Tag Archive: African Poetry


from google




The Sound of Distant Ankle Bells …



Memories of those delicate tinkling bells,

casually fastened around calloused feet,


take hold of my waking moments,


and fling my thoughts back to a distant time,

where folk-songs were heartily sung,

joyful, yet hopelessly out of rhyme.




I barely saw her, a construction labourer perhaps,

hauling bricks, cement, anything, on a scorching Delhi day,

while in the semi-shade of a Gulmohar tree, her infant silently lay.




A cacophony of thoughts such as these swirl around,

yanking me away from the now, to my cow-dung littered childhood playground.




Now, a lifetime of displacement has hushed the jangling chorus of the past,

to a faint trickle of sounds, as distant as an ocean heard inside tiny sea-shells,


and,


I know, that the orchestral nostalgic crescendo, rises, dips, and swells,

as tantalisingly near, yet a world of time away, as were the tinkling of her ankle-bells.




from google






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P  A  S  S  I O N






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

The Truest Beauty

from google



the truest beauty …





On that rainy windswept night, when we took shelter under a leaking bus stop,


shivering as invisibles, scratched out of this world’s pitiless sight.



We spoke at length, as the buses passed us by,


we bared our souls to each other, as strangers often do,


laughing about how we roamed these avenues without a clue.



We spoke of excruciating truths, of life’s random cruelty, of our hopes and of our dreams, of our small joys and of our fears,


as we stood under that leaking bus stop, the rain streaking down cheeks that were salty with tears.



I barely saw you, and you could hardly see me, in the rain and in the fog,


as we laughed and cried together, sharing feelings of being swamped in life’s quicksand tugging bog.



We spoke so much that rainy night, we shared what we could not share with anyone else, we spoke of love and the beauty of it all,


we stood in the rainy sleet, dwarfed by the grey buildings towering so impersonally tall.



The beauty that I felt in those moments spent with you, the truest beauty I have ever felt, far beyond the fakery of strutting it all on this daily, gaudy parade,


truer than it all, all of it, far beyond the hollow shells of the neverending charade.



That night passed, as all nights must, yet you remain with me, within me, the beautiful stranger I could hardly see.



Today, I look back through the wisps of time, failing to scribble even the simplest rhyme,


knowing not much, but this much I know to be true,

the truest beauty of all, caresses your soul, and envelopes your heart,


the truest beauty rests,

deep beneath the superficial you …




from google












from google




you are the physics of my world …


1.


the random sparks of infinitesimal neurons,

the random chaos of the vast cosmic beyond,

the random tugs of quantum strings,

have somehow,

incredibly swirled,

bringing your completeness into the vacuum of my world.


2.


these apparently random machinations, of this universe of possibilities,

has defied all permutations of chance,

to coalesce for us,

now,

today,

as we share our brightly blazing celestial dance.


3.


words escape me, there is no explanation,

to describe the meeting of our twin souls,

there is no hypothesis that I am able to construct,

that fuels these passions, these desires, these feelings that skywards into the heavens erupt.


4.


these atoms and quarks and gluons, bind us together in the most unscientific way,

they exude feelings impossible to explain,

love, for instance,

and a love as deep and abiding and true as ours,

is impossible to understand, even if we tried, spending years and countless hours.


5.


now my love of felines brings me to schrödinger and his deadalive cat,

for unlike dear schrödinger I can say with utmost certainty, that in that box my love for you,

is alive, and ever so true.


6.


all the dark matter, that is postulated to roam the entirety of space,

cannot dim the light of the stellar blaze of our star of love,

our sun that radiates gloriously, from the deepest recesses of our heart, from our magnetically interlinked place. 


7.


all the talk of black holes not allowing light to flee,


comes not closer to the raging cauldron of our shared togetherness,


as we lay blanketed by the heavens above that envelope you, and that cloak me.


8.


the distance of light years are bridged so effortlessly, so easily traversed between you and I,


merging our love, our own supernova lighting the unfolding years we have yet to face,


roaring like a furnace, hewn into the very fabric of our innerspace ..

 

from google




My Beach of Dreams …


1.


Turquoise waters tease your toes,


walking on our dreamy beach,


fingers entwined,


a sensuous breeze caressing your lavender hair,


the soft sand kneading your feet so delicately bare.



2.



The burnished sun swoons and dips,


my ravenous mouth hungers for your sweet lips,


our hearts beat as one to the rhythm of the waves,


scorched by the furnace of desire that our love so passionately craves.



3.



I wake up, with your head on my shoulder,


my soul, my being, my very self continues to smoulder,


I kiss you gently on your forehead,


my fingers tracing poetic verses down your cheek,


I am,

at long last,


at peace,

within,


I have found my home,


there is nothing more I care to seek.



from google

art from google



port of call …



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

with the breath of the ocean a caressing balm,
soothing pained memories away,

to the swaying of a solitary palm.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

feeling the brushing away of all past turmoil,

on a quest for solace, ever so hard to find,

yet comforted by the crashing of the waves,

as the tide cleanses all pain,

and leaves despair far, far behind.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

drenched in a sea-breeze of mist,

that hushes the ache of bygone moons,

tasting the salty tang on my lips,

as the burnished sun,
over the distant horizon,
swoons,

and dips.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

searching, ever searching,

for a slice of solitude,

as memory bids a final adieu,

reaching under the sea so vast,

and seeking comfort in the depths,

while embracing,

the tomorrows to come,
wishing that they be true.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

seeing my truths drown,

as they slip beneath the emerald waters,

feeling my heart ablaze,

with a passion that rarely falters.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

yet knowing that I am home at long last,

wishing the waves would wash away,

the defences that once stood,

like an impregnable wall.



barefoot on a talcum beach,
alone, not lonely,

I have found,
at long last,


my final port of call …



art from google

the swaying of the grass

art from google




the swaying of the grass …

 


1.



a path leads,

to where wild grasses grow,


sashaying in the summer breeze.




2.




along the path,

solace settles within,


feeling the grass swooning,


tickling ankles,


swaying to lilting bird-song,


in a dance of intimate abandon,


brushing remnants of pain away.




3.




melodies float across fields of green,


delicately caressing my heart,


teasing emptiness to flee,


and comforting the mind,


to silently be.


 


4.


 


walking on,

savouring the peace,


a momentary respite,


casting off burdens of the now,


for all is quiet,


in a stillness cradling fractured emotions,


as the grass in the fields sway,


and dusk descends,


while shadows lengthen,


nudging the dimming light to take leave of the day …





Picasso’s “Dove of Peace”

Bruce and Clarence

.

.

.

my Springsteen tribute through his songs

.

In memory of “The Big Man” Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr. (1942 – 2011)

.

.

.

Growin’ Up in Delhi town, far away from being Born in the USA,

your words rang true to me,

nothing more so than when you sang Cover Me,

as i ached for release from my urban Jungleland,

to the rock ‘n’ roll tunes of The E-Street Band.

You made me weep with your melancholic My Hometown, as i related so deeply to I’m goin’ Down,

cos’ when you sang, you sang from the depths of your Hungry Heart, all the way across the seas from Asbury Park.

Your lyrics sliced deep, scraping away the veneer of cellophane,

stuck inside the prison of my Downbound Train.

I remember the first girl i met, with Bobby Jean stuck in my lovestruck head,

and as we walked hand in hand through the city park, all i wanted was to be, with her, Dancing in the Dark.

I believed that we were Born to Run, far away from that Brilliant Disguise,

far beyond the Darkness on the edge of Town, escaping our fragile spaces, on our Rocky Ground.

When Little Steven sang Sun City, it gave me more of a Reason to Believe,

singing truth to power, raging against Apartheid’s vile hell, for all who from racial discrimination had no reprieve.

When you sang with Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, and Sting, all of you on stage for the Amnesty international concert, you carefully picked your principled fights, as we all sang Bob Marley’s Get up, Stand up, Stand for your Rights.

As i grew up, on that forked Thunder Road, you reminded me of The Ballad of Tom Joad,

your lyrics cut straight to the bone, when you belted out your sarcastic classic We take care of our Own.

You made me cry some more on the Streets of Philadelphia, while so many sweated it out in many a Darlington County, while the wealthy smiled and grabbed at this earth’s common bounty.

Oh how we joined you in the chorus, when you sang Woody’s angry This Land is your Land, while you paid homage to the countless immigrants in your powerful and visceral American Land.

I imbibed your words, feeling them course through my veins when i was bruised and tender, because you spoke to me of holding on tight to hope, to the words of No Surrender.

We are Alive spoke of the many who died trying to reach The Promised Land, to give it a shot, of Working on a Dream, while crossing The River would impossible seem.

Today, as so many are still sweating it out Working on the Highway,

you never fail to infuse hope,

the eternal hope,

of Waitin’ on a Sunny Day ….

.

.

.

Clarence and Bruce

disjointed rhyme

art from google



disjointed 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 scoured the earth for a peaceful place,

where bigotry didn’t present its grotesque face,

and after all the years spent seeking,

we found nooks and crannies where racism lay reeking.


all our desires, all of our dreams,

in a gilded cage lies trapped it seems,

still we scan 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,


or perhaps there exists no such place,

across the earth,

for tolerance long ago did depart,

and yet we cannot be from each other apart,


for what we have found in each other,

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


those are the truths that we have embraced in our heart …



from google

from google




“why are you here, you filthy immigrant”





why are we broken by spoken barbs,


spewing out of sewers cloaked beneath acceptable garbs,


while the blades of splintered humanity are sharpened into lethal shards,


of ‘my country right or wrong’,


under the comfortable charade,


the vulgar parade,


of clinging onto feigned piety,


dragged pitilessly along,


weaving new lies, obfuscating what is right and what is wrong,


waving flags tainted with blood, on and on, as the pain never ceases to abate,


wielding blood-soaked swords to behead, to oppress, to subjugate,


the many who have forever been on the wrong side of the fence,


the other side of the tracks,


nakedly vulnerable outside the gate,


shut out of the dream,


pummelled by untruths of working hard, doing more, and shutting up,


carrying within, the ghastly pain, a mute scream,


stuck beneath merciless clouds,


because we need the money,


the greenback,


the notes,


the coins,


the oil,


the designer innerwear that barely shrouds,


the racist cacophony of the hate-filled crowds,


the stench of putrid opulence, of festering greed,


of capital and influence and power ripping out each humane seed,


by the by, shutting out the opportunities for a better life for all,


because when love,


life,


hope,


dreams,


aspirations,


the yearning for something better,


is a lament, a plea, a beseeching call,


for respect,


dignity,


for the numberless,


always shoved down, yet standing tall,


the banished, cast away into the currents of the seas,


as every war makes human beings as you and I, like insects scatter,


viewed live on tv screens, but that does no longer matter,


to be swept along islands of stillness,


young children lying dead on pristine shores,


while the picture goes viral, and the shares, the views and the likes soars,


a child not lucky to ride the waves of random happenstance,


when just “making it to safety” is a mere throw of the dice of chance.




“so yes”,


“yes”.



“that is how I got to be here”,


the immigrant says.




art by Banksy

from google





peace and equality?


when greed poisons our waters, tainting pristine nature,


when jingoism infects our minds, eroding our shared humanity,


when fanaticism corrodes our vision, seeds of division are sown,


when oppression lashes people, hate is nourished,


when prejudice spews vile invective, walls emerge between humanity,


when science is derided by obscurantism, we take a collective step backwards,


when love is bartered, emotions decay,


when flim-flam glitz is coveted, humane sentiments are sold into apathy,


when the pursuit of wealth at any cost is craved, far too many get left by the wayside,


when wars-for-profit are unleashed, killing innocents, the terror of makeshift bombs kill innocents,


when tolerance, not acceptance is preached, crevasses crisscross this common earth,


when far too many are left to scrounge for food, for dignity, the far too few are complicit,


when doctrines of us and them are promulgated, the body of the human race is splintered,


when poverty stalks the night, while slimey ostentation rules the day,


you and i,

him and her,

us all,

are dispassionately wrenched apart,


when clean drinking water is a luxury, while numberless golf courses are irrigated, the parched earth trembles,


when food is dumped to maintain profit margins, while countless stomachs never cease to rumble,



we have all failed each other.



period.




from google

from google




“Brother, can you spare me some change?”


The parched and thirsty,

still walk soul-less avenues,


and alleys of want and hunger.


Empty and barren,

coursing through heartless streets of need and despair.


“Change will come”,


said the promise of Freedom and Democracy and of Capitalism with a Conscience.

“change will come in time”.


Yes.

Change comes sometimes,


when scratching through pockets and purses,

for some loose change.




Nelson Mandela

baobab tree – art from google




talkin’ walkin’ with a friend unblues …



we shall walk this earth, along the rolling African plains, we shall dance with glee, in the cool gentle rains,


we shall wade through the wetlands, we shall sing in the streams, we shall live life as it should be lived, as we have lived it in our shared dreams,


we shall travel to far flung places filled with flavours spicy, and to ancient cities filled with wonder, we shall wear out our walking shoes, as through the miles we continue to wander,


we shall walk side by side, our journey taking us to places and to people unknown, we shall break bread with all, singing songs of different cultures, woefully out of rhythm and tone,


we shall walk hand in hand, two friends roaming so many a diverse land, feeling the powdery talcum sand under our feet, on so many a distant island,


we shall talk as we walk, of hopes and of fears, of broken souls whole again, of eyes no longer moist with tears,


we shall soak in the warmth of human contact, of languages seas apart, we shall learn to speak many tongues, bidding adieu to friends made along the way, for the memories within us will always stay,


so let us walk along these paths ahead, leaving it all behind, our tortured past to finally be shed, making the soft grasses our nightly bed,


sharing with all peoples of all races, all religions, all man-made divisions,


that the colour of the blood that pumps through all our veins,


is red.



a baobab tree – from google

from google



sidestepping shards of splintered glass, beyond the haze of billowing grass,


yesterday came, as today left, leaving me empty within, bereft,


so take my hand and walk with me awhile, beyond the tears, smuggling in a faint smile,


who knows the paths we’ll weave, as time trickles through its merciless sieve,


so take my hand and we’ll walk awhile,


a few steps today, and who knows,


tomorrow may be many a mile …



from google

The Immigrants Void – Sculpture by Bruno Catalano

http://brunocatalano.com/sculpture-bronze2/sculpture-en-bronze-bruno-catalano.php?galerie=1




migrant feet.




bleeding feet.

bare,
alien,
calloused feet,

that bleed,

trudging,
scraping souls,

seeking paths that lead,

somewhere,

anywhere from here,
from the horror of the now,

wiping bloody sweaty tears,
of grandmothers’ brow,

seeking refuge, sanctuary,

from bullets,

from epithets that wound,
that slay,

from men, always men,

puffed-up, inflated,
stuffed with raw venomous hate,

to be flotsam and jetsam,
adrift on the seas,

crammed into boxes,
clutching onto every choked breath,

seeking another fate,

not an asphyxiated blueish death,

tossed, seasick,
wracked and pained,

inside,
cattle-cars, slave-ships,

modernised mechanised terror,

the horror of self-righteous zeal,

nations, cultures,
tribes, traditions,
creed,

stoking the flames,
sectarian, communal,

the fuel on which bigotry must feed …


tiny feet, old and cracked,
all kinds of blistered twisted feet,

a death march along the treelined street,

seeking only alleyways of peace,

and,
perhaps,
perhaps, a bite to eat,

as gleaming chariots roll on by,

and if you’re thinking you’re safe,

if you’re thinking it isn’t us, its them,

him, her, they, those people,

for now,

think again,
and think how,

“… first they came for the communists … ” *



      
           _____________

* Pastor Martin Niemoller

http://tinyurl.com/oo45esm

from google

Hope always!

from google


deciphering silence …


you and i,

shielded by silence.


barred from ourselves at times.



exiled hearts,

building ramparts.



a wall that may fall.



so, my friend,

lay your head on my chest,


letting my fingers run through your hair,



lulling you gently to rest, as we share our silences,



for life is far too short anyway,


to squander even a day.



from google

the palette of colours

from google




the palette of colours …




earthy dust awash with rustic tinged passion,


vibrant hues of emotions sketched,


aflame with jasmine scented swirls,


each dawn breathing life,


as sublime flowers their petals unfurl.




our lips, tracing feelings


deeply etched,


coursing through autumn browns,


winter charcoals,


infusing each breath with smiles that banish doleful frowns.




teasing out love from nature’s palette of colours divine,


entwined by a bond felt deep, in your soul and mine.




a riotous desire imbibed not by neatly manicured gardens of blazing reds,


but far, far away from human eyes,


in places untamed,


in the forests of wild, pristine, untouched flower beds,


soothing the mind,


yawning across crystal streams,


in colours of exultant life,


painted in the palette of dreams …





from google

a wish for you

from google




a wish for you …



May your smile never fade,

may you always be as you are now,


warm and kind,


true and filled with the generosity of spirit that defines you,


may your dreams soar into the boundless open skies,


and may the benevolent fingertips of time and of fate,


brush away any tears that should fall from your gentlest eyes.





May you forever stand tall,

may your head always be held high,


with stoic dignity.


May your past experiences be the stepping-stones that mark your path ahead,


may your heart be your guide,


your blazing beacon of wildly enthusiastic hope,


may your wishes be simple,

and may they come to be,


filling your life and your moments,


with joyous bliss,


where you truly feel free.





Free of the weight of yesterday,

free of gnawing doubt,


and may your being be infused,

with the softest serendipity,


so that you may spread your arms,


and to the heavens shout,


I am free,


I am me,


at long last,

I am standing tall,

never again to bow,

or to fall on bended knee.





This is a wish both simple yet elusive,


a wish that only you can make true,


by simply being,


the kind,

warm,


gentle person,

that is you …




from google

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