Archives for September 11, 2014

The fish in the sea

Others look in on my feelings

Like gold fish in their glass bowl

Only if I remembered this feeling for 3 seconds

Life would not sting as much

Although this sting keeps me swimming.

I am the struggling worm on the hook

Others wonder why I struggle here

Yet I want nothing more but to be stuck forever, no matter how it hurts

I catch nothingnoff this line

But my reel is yet to reach an end.

-Jerry Wooters

suicide note

Dear mother,
Please do not cry too hard, it is not your fault
That I got rid of myself.
Trying too hard to make you proud,
I ignored reality and the commoness of being,
In fear that my being a typical youth
Might raise your brows. At least,
If I was not normal I could have
Been a rebel. But all I seem to be against
Is the intrusion of sunlight on my mornings.
I became a being of little significance
To the world, a wallflower choked by the
Weeds in your little garden.
My dear Jules*, I think you are a beautiful person
But a terrible liar. I think every time
Your husband loved you enough
To feed you, and bathe you and wipe you off;
You wished he didn’t.
You hate that he had to but you should know
You are more than enough of a person
To admit it. And good God you deserve
Ice cream and walking on the beach
And a day to cry! But you will need him for that too.
Darling, he will need your hand for it too.
I just thought someone should tell you. And
That I survived this long thanks to your emails
About the ducks in your garden
And everyone around you’s Alzheimer’s.
To my best friend, the one
Who started to stop liking good music
And Friday nights in:
You can keep the photo collage of our
Time as friends I never took down from
My living room wall
Since I was still able to look at the pictures
And see the happiness and not the
People I depended on for that happiness.
Really, take it! No one has to know
We forgot to know each other lately.
You were always a person of the world
While I could never seem to climb out
Of my own. For a while now
I’ve been my own keeper, burying myself
Alive under memories and nostalgia while
You grew up, I guess.
Anyway, I wish you all the good luck
You can bear and all the bruises on your
Heart it takes you to learn that you’re
Not his saviour and tequila is not yours.
To all the teachers who influenced me
In my short time alive: Because of you
I appreciate Literature but because of you
I appreciate Literature and that’s not
Making me a lot of money or making me too
Many friends. Thank you.
A big ‘fuck you’ to the boy who didn’t get to break my heart.
I wanted so badly to be known by you, to get felt up
And used by you like all the girls around you did.
But you were too busy being the ideal guy
To pay me any mind.
I know I’m partly to blame, I overcompensated
Your gentry and underplayed my interest. Still.
I hope you feel a tinge of guilt when you hear about this.
A special word of thanks to my neighbour,
Someone Somebody,
Who only ever wanted to know how I was,
When his key didn’t
Unlock his front door fast enough.
If you were some nosy little shit,
You might have walked in on me standing in my window
On the 15th floor of our apartment building,
Ready to fall into the night.
You might have been able to stop me.
Finally, to my colleagues:
I will not miss the random
Conversations at tea and at lunch
About bad television series and how much you
Hate the people you love.
When this body wakes up, I will be dead, and glad
To be rid of this miserable person.
Old Me.

a letter to her father’s daughter

i worry about, how i will keep her from all the evils of the world, how i will teach her of the great things, the wonderous places the curious people. so i decided to write her a list of things i think she ought to know, i case i don’t do/ say it right. Or i’m not around to help her
1. You are not beautiful, or pretty or ugly; or anything constricted to your genetic features. you are a being created in god’s image, take comfort in that.
2. It is more than okay to love yourself, not just okay but normal. that is how you learn how to be good to others; once you decide what is good for you.
3. Friendship is complicated but it is the only relationship that truly lasts and is unequal to all the others. So play your part so that if something does go wrong, you don’t hold any guilt.
4. never stop loving the outside. Get fresh air every day! Go for a run or a walk or a hike or whatever you feel for. the wind carries stories across the oceans and i hope you never lose your ability to hear the voices of the world.
5. Honesty and philanthropy are rare qualities to have and you will be brought up to know the value and hopefully you will live them but be careful who you show them to because people hunt rarities for sport.
6. Beware of the boy who will tell you that you do not need wings to fly, chances are, he will not hang around to catch you when you free fall.
7. Do not be afraid to run home to your mother and father and cry to them. There is no part of you they have not kissed to make it better.
8. It is delightfully agonizing to make a living off of what you love. But there is something liberating and lyrical about choosing your own punishment in life that makes bitter coffee and no hot water to take a shower in worth it. just ask the poet who teaches, a musician who begs or even the dancer taking your order.
9. Do all the things in life you feel will make you better.
10. Please try and make us understand before you do something we’re not accustomed to.
I hope you get to read this and that it is in time so you make better decisions in life. All my love, your father.


your coffee has been standing
for so long it has gone cold.
you’re busy trying to explain
why it is better this way.
but all i hear is the sound of your voice
how this will be the last time.
we had to sit outside because you needed to smoke.
as if anyone needs to smoke.
the sweet wrappers you twisted in your fingers
while you talked fly off the table. that image
will stay with me.
and you say its okay, that its been a long time coming.
you’ve left already. Paid for your coffee
because you do not want to owe me anything.
and finally i understood;
my heart did not break loud enough for you.
the pieces did not shatter and cut into you.
but it is in pieces none the less.

Death thy success

A few years ago I visited my mother at the hospital when she got admitted. I did not know a lot of issues that happened in my family as my mother did not share much with us, I think it’s because she assumed I was too young to understand. I was 16 at the time and the eldest of my two brothers and sister. Growing up in the village things were difficult for all of us because my mother tried her best to ensure that we were all fed but it was tough for a single unemployed woman with four mouths to feed. Sometimes I would notice that she had no plan whatsoever as to how we will get through the night. At the hospital bed she appeared to be soulless, and I almost did not recognize her when I walked in. She said to me “Lerato is that you?” part of me wanted to run as fast as I could. Every time I saw her she seemed to be getting worse. I had mixed feelings, from wanting her to be better to hoping that she passes on. However, we had no one at home apart from her, she was the only person who knew how to keep the family together. I replied “yes mother, it is I” and she closed her eyes to what seemed like a sharp pain that just attacked her. I looked down and the nurse who was standing beside me squeezed my shoulders, and then she nodded to signal that it is okay to walk closer my mother’s bed. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Getting there and seeing her like that. I could not look at my own mother, she suddenly became a stranger.
“Thank you… (coughs) thanks for coming to see me baby.” It was peculiar because my mother was the strongest person I knew, and seeing her like that seemed like a dream I could not wake up from. My mother would get through anything that life threw at her, she always told me that we are from a family of strong genes. She said that because her mother was 92 and still strong. She was really proud of that. When we suffered at home, I thanked God that we were healthy, and that no matter how hungry we may be, as long as it does not take our lives, it is okay. “Mom, are we losing you?” We teenagers don’t have the right things to say, it is honesty I loved about being a teenager and my mother always said I have a bright future ahead of me. Back then she would say it during supper and whenever she said that, somehow my stomach would growl of hunger because of the little food we had. Although the food was never enough I just appreciated all that I had and my mother always ensured that we are always happy despite our problems. “Remember that we are from a family of strong genes baby… I… (Coughs) I will be alright.” I wanted to believe her, I really did, but the nurses’ faces expressed worry and concern, and whenever I went to the hospital, on my way there I’d pray, just pray that she is still there.
My mother was suffering from cervical cancer. The painful thing about the disease is that earlier on it doesn’t have any symptoms whatsoever, she was just bleeding and she thought that it was menstrual cycles and certainly not thought it could be cancer. I mean let’s face it, we black people tend to believe that cancer isn’t a disease that affects us. I still remember the day that she found out she had cancer, she said to the doctor “no, there must be some sort of a mistake. I can’t have cancer. Where have you ever heard of a black person with cancer? Please doctor do more tests.” The doctors assured her that it was cancer and it had already spread, the only solution was chemotherapy.
Six months later she ended up being hospitalized. Something about life is that, when you find out about something it then becomes clear that it’s there, it becomes a part of you. Just like her cancer, she seemed okay before we found out about it but afterwards it was evident that she was dying. All of a sudden I noticed how skinny she had become, while the doctors were telling her about the disease all I could notice was her arms and legs. Her dress appeared to be too big for her, it was though she would collapse. Why did I miss something like this about my own mother? I asked myself. Here is a little history about my family. My mother like many women was a single mother, never married and she never told us who our father was. What she said was that he did not want to with us, in fact he chose to be with his “other” family than raise us with her. My mother moved out of her parents’ home after she had me at 16, she built her own home from ground up. Somehow her and our father made their way to each other and went on to have three more children. It was when she gave him and alternative that he never came back. I don’t even recall seeing him at our house or anything, but she says that he was in my life and he loves me a lot.
My mom worked as a domestic worker. She said that she never had the opportunity to go to school as they were poor at home. It’s apparent that poverty seems like it’s socialized. I mean, my mother’s parents were poor, her parents were poor and now we too live in poverty. But with how she was very protective of us it was clear that she wanted the best for us, she wanted us to be better than she was and be educated.
That day when I saw her at the hospital I felt like it was the end, like I will never see her again. “You know Lerato, there is something about the hospital. I think that everyone that ever slept her a night or two, even more, sort of hoped that God gives them a second chance so that they can better their lives. But ironically, I am actually thinking about you every day.” From believing in the family genes to a talk about her losing faith in living, I did not understand it at all. “Mom, why do you say that, don’t you think you will be better?” She looked at me and said “Baby, God know his plans with me. I could say I will be fine but be gone tomorrow. It is the ‘now’ that the hospital taught me about. I appreciate every moment I get to open my eyes and find myself here. I don’t know where I am going. Perhaps heaven is real, or not, but all I care about is to leave here having said goodbye to my children.” Suddenly the reality of her disease hit me, I sat there holding her hands that somehow felt like I was holding her skeleton. There were no muscles left in her. “Mama, the kids won’t make it here and you know it. We don’t have any money. I wish that they could but they can’t. I had to walk to the hospital today, luckily enough I got a lift from Mr. Mashaba in his taxi, and he said he will fetch me and sent his love.”
“Tell him that I said thank you.” She closed her eyes and I squeezed her hand. She looked at me and smiled “Oh Lerato, you watch too much television.” I laughed a little and then broke off into tears. Somehow my mother still maintained her sense of humor even after all the things that she went through. I didn’t understand how children could possibly live without their mothers. Mothers are the ones that hold the family together, somehow they know how to best deal with us children. I wanted her to stay alive, I wanted my mother to be given a second chance to raise us, and I had no idea how we were going to manage without her. “Don’t cry baby, all will be well you will see. Mommy will always be with her babies, you guys are the pillar of my strength. This disease should have taken me a long time ago but I held on for you guys. I wanted to see you become a woman, get married and have a family of your own. But I do believe that life has the best of things for you. Please Lerato, don’t ever lose focus. Be there for your siblings and ensure that they the best in life.” I wanted her to stop, the nurse just looked at me with sadness. Somehow I knew that I had to listen to her because if I did not I would have regretted it. She said a lot that day than she ever did all the years I knew her. My mother was not the talkative type but she was a good mother, she would tell me stories about how she grew up and that she hoped to be a doctor someday. I knew that she told me all these stories because she did not want be to turn out like her. The thing she feared the most was me falling pregnant as a teenager.
The following day I went back to the hospital to see my mother and I found that she was no more. After the conversation that I had with her I knew that I would never see her again. I didn’t shed a single tear, I just stood her looking at her bed all made up. I wondered about where she could be and how she is. It was hard to believe that someone would just cease to exist. Someone whom you shared a lot with, joked with and even shed tears with. My mother was the biggest part of my life. She told me not to worry about anything so I figured that she was there with me and will guide me with making decisions. There is a saying that “parents shouldn’t bury their children.” But to me I think that children should not bury their parents. It is as hard losing a parent just as it is with a parent losing a child. Walking into the person’s room hoping to see them sitting on their bed or the dresser. My siblings asked where mom was and I couldn’t tell them that their mother had passed away. Instead, I went to my uncle’s house and told him to come and tell them what had happened. It was a difficult day for all of us, but mom was in and out of hospital so they managed to handle it. I guess it was because they were young and did not know how to react. My aunts and uncles assured me that everything will be okay so I had hope for the future.
Today I am a medical doctor at one of the busiest hospitals in the province. After my mother’s death I developed love and passion for medicine. My uncles say that my mom’s death changed me. As hard as it is to think about but it’s true. The day that I sat down with my mother at the hospital she told me a lot about life that I knew the right thing to do when I walked out of there. One of the things I love doing is healing cancer patients. As much as it is a deadly disease I try by all means to raise awareness and encourage people to test so that they can be cleared of cancer. My brothers are currently in university and my little sister is still in high school. I am not yet married but I do hope that in the future, once my brothers have completed university I could meet someone who I would settle down with. I don’t want to rush it now because of the responsibilities I have at home. One of the lessons I learned from my mother is to never turn my back on family, not even for love. I hope that wherever my mother is, she is resting in peace. Her spirit guides us in all we do.

On a bad day

I step out into the world.
the glass on my shades cracks and shatters.
I do not believe what I’m seeing.
this can’t be real nor can it be a figment of my imagination.
These stories i hear are uttered in a foreign language which no one knows the translation.
The earth beneath my sole is battered and bruised.
the ones who walk above it are heavy handed and flat footed.
This is a sight for sore eyes.
mother nature has been crying all night.
Her children are all dying.
her existence is just a pity and a shame.
Blood flows down every river stream.
hence I conclude we are all separated by blood.
In a time of great danger we cannot even distinguish between sign language and hand gestures.
We cry for those who cannot be with us today.
but they lay down chilled in an iced out fridge.
We hide our deceased in dark dirt pits.
they get to heaven and they see the light.


Why does it feel like the same people
Who Brake my Heart are the Same people
Who are there to pick up the Pieces?

Funny it May Seem its true
Why Am I always The Nice Guy?
Why am I always the superhero that Never Gets The Girl?
Why Do I feel heart Broken?
Yet I knew We Could Never Be?
Why Have I stopped caring?
Why did I have to fall for her?

Why Do I ask My self questions I Know no answers to?
Reality is Questions unanswered are questions not asked
I loved her and still I Ask My self

The Tormented Mistress

His eyes pierce through her flesh
Scraping around the edges of her heart
Slowly amputating her compassion

His voice travels down her spine
Prodding against her backbone
Slowly destructing her courage

His touch commences perspiration
Draining all signs of vacillation
Slowly extracting her shrewdness

His kisses drive her to ecstasy
Rushing blood through her veins
Slowly agitating her composure

His embrace ensures, to her, security
Guarding her from trepidation
Slowly confining her independence

His heart shows no compassion
Neither courage, nor wisdom
His state of mind, disturbed

Captivated by his own desires
It may not be hers
Both subsequently perplexed

For it is time to depart
She stays behind while he heads home
Home to his significant other

-By SI.Barron

love so strong and true

I miss him
I miss more everyday
I love him
I am sure he knows that through anyway
My love for him is very strong
Yet his love for me is undecided
Though he is now gone
I hope to find him and be loved
How long will it take?
How long would he take?
I wish he would come back to me
The here and now
Beholds his coming
Miles away,farway now
Where is the love of my life

“Red” International Call For Writers by ArtAscent – Deadline October 31, 2014

| Theme:
This call theme is “Red.” Fire, passion, heat, sacrifice, vitality, danger, happiness, a primary colour. What shade is your red?

| Eligible Submissions:
Entries may include fiction, poetry, short stories and other written explorations (up to 900 words). Previously published or unpublished are eligible. Submissions must be the original work of the applicant(s).

| Highlights:
The Gold writer will be featured in the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal complete with an artist profile review written by our art writer. From three to seven writers in total will be published in ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal including links to artists websites, promotion on ArtAscent website artist directory, and exposure in ArtAscent social media.

| About ArtAscent:
The mission of ArtAscent is to promote artists of images and words, and connect them with art lovers. This is accomplished by calls for artists and writers, artist profiling, art magazine publication, and artist and writer online showcasing. Each call is theme based, with the intent to showcase diverse creative explorations of that theme via various media.

| Call application: