

hewn | carved | embossed

hewn into my being,
carved across my heart,
weaving through my mind,
embossed in my soul,

it remains,
a persistent reminder:

your name

fractured dreams, like moulting skin,
pepper the cold ground,

memories ablaze, raging through frigid hearts, thawing beneath the winter sun,

emotions recoil, reel,
as love flitters and skips,

on wounded knees,
in a corner to silently kneel … … …

tears of dew … … …

Dew, like tears,
envelopes the morning rose,

petals glistening,
remnants of night,
echoing across the hue infused plain.

Fleeting dew,
like murmuring rain,
caressing each petal,

while far beyond the flowers of morn,

memories of the dew,
remain … … …

honeydew lips



alfoat on honeydew petals

mere strands


years trickling through

lost whispers
dreamed caresses

alive …

ablaze in the cauldron



of convergent wisps
sprinkling kisses

on your
honeydew lips

The Cost of Revolution

(in memory of the June 16th 1976 student uprising in South Africa)

You hurled rocks, stones,
Molotov Cocktails,
Sling-shots against the brutality of racial oppression.

You fell on the streets of Soweto,
So many more I cannot begin to mention.

Tasting the acrid stench of tear-gas,

Feeling the flesh ripped off your bones by their dogs,

Drenched by water-cannons,
Stung by rubber-bullets,
Whipped by sjamboks,
Shot in the head by bullets,
Paid for by your country’s gold.

You stood trial for Treason,
Facing the hangman’s noose,

You stood firm, you did not break,
Even though,
You had wives, sons, daughters, lovers, brothers, sisters, and friends to lose.

The revolutionary dream burned bright,
In all your hearts,

Even as the jackboot of Apartheid,

Fractured your bones and tore your families into broken and splintered parts.

You left your brothers,
Comrades and friends,

Seeking out foreign lands,
With only the ammunition that you held in your hearts, your minds and in your never-wavering hands.

The enemy did not waver either,

Tyranny didn’t cease.

2 AM knocks on doors around this land,
Meant to stifle, to intimidate,

You took a stand.

lost far away from home, pining for freedom and your loved ones,

You stood firm,
You fought on,

“Release Mandela and all Political Prisoners” was your cry,
In capitals of far-off lands,

You feared not the bayonet in the enemy’s hands,

The revolution was burning bright,

Even as the dawn of Freedom was in sight.

Finally on a February day,
They released him and the joy was palpable, nothing stood now in the revolution’s way.

All the while,
The enemy consolidated its power,

Paying off traitors,

Seeding violence,

Orchestrating mayhem to taint the noble cause,

And still you took the tyrant’s rifles and clenched their muzzles in-between your brave jaws.

Never standing down,
Backing away,
Retreating to safe space,
The fire of revolution burned,
Spreading through the plateaus and valleys and townships and cities and villages in this pained land,

And still,

You held that Kalashnikov in your hand.

And when that day of freedom came,

You felt the stirrings of joy and pain and yes,
Of shame.

You felt the shame of leaving those you left behind,

You tasted again the pain,
Of economic hardships,
Of capitalism and its illusory promise,
Of a revolution left incomplete,

Every man, woman and child has enough to eat.

A revolution still incomplete,
Where hunger stalks the night,
Where mercy,
And comradely solidarity,
Left last night on a first-class flight.

You stand tall still,
Working as you always have,

Polishing the metal chariots of those you once bled for,

Still feeling the injustice,
Of not having the two cents more,

That deprives you of your daily bread,

And you try hard to remember,

Whether this is the revolution,

For which so many died,

The countless whose names remain unsaid,

The brothers and sister,
Mothers and fathers,
Lovers and friends,

Who lie cold and dead.

(dedicated to all South Africans who sacrificed their lives, their families, in pursuit of the revolutionary dream. A dream that remains a dream to many, and a dream that will continue to be dreamed)


frozen dew … … …

frozen dew,
thawing beneath the winter sun,

imbibed by murmuring leaves,

its magic spun,

comforted that night is done … … …

choosing to love another, regardless of gender or colour,

a revolutionary act in a time of hate.

choosing to love another, beyond gender or creed,

reveals humanity’s true face,

beyond gender, religion, or race … … …


the wandering nomad

rootless, adrift,
neither here nor there,

the wandering nomad roams,

trudging through avenues of memory,
slogging along highways of loss,

whispering on a breeze of fate,
murmuring in a swirl of tears,

the wandering nomad knows no abode,

but the treacherous open road … … …

my poem at Lileasleaf Farm Museum in Rivonia Johannesburg as part of the permanent Umkhonto-we-Sizwe  (The Spear of the Nation MK) exhibit.





(Dedicated to the countless South Africans who gave their lives for freedom and democracy)

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell,

Who bled,

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell so that countless others may stand,

We who bore the brunt of the oppressor’s hand.

Remember us when you pass this way,

Leave a flower or two as you pass along,

Sing! Sing for us a joyous & spirited song.

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell,

Who bled,

Remember us when you pass this way.

Remember us in your tomorrows,

As you remember us today

Amandla! The Struggle Continues…



the enigma

oblivious, as petals,
wreathed in sublime dew,

each breath taken, finite.

the enigma:

how many more,
how few?

6 things racists say:

1. Some of my best friends are black etc …

2. You can’t keep blaming Apartheid/slavery etc for everything that’s happening now …

3. I’m not a racist but these people …

4. Must they have so many children …

5. They’re not like our people …

6. I’m no racist, but you can’t help people who don’t want to help themselves …

in your eyes #14

in your eyes #14

consumed by the crowd, deafening silence assailing my ears too loud,

slipping away from the raucous row, the din of moments, the savagery of the now:

finding you,
my open sky so blue,

seeking peace, elusive,
rented out on a married lease,

give me a kiss, honest and true, deep,

in your eyes, finding the peace, that renders me a bore,

exhausted, fatigued,

needing only you, in your arms a restful sleep … … …

monstrous beasts

why call humans animals,

animals do not kill in the name of religion, caste, creed, or race,


monstrous beasts more like it … … …

A Bipolar Scribble

a bipolar scribble … … …

thoughts racing, taking on the whole world so cruel and wide,

‘I’m fine, I say, I just have to decide’,

do i stay in bed again, swirling down a maelstrom of gloom,

or commence in the spring-cleaning of my already spotless room,

ah, decisions decisions,
far too many to divine,

‘I think I’ll scribble endlessly on, because really, really, really, I really am just fine’

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