Tag Archive: bipolar disorder


would you walk with me?




would you walk with me?



would you walk with me through the wildest storms, wracking distant fields of green,


beneath raucous whirlwinds, under the lightning shrieks of night,

where yearning aches,
where my heart splinters,
where this cold world wounds,

would you take my hand in yours,
taking flight,

to soar in the haunted shimmering
of fractured moonlight.




would you take my hand - and with me disappear?

from this cesspool of hurt,
from this cauldron of fear,


to our pastures of peace,
not so far away from the now,

and

not so removed from the here.




would you lay your heart,

to rest
beside mine?



sharing

ceaseless laughs and

tears,



sharing
our love, a reflection

of our desires, our fears,


sharing a placid calm, banishing aches and

sorrows,


for our love rejects all labels,

our love discards the detritus of this callous life,

our love dares to dream our dream we dare not dream,

the dream of many shared tomorrows.



would you walk beside me,

hoping to heal our thousand little cuts,
escaping our strewn life so casually
tossed,


to lose ourselves in landscapes etched and sketched,

with delicate hues deeply absorbed,


into a cardamom mosaic gently embossed.




would you sail with me, our hopes skipping on a moonbeam?


bathed in rain-drenched kisses,

soaring across the seas,

dancing,
hopping,

barely afloat,

on cinnamon waters,


sharing that ever elusive elixir,

sipping together, from a honeyed stream,


so that finally, and at long last,

I may hobble on,

trying to,

at long last,


my countless sins begin to redeem.





and so, and yet,


would you still walk with me?




art by banksy

Racism is Binary …

from google


Racism is Binary ...



racism stalks streets,
flowing with blood,

red blood.


not black, white, saffron, green, yellow,

but,

red blood,

like the colourless tears that stream,

down faces of all hues,

and

of every shade,

human beings all,

just humans,

who into dust or ashes do fade.



racism on the prowl,

deafening,
virulent ignorance,

embraced by those who hate,

seeping out of diseased tongues that bray & howl,

while,

humanitys’ corpse,
lies in state.



racism is binary,
soul-less,

with just a single choice to make,

so think carefully now, o’ patient reader,

cos’ racism is binary,
soul-less,

and there is only one choice that is right …


… the dazzling fusion of a rainbow,

or dull,
bland,

empty white.

from google

from google

The Wind carries his Name ...




They shot him down,
to silence a man of flesh and bone.


Even as the bullets tore through him,the wind carried his name.


Far across the weary fields,high above the stubborn peaks,over the blood soaked streams,the wind carried his name.


They shot him down,to silence a man of flesh and bone.


Yet the wind carries his name,to you and to me,to them and to us.
They shot him down,but his name resounds,as it floats on the breeze.


And,
still they try to shoot him down,to silence us all, to stifle an ideal.


But the wind cannot be stilled,

and the wind carries his name:




Che”.





( For Ernesto Guevara de la Serna )

from google
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 …

from google

She Walks Alone …

a protest poster during the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa





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 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.

from google
from google

from google

Apples & Spinach …

The foul odour of scarred flesh.


The reeking decomposition.



Bodies once animated, once so alive,
Now strewn across the moist ground.



The surgical strike.



The pin-point accuracy.



The smartest weapons,
Deployed,
To decimate the bad guys.



Black and brown people,
More often than not,
Pummeled to a pulp,



Black and blue.



While LCD screens miles away,
Surveil and scan for potential targets,
The unknown other.



The evil doers,
As mothers & daughters,



Pick out apples and spinach
In a market-place in the cross-hairs.




from google

A Tribute by Afzal Moolla

Published in “The Centrifugal Eye – Autumn 2012.” Edition.

Edited by Eve Hanninen

For Pete Seeger, Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter & Woody Guthrie …

It was a long time ago,

when you put your words into song:

‘this machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender’ you scribbled on your old guitar,

and you wielded that banjo and guitar as weapons,

fiddling out a hail of truth,

of solidarity,

of angry, vehement calls for peace.

You said of leadbelly, that that huddie ledbetter was a helluva man,

you sang and spoke through dust clouds and relief lines,

you taught us all, to seek out hope wherever we can,

and when they tried to call all of you goddamned reds,

you sang on ever louder and louder, rattlin’ their prejudices as they slept in their plush beds,

you rode and you rambled and thumbed your way around,

the land that is my land and your land too,

for you believed all this earth was shared common ground,

and when you sang of overcoming one day,

the injustice and pain that you witnessed along the way,

they further branded you a commie, a pinko or a nigger-lover or a jew-lover, or an enemy of the state,

while your banjo and your guitars continued to surround their blind hate,

‘this machine kills fascists’ you etched on that guitar as well,

but they were all deaf, for they could not hear the tolling of the bell,

‘the bell of freedom,

the hammer of justice,

the song of love between your brothers and your sisters’,

and they knew not that they were the ones who would sizzle in their own bigoted hell,

and then came the marches and you were there too,

with Dr. King in Birmingham and Selma, and you faced their spit, their venomous rage, their clubs and sticks and knives, but you always knew,

that your cause was just and that the truth must one day prevail,

however long it may take, you never gave up, you sang and you marched and you strummed yourselves, victoriously, into their jail,

and then they shot him, they shot Dr. King dead, as they burnt and lynched many more,

yet you stood firm, you never wavered, your blood was red after all, and they could not tarnish the truth’s core,

and so it came to pass, that Woody went on his way, to his pastures of plenty up in the sky,

and Huddie too, said his last and final goodbye,

and you were then one, and you may have felt alone and overwhelmed, by the battles and with all that was wrong,

but then you saw that the people were with you,

as they had been, all along,

and so you continued to fiddle with that old banjo,

dragging it through Newport and Dar-es-Salaam,

and through countless unknown halls in numberless unknown towns,

across this earth, turning, slowly, putting smiles of togertheness, on faces that were once pock-marked with disillusioned frowns,

so …

today as I jot down these poorly scribbled words for all of you,

for Woody, Huddie, and Pete,

ido so in gratitude, for after all the travails that you’ve been through,

I know that you know that this world still has its fair share of hate, and of loss and of injustice and of gloom …

… but I also know that you know that though all the old flowers may have gone,

there always will be,

as there always must be,

fresh flowers ablaze somewhere …

The Whispering Leaf …

The Whispering Leaf …

1.

Infinite tendrils,
weave exquisite meanders,

sketching an immaculate, delicate sheaf,

while morning’s dew whispers,

tales of forgotten woes, of vanished yesterdays,

scribbled on the solitary leaf.

2.

Murmurs float gently across lonesome trees,

in distant forests lush and dense,

caressing waltzing grasses in a sensual dance,

coquettishly inflaming every sense.

3.

Listen!

For the murmurs whisper to us all,

listen intently,

as the whispers recall,

countless crushed memories of many a lovers call …

Listen!

For the whispering leaf shares,

tales traversing distances,

to you, to me,
if we only still our raucous minds,

gazing upon each leaf,

dispelling the mirage of the superficial lives we lead,

revealing to us the truths that lie just beneath.

“Usilethela Uxolo” – “Nelson Mandela Brings Us Peace” by Stompie Mavi from the documentary “Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony” by Lee Hirsch

✊🏾

“Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony”

✊🏾

from google

✊🏾

The Stench of Prejudice …

When silent prejudice strikes,

in living rooms with plumped-up sofas,

a quietly insidious venom begins to seep,

into the consciousness of the chattering ones as they sleep …

The beliefs held so true and so deep,

are stripped of all feeling,

empty and hollow and without compassion,

as the conceit grows in the chests of those with righteous passion …

The prejudice once firmly entrenched,

is worn like a warm and comforting shawl,

needing precious little to compound and to mutate,

into the doctrines of superiority, racism, misogyny, gay-bashing,

and of intoxicating hate …

We are all guilty of succumbing to this silent pervasive plague,

as we sip martinis and laugh and shovel more food on our heaving plates,

as we slip into pleasantly inebriated moments we dare not care,

to smell the stench of hate and of prejudice and of greed wafting in the cool evening air …

✊🏾

“Stimela” – “Coal Train” by Hugh Masekela – from the documentary “Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony”

✊🏾

from google

✊🏾

art by banksy

The Markets Are Down 2% …

Banish the hubris,
Toss away the choice words
Spoken by rotten, broken tongues.
Silence the chorus of appalled shock.

Shred the sermons,
Burn down the gory edifices:
The churches, mosques, temples
And the muted Gods they mock.

Drain the sewage.
Flush away the insidious odour
Seeping up from malls, homes, carnivals.
Put it in a closet and weld the key in the lock.

Shut it all off.
Turn out the lights.
Pull the damned plug.
But hold on to that blue-chip stock.

art by banksy

youtube.com/watch

Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
from google

wearing masks,

shrouding each mood …

… facades

gnawing at raw wounds.

 

wearing masks,

veiling each feeling …

 

… charades

snapping at open sores.

 

wearing masks,

mimicking the other …

 

… masked facades,

veiled charades,

shrouded screens,

masquerading as truth.

 

Truth lies in wait,

beneath the mask,

under the veil,

behind the screen,

through the shroud …

… truth lies in wait,

 

and waits …

waiting.

“Billie Holiday” by banksy
Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit

Poem Series – In your Eyes …

all art from google

Poem Series – In your Eyes.

1.

In your Eyes #1.

in your eyes, a maelstrom of emotion,

in your eyes, whirlpools of desire,

beckoning, inviting me to plunge, into the celestial waters,

of your eyes.

all art from google

2.

In your Eyes #2

whittling down reason, drawing out a rhyme,

searching for the truth,

hurtling through time,

in your eyes, i find my answer, my refuge from the incessant rain,

in your eyes, i sail upon the ocean, devoid of pain.

all art from google

3.

In your Eyes #3.

As another day recedes,

enveloped under the shawl of night,

allow me to drown,

in your eyes.

Moments fleeting,

fickle hands of time unseeing,

allow me to seek solace,

in your eyes.

The trodden path littered with each shard,

regrets this heart wishes to discard,

so allow me to seek refuge,

in your eyes.

I have walked through twisting boulevards of life,

seeking simple joy, away from desolation, strife,

so allow me to find peace,

in your eyes

all art from google

4.

In your Eyes #4.

I find,

the gentleness left behind,

away from superficial smiles,

away from fatigue of the walked mile.

In your eyes,

I feel,

at home at long last,

your love caressing away the restlessness of the past,

stepping out of the shadows to embrace pure contentment,

though a bit player,

in your life’s theatrical cast.

In your eyes,

I touch,

the flame of promise radiating through your loving light,

that is why,

I no longer dread,

the vacuum of encroaching night.

all art from google

5.

In your Eyes #5.

in your eyes,

marmalade swirls,

candyfloss twirls,

draw me ever deeper,

as another day unfurls …

all art from google

6.

In your Eyes #6.

I have plumbed the depths of truth,

in your eyes,

I have found rejuvenated youth,

in your eyes,

I have seen my future, and my now,

in your eyes,

that so effortlessly soothe.

all art from google

7.

In your Eyes #7.

clasping onto hope,

fragile strands of sanity dispelling unseen phantoms,

lost amongst the suffocating crowd,

cloaked in your invisible shroud,

fortitude restraining you from crying out loud,

still your fire rages, crackling embers testament to your dignity,

your insolent defiance, ever steely, seeing through the lies,

your quiet strength resting deep,

in your eyes.

all art from google

8.

In your Eyes #8.

in your eyes, I see,

desolation flee,

in your eyes, I know,

is a humanity that shall always flourish, ever grow,

in your eyes, I see, a fiery need, passion ablaze, mirth set free,

in your eyes, is where I wish to be.

all art from google

9.

In your Eyes #9

in your eyes, I see,

waters of turquoise,

pearls in the deep,

in your eyes, I drown,

swept by the currents,

banishing my sleep,

in your eyes, I feel,

a yearning for peace,

beyond the tears we weep.

all art from google

10.

In your Eyes #10.

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.

all art from google

11.

In your Eyes #11.

your light blazed bright,

a comet slicing through the moonless night,

enveloped by your sight, dimming the pangs of my darkening plight,

I found my peace, in the blue open skies,

of your eyes.

all art from google

12.

In your Eyes #12.

darkness enfolds night,

suffocating, cold, empty,

I stare, unseeing,

alone, desolate,

till I see,

the light in your eyes.

all art from google

13.

In your Eyes #13.

in your eyes,

spices swirl, dark chocolates whirl,

awake beside you,

your breath against mine,

waiting, as you sleep,

for your eyelashes to unfurl.

all art from google

14.

In your Eyes #14.

in your eyes,

seeing the pain i touch and feel,

in your eyes,

the ache of having to scrape and kneel,

in your eyes,

beholding the fire of your wandering soul,

in your eyes, I see,

the promise of being whole.

all art from google

15.

In your Eyes #15.

May your embracing warmth,

be forever by your side,

may you walk the soft beaches of the fates, at the coming in of the tide.

May life shower you with love, laughter, truth, peace, health,

your spirit be a wellspring of ceaseless wealth.

May your dreams be boundless soaring through hopeful skies,

the open skies residing,

swirling, bubbling,

in your eyes.

all art from google

16.

In your Eyes #16.

Walking along these bending alleys of life,

the promise of meeting a fellow-traveller was deemed far too remote,

and so,

I shut down my heart,

severing all loves’ ties,

but then again,

that was before,

before I gazed into the ocean of your fiery, gentle, irresistibly enticing eyes.

all art from google

17.

In youe Eyes #17.

Your eyes sketch skies,

a silken canvas.

Your touch,

the smell of your hair,

seduces me,

in an avalanche of curls.

Our kisses like tributaries fanning out, eroding life’s cold hard stone.

In your arms,

in the shadows of your form,

I am whole,

I am never alone.

all art from google

18.

In her Eyes #18.

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.

all art from google

19.

In your Eyes #19.

my starved eyes, aching for a glimpse of your smile, ready to beguile, their thirst quenched, seeking simple joys, not million dollar toys, finally, coaxed the ocean of your eyes, to reveal the kernel of truth beneath the veneer of lies, so love me now, today, where fractured dreams are made whole by the sea spray, plunging deeper into the ocean shimmering in your eyes, hoping we may breathe, like the terror of time, high on up into blue skies, where love roams unshackled, in that ocean so deep,

in your beautiful eyes.

all art from google

20.

In your Eyes #20.

I need no pity,

no earnest sympathies,

hearing the birds singing in the trees,

enough to raise these spirits to the skies,

sans pain, sans beholding eyes.

all art from google
from google

Hardly a Poem

Splinters embedded under my skin,

each memory a shard of stinging glass,

I see that I see it all now,

the infinite regrets meandering,

down foggy alleys of yesteryear,

as decades and moments come to pass.

Wearing my many masks as I cascade,

leafing through my conscious betrayals,

of gentle hearts once treasured,

now left to decay, in the empty cold.

Seeing my treasures turned to stone,

while wearing the blues like a convenient coat,

untrue to most, I stand accused,

in the dock, the fragments of my past,

are all that I am able to hold.

Where do I go from here,

as I stand ashamed, rooted to this spot,

my sins are countless, my excuses fickle,

the lies have been many,

and all the untruths have already been told.

Was it not just a fortnight ago,

when I was younger than I am now,

you loved me completely, you told me so,

while I slithered inside my thick skin,

shutting you out,

and embraced comforting desolation into my fold.

Now the momentary tears have all been shed,

the wounds of time too, have silently bled,

and all beseeching prayers have been said.

I stagger on, my reflection a mirage,

my heart and soul battered black and blue,

still, grasping onto the tendrils of hope,

if not, then I am truly dead.

from google

from google

DISCLAIMER:

Thank you ever so much for all the kind words and sentiments expressed here.

My scribble is just me moping a lot and wallowing in some irresistible self-pity.

I have caused far too many good and kind people far too much pain and hurt and I have been untruthful as well as being many other not nice at all things to those who have been the nicest to me.

So my moping here is just that – moping.

Thank you yet again for your warmth and kindness and to all fellow WordPressers for all the kind words shared by us in this wacky but lovely WordPress family.

from google

I am broken,

fractured, lost amidst the folds of well-meaning words spoken.

I am torn,

splintered, numbing myself in that vain hope of a new day yet to dawn.

I am dead,

inured, feeling no pain even as the flowing of red-hot crimson blood is bled.

I am nothing.

I am nothingness.

I am choking,

flailing, churning in the maelstrom as my life lies in cinders, silently smoking.

I am moulting,

discarding this sorry skin in which I feel unbearably revolting.

I am without place,

a dandelion seed on the thermals that scald my innerspace,

I am without place,

a shell of a man who can longer bear to see his own face …

from google

“Ode to Joy” – Beethoven 9th Symphony sheet music from google
“Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh

Poem Series – Vincent van Gogh and Ludwig van Beethoven #1 to #10

1.

Vincent and Ludwig # 1.

“Do you know, my dear Ludwig, that I’ve sold just one of my paintings?”

“Yes, Vincent, do not despair, my friend, they cannot, will not, fathom the flower that reveals its petals before their eyes”

“I suppose you are right, old friend. They cannot, will not, hear your ‘Ode to Joy’, though it is you who are deaf!”

“But my dear Vincent, you do hear my ‘Ode to Joy’, deep in your soul”

“Yes, I hear it, I feel it, Ludwig, flowing like liquid paint through the canvas of my veins”

“My dear Vincent, I too feel your brush-strokes, and in each swirl of colour I hear your joy, and I can touch your pain”

“What does that make us, my friend? Two men cast adrift on the bluest seas, leaving nothing behind, yet heading nowhere. What does that make us then?”, asks Vincent.

“Human”, replies Ludwig, smiling.

“Human, yes, dear Ludwig”.

“And that is enough”, says Ludwig, almost to himself.

“It is enough”, smiles Vincent.

“To be human. It is enough.”

Vincent laughs, as Ludwig watches a gentle wave caress their toes, through their tattered shoes.

Symphony No. 5 sheet music from google

2.

Ludwig and Vincent #2

‘what inspired you to write your 9th?’, Vincent asks Ludwig.

‘madness, dear Vincent. Distilled, concentrated madness’.

‘wasn’t it madness that drove you to sketch starry nights above a sea of Irises?’, Ludwig asks Vincent.

‘madness it was, Ludwig. A madness of the soul. Restless, frantic, maddening madness’, whispers Vincent.

‘what does that make us, my dear Vincent?’, Ludwig murmurs, leaning close to Vincent.

‘sane’, says Vincent.

‘yes, Vincent. Sane’, responds Ludwig.

Vincent reaches up and feels around for his phantom ear,

Ludwig smiles, touching his ear that once could hear.

“Irises” by Vincent van Gogh

3.

Talking with Vincent #3

Alone,

in conversation with Vincent, we talk.

‘loneliness got to me’, he says with a smile.

I smile. I know.

‘I tried, I honestly tried’, says Vincent.

I know. I tried as well.

‘I tired, eventually I just tired’, he said with a wink.

I am tired too, I said.

‘I know’, replied Vincent.

art from google

4.

Vincent and Ludwig #4

“we are mere vagabonds, scraping here and there, never belonging anywhere, and never wanting to belong somewhere” said Vincent to Ludwig.

“yes my dear Vincent, we walk this earth with tattered shoes, our madness binding us in friendship, feted now and then, yet mostly left to ramble through our lonesome lives” Ludwig says, looking down at his weather-beaten boots.

Vincent and Ludwig share a smile, each knowing the feelings felt when sinking deeper into the depths of despair.

“your ‘sunflowers’ always bores a hole into my heart, my dear Vincent, your flourishes live in the swirls and your warmth and love for humanity shines through, tearing at my insides” Ludwig murmurs to Vincent.

“just as your ‘ode to joy’ bores a hole into my soul, with your unselfish, transcendent love for all living beings, alive and resounding in every note” Vincent says, looking into the distance.

“what are we, my dear friend, tortured by our inner demons, left to rot by the wayside, torn and broken by this harsh world all around us” Ludwig asks Vincent.

“we may be mad, and maddeningly so, my friend, but why do we see the smiles washed off the faces of the sane, why do we we tears trickling down from far too many eyes” Vincent says with a rueful smile.

“yes, my dearest Vincent, it often appears that this whole world, this whole veneer of civility, these people who have enough yet always clamouring for more, while those who have nothing hunger for just scraps” Ludwig says, almost to himself.

“and we see it every day, in their greed glazed eyes, their grubby grabbing hands, their world they call sane” Vincent mumbles.

“what are we then, Vincent, in this world of naked oppression, in these places of vulgar ostentation, in the midst of all this madness” Ludwig asks, looking to his friend.

“we are sane, my friend” Vincent says tugging at his phantom ear.

“sane, yes Vincent. sane” Ludwig says with a smile, his fingers feeling his ear that once could hear.

“sane“

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh

5.

Vincent and Ludwig #5

Vincent stared at the early evening sky.

Ludwig looked at his friend.

“why do we feel so alone, dear Ludwig, just look at this canvas, it bathes us, blankets us, and is filled with flashes of light” said Vincent.

“flashes of light, soaring like an orchestral crescendo, a blanket shared with a friend, yes, and yet, my dear Vincent, ifeel desolate”, whispered Ludwig.

“do you see the empty space between the flashes of light, my friend, that space is what your music colours“, Vincent said.

Ludwig looked up, smiling, ” yes, the space your colours infuse with hope, with every stroke of your brush, hope for those caught in all the empty spaces“.

“hope for us all, in each of our very own, empty spaces, yes“, Vincent smiled at his friend.

“empty spaces, but infused with colours, music, and hope“, whispered Ludwig, his smile broadening.

“hope“.

“hope“

art from google

6.

Vincent and Ludwig #6

“they call us mad, dear Vincent”, Ludwig said to his friend.

 

“even as you sketch starry nights on the blank canvas of this torrid life”.

 

“yes, my dear Ludwig, they call you insane too, even as you pluck odes to joy from the depths of deafness”.

 

“they call us mad”, whispers Vincent. 

 

“mad, indeed”.

 

“I would rather be mad, than numb”, breathes Ludwig. 

 

“I too would rather be mad than what they expect us to become”, Vincent sighs as the two men share a smile.

 

“mad, yet never mere shades of ice”.

“Café Terrace at Night” by Vincent van Gogh

7.

Vincent and Ludwig #7

“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”

from google

8.

Vincent and Ludwig #8

“I often wonder how hands so coarse are able to infuse a stark, naked canvas into a symphony of sensual brushstrokes”, Ludwig says with a wink.

Vincent laughs, “as have I, wondered that is, how such a stark raving mad soul may transform a mere gaggle of notes into soaring orchestral harmony”.

Ludwig smiles, nodding at Vincent, who smiles at his bruised hands.

“Wheat Field with Cypresses” by Vincent van Gogh

9.

Vincent and Ludwig #9

“i often write to Theo, my heart dripping bloodied ink on paper, burning up the parchment. Theo is my brother, dear Ludwig, who often sends me money, to get by” said Vincent.

“i understand, Vincent, life has dealt me similar circumstances, a jangle of cacophonous silence instead of the song of even the solitary bird” Ludwig breathes.

“i sketch my own pain”

“and i compose mine”

from google

10.

Vincent & Ludwig #10

“oh to hear a bird singing perched on a fresh twig, weeping down willowy branches, into an azure stream”, said Ludwig to Vincent.

“yes, my friend Ludwig, my nightmares aren’t raucous, but silent”, murmured Vincent.

“a desolate silence”, Ludwig breathed.

“loneliness”, whispered Vincent.

“loneliness”.

“The Potato Eaters” by Vincent Van Gogh

11.

Vincent and Ludwig #11

“my dear Vincent”, breathes a pensive Ludwig.

“have you found any work as yet. I ask it rhetorically because I know the answer”

Vincent smiles, “your wit hasn’t forsaken you, my friend. Do you know that they call me a “Van Gogh-wannabe”, and I try but always in vain to explain to them that I am a van Gogh, to which the kindly people look at each other and say”,

“and look he even ‘looks’ a bit like Vincent van Gogh and the charlatan even dresses like the great artist himself. The cheek of it”

Vincent laughs as Ludwig shakes his head in what seems to be utter astonishment.

“but my dear Vincent, that’s exactly what they accuse me of being – ‘a Beethoven clone’ – alas my friend, what lesson can we learn from these bizarre happenings?”

Vincent smiles, tugging at his phantom ear,

” they barely acknowledged us as human beings during our times, my dear Ludwig, and in 2015 they accuse us of masquerading as the ‘great’ ‘genius’ ‘incomparable’ Ludwig van Beethoven and Vincent van Gogh”.

Ludwig laughs heartily and sings lines of a song Vincent thinks sounds strangely familiar…

‘… this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you…”*.

*Lyrics from Don McLean’s song “Vincent”.

Für Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven sheet music from google

12.

Vincent and Ludwig #12

“Your ‘Sunflowers’ evokes the beauty of a sublime sonata to my deaf ears, my dear Vincent”,

“Ah! but you do hear! You hear the passions that torment my soul, my dear friend Ludwig”,

“And you paint in the colours of my dreams, Vincent, where I am alone in a field of sunflowers, as the moonlight caresses each tender stem”,

“Yes, Ludwig! Just as your ‘Moonlight Sonata’ moves me to tears, the tears that you see as delicate drops of dew on the sunflowers of your dreams”,

“Sunflowers bathed in soft moonlight”, smiles Ludwig,

“Oh yes, that same canvas of night that sways to the delicate touch of your music”, Vincent says with a wink.

Ludwig smiles again, as Vincent laughs a hearty laugh.

Beethoven Symphony 9 sheet music from google
“Sunflowers” by Vincent van Gogh

hope in dystopia

hope in dystopia …

fingers raw, bruised and sore,

masks stripped, truth tearing at the core,

feelings forgotten, discarded and rotten,

emptiness scratching at the bottom,

moments fungal, trapped in this desolate jungle,

scalding pride to ashes cold and humble,

dreams trashed, memories adrift, lashed,

wheels of lives callously slashed …

still, yet, always,

hope persists,

through life’s turns and twists,

hope never dies,

hope resists …

art from google

For Wendy Cope.

(Inspired by her poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)

1.

I may not have brought you flowers.

I know I was always late.

You tolerated my moodiness,

and my ever-increasing weight.

2.

You said men were like buses,

and you had grown weary of waiting,

Of putting up with my quirks and my fusses,

though we barely knew we were dating.

3.

Ah, but we weathered the squalls;

Your patience has always been saintly.

And now that old age palls,our tiffs are recalled only faintly.

4.

We laugh at youth’s follies and know,

the beauty we had sought unaware;

It’s as wide as a calm river’s flow,and as timeless as our years of care.

___________

(Inspired by Wendy Cope’s poems ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘Flowers’)

Searching …

Searching.

Searching, in the debris of the past, scraps of casually discarded emotion.

Searching, in hastily trashed yesterdays, an inkling of moments flung away.

Searching, in heaps of rubbished words, that tiresome sigh of defeated thought.

Searching, in the layers of moulted skin the wilting self that once was true.

Searching, in the reflections between the ripples, for the whispered pangs of roaring desire.

Searching, in the blank eyes streaming endlessly, an echo of the faintest sigh of new life.

Searching.

art by banksy

the stream of life …

the meandering stream of our lives, hopping over smooth pebbles, jarred by jagged rocks, swirling down maelstroms, surfacing in placid waters, washing up all our carried detritus on tiny islands of hope, coursing through the rapids of fate, just as life races on, a perpetual journey wrestling the still waters where hope itself, seemingly lies in state.

our lives, the daily grind, the cacophony of the banal, remains afloat, seeking solace in between crevasses, welcoming the temporary respite from the incessantly onward flow, stripping our skin bare, raw wounds inflicted by the flotsam and jetsam of these travels, the travails of the many masks we wear, seeking respite in the promise of an endless sea, always just around the corner, where for once, we may moult our broken skin, and where for once, we may just be.

the rising and ebbing of the tides, leave us gasping for breath, a seemingly endless cycle of the distant beacon of joy, only to be blinded by the silt, as the stream rolls on obliviously, leaving us gasping for breath, a twig snapped in two, while destiny offers us the mirage of a peaceful shore, only to be struck by the truth, the tired realisation that the stream rolls on, evermore.

we are torn apart by the ceaseless wear and tear, the infinite tears lost in the deluge, our fleeting laughs, our vanishing smiles, being pounded against the silence of the shallows, with hope a seductive vision, prodding us to go on,

to not sink in the greying depths of despair,

while we continually fall for the falseness of the charade,

grasping for just another breath of life affirming air.

Picasso’s Dove of Peace

a bloviating manic-depressive …

“Les Voyageurs” by Bruno Catalano

a bloviating manic-depressive …

squirming inside my skin,

razor blades grating within,

needing to moult once more,

knowing i am a wastrel, a festering sore.

whirling static in my mind,

swirling rainbows left behind,

needing to turn off every light,

knowing i am a stain, a grotesque blight.

jangling nerves shatter my soul,

rhymelessly battering my whole,

needing to flee from all of this,

knowing i am a mistake, hideously amiss.

discordant shrieks assail my heart,

baleful cries rip each moment apart,

needing nothing but desolate space,

knowing i am a shell, a hollow carapace.

wake me up when this night takes leave

thrash me with your words that cleave,

whip me into desiccated formlessness,

for there is nothing here i will ever miss …

art by banksy

A ha-ha-hee-hee Scribble …

a ha-ha hee-hee scribble …

1.

a soul lies strewn aside,

a rotting mangled heap,

a putrid heart decays inside,

a will too dehydrated to weep,

a festering me, aching to hide,

a mind too splintered to sleep.

a severance from the here, the now,

a life of constantly needing to bow,

a torn wail of pain, wailed somehow,

a frigid heart with nothing to endow,

a stench reeks from each guilty bow,

a stream of hot tears on blinded brow.

what happens when the mind itself claws, scratches, and mercilessly

lashes,

what can you do when the soul itself

shatters, and is slayed by the blade

that slashes,

it’s all a barren pantomime of unending dread,

it’s all a freak-show until everything is dead.

2.

it’s all just the ha-ha-hee-hee of cacophonous gibberish,

It’s all just the ha-ha-hee-hee of festering rubbish …

when death comes calling …

when death comes calling,

slipping effortlessly to rest by my side,

i will not flee, i will not try to hide,

i will not seek to scurry away,

i will embrace the dying of the day,

i will not cling to each breath,

i will not cower before death,

i will not try to escape it’s grip,

i will not steady myself as i slip,

for i know my betrayals well,

and i will have no more lies to tell,

so when death comes calling,

i will wade into the dark incoming tide,

for i am far too tired to continue to hide.

the duality of time

 

      

 

 

the duality of time …

 

   

 

time

erodes.
loves, lives, hearts.

 

 

souls, spirits, selves …

time

mends,
wounds
a salve,

a balm.

 


knowing only that

in the end,

 


there shall be,

 


only
stillness,

silence,
peace,

calm.

 

 

 

 

 

for women everywhere






for women everywhere …




they said she was opinionated.


they castigated her for not following the norm.


they dismissed her for being “loud-mouthed”.


they spoke disparagingly of her for flouting cultural, religious, sectarian narrow-minded claptrap.


they damned her for unclipping her wings, as she soared free into the open skies.



she is you. 



and may you always be you …





​in love with hope








​in love with hope …



she comes to me,

offering solace, gentle words whispered in my ear,


she placates me,

her words a tender caress, dispelling fear,


she seduces me, as sure as she breathes fire into my soul,


she teases me, offering glimpses of the promise of being whole,


she heals me, when i’m down, battered blue black,


she picks me up, shuffling my self as bones achingly crack.




in love with her, i know now, without her, i would not cope,


in love with her, i know now, she is abiding hope,


hope lives,

hope breathes,


always … 















for Ché



(14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967)



The Wind Carries His Name.




They shot him down,
to silence a man of flesh and bone.


Even as the bullets tore through him,


the wind carried his name.





Far across the weary fields,
high above the stubborn peaks,


over the blood soaked streams,


the wind carried his name.




They shot him down,


to silence a man of flesh and bone.



Yet the wind carries his name,


to you and to me,


to them and to us.




They shot him down,


but his name resounds,


as it floats on the breeze.




They still try to shoot him down


to silence us all, 


to stifle an ideal.




But the wind cannot be stilled,


and the wind carries his name.


Ché





(50th Anniversary of the assassination of Ché)
               _________
my Chè tattoo – right arm

if i only could










if i could …




if i could sip the nectar of your honey-soaked lips, etching poems on your burnished skin with my fingertips,



if i could embrace you, enveloping your body whole, whispering odes to love mined deep from my famished soul,


if i could share this desolate life turned true by your side, no longer fleeing, nor searching for places to hide,


if i could, if i only could.


i would …






freeversing the blues



freeversing the blues …






tears trickle down far too many a cheek,

while bigotry and hate like raw sewage reek,

down these cellophane faces in plastic towns,

while hope in the well of misery drowns.




the fractured spirits never seem to mend,

even when swallowing the latest trend,

gagging at the emptiness of last week’s buys,

desperately polishing facades while the barren heart cries.




we crawl as we trawl the roads for joy,

spitting yesterdays away like some overused toy,

fleeting moments never savoured whatever the ploy,

we become the enemies we seek to destroy.




why do we slam the doors shut on faces hungry and needy,

don’t we already have it all for us to be so callously greedy,

while we suck the blood and drink the tears of the ones we chase away,

condemning them to ghettoes in which they absolutely must stay.




when will we excise the demons on which apathy feeds,

will we ever kill off sweatshops serving our wants and not our needs,

will we ever stop putting guns in children’s hands,

will we perpetuate the lie of where the tomahawk missile really lands.




what grotesque metamorphosis have we been subjected to,

where we whistle down corridors oblivious, blinded to all that is true,

throttling the many for the benefit of the few,

all the while supping on heaving tables as if we don’t have a clue.




will we continue to feign ignorance of marital, partner, and child sexual abuse,

discarding each fractured soul as if they were stale news,

blindly turning our heads and thusly perpetuating male hetero-patriarchy,

keeping the blinkers on, while banishing the sordid truth we pretend not to see.




when will people of colour all around the world be seen, as human beings and not merely chattel,

as people, as a part of humanity, and not as some half-bred form of vassal,

to be used and discarded like stale garbage that needs to be trashed,

while on single malt whisky we gleefully get smashed …




… and when will all the world share in the bounties of this earth,



so that we may truly bring a more equitable, a more fair, a more just world to birth.











deciphering silence …




you and i,


shielded by silence,


barred from ourselves,


inured against feelings,
exiled hearts,


building ramparts,
a berlin wall,


that may fall.



so my friend,


lay your head upon my chest,


and let my fingers run through your hair,



lulling you gently to rest.



life is far too short anyway,


to squander even a day,


so rest, my friend,


rest,


and lay your head,


upon my chest …








let us …





let us …




let us leave this place of jagged shards of glass, this place of crude spiked splinters.



let us leave this place of rotting words, this place of camouflaged jibes.



let us leave this place of race and of class, this place of us and of them, this place of prejudice and of tribes.



let us forge our own path ahead, choosing the simple purity of love instead.



let us walk on together till our hair turns white and till our skin wrinkles and pales,


we will have each other at least, if all in all, our great escape fails …















the bipolar conundrum …





something splintered
the fragmented mind,

deep within
flimsy neurons,

on
that day in may.


something splinters
flimsier dendrites,

each and every bloody day.







The rains over Jo’burg






The rains over Jo’burg* …





The parched African earth soaks up the liquid offering from the heavens,


birds sing, ululate,


a chorus of catharsis flows through the barren land,


merging into a symphony of renewal.



The rains pour down,


transcending dry tinder of yesterday,


chasing insipid moments away,


drowning in a cacophony of jubilant life.



Life that rumbles,


streaming down desolate alleyways like meandering tears of joy,


drenching this mad, 
wonderful, insane, bubbling city of gold*,


this Jozi*, our eGoli*,


thirsting for nectar from the skies above.



Moments of undistilled mirth,


herald the arrival of spring,
a triumphant rebirth,


jubilant,
ecstatic,


as the Gods of Africa, the spirits of the ancestors,
smile down upon us.



We of flesh and of blood, of muscle and of bone,


thawing our hearts from frozen winter cold as stone,
infusing hope,


as the fragrance of rain on dry soil sketches rainbows,


seeking respite behind heaving clouds of charcoal grey,


the rains banishing winter chills away,


while graciously welcoming spring to stay.



The rains over Jo’Burg cleanse leaves on trees,


rinsing the detritus that listlessly hung,


dry and scorched by the merciless winter sun.



But today,


there are songs to be sung.



Today I am with the heavens,


no longer a mishmash of fragments,


and as our city breathes, 
purified by bounteous, rejuvenating rain,


I am whole, once again.

   
            __________

* – the different names that refer to Johannesburg.

* – eGoli is an isiZulu name that means “City of Gold”.





My Bruce Springsteen Songbook …




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 beyond the seas from Asbury Park.

your lyrics slicing 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’s 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.

and 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,

you 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,


and 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 threw 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,

when 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 …






Dedicated to Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr.


(January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011)



the owl







the owl …



perched atop a tree stump,

it watches.

it sees.

seeing through ancient eyes,


it watches.

it sees.



shuffling its feathers,


it watches.

it sees.

its free skies stolen, its branches broken,



leaving just stumps to sit on,
having seen too much.




my loveliness 

my loveliness waits,



through decades of lost haste,


through trials and grief,
peaceful days and dire straits,


my loveliness waits.



i wait …


through decades past,
for kisses meant to last,


i wait,


to hold my loveliness,
in these lonesome arms,


i wait,


transcending lust,
overcoming desire,


i wait,


to be burnt to ash,

in the furnace of her raging fire.







​the subtle constant of mathematics …






rigorous proof.


simple. constant. real.


not this implausible charade, this illogical masquerade,


all our perambulations,
wasted wordy navigation,



our tottering,
our swaying,



our constant greed,
to believe,


clinging onto inexplicable human need,



the belief in fantasy:


fantasy as staple nutrition,

upon which our collective illusions,



continually feed.


















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 sugarcane 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 …



















my 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 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’.



she smiled


she smiled.




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,

“let’s” …









minutes merge into tears, spilling from eyes dimmed by the years, lost in the blurred fog that never clears, screaming out silently so no one hears,


the tormented cries of a man lost and broken, shredding  scribbled rhymes never to be spoken, amidst the charade, nothing but a mere token, baring his heart, nakedly open,


to wander these slippery streets alone, far from the promises set in stone, cut deep, the wound stinging down to the bone, yet still searching for the means to atone,


after all these years swirling down the drain, the rough taste insipid and plain, whistling a bygone dreary refrain, always first at the station, yet always the one to miss the last train,


setting off on a journey, seeking redemption for the lies, tearing at the shackles, twisting a lifelong of severed ties, to that place where sorrow eventually dies, away from the deafening deluge of hollow cries,


where peaceful waters gently flow, where the pace of breathing is soothingly slow, where lush green meadows grow, where anything is possible, where feelings are malleable as dough,


at last reaching that hallowed space, where misery evaporates without a trace, to finally feel a belonging, a bond to a place, to no longer be ashamed to wear this same old face,


to lose oneself beneath the brightest skies of blue, with you by my side, feeling my only wish coming true, tasting the freshness of the early morning dew, at peace, finally, in a haven built for me and for you …







i love her





i love her.




1.



she found me, when torrents raged, splinters gnawed,

she found me, when my wings were shattered, my heart tattered,

she found me, when i was desolate, aimlessly crawling,

she found me, in the depths of despair, deep in the maelstrom, aching for air,

she found me, trapped in the quagmire, sinking in the clutches of the foggy bog,

she found me.



2.



she reached down, her hand extended, a gesture that infused hope in me,

she pulled me out of the den of emptiness, the abyss of loneliness,

she helped me stand, on my torn legs, her shoulders bearing my weight,

she fed me, nourishing my soul, as i imbibed her warmth,

she led me into pastures green and alive, awash with colour,

she held me, in the cocoon of her embrace, her hair a waterfall drenching my face.



3.



i was not worthy, of her delicate touch,

i was not worthy, lying in a discarded alleyway,

i was not worthy, of her healing embrace,

i was not worthy, of her tender love,

i was not worthy then, i am not worthy now,

i had nothing, and still have nothing to give,

still, she loved me, and loves me still.



and i love her still …



i shall love her forevermore.





a question






soft rain settles, infusing the parched soil, rejuvenating life …


… what of the parched heart, waiting to be quenched, after a lifetime of drought.










I am Woman …




just when you think you’ve broken me,

with your cowardly fists,

with your diseased tongue,


I will not cower.

your fake macho shell does not frighten me,

your violence will not silence me.



I am I,

the mother,
the sister,
the partner,


the woman!


I am me.


I am Woman!






and you are not,


nor can you ever be.




moment by moment



moment by moment.





Rough pebbles on a deserted beach,


wait for the coming tide to take its toll,


moment by moment,


eroding each pebble,


the jagged edges made whole.



I too lie on that empty beach of fate,


inured by the coarseness I have seen,


moment by moment,


of contorting myself to belong,


while losing my soul in the screeching throng.




The waves keep battering my soul, incessantly,


as I desperately try to fit into the role,


moment by moment,


splintered by the slivers of life’s icy shower,


a drop of dew in the early dawn hour,


perched on a fresh petal of a morning flower.









Your orders may come now,


or at 19h45 this evening.


‘Shoot to kill’.
‘Engage the enemy’.
‘Hold the line’.
‘Break up the gathering’.



‘Ready, aim, fire’.



But you have felt it as well,

the stab of hunger,
the bite of thirst,
the bayonet of loss,
the wounds of despair.



You have seen,


the pain in a mother’s eyes,


the grief in a father’s face,


the incomprehension in a child’s down-cast look.

‘Ready, aim, fire’.


But you, the nameless soldier have heard,

the cries of the grieving family,


the wailing of the widowed wife,


the quiet agonizing sound of the child’s weeping.


‘Ready, aim, fire’.
Your orders may come now,


or at 23h30 tonight,


or tomorrow,


or the day after that.

But you have felt,

the agony of a peoples’ simple desire for freedom,

dignity,

food,

peace,

employment,



for hope!




You have felt the stab being long bludgeoned,

the wounds of your stolen generation.

So when that order comes,
now,


or at 03h30 tomorrow morning,

‘Ready, aim, fire’,


let your humanity muzzle your rifle,

let your conscience dismiss the order,


let your human side come to the fore,


let the people in your gun-sights be akin to,


your mother and your father,


your sister and your brother,


your son and your daughter,


your friend and your lover.


Let them live!


Let them be!


Let your rifle fall to the soil,



O’ Nameless Soldier.






The Persistence of Memory





The persistence of Memory.





thoughts whizz past, embers meant never to last,



leaving memories behind, grappling fears in spaces of the blind,



memories, with all their nostalgic tugging,



stand blurred, hazy sentinels against excessive lugging,



sentinels, silently harbouring, threads of you, and of me,



sentinels, hewn into our being,



protecting the persistence of memory.




Heritage Day: The African Rains





The African Rains …



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.



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.











South Africa:

Heritage Day 24 September 2017.




Today we celebrate our shared heritage,


through smiles and tears, the ache of the past and the hopes of today and tomorrows yet unborn.


Today we share our Africanness, our blood enmeshed within each other – bright red thumping through countless veins, 


reminding us of the spirit of uBuntu – I am because we are,


we are because of each other, fellow travellers through the travails of life, 


seeking not riches nor title, seeking the bright sunshine of peace banishing the darkness of strife.


We are one people, myriad hues of the rainbow enveloping us all,


lending a hand to each other,


every time we stumble, each time we fall. 




The Veins of Africa






The Veins of Africa …



Interwoven veins, crisscrossing these lands,

these savannahs, deserts, forests, lakes, streaming through the people of this continent of our ancestors,

linking the north to the south, the east to the west,

these veins, alive, infusing life, thumping through,

silently,

binding our peoples,

wrapped beneath the canopies of the humid forests,

buzzing with life in the cacophony of the bustling cities,

silent in the arid deserts, amidst the shifting sands of the dunes,

meandering between the mangroves, teasing the weeping willows, swaying in the wind,

these lakes, waters, subterranean rivers flowing gracefully into the oceans,


breathing new life to the plains,

at one with the seas.





The veins of Africa,

knitting us together,

despite the cruel slashing of these veins,

the plunder of these lands,

the desecration of the peace of the ancestors,

tearing these veins open,

pilfering the continent’s innards,

gold and silver and copper and platinum and diamonds and so much more,

so much more painful to the millions of living souls,

herded as cattle, packed onto those grotesque slave ships,

doomed to live and die in shackled misery, on continents away,

bearing the raw horror of the whip, the backbreaking labour in the belly of the beast of colonialism.


yes,


these veins have felt it all,

these veins that continually,


silently,

peacefully,


benevolently,


spread the precious gift of life across these lands …


our lands,


our continent,



Africa.