Tag Archive: verse


A dream as a new dawn yawns …

When our new dawn yawns,

may we lend our hands to those with whom these myriad paths we tread,

may we be kinder, gentler, of all animosity devoid,

feeling the spirit of uBuntu* embroidering us with a common thread,

may we reaffirm our oneness,
across cultures, faiths, races, and nations,

walking together in peace,

our love binding us for the travails that may lie ahead,

may we embrace the other, without conceit, knowing that we all bleed red,

may we lay down our egos, our barbed words,

our weapons by which far too much blood has been shed,

may we usher in a less cruel world with dignity for all,

may we tend to each others’ wounds, sewing together justice, freedom, equality, may we as one people, stand humble yet tall,

may we always pick each other up, whenever we stumble, whenever we fall.

When our new dawn yawns,

may our hands be clasped together, walking as one – the human race,

may we knit a bond transcending all that has imprisoned us alone, each in a vacuum of desolate space,

so that at long last,
we may see in each other,

a kindred human face

_________

* – uBuntu is a Southern African philosophy that espouses the inter-connectedness of all beings.

art by banksy

“Why him?”, they ask her …

Why him? “, they ask her,

“Why on earth,

of all the easy-on-the-eyes men,
why, of all the well-heeled ones,
why, of all the well-lettered intellectuals,
why, of all the many men with overflowing bank-balances and hefty wallets,

why him?“.


She tells them that the day she met him, that day when they laughed and when they spoke,

that day when they stood under a leaking bus-stop in the torrential African rains,

she tells them that she felt,
for the first time,

that finally,

all she felt she needed to be,

was herself

art by banksy

the passion of my pen: you

art by banksy

the passion of my pen: you …

this pen dipped in ink, scribbles odes to you,

my fingers caressing your bare back, paints words of a love so true,

while in your eyes swirls the raging fire,

the passion of my pen scalds my being entire.

i may scribble a poem or two, my meagre words unable to convey,

the roaring furnace you have lit within me, this dervish who in a daze does sway,

sprinkling kisses on your honeydew lips,

feeling the desire raw and thirsting, from my soul to my fingertips.

your love has breathed life, awakening my slumbering heart,

to beat in tune with yours, scribbling oaths to never be, ever apart,

for a love so complete, so warm and so achingly deep,

was once only dreamed of, in waking moments of thought, and in the cauldron of my restless sleep.

these odes, these poems, are but scribbles on the parchment of shared time,

tucked away in the recesses of memory, finding solace in each paltry rhyme,

assailed by the nettles of days gone by,

emotions billowing like smoke into the bluest sky.

the passion of my pen is the mirrored reflection of your love,

the stroking of your hair, your head on my chest, the bounty we were blessed with, from the heavens above,

when days were humid and sultry, the nights torrid, bathed in the essence of need,

when all subtlety fled, as our hunger growled, wanting it all with an insatiable greed.

i recall those years of long ago, when we danced in tune with each heartbeat,

when our bodies lay entwined, the sweat dripping off flesh, as our minds and souls did effortlessly meet,

i can never forget those minutes that stretched into hours, in the Johannesburg thunderstorms, drenched in the cooling African rains,

your body my canvas, from the tips of your velveteen mountaintops, to the savanna of your rolling silken plains.

i recall every one of those minutes, i can hardly forget the warmth of your breath, as we sighed in unison, skin upon blazing skin,

and were i to never love again, were i to never savour that ecstasy, i will forever bask in the paradise of those memories, and i will constantly keep you, for you will always remain my heaven within.

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 – Dove of Peace

Your Love

You have soothed the stinging nettles away,
your breath a balm,
your whispers soft as the oceans’ spray.

You have unmasked the spurious charade,
your hair a canopy,
your love so gentle as the delicate shade.

You have settled within my very core so deep,
your lips my chalice,
your kisses waking me from my fitful sleep.

You inhabit the largest part of my being entire,
your soul my wellspring,
your arms offer respite from the muck and the mire.

You inflame the passions I thought were all dead and speared,
your touch a furnace,
your presence a blazing dawn with all encroaching cobwebs cleared.

You transform each desolate night into a tapestry of light,
your eyes lift the veil of darkness,
your fierce desire envelopes me warm and tight.

You were my lifeline in the maelstrom in which I helplessly swirled,
your arms my anchors,
your incandescent sun the constant around which I whirled,

your truth a shield against all rocks hurled,

your trust an embracing shawl so effortlessly unfurled,

you,
my life,

you,
my exquisite world …

Picasso – Peace Dove
art by banksy

meagre rhymes of love …

This love that has cocooned us, enveloped us,

in the warmth of its comfort,

is a love so rare,
truly a love beyond compare.

The middling years of our lives,

when this world has us jaded,

our love melts away the despair,

banishing the pain, distant and faded.

The feelings I feel for you can never be scribbled on paper with ink,

the sentiments swim free under the placid stillness of the seas,

my heart beating in rhythm with yours,

in orchestral harmony,
our symphony soaring with inexpressible desire,

as I find myself forever drawn to the blazing heat of your inextinguishable fire.

Through desolate moments that morphed into years, tears streaming down the  deserts of lonesome cheeks,

we had given up on love, accepting that it may never glide on the wings of the breeze,

we felt ourselves sinking, thrashed around as we drowned in the maelstrom of emptiness,

crashing, slipping, weighed down into the  crevasses, as we trod on, mile after barren mile,

at times gutted as we plumbed the depths of our souls, facing the horror of forgetting the ability to smile a simple smile.

It was then that we met, as our years began to pall, the wrinkles pronounced, the grey hair starting to fall,

it was then, when we met, that we began to live a little each day,

no longer merely existing, ensconced in our catatonic state,

it was then, when we met, when the confluence of our lives were tugged together by fate,

it was then, when our footsteps were slowly merging, ever gently forming a shared road,

it was then, so dazzlingly bright, I saw in you my my shelter, my much sought after abode.

The years we have lived, so alone for most of our lives, have exacted their toll,

even as we did not seek to mutter oaths, to sign vows of undying love on a paper scroll,

for no parchent signed and tucked away in an attic somewhere, or framed for all to see can ever be so bold,

as is our unspoken love, where there is no bartering for love, no settling for less, no going through the daily grind,

for the years have sprinkled starstuff on us, the starstuff of deep abiding love, almost impossible to find.

I am now old and grey, my wrinkles deep, my gait bent,

and I treasure every moment with you I have spent.

‘Tis true that you now lie beneath the ground, but still your laughter I hear every day,

your smile, your fragrant hair, your soft body are alive within me,

no advancing years can ever take that away,

and as memories of you are a soothing balm, you live in my thoughts, you are my constant, you can never truly go away

as I remember our gentle tender kiss, on our beach of promise, under the palm that sashayed,

under our palm, that will perennially sway.







art by banksy

The Journey …

uBuntu – The South African philosophy that espouses that all beings are inextricably linked to one another = I am because we are

The Journey …

Travelling along the myriad pathways of this life, side-stepping thorny obstacles, at times clambeing over jagged rocks, our bodies wracked and bruised.

May we pick up the crushed flowers, the dead leaves scattering these alleyways, may we reach and assist the countless souls, lying by the wayside, forgotten, torn, abused.

May we be human, more humane, less oblivious, less cruel, may we appreciate lives that stagger, inert, broken, inching forwards wracked by coughs, held back by pained starts.

May we be kind, more embracing, of the other, may we be less cocooned, less self-absorbed, with true respect,

knowing that all the world, and all living things, are nothing when alone,

for we are of this earth,
a sum of all its infinite parts …

“Let Equality Bloom” by Brooke Fischer

✊🏾

art by banksy

i am human.

you hardly spare me a glance, as you walk past me, a fellow human, whom you pretend not to see.

you send me off to fight your wars, remaining comfortably ensconced in your ivory tower, while in the trenches i shiver and cower.

you dock my pay if one of your fine bone china cups gets chipped, you withhold my wages, while the hunger in my children’s stomachs rages.

your children still call me ‘boy’ or ‘girl’, though it was i who changed their diapers long ago, but it is still i who is the recipient of the epithets that you and they hurl and throw.

you use my body for your carnal desires, throwing some money on my stained bed, you use me as a lifeless rag, then dispose of me in a rubbish bag.

you claim to be so liberal, so open-minded and progressive, yet you ignore my plight, you discuss poverty in your chandeliered rooms, as i prepare some beans in the dim candlelight.

you send your cheques to greenpeace and amnesty, perhaps to assuage your guilt somehow, as you refuse to pay me my overtime due, your body weighed down by heaving jewellery, in red and white and blue.

you see me building your glittering skyscrapers and your glitzy malls, my hard hat pummelled by stone and dust, as i eke out a living, my dreams turned to rust.

you walk and you talk, leaving me to scrounge in the garbage heaps, for scraps of this and that, while your stocks and portfolios grow ever more fat.

i am invisible to you, to your posh and pompous kind, and i doubt your humanity will be ever anywhere to find.

you see me, a festering sore on your manicured lawns, a piece of dirt living on ‘charitable’ rations, and the first to bear the brunt of your police batons.

i am human, though only barely just, easily interred, once my purpose has been served,

i am human, though only barely just, as i get buried in a heap of dust.

am i human?

art by banksy
With President Nelson Mandela & my father

With the National Poet Laureate of South Africa Comrade Mongane Wally Serote

An absolute honour and truly humbling that the National Poet Laureate of South Africa Comrade Mongane Wally Serote chose to write the Foreword to my book.

The following is the Foreword by the National Poet Laureate of. South Africa …

Foreword by Professor Mongane Wally Serote.

National Poet Laureate of South Africa.

Afzal Moolla-The Poet.

Afzal Moolla is a South African poet. He is a prolific poet. He grew up in a family, which, for the longest of time, was part and parcel of the liberation struggle in South Africa. That is to say, he grew up in a family of freedom fighters. 

You can imagine what he had to listen to at an early age. He absorbed it all.  His folks are elderly now. 

“…These were the early 1970s, and this story was told to me by my parents, who themselves were recently arrived political exiles in India, having to leave South Africa, where my father, Moosa “Mosie” Moolla was arrested along with Nelson Mandela and 156 others in the infamous Treason Trial of 1956…”

 He is young, living in a country which emerged from the depth of one of the most cruel political systems ever imagined by human beings. Nothing will allow Afzal to forget that, even as he may have been a toddler when that system was at its most vicious. 

And now at his adult life, some among us, seek to destroy a dream of the people. We must scrutinize what this poet says about those who do that: who are they if face to face with OR, Madiba, Che, Fidel… that they can ony be traitors.

As we read what Afzal says, we will also be engulfed by a progressive and humane attitude of human life. Afzal is of Indian origin, a South African, whose young mind was shaped by a people who had to strife with everything possible to be human.

The combination of poetry and prose in Afzal’s rendition, walks one in very rough terraine, not sparing one. He calls all this, his work:

STRUGGLE   EXILE    LOVE 

“…As we walked through the tombstones of the war soldiers from all parts of the world, my father explained how apartheid was a scourge like Fascism and Nazism. He explained how the world had joined forces to fight Mussolini and Hitler, and why we too had to fight against apartheid….”

Even when the worst of things are explored in this work, the optimism of the spirit from the poet, is still the basis to seek hope; to search for a way out of pessimism. A rare skill indeed.  He can express anger, or despair, even cynicism, as also he seeks an anchor in the strength which resides in the hearts of human beings. And therefore Afzal, refuses to let go of the humaneness of human beings. 

He then braves the challenge by referencing the reality of the beings of struggle as the names of the freedom fighters spread throughout the pages which carry the weight of his writing.

There is too much pain in Afzals work, but equally there is love, there is joy and as said there is hope. Afzal is a skilled artisan of things made of words that is, of things which become the writing on the wall: a history, a culture tempered in the freedom struggle.


“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.”

There is no letting go here. Life is pursued relentlessly, with the knowledge that life itself is a struggle for life and living; but also, knowing from having lived in struggle and among freedom fighters that there is no alternative to freedom. That want and that knowledge is insatiable; it is only satisfied by the reality of the manifestation of the spirit, meaning, everything which is liveable and defining being free.

(About Timol-a name we know because its reality teaches about the extremes of human cruelty, but also about utter commitment to that unbreakable particle of the human spirit which forever defines, and forever seeks freedom. )

“today their lies have been consigned to the dirt.

They tried to murder an ideal,

the revolutionary spirit that burned bright in your heart,

they tried to silence you, not knowing your memory shall never depart.

They tried to kill you,

but they will never silence you,

for you live,

through the expanse of our land,

mingling in the rivers,

standing high upon our shared revolutionary hill,

they tried to silence you,

yet the hunger for justice will never be still,

they tried to silence you, but the memory of your martyrdom never will.”

—————————————————–

March 21, 1960 – Sharpeville

They shot you in the back.

The oppressors lead tearing into muscled flesh. The flesh of Africa.

They massacred you in Sharpeville, in Soweto.

Today we remember you.

We salute you…”

There is an isiZulu saying which rings of finality in its utterance, expression and thirst for freedom: si dela nina e ni lele (we envy you who have fallen). It is a battle cry. It is an expression of love and hope. It is a yearning which is insatiable which knows and aligns with the purpose of life that living life is a definition of Freedom. When Afzal names the freedom fighters, and as a series ofthese names emerge and spread throughout his poetry, it conjures that feeling and that understanding.

That is what defines “Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)

You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

They silenced you, yet your dream

resounds louder still,

in pastures not yet of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.”

———————————————

” 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” “

Afzal is here, with that ‘…they…”  referring to the international oligarchy, that “ …small group of people,,,”, who with mighty force control everything at all cost, against billions of people, indeed against humanity, who now, as Afzal warns us are pushing all of humanity to the precipice of a final and last war, if there are no thousands upon thousands of “Che(s)” who must emerge to stop them.

The world, humanity is once more, as the saying goes, that “…history repeats itself…”  faced by a great possibility of an international arms race. The oligarchy’s objective: to amass all the resources of the earth for the “…small group of people…” They are relentless.

Afzal’s work of poetry traverses human feelings fearlessly.  He is the child of Freedom. He is the adult nurtured by a series of names of people who carried the blood that has been spilled, whether in the street, or in the veld, or in the houses, on the bed or finally ill of health and having to bid a frail life farewell-nevertheless, life which sought to express the will of millions who have been trampled upon by the international oligarchy, “…a small group of people…” who will stop at nothing to burn the world and is content, turning it into ashes.

Afzal keeps “…Searching…” because he was brought up and grew up in the struggle for freedom. He searches, seeking to find  that particle, which no one can break because it resides in spirit-it knows peace, it knows being secure,  it knows the meaning of freedom. It is profound in it being simple. 

To OR: Afzal says:

“And then finally off to a new dwelling in a faraway alien land,

reeking and drenched in a foreignness so blatantly bland,

never fitting in, though always dreading being shut out,

singing paeans to hope scribbled in the sand.

You left your country, your home, your very own place of being,

you fled, into exile, far away from blinded eyes so unseeing,

and you held to a principle within, and you stood resolute,

till the shadows felt themselves in shame fleeing,

We salute you! And all like you, and the so many countless more,

into whose flesh the tyrant’s sword so cruelly tore,

We salute you!

You who fought at home and you who left to fight,”

To his mother, who is an experience and  voice of many women in South Africa, on Our Continent, and of the world; Victims of the powerful “…small group of people…” in the world, who tear it apart.

” For our Mother, Zubeida Moolla (1934 – 2008)

She left us,

with the thoughts of her embrace to warm us,

in frigid mornings of tomorrows yet to come.

She left us,

with words of tender truths to shroud us,

in the coming evenings of slicing sleet.

She left us,

yet she stays within us,

in our waking dreams, our restful thoughts.

She stays within us,

and of us she shall remain an abiding part,

of the love,

the pain,

the tears,

and for that, we shall never be truly apart.”

And of course Afzal the poet now:

———————————

As Evening Settles

As evening settles

may tender angels

ease the knots of tiresome day

and

may warmth embrace you

caressing your aches away

so, sleep softly

and

let the morrow bring

what the morrow may.

———————————————-

Overcast Skies

Overcast skies

when days seem bleak

and our shared sky is overcast

may you always be wrapped in warmth

enveloped in tender colours

for however dark the nights and days may seem

there is always hope

beyond the pain and the sorrow and the lies

there is always hope

there will always be a tomorrow

when a new dawn

a fresh sun

must

like us

rise.

Sometimes in my life,

I’ve trudged down cobblestone pathways,

walked on broken glass,

shed tears, had my share of dreams broken,

have had my quota of fears,

now the years have slipped away,

and a decade ago seems like yesterday,

but the moment I saw you,

something, something,

made me pause,

it was you. 

It is you,

and maybe, it will always be,

only you.

———————————————

For Wendy Cope

I may not have brought you flowers.

I know I was always late.

You tolerated my moodiness,

and my ever-increasing weight.

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.

Ah, but we weathered the squalls;

Your patience has always been saintly.

And now that old age palls,

our tiffs are recalled only faintly.

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.

——————————————

A Wish for You

May your smile never fade,

may you always be as you are now,

warm and kind,

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

may your dreams soar into the boundless open skies,

and may the benevolent fingertips of time and of fate,

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

May you forever stand tall,

may your head always be held high,

with stoic dignity.

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

may your heart be your guide,

your blazing beacon of wildly enthusiastic hope,

may your wishes be simple,

and may they come to be,

filling your life and your moments,

with joyous bliss,

where you truly feel free.

Free of the weight of yesterday,

free of gnawing doubt,

and may your being be infused,

with the softest serendipity,

so that you may spread your arms,

and to the heavens shout,

I am free,

I am me,

at long last,

I am standing tall,

never again to bow,

or to fall on bended knee.

This is a wish both simple yet elusive,

a wish that only you can make true,

by simply being,

the kind,

warm,

gentle person,

that is you.

———————————-

In Your Eyes

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.

In your eyes,

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.

—————————————–

What all of these words say, which Afzal has crafted, which we dare not forget, is that we as South Africans, as Africans come from a poetic place, as do all of humanity who come from a “…Paean…” a ululation and praise of the relentless freedom fighters.

Professor Mongane Wally Serote.
National Poet Laureate of South Africa

With Comrade Winnie Mandela

Signing a few copies of my book “Struggle, Exile, & Verse”

fitting in,
acceptably hushed,

alienation photoshopped, airbrushed …

at home ?

not this rolling stone,
bruising my rattled self to the bone,

enveloped by walls,
as each evening falls,

shivering as desolate morning dawns,

painted smile,
shushing rising bile,

my fatigued soul yawns,
a being who fawns:

the perennial exile … … …

image

Banksy

the river rolls …

neither here nor there …

traversing the meandering bylanes of life

tears fall
through the cauldron of strife

memories like jagged shards of sorrow,

embedded
hewn

into a torrent of emotion

flow on
               and on

cascading over raw wounds

                reaching without
                seeking
peace
                within

clinging onto
filaments of hope

while hollow words

crawl
fade

mope

slinking away to settle
           on tattered scrolls

while life persists,

so long as the river rolls…

                 

The Interrupted Vision …

Straining to see,

the hummingbird that whispers,

the blade of grass that murmurs,

the fattened drops of summer rain,

falling.

Yearning to see,

that solitary palm on a long abandoned beach,

the coquettish ocean embracing the retreating sun,

the momentary mirth of a teasing twilight,

falling.

Aching to see,

that promise of hope,

as light fades,

flickering faintly,

in my unseeing eyes…

A Child of War …

a child of war…

 

as she lies bleeding

the girl who skipped and 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

the warm bullet lodged in her torn stomach

she stares at her skipping rope

as her blood soaks it the colour of the cherries her mummy buys

 

as she lies bleeding

she sees the people through the thick black smoke

blurred visions of scattering feet and shoes left behind

hearing nothing but the pinging in her blown-out eardrums

 

as she lies bleeding

she slips away quickly 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

for even in death she bleeds some more

the warm bullet wedged in her torn stomach

steals the light from her bright little eyes

as she lies bleeding

in jallianwala bagh in ‘19

leningrad in ‘42

freetown in ‘98

soweto in ‘76

jenin in ‘02

hanoi in ‘68

beirut in ‘85

raqqa now

basra still

gaza too

 

as she lies bleeding

this little nine and a half year old girl

whose laugh was her father’s pride

we know she’ll bleed and bleed some more

tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn

with that warm bullet in her stomach

ripped open and torn

 

as she lies bleeding..

afzaljhb@gmail.com

Port of Call

Port of Call
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
with the breath of the ocean a caressing balm,
soothing pained memories away,
to the swaying of a solitary palm.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
feeling the brushing away of all past turmoil,
on a quest for solace, ever so hard to find,
yet comforted by the crashing of the waves,
as the tide cleanses all pain,
and leaves despair far, far behind.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
drenched in a sea-breeze of mist,
that hushes the ache of bygone moons,
tasting the salty tang on my lips,
as the burnished sun,
over the distant horizon,
swoons,
 
and dips.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
searching, ever searching,
for a slice of solitude,
as memory bids a final adieu,
reaching under the sea so vast,
and seeking comfort in the depths,
while embracing,
the tomorrows to come,
wishing that they be true.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
seeing my truths drown,
as they slip beneath the turquoise waters,
 
feeling my heart ablaze,
with a passion that rarely falters.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
yet knowing that I am home at long last,
wishing the waves would wash away,
the defences that once stood,
like an impregnable wall.
 
 
Barefoot on a talcum beach,
 
alone, not lonely,
 
I have found, at long last,
 
my final port of call.

work in progress. like life

She winked, and smiling with her eyes,
kissed my parched lips,

I could not return her kiss,

and though the years have spun their cobwebs,

fashioning vacuums out of forgotten dreams,

It is that kiss that I most miss.

Tonight, I lie awake,
lathered in layered memories,

of love lost, and of love gained,

of open skies,
and of rains crashing through my weak rhymes,

that have strained,
across the vast emptiness,

seeking absolution,
for my emotional crimes…

(This Scribble is a Work in Progress. Just Like Life)

The Beach of Promises

The Beach of Promises

1.

Fingers entwined, barely touching,
turquoise waters teasing your dancing toes,

strolling along that serene deserted beach,
our promised dreams within aching reach.

2.

Hands clasped, holding on,
sea-breezes tickling the nape of your neck

walking together, alone, vowing to never breach,
the dreams dreamed on that faraway velvet beach.

3.

Hands in my pockets, alone,
traces of you linger, teasing,

lost in my scribbles, your memory fading out of reach,

my thoughts ablaze, now and then,
catching a whiff of your fragrance,

wafting through alleyways of nostalgia,
your hand in mine on our pristine beach.

Where Wild Violets Grow

Where Wild Violets Grow

Scribbling these verses,
caressing your bare back,
simple rhymes,
flowing from my fingertips.

Scribbling verses,
sprinkling odes to fragrant promises,
your smile lightens the burdens,
off my heavy heart.

Scribbling verses,
soaked in countless kisses,
the moonlight waltzing on your skin.

Scribbling verses,
feeling you,
your love never ceases to flow,

through the streams of my mind,
to a place of our own,
where wild violets grow.

The Nameless

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Slipping through the sieve of history,

the nameless rest.

Not for the nameless are roads renamed, nor monuments built.

Not for the nameless are songs sung, nor ink spilled.

The nameless rest.

Their silent sacrifice,
quiet ordeal,
muted trauma,

remain interred,
amongst their remains.

The nameless rest.

Not for the nameless are doctorates conferred, nor eulogies recited.

Not for the nameless are honours bestowed, nor homages directed.

The nameless rest.

They rest within us,
they walk with us,

in every step that we tread.

They rest within us,
they walk with us,

for their spirit is not dead.

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“Your name is unknown, your deed is immortal”

– inscription at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier WWII in Moscow

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Special thanks to my dearest elder sister Tasneem Nobandla Moolla, whose conversations with me about life as a non-white person growing up in pre and post-Apartheid South Africa prompted me to write this dedication to the countless, nameless South Africans of every colour, whose sacrifices and dedication in the struggle against Apartheid tyranny must never be forgotten.

My sister’s middle name ‘Nobandla’ which is an isiXhosa name and means “she who is of the people” was given by her godfather, Nelson Mandela, my father’s ‘best-man who could not be, as Nelson Mandela was unable to-make it to my parent’s wedding as he was in jail at the time in the old Johannesburg Fort. This was the 31st December 1961.