urn

How many sunshines

And rainy days did I miss

Of your daily life?

 

In this pretty urn

Is all that remains of you.

I wonder which one.

 

The one that smiled

In my memories of her

Or the scowl and frown.

 

Did I really see

The person you paraded

Or the masquerade?

 

Will I ever know

The genesis of your smile

Now hidden away

 

In your everyday life

That I missed all these years.

I said: “I love you!”

 

Now I’m not so sure.

 

bloody-hands

Her brother ate ravenously, gulping the cold water as if the taps had run dry. He wasn’t the only one who seemed to have been starved and maltreated.

When she waved goodbye, she did not know that it would be the last time that she’d gaze into those vacant brown eyes. Human beings were dispatched like postage stamps, no reply to sender, leaving blood stained hands that no amount of water could cleanse.

Stunned by the news that an executive order had terminated those anonymous lives, Macbeth now pales in comparison.

Conscience was murdered that night.

Her corpse lies unidentified.

As tributes pour in for George Michael, I remember a few great musicians who passed on this year and I thought George Michael’s Album title: “Listen without prejudice” very fitting for this post.

Music means different things to us depending on who or where we are. Sometimes, it’s a great dance tune or it recalls a certain soundtrack to our lives. Sometimes, it conjures up images and emotions that is only within the power of the artist to do. Apart from being entertainers, artists are often social commentators, part of the tapestries of our history and poets who serve food for our souls. In this post, rather than mourn these artists, I’d like to celebrate their contribution to our lives in the songs I have chosen. “Praying for time” by George Michael seems a fitting choice for our times right now.

Leonard Cohen also left us this year and I’ve chosen his rendition of “I’m your Man”. For one, I think the song and his delivery is so sexy, but listen up for the violinist too.

I’ve also chosen “The Jungle Line” written by Joni Mitchell, performed by Herbie   Hancock and this “poetry of music “is rendered by Leonard Cohen. In the lyrics,  Joni Mitchell blends the art of post impressionist, Henri Rousseau with imagery of modern city life, the music industry and the underground drug culture.

Then last but not least is our very own musician who was part of our “Kwaito” stars, a form of music and dance which emerged from the streets of our black neighborhoods in the build up to our democracy in the early 90s. Mandoza became famous for his song “Nkalakatha”. It was heralded as one of the songs we needed as a unifying song across race and culture in our young democracy – certainly a song that got people of all colours on the dance floor even if they didn’t understand the words or mispronounced the title. Mandoza was also a beacon for kids who held a rags to riches dream. Sadly, he passed away on the 18 September this year at the age of 38.

May they all REST IN PEACE!!

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She sat on the same chair everyday, a peripheral observer, waiting, always waiting for that rainy day.

Occasionally she went out to attend to Life, a stranger that passed her each day.

She clutched her purse tightly. It represented her worth, her currency, comfort for when that day would come.

She had been waiting so long and then it came suddenly, that stroke that cut her circulation, immobilized her to a garden patch where seeds did not grow.

The rain had come and gone and taken her away.

Money from her purse lay strewn on the floor, it too unspent.

graveyard

As I walked in the homeland of the dead

I saw a solitary figure stand up and rise,

Beneath eerily lit midnight skies.

From the mound of a new dug-out grave

A wasted spectral form began to rave.

 

In vague recognition, I called out your name

But your deaf ears seemed not to hear,

Even though I was standing very near.

 

Wizened dry hands clamored towards the sky.

In that moment I heard your deep woeful  cry.

When the dark owl called out your name,

I saw your shape instantly begin to freeze.

Then slowly you dropped down to your knees.

 

Extreme terror claimed ownership of your face.

Of your former magnetism, there was no trace.

With all the human frailty that remained in you,

You made feeble attempts to elude death’s decree.

A futile effort in trying to set yourself free.

 

Sudden flaming fire poured out of my grieving heart

Your lips locked against mine, taking us back to the start.

To the place of light where our souls knew each other,

Your head against my breast, like a child clinging to a mother,

 

To love and to hold and find a new reason for living,

I know what you need and I’m here, yours – for the giving.

ship

When the dark hour descends

And billowing masts set sail

When ship’s bow divides waves

Let me salute at the helm

Leave legacy of gold setting sun

Blue skies for humanity’s dreams

And for those whom I have loved

Remember celebration’s laughter

And find gold nuggets gift wrapped

Hold dear my pearls of wisdom

And forgive my imperfections,

Empty chairs and cold spaces.

Though soft raindrops may fall

Look for rainbow’s bright glow

In your deepest moments of need

Above all be true to  God living in you.

Autobot-seal-2

Silenced.

Last breath sighed today

Snatched by the call of an owl

The hot seal of your crest

Placed upon your still chest

Now waiting a forwarding address

And as the chill fills the air

We bow our heads in prayer

Filled with our own fear

Don’t send that letter back here

Reality

Which we’d rather dream away

Even though it might be our last day

We’d sooner send it the other way

Don’t come near, please do not stay!

Grief

Constricts your breathing at night

When torments ascend to great height

And loneliness of darkness needs light

To fill emptiness and clear blurry sight

Moments

Like these sent as reminders

Of letters we still need to write

And all the affairs we need to set right

Your joviality flashes before my eye

When I think of you and start to cry