Tag Archive: #southafrica


Serenity Beckons



Serenity beckons,

a mirage of soft blues, flaming scarlets,

colours ablaze with tender compassion,

I wish for nothing fancy,

for just as the wilting rose,

weakened by the autumn sun,

at rest, peaceful,

waits for the coming of spring,

so do I,

wait patiently,

for the love that you so exquisitely bring

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she took me in, when i was broke and broken,

she held me close, when i spun wordy webs, with half-truths spoken.

she mended my bruises, while i leeched off her spirit, a true light that soared free,

she breathed life into me, when i stubbornly refused to see.

she chipped away at the encroaching wall, that hid me from her, that distanced me from all,

she lent a hand, picking up my pieces, each time i stumbled, every time i took a fall.

she was too good for me, i can in truth say that today,

clasping my hand, as again and again i chose to cowardly crawl away.

today, i know that mere apologies are hollow, and sorry seems far too easy to say,

yet i am sorry, and ever thankful, for her infusing the light of hope, in far too many a darkened day.

today i also know these words are hypocritical, too easy while ensconced in my comfort zone,

today i also know, that for sentiments flung into the wind, it may never, in truth, be ever possible, to in honesty, atone.



the rapids of life smashed me against the jagged rocks of fate and time,

I tried my best to cope with the day-to-dayness of a society mired in cruel slime,

I tried, I cried,
I felt so cold I thought that I may have died.



Shattered shards of glass littered my path ahead,

I faked smiles though within I was dead.



The promises of joy seemed a mirage untrue,

which is when I found solace when I met you.



You shush my hearts cries,

you take me on your unfettered wings, soaring across the bluest skies,

your love is simple, tender, shielding me from the unbearable crowd,

your love is a balm, soothing me with gentle light, banishing every dark cloud.



This is why you are my world, a universe in my heartbeat,

a love so pristine, so warm, holding onto me so I may never retreat,

to that frigid void, that unfeeling vacuum that shrouded me,

before you took my hand in yours,

before you became the eyes through which I see …









we are starstuff …






(inspired by Dr. Carl Sagan)




stringed, strung, cobbled together, strands of DNA sewn from the cosmic rubble,



innumerable galaxies, theoretically plausible, infinite universes side by side,



floating in the quantum cauldron, within a bubble.




flotsam and jetsam in spaces between spaces,



where time, and days, kisses and tears, fears and years,



embroider the quilt of a multitude of races.


the vastness blurring much, grinding us down at times, into cosmic dust,



yet through stoic will, through love held deep, we rebuild again from crumbling rust.



starstuff, is all we are,



hewn through eons, within us, and into the stellar void so far.


starstuff is all,


we ever were,



starstuff is from where we came to be,



just starstuff:


you, and me.



         

inspired by Dr. Carl Sagan










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 …




a child of war and terror

art by banksy





a child of war and terror.



 


as she lies bleeding,


the girl who skipped, hopped to school,


all of nine and a half years old,


with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was her father’s pride.


 



as she lies bleeding,


shrapnel lodged in her torn stomach,


she stares at her skipping rope,


blood soaking it the colour of cherries her mother buys.


 



as she lies bleeding,


she sees human shapes all around, thick in the black smoke,


blurred visions of scattering feet, 


shoes left behind,

hearing nothing but the pinging in her smashed eardrums.


 



as she lies bleeding,


she slips away and then she is dead,


a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl,


whose laugh was her father’s pride.


 


 


as she lies bleeding,


even in death she bleeds some more,


shrapnel wedged in her torn stomach,


stealing the light from her bright innocent eyes.




as she lies bleeding …



in jallianwala bagh in ‘19,

johannesburg in ’93,

leningrad in ‘42,

freetown in ‘98,

soweto in ‘76,

beirut in ‘85,

hanoi in ‘68,


st. bernadino,

manchester,

baghdad,

brussels,

london,

tripoli,

miami,

jenin,

paris,

kabul,

raqqa,

basra,

mosul,

gaza,



aleppo still.


 


as she lies bleeding,


a little nine and a half year old girl,


whose laugh was her parent’s pride,


we know she’ll bleed more,


tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn,


with shrapnel in her stomach,

ripped open and torn.


 

as she lies bleeding,


a child of war and terror.






art from google








feelings 

​myriad interwoven strands of distilled feeling,

intoxicate me, leaving me reeling,

while forever more, I look up to you,

as I lay stricken, as I lay kneeling …


interwoven veins, crisscross this land, this continent, connecting the north to the south, the east to the west, veins infusing life, binding peoples, wrapped in the canopies of the forest, buzzing in the cacophony of the cities, silent in the arid deserts, meandering between the mangroves, flowing gracefully into the oceans, knitting us together, despite the 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 in the millions of souls herded as cattle, packed onto the slave ships, doomed to live and die in shackled misery, oh yes, these veins have felt it all, these veins that continually, silently, peacefully, benevolently, spread the precious gift of life across these lands, this continent – Africa.




The pendulum swings,

while the mania in my head,

strips me bare and yanks me,

into the cauldron of love.


Once again,

never divining the tea leaves,

knowing, always knowing,

the gnawing knots of unease,

that curl into a fist.


My isolation is a shield,

a suit of armour,

tightly clad around my self,

once worn,

then discarded,

taking its place,

on my barren shelf.


Love, mania and verse,

coalesce, beseeching me,

with timeous forewarning,

not to tread into the quicksand,

that slippery bog of promise.


Yet,

in times past,

in moments present,

tis’ that very promise,

that I cling to.


At times I lose,

myself in the crowd,

rebelling in the solitude found there,


at times I claw,

my way back to the now,

aching for the pain that stings,


the buried voice that sings,

dirges to forgotten emotions,


scribbled verse that flings,

the toys out of my cot,


while I wait,

for the mania to stop,


knowing,

always knowing,

that it shall be,


merely a matter of time,

before the other shoe,

must, as always, 

drop.

the stench of prejudice.



1.




when rancid prejudice strikes,

in cocooned fungal minds, narrow, superficially deep,


an insidious venom begins to seep,


into our consciousness as we sleep.



2.



bigoted 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 insidious extremism 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, ‘palatable’ hate.



4.



are we guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?


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


falling, slipping into inebriated stasis, without care,


as the stench of hate, prejudice, gay-bashing, terrorism, racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, casteism, tribalism,


continues to belch into the polluted air.




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.





a repost:





A Tribute.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(1929 – 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.








    they do not see me at all …


    1.


    They do not see me at all,

    as I walk through these desecrated avenues,

    of soul-deadening frenzy.


    I see them rushing past me,

    and no matter how hard I holler and call,

    they do not see me at all.


    It seems at times, that invisible am I,

    for when I reach out, and shriek,

    when on my knees I crawl,

    they rush past me,

    for they do not see me at all.


    I have tried to raise their ire,

    I have taunted and goaded them,

    till exhausted and fatigued,

    to the cold damp ground I fall,

    still they rush past me,

    for they do not see me at all.


    I stand mutely,

    waving my hands all around while scribbling verses in my unintelligible scrawl,

    still they rush past me,

    for they do not see me at all.


    They rush past me, knocking me over without ever looking back,

    trampling over my fallen form,

    they look past my limp crumpled shadow,

    as they whine on in their monotonous drawl,

    and they still do not see me at all.


    2.


    When they look my way,

    flickers of recognition crossing their faces,

    I crawl back into my nothingness,

    cocooned as the day begins to pall,

    hoping, tired and broken,

    to be back in the space,

    where they cannot see me at all …







    the subtle constant of mathematics …




    Rigorous proof.

    Simple.

    Constant.

    Real.


    Not this implausible charade, this illogical masquerade.


    All our perambulations,

    wasted wordy navigations,

    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 common illusions feed.



    when gloom sweeps down, sinking its talons into my skin,

    it has always been you who guides me out of the fog, out of the doom, out of the bog.

    it has always been you,

    ever gentle,

    ever loving,


    ever true …

    her moist eyes met mine,

    entangled like twisting twine,


    we laughed off all the years that have past,

    while smiling at those still to be passed …



    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 …




    Your eyes sketch skies,

    a silken canvas.


    Your touch,

    the smell of your hair,

    seduces me,

    in an avalanches 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.




    We will weather the storms of fate, we will face the winds of life, together“, she said.


    There was nothing for me to opine.



    So I took her hand in mine.






    no more wasted moments …



    No more wasted moments,

    strewn like salt across the wound.


    No more wasted moments,

    discarded as empty specks of trust.


    No more wasted moments,

    in dire need of thorough shredding.


    No more wasted moments,

    far too many of them to count.


    No more wasted moments,

    spent on wretched emotions left to dry.


    No more wasted moments,

    reeking of the stench of rotten feelings.


    No more wasted moments,

    coarse and vulgar and mutely violent,

    no more wasted moments,

    spent on the vile disregard of the silent.


    No more wasted moments,

    grasping each moment with a trust anew,

    no more wasted moments,

    embracing each moment for it to be true.



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