Tag Archive: #Literature










diwali*-drenched dreamy scribbles …




remember,

those deepavali nights,


our fingers, tongues,


senses …


flickering amongst the diyas,


of those infinite delhi diwali lights,


our bodies ablaze,

scorching,


infused with longing,


belonging,


one to another,

eachother,


the uniting of souls,

beneath the canopy of enveloping sky,


souls inflamed,

smouldering in the furnace of dreamy diwali nights,


your breath like tangerine,

your lips – quivering,


unleashing abandon,


caressing, exploring,


murmured kisses precisely random,


tempting you, me,

both, together,


a union of dreams unfettered,


setting desires free,


long lost in the mists of passing time,


yet still raging,

burning up,


within you, within me.



_____________________


* – Diwali or Deepavalli is an ancient festival commemorating the victory of the forces of good over evil. It is celebrated by lighting earthen lamps called ‘diyas’ and the exchanging of sweetmeats and of fireworks that emblazon the skies.




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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 …






​the shackles of time …




​the shackles of time …




i wish we could wish away these years,



my aching for you, consigned to an ocean of tears,



the thoughts of you, swirling in a cauldron, the heat my very soul sears.


my mind awash with what-could-have-beens,



if only time had been kinder, a decade here, a decade there,


seems so easy to write, but strangles my being with a noose bound tight.


time, they say, the great leveller of all,



embossed on its canvas the fate of so many,



whom destiny chose to rise, and those it deemed to fall.


my fate and yours seem like parallel lines, for though i feel you, close and dear,



we shall not meet, or so i fear,



for though i have swooned at the glimpse of your smile,



time’s sense of humour, thrashes this heart that beats for you, against the cliffs, drowning in a sea of blue.



i often ask, why this torturous game of chance, why this savage lonesome dance,



why these fleeting moments, why is time so arbitrarily unkind,



when there is a palpable meeting, of heart, of soul, of body of mind.



i yearn for your touch, i burn relentlessly, for a touch of our lips,



to feel your sweet breath, to savour our phantom kiss, a dreamy luxury i have been condemned to forever miss.



time, that ever present deceiver, flung me to cross your path, where a smouldering fire was set ablaze, within me,



doomed to never fall into each other’s arms, merely acknowledging the impossible, while scattering the ground around you with enticing charms.


this ache, this ceaseless pounding of my senses, at times a silly charade does seem,



for there are many temptations on my side of the stream,



yet this feeling will not relent, it shall not dim,



dancing to the tune of time’s inescapable whim.



if only for a while, were it possible to breach this maelstrom of time and of fate, if only i could step across the impassable threshold that keeps us apart,



a lifetime i could live in those moments few and true, to taste your mouth as i have so often dreamt, to have your hair fall over my face as i imbibe the smell of all of you.



these are cobbled words, scribbled here and there, certainly not a poem for which anyone should care,



yet these emotions are real, this yearning ache, this all-consuming desire for what-could-have-been,



torches my being entire, stranded on my island, neither here not there,



but what of these permutations does time even care,



and all i am able to do, is to lay out my heart for you, still hoping against hope that some time we may be able to share,



all the while embracing these dreamscapey emotions,



that are ever so rare …






an oh-so pompous scribble






when will i see your smile,

near me,
feeling your warm breath against mine,
when will i feel your touch,



beside me,
peppering your kisses with saffron whispers,
when will i hear you,

your lips against mine,
cajoling me, again,

to wait,

just

a little

longer,



while i whisper back,
knowing the hunger,

to remain stronger,

painting on the smile,

of the mirthful dream-monger,


while keeping at bay,
the raging cauldron

ablaze,

within my being entire,



sizzling, scorching me to the marrow,


the unsaid charade,

theatre for the conscience,

played out, and in,



just beneath the veneer,
of dreams,


of you,


cascading through,


seducing the fabric of our shared time,


so clear,

crytallised, pristine,

delicate,
yet, yet,


steely,
and

sheer …



you found me






lost and found … …




1.



i was lost,

scrambling for scraps of love, of life,


desolate, empty, my heart seemed destined to ceaseless strife,


lost in between murmured promises and yearning for gay abandoned flight,


cast aside in the deep dark of night.



2.



you found me strewn across festering boulevards, you picked me up as i lay broken,


your love breathed life into my deadened soul, after all the trite words were casually spoken,


your essence, your being, lifted me, my heart once more in free joyous flight,


you found me, you saved me from myself, you ushered in spring days, after so many a corrosive night,


you found me … …



choosing to love






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.








talking regurgitated impotent worldwide injustice blues …




i have been here so many times before, spewing forth words that must be by now a repetitive bore.



scribbling this and that, having said it all so many times, these tired, paltry, meagre words seem to be just cobbled together to rhymes.



all my belched words appear impotent to me today, scribbled over and over again, reeking of stale garbage, stinking in the rain.



words and emotions felt deep, gnawing at my being, spat out, to ears unhearing, thrust before eyes unseeing.



so i ask myself why carry on this wordy parade, of simplistic rhymes, of grammar unsound, yet feeling compelled to keep going on this endless merry-go-round.



all my walls shattered, my ramparts battered, yet still i need to throw up these words, hither and thither scattered.



but i ask myself how can i stop, when most of humanity is used as a ragged mop, when the few like vampires feast on the human blood they suck, squeezing out sweat from the many who are condemned to bleed in the muck.



i see the good people all around me, burying their heads so they never may see, their selfish religiosity on display for all to ooh and aah, while their own religions’ humanistic tenets they keep afar.



the curse of neo-colonialism, neo-imperialism, and of bonded labour, strangle the many, while the 1% their champagne do savour.



misogyny, child-abuse, spousal and gender violence, hetero-patriarchy, female genital mutilation, in 2017 upon women everywhere is still what is endured, with all dignity slashed, while platitudes are spoken from pulpits, the sham of indignation hypocritically rehashed.



governments the world over spending trillions on weapons of death, while pleading poverty when it comes to free, dignified, professional health.



the 99% still slaves to the tyranny of shameful wages, the conditions that have tortured so many throughout the ages.



words of struggle and of principled defiance, words like ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’, ‘justice’, ‘equality’, have been cynically pilfered, by those in the corridors of business and of political power, while choking grimy dust across the planet does continually shower.



my mother is still paid so much less, than the very men who conjured up this economic mess, and if she demands higher wages she is castigated for the thoughts, while the business tycoons, the government men blather on about their newly-acquired luxury yachts.



the struggles of Nelson Mandela and of Martin Luther King, are neatly repackaged gutting out their sting, remodelled to be acceptable, while burying the essence of their revolutionary call, the demand for free education, health, housing, dignity, justice and work for all.



we wear these icons of resistance on t-shirts made in sweatshops in bangladesh, the ultimate betrayal of their sacrifice, of the humane values they espoused, while the fires of resistance are with brutal, apathetic drivel doused.



this planet, our common earth, is being pummelled each day, nature itself is for profit ravaged, caring not that we shall leave behind an earth that has been for greed savaged.



when by the most powerful, ugly male egotistical, macho posturing is bleated out, beating the drums and threatening endless for-profit wars, the rest of us are petrified, for the mighty have long reaching claws.



racist notions of supremacy are bandied about without a murmur of indignation, the evils of casteism, religious fanaticism, tribal and narrow sectarianism, grotesque nationalism, gay bashing, and misogynist sewage is poured with glee, and still we turn our collective heads, pretending we can’t see.



when speaking truth to power is deemed a capital crime, how impotent i feel scribbling yet another listless rhyme.



when societies are structured to create a craving for the materialistic trappings of capitalism, how easily tainted into swear words are the values of socialism.



what is demanded are not mansions of ostentatious gaudy gold, each replete with a marbled hall, but water, food, electricity, dignified work, health, education, housing, and peace and dignity for all.



they truly want us divided, on religious, caste, racial, narrow nationalistic, sexual orientation, male-female, and all the other lies, while all the while the hungry child for just some food cries.



they know if we break out of our narrow cocoons, they shall have to face the wrath of a united world, a world become one, for then none of their machinations shall suppress us, and only then shall our truest battles be hard won.



i may be a hypocrite for scribbling these rhymes, but then so are you for not hearing the bell tolling for a radical changing of the times.



how long will it take for us to rise, to dissent, to question everything that has been to us said, from the economy to religion to race, class, and to gender too, what will it take me to see what is right in front of me, and for you to see what is right in front of you.



when shall we cast off these shackles that imprison us, the shackles of apathy and of looking the other way, not realising that together we can and should and must strive for a better day, not perhaps to rid us of all suffering and all pain, all oppression, and perhaps not in one fell swoop, but at least taking our first steps towards progressive progression.



these scribbled, worthless words, seem nothing but an empty vessel drummed on and on each day,



but from the heart i do write,



about what i believe to be wrong,



and what i believe to be right.





circles

circles …



circles, minus edges, unabrasive, free flowing,


unhindered, no points of departure, nor arrival,


none of the grime of memory.



circles, effortless, untainted by breaths,



rolling across the spaces that shall always be between us …













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 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.






      







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 …



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.




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