Archives for March 2013

Your Last Friend

There comes a time where time slows
Time just slows ’til it stops
And you can’t breathe
There comes a time when your insides are exposed
Every look towards you is hot
It burns ’til you can’t take the heat
Where your throat clogs up and it hurts
The world
The world no longer turns
Dead still
Your heart beat – lost
In a moment
A lifetime of pain washes down
It brings bags and relatives, it stays
It stays
The smell of blood lingers
Is there
The highest mountain, you can’t breathe
Can’t descend
Where pain engulfs you, holds you, squeezes, grips, extends a hand and doesn’t let go
It holds you
Sort of like soothing
But it’s digging at you, it’s digging
Closer and closer to your core
’til you scream you can’t take it anymore
But it’s not that kind of visit
Touches you, kisses you, makes love to you, cuddles, holds you, squeezes, grips, extends a hand and never lets go
Will linger until your last breath
Your Last Friend.

Bocas Lit Fest- 25 to 28 April 2013, Port of Spain, Trinidad

This year’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest promises to be chock-full of activities and events, a true whirlwind book lover’s paradise of people to meet and any number of happenings to attend. If you haven’t yet, do stop by our official programme page, where you can find an overview of highlights, as well as a detailed schedule for each day of the festival. Here’s just a cross-section of what you can expect from the 25th to the 28th of April:

The Edinburgh World Writers Conference makes its long-awaited stops at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, bringing together authors from around the globe to engage in pertinent, button-pressing topics on reading and books

A line up of immersive, engaging workshops, for a nominal fee — full list of registration details available on our official workshop tab at

The launch of CaribLit, an integrated platform of resources for Caribbean writers, publishers and all members of the conversation on regional reading and writing, the brainchild of the Caribbean Literature Action Group

The New Talent Showcase, which shines a spotlight on some keen literary up and comers;
The KFC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest, a veritable festival within the festival itself, a series of readings and interactive sessions devoted to fostering an appreciation for reading and writing in even the youngest bibliophiles amongst us

The second annual NGC Bocas Lecture: this year’s speaker is neuroscientist Professor Ian Robertson, who will elaborate on his paradigm-altering publication, The Winner Effect — How Power Affects Your Brain.

A hearty salute to spoken word: The Verses Bocas Poetry Slam, co-hosted by the 2 Cents Movement, wherein the fiercest, freshest voices in spoken word battle it out for cash prizes and glory!

Appearances, talks, panels and discussions from a plethora of Caribbean and Caribbean-based writers, as well as special international guests: just a sampler of the list includes Olive Senior; Oonya Kempadoo, Hannah Lowe; Teju Cole; Irvine Welsh; Ian McDonald; Marlon James; Vahni Capildeo — and many others. For a full list of participating authors, have a look at the official participants page

The announcement of the winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, from our distinguished shortlist, which features the category-winning work of Monique Roffey for fiction (Archipelago); Kendel Hippolyte for poetry (Fault Lines) and Rupert Roopnarine for non-fiction (The Sky’s Wild Noise).

The inaugural announcement of the Hollick Arvon Prize winner, an award presented to one emerging Caribbean writer in the interests of helping her/him complete a manuscript in progress, awarded this year for fiction work.

Further details of the 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest programme, a full list of participants, and a comprehensive breakdown of information is available right here at — so feel free to peruse the site, as well as our frequently-updated Facebook and Twitter pages.

The four-day 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest is principally sponsored by The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, with supporting sponsorship from One Caribbean Media and KFC. Other sponsors include First Citizens, Courts, and Flow.

Cape of No-Hope

Two hours
’till the silence of midnight falls.
And our sun hasn’t set.

Come outside and smell
the desolate red dusk of blazing eternity.
The endless humidity of clammy liquid air
filling the vessel known only as sky.

And when, from beneath the burning heat of the twilight’s waxing gibbous your face wanes for want of communion,

you find only the grating,
Grazing roar of the earth’s orbit
For a lullaby; its
Not obnoxious enough to split the ear drum of the fortunate
and not soothing enough to relieve the hearts of the omnipresent nobody’s.

So we bask in the red stained moonlight of a crimson twilight.
We burn in the heat of innumerable stars.
We shade our face from the blistering midnight,


Eskom turns off the street lights and we are human once more.
Wrapped in the blanket of our desolation beneath the unyielding gaze of fortunate passers in their


tomorrow’s soliloquy of sympathy conveys our misfortunes and illuminates our nothingness once more.
No food.
No bread.
Family to feed.
Please help.


In the four walled cavity of my mind,
I make for myself an artificial night. And abound in the darkness
is the resonance of walls
which speak only silence.
I breathe memories
that dampen my spirit
and had it not been
for the warmth of my own solitude,
the very air that I remember would have frozen as crystals in my lungs.
I run my hands along reveries
and watch sepia brown emotions
which are as stagnant and unmoving
as the mud it has set in.
I, too,
sing a fearful trill
of things unknown
over distant hills.

In The Night Garden…

…I walk you down there,
Through the dark dank soil,
That grabs your souls and
Makes it hard to free your walk.

We see only by the twilight’s waning gleams,
Reflected off slivers of silver streams,
That echo our presence to the purple night,
Where darkness engulfs our only light.

But when we reach the gate ajar,
That makes our travel of near so far,
I see you no longer, we need not discover,
Instead of seeing, we may feel each other.

I lift your soul as you lift mine,
We plod no more, we stride divine.
And between our gardens gleaming streams,
Our lack of sight enshrines our dreams.

Free To Be

It may at first seem like only perception
But upon reflections on reflections
I surmise perhaps it is not me you despise
but the idea that, to you,
a simple notion is a subterfuge.

Too terrified to rely
on testimonies testified
by the lived reality of being confident enough to live openly
is a shame.

I, Too, sing a fearful trill
Of things unknown
Over distant hills.

The only out is cessation
that I pray for in emancipation.
When you smile out loud you are
reborn into recreation away from
an eternal damnation of the mind.
So become free.

As I play with words,
all doctrines deferred,
I dip my wings in the tempests
and mock the fervent roars
that seek to mute my humbled intellect.

I claim no wisdom
more than I AM able to live through and I give you no mandate
to doubt what I have been through. But the failure to connect
is a human defect that we are both afflicted by.

The only difference I see
between you and me
is that I am free to be and let be…
still I rise.

Workshops on Creative Writing With David Chislett

WITS Writing Centre is pleased to announce a 4-session series of workshops with David Chislett. David has published 6 books since 2001, both through publishers and independently. In this 4-week programme with WITS Writing Centre he shares his knowledge and experience in a series of 2-hour sessions.

The 4 sessions run from 4pm to 6pm as follows:
March 19 Basic intro to Creative writing: where does it come from?
April 9 Planning a book… some structural tips
April 16 Dealing with Publishers: Where are you at?
April 23 Marketing yourself as an independent

The series of seminars will run on Tuesday evenings from 16:00 to 18:00 at the WITS Writing Centre, Ground Floor, The Waternweiler Library, WITS East Campus. Attendance of the seminars is FREE but seating is limited. To pre-book your place please email a sample of your work to and we will respond with a seat confirmation

“The sessions are not intended as writing master-classes per se,” Explained David of the events, “But rather to help equip writers with structural and procedural know-how that will help them leverage their writing by understanding their own processes and the way the industry works.”

Issues covered will include:
• So I have an idea, where do I start writing?
• How do I approach a publisher?
• I am good, but nobody knows my work
• How can I tap into my creativity to write more consistently?
• How do I know where to take my story next?

David won the Ernst Van Heerden Prize for creative writing in 1998 and began his career in publishing in 2001 with the release of Urban 1, a collection of short stories for previously unpublished writers that he compiled and contributed to. This series ran to 3 volumes before being discontinued. Then in 2009 he released his debut solo volume of short fiction entitled, A Body Remembered. In 2010, the music industry textbook, 1,2,1,2: A Step By Step Guide To The SA Music Industry and in 2012, For You Or Someone Like You, his debut collection of poetry.

In addition, Chislett has worked in all facets of the South African media and ran his own PR agency for four years. In these sessions he combines his craft and practice in writing with his knowledge and experience in marketing, publishing and creativity to bring a 4 part series of sessions together that will equip any aspiring writer to not only write better but also to navigate the challenges that come before and after writing.

Attendance is not limited to students and is open to the public and is FREE but seating is limited. Please pre-book your place by sending an email with your query and a sample of your work to and we will respond with a seat confirmation.

Future Of Tomorrow

Future of tomorrow is you, youth
You are so beautiful, so
Energetic, full of life.
Your thoughts are deep like an ocean.

You run like a cheater
You don’t have speed limit
You run without looking at
Your back, you forget where
You came from
The future of tomorrow is you

Every Saturday and Sunday
We see people gathered
Together at cemetery
When we come to see who
Is there we found that is you
Where is the future of tomorrow now?

Youth is buried like bugs everyday
Youth is dead only old people still
Stand where is our future?
Our country is going blind the future
Is gone, the light is off it has become
Dark the future of tomorrow is gone.

What could I have done?

As I watch movies of apartheid,
as I read of apartheid,
as I hear of apartheid
as I imagine the apartheid era

I ask myself:
What could I have done?

Was I going to fight or flee?
Was I going to be courageous or a coward?
Would I have stood rockstill or hide?
Would I live to tell the tale or would the tale tell of me?
What would my part have been?
Would I have endured the pain or gave into it?

Could I have been able to see the sun through the thunder storm?
Could I have believed in the silver linings of the dark clouds?
Could I have been able to imagine the light at the end of the tunnel?
Could I have been able to hold on till tomorrow?
Could I have been able to believe that oneday these teargas tears
would once be tears of joy?
That these wounds would once be wounds of belief,hope and courage?

Would I have had hope for a better tomorrow?
That I would once shake hands with my enemy?
That this nightmare would once benefit generations to come

I also ask myself
would I have carried the cross with Jesus or crucified him?

As a daughter of the South African soil
I would like to give a great applaud to our fallen stars,
Our forgotten soldiers,
Our heroes and heroines,
Both alive and those only with us in spirit,
may their names be written in every black seed’s mind and heart
may we carry their courage in our souls
may every history book remind us of them
may every street corner,monument and statue be for and about them
may we remember them in all our country’s victory and achievements

For they are the reason why I can write,walk,talk,breathe,sleep and live freely

Amandla to you all!
For having fought for a dream that you carried only in your
hearts and souls
For enduring the pain,
For standing for what you believed in,
For being selfless

I the daughter of the soil would like to say

I’ll Bend For You

As much as I can fold,
I’ll go
I’ll wrap up all my soul,
You know

I’ll trim back parts of me you don’t like,
So we won’t fight,
So you’ll be right,
So you can…

Tell me when it’s enough
When I’ve smoothed out the rough
Not deserving of your love?
I’ll do whatever, I’ll give me up.

Fold me over till I’m tiny
For your L.O.V.E
You won’t see the real me
Tell me now, am I worthy?