Tag Archive: poem about a new day


Love Concedes






love concedes … … …




love concedes, through bitter travails,


love recedes, into closeted wardrobes,


love exhausts, lover and loved alike,


but,


love endures, through the years,


traversing valleys of tears,


dispelling untruths,


exiling paralysing fears.

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For a Mother …

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She left me,

with only the thoughts of her embrace to warm me,

in frigid mornings of tomorrows yet to come.

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She left me,

with her words of tender truths to shroud me,

in the coming evenings of stabbing sleet and hail.

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She left me,

yet she stays forever within me,

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in my waking dreams

and in my restful thoughts,

she stays forever within me,

she remains an abiding part,

of the love,

the pain,

the tears,

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and thus we shall never, ever be truly apart.

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( for my mother, who passed away on the 4th of April 2008, after a long battle with Motor-Neurone Disease or ALS )

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Love Persists 

Love Persists …

Rivulets of tears,
flow into gutters,

hearts break,
whispered truths shatter.

Love persists,
stubborn, obstinate,
unyielding,

a tempestuous deluge,
seeking murmuring eddies.

Love persists,
unflinching,
battle-fatigued,

lost at times,
floundering in muddied waters.

Love persists,
when stormy clouds gather,

the embers crackle, burn, tinder aflame,

deeply knit,
out of the piercing rain …

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The Cost of Revolution …

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

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

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You fell on the streets of Soweto,
Thokoza,
Kagiso,
Sharpeville,
Tembisa,

and countless more across this nation.

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Tasting the acrid stench of tear-gas,

Feeling the flesh ripped off your bones by their dogs,

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

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

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

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The revolutionary dream burned bright,
In all your hearts,

Even as the jackboot of Apartheid,

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

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You left your brothers,
Sisters,
Sons,
Daughters,
Lovers,
Wives,
Comrades and friends,

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

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The enemy did not waver either,

Tyranny didn’t cease.

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

Yet,
You took a stand.

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

Still,
You stood firm,
You fought on,

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

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

The revolution was burning bright,

Even as the dawn of Freedom was in sight.

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

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All the while,
The enemy consolidated its power,

Paying off traitors,

Seeding violence,

Orchestrating mayhem to taint the noble cause,

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

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

And still,

Still,
You held that Kalashnikov in your hand.

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And when that day of freedom came,

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

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You felt the shame of leaving those you left behind,

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

Till,
Every man, woman and child has enough to eat.

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

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You stand tall still,
Working as you always have,

Polishing the metal chariots of those you once bled for,

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

That deprives you of your daily bread,

And you try hard to remember,

Whether this is the revolution,

For which so many died,

The countless whose names remain unsaid,

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

the martyred dead.

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

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She, and I*

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She, and I* …

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I met her in another time,

the bus-stop sheltering us from the slicing hail,

I smiled, she did too,

as the wind screeched a shrilly wail.

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Our bus splashed us with mud and we laughed,

we were never ones for fashion,

the books we carried were our escape,

the books were our world, our warmly hugged passion.

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I asked her if we could sit together and she said yes,

we were two awkward souls,

both uncomfortable in our very own dark holes.

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Our friendship blossomed in that unforgettable spring,

that humid year of lashing rain,

we talked and we laughed, we cried and we screamed,

we hollered at the world, wildly bellowing out our shared pain.

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We were never a couple, we did not hold hands, we did not kiss,

we talked of escape from this place of emptiness so bleak,

and at times we just shared the silence,

no words needed to speak.

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She was my anchor, and she said I was her balm, we shared a love of a different hue, as we danced in the monsoon rain,

our tears mingling with our gnawing pain.

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We laughed as we shared the stories of our lives,

we sat quietly when we knew we had to leave,

we knew the knife of our present sliced souls, and like butter, into hearts did cleave.

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We stood in the open expanse,

we cried, wishing each other good luck,

that one day so many moons ago,

and still,
now,

at this moment,

my tears flow …

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* – inspired by the Keane song “Sovereign Light Café”

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D-Day: France, June 6th, 1944.

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1.

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They were thrashed by the merciless sea.

They were drenched by the savage waters, their uniforms clinging to their shivering bodies.

They were mowed down as they approached the beaches of death.

The beaches of unspeakable horrors.

Gold.

Omaha.

Juno.

Sword.

Utah.

They were brothers and fathers and sons and friends and cousins and nephews and grandchildren and boys and men.

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2.

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They surged on, facing the metallic death of Nazism and Fascism,

they surged on and were cut into pieces of bloodied flesh and shattered bone,

yet they surged on.

They surged on so that we may live.

They surged on so that we may breathe the air of peace.

They surged on and on,

and on.

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3.

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Today their bones lie buried, along rows of crosses.

Today they lie beneath this earth.

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4.

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Today they live.

Tomorrow they shall live.

They who sacrificed their lives for humanity.

They shall live on eternally,

within us all!

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seeds

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seeds …

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swept up
by the dust

scattered remnants
of lives once whole

now
buried
interred

in cold dead dry ground.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

seeking a glimmer

of hope
of the promise

of
a better tomorrow.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

sinking roots
hoping to belong

somewhere
anywhere

fatigued
spent

waiting
hoping

for days
moments
tomorrows

a
time

a
place

where one
need not

be
ever smiling

and to be
always strong …

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Why I support Liverpool Football Club …

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1. Bill Shankly and the socialist ideal.

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2. John Lennon.

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3. Roger Waters.

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oft-repeated hope

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talkin’ why hope is important bluesy-blues …

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this scribble is about hope, that unweighable weighty word, often bandied about ritually, and thus its message, its voice, may be blunted by repetitive bluster, so i’ll be a-scribblin’ along, with all the gusto i may muster, since we’re talking about hope, without which the human race, us all, all of us, i dare say, would not cope, ’cause imagine an absence of something, can’t put your finger on that feeling feeling, that oftentimes rocks at our souls, leavin’ our minds reelin’, yeah that’s right, but no propagandising today, though with me, at least, i can truly say, were it not for hope, that figment, blister on indifferent fates’ machinations, that belief, that burning in the pit of ones core, gnawing, gnashed teeth muttering, that all this pain too must eventually, pale, and that’s whats a-sometime the reason for us being heartful, and or hale, its hope, raw, deceptive, lyin’, corrosive, rusted but a-shineyed up, yeah that hope that keeps my heart pumping, its that hope that keeps me alive, and its that hope upon which, may all new flowers thrive …

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She who is Free …

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she who is free …

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I would have called out to her, across the the green fields she walked,

her silhouette fading in the distance.

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I would have called out to her,

she who walked her own path now,

free from all the weight that caged her will.

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I would have called out to her,

yet I remained still.

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meagre mush

Meagre Mush ,,,

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do you hope as I do,
that hope will thread us through,

the eye of the needle that is our life,
away from the pain, the loss, the strife.

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do you hope as I do,
that hope will gently knock,

on these prison doors bolted by many a rusty lock,
our emotions blindfolded for all sunlight to block.

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do you hope as I do,
that our love will hold true,

for as you love me,
I shall always love you …

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Less lonely

art from google

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Less lonely …

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Walking through this void, this callous vacuum of life,

feeling the splintered sleet pummelling me, each fracture a slow twisting of the knife.

Walking through this shell, this indifferent chasm of loneliness,

all that I wish for,
all that yearn for,
all that I desire,

is to be less lonely.

Just less lonely.

art from google

on mortality

on mortality.

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The final act, a murmur of that one last truth,

no gentle moulting of the flesh, no kind exhalation of breath.

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No – a raspy sigh of the ravages of the years,

useless now are any shedding of tears.

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The final act, a whisper of that one last farewell,

hearing no longer the tolling of the bell,

pockmarked,
carried on the eternal wind,

for amidst the agonising decay, the odour will stay,

today,
tomorrow,

the stench of that final act,

played out long ago,

in that hollow yesterday.

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The following inspiring and deeply moving poem is written by Yugesh Pillay, the son of dear family friends.

Yugesh’s father, Dr. Souri Pillay, who sadly is no longer with us, was deeply rooted in the struggle against Apartheid tyranny, and ‘Uncle Souri’ as I knew him was a rare and principled human being who always put the needs of the many ahead of everything else.

A close comrade and brother and friend of my father, uncle Souri was one of those humane human beings for whom the values of internationalism and the struggles for human dignity and emancipation raced through his veins.

Uncle Souri sought no fame, no personal enrichment – a true revolutionary and comrade if ever there was one.

We lost a giant pillar in the history of our country when uncle Souri passed on, but we are and shall always be guided by his indomitable spirit and the values and principles and ideals which we were so fortunate to have had imparted to us through his actions and love and spirit of non-racialism that we cannot and must never forget.

Viva the undying spirit of Comrade Souri Pillay!

Viva the memory of a true son of the soil!

You may not walk with us, respected and beloved uncle Souri, but you live within us through your warmth and kindness and steadfast principles and ideals for a better, more just and less cruel world for all.

We miss you, and always will.

It is an honour and a privilege to share the following poem by Yugesh Pillay, the son of respected Comrade Souri Pillay.

Amandla! Awethu!

The Struggle Continues!

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In Memory of Tata Madiba.

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Tears are not Enough,

Do not shed tears of Sadness
Shed tears of Gratitude and Love

For without our Father
Africa would be a dark place

Thank You for being Our Light
to Guide us Through the darkness

Showing us that Forgiveness Dissolves Hate
And Love Frees All Souls

Darkness has no form or substance
It is only the absence of Light

Only through Our Light
Can the darkness Dissolve

Only through Our Action
Can Freedom be More than an Ideal

Let Us not allow Our Father’s Light to dim
We Will not allow His Legacy to burn low

Arm Yourself with Forgiveness and Love
Fight with Valour and Resolve

Come Together!
Stand Up!
Shine Brighter in Honour of Africa’s Greatest Sun!

Do not shed tears with idle hands

Africa is not free Yet…

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Yugesh Pillay
A Son of Africa

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Freedom – The Unfinished Dream.

The shackles have been cast off.

The chains broken.

A people once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.

Free at last!

Freedom came on the 27th day in that April of 1994.

Freedom from prejudice.

From institutionalized racism.

From being relegated to second-class citizens.

Freedom came and we danced.

We cried.

We ululated as we elected

our revered Mandela.

President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.

Black and white and brown and those in-between.

The many hues of this nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.

Today we pause.

We remember.

We salute.

The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

24 years ago.

Today we may dance.

We sing.

We ululate!

We cry.

Tears of joy and tears of loss.

Of remembrance and of forgiveness.

Of yet to be realised reconciliation and of the ghastly memories that still torment us.

Today we pause.

We acknowledge the tasks ahead.

The hungry.

The naked.

The destitute.

Today we reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.

From want.

From hunger.

From eyes without promise.

Today we reflect.

On unfulfilled promises.

On the proliferation of greed.

On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.

Today we say:

We will take back the dream.

We will renew the promise.

We will not turn away.

Today we pledge:

To stand firm.

To keep the pressure on.

To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people still need to savour the fruits of the tree of freedom*.

And till that time,

when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.

And we shall continue,

to struggle.

And to shout out loud,

“Amandla – Awethu!”**

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* – final words of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu before he has executed by the Apartheid regime in 1979

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight”.

** – “Amandla – Awethu” means “Power to the People, and was a rallying slogan during the struggle against Apartheid.

Untitled

Untitled.

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At times, feelings slice through moments –

days.

Weeks. Months.

At times, a saw shredding all seasons –

winter.

Spring. Autumn.

At times, feelings splinter, embedding a slow agonising pain,

beneath the skin, cleaving the gasps between breaths into ever shorter ones,

leeching off swirling thoughts,

slipping through the gutter,

only to disappear –

in smokey tendrils of despair,
in hazy filaments of blinding tears,

knotted in the ropes of unmentioned fears,

as the inevitability of another day, another week, another month,

like sandpaper,

nears.

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walking …

The African Rains

from google

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.

And,

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.

from google

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(January 15 1929 – April 4 1968)

1.

You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

2.

They silenced you, yet your dream
resounds louder still,

in pastures not yet of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

3.

You said that you had been to the mountain top,

they tried to strangle your voice as you saw the promised land,

those pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

4.

Today your dream is glimpsed in pastures,

not yet of peace,

for though they tried to silence your voice,

your spirit in our collective hearts does rejoice.

5.

Your spirit, your dream,

mingles in the winds of all those pastures,

over the valleys, in the oceans, across the mountains,

in every flowing stream.

6.

Today, your dream lives in the wind,

seeding the prairies, the steppes, the savannahs, the pampas,

pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

7.

We remember you today,

with a shared pledge to nourish those pastures of peace,

in each of us,

where your dream may thrive,

blossoming into our shared dream,

bounteous, and alive.

8.

Your dream realised shall then seem,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows,

when we give life to the promise of the radiance of your beautiful dream …

The Stench of Xenophobia

The Stench of Xenophobia.

1.

when rancid racism strikes,

in cocooned fungal minds, narrow,
superficially deep,

an insidious venom begins to seep,

into our consciousness as we sleep.

2.

racist beliefs held so true, so deep,

stripped of feeling,

empty, hollow, feigned, designed, branded as compassion,

feeds the conceit in chests swollen and rotten with self-righteous passion.

3.

the racist xenophobia once firmly entrenched,

envelopes all, not unlike a comforting shawl,

needing more and more bluster to fester, and to mutate,

into doctrines of superiority, bigotry, and new fashioned hate.

4.

are we guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?

sipping martinis, and shovelling more, always more onto our heaving plates,

falling, slipping into inebriated stasis, without care,

as the stench of hate, prejudice,

and of xenophobia,

continues, belching out into the air.

double-helixed uBuntu*

double-helixed uBuntu*

these interwoven veins,

dna
double-helixed,

microscopically
binding,

me – you,

us all,

through
this common
shared
truth:

‘I am because you are’*

all of us,

together:

as one.

me.

you …

… uBuntu*

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* – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses the “belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity

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