What I see

A little smirk a sharp edge of a cynic
A wanderer an observer a bona fide critic
A sigh- exhausted chuckles
Cleaning old blood from blistered knuckles…
What do you fight for what do you believe
When the truth is a bubble made of personal satisfactory
So hush my child don’t speak so loudly
They’re watching they’re judging
Hiding behind what keeps them safe
Blindly seeking truth within misplaced faith…

Where do broken hearts go?

Where do broken hearts go?

Well they take that slight dark long road,
Filled with thorns and a naked foot cant walk,
They climb those high mountains with no safety ropes,

As the river covers the road,
Those mountains are the only hope,
For the rivers of tears flows South,
and the hearts cant swimm nor cross in peaces,
Now broken hearts are lost in the dark,

But they keep searching for that one soul to mend them,
Broken hearts seeks love to mend them!

Breathing lessons

Anne Sexton
What are you made of
An elegant older sky
With a poet’s swagger in a nation of ghosts
The angel skin of winter
Therapist suggested
I write poetry and it feels sweet
I feel out of my depth
Simply blue and feeling melancholia
Is not enough to cancel out the midnight
I write to purge unhappiness

Chasing wild sheep and ambulances
An insomniac’s trick
I’ve discovered an empire
The empire of the introspective
I’m a superwoman and actress
Drama and always being
Brought to life by it
Provocative and enchanting
Exotic and intimidating
How to stay calm under pressure
A wolfish din far away in my head

Temper-temper-temper
Sometimes out of my comfort zone
Idyllic life yet miserable
Living in a glass house with glass ceilings
Daring to feel alive
Bone challenging clowns all around me
Bone challenging poetry
The reflection of a warmed-up fossil
Swarming in the ground
What do I see when I look
Is my face an enchanting face

Depression comes like a thief
(Lions and tigers and elephants too)
Daring to feel alive and authentic
Doesn’t like to be photographed
Am told I am beautiful and talented
Yet I am still unhappy and long for peace
Feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland
Wearing the dress that goes anywhere
To meet up with good citizens
Every one is a tiger on the loose
Every thing is set on the loose.

What we were

Some wanted more zeroes
At the end of a dull white page
With their “please turn over” mentality
Already sniffing out new ways
To dig old wounds
Wounds tender from numerous
Pin pricks of cold technology
Seeking salvation of sleek appliances
For the slow demise of creativity

Cardboard boxes only good enough for storage
No climbing of trees or sugar cane raids
To make us feel the rare earth singing
In our marrow, a simple ecstasy
Sand grains exfoliating heady adventures
Of spinning wood and string
Team play, with shiny glass orbs
Rolling in the dust, outside barracks

Later, oil drums welcomed tired behinds
To fire side tales of the wild boar
Thrashing about in the long grass
Rapt, pale faced, we listened, hushed
Eyes darting, from brother to sister, to
The next brother and the other sister
Cold spines stealing comfort from evening fire

Morning bird concerto played right on cue
While sleep held little bodies stubbornly
Water boiled outside; with fallen pine cones
begging for the comfort of calloused hands
In simple pleasures, we forgot Tomorrow,
A place in the future; Full of zeroes
on dull white paper, and tender wounds

Read between the lines

I pulled the book
It was Bukowski
Leaf edges dog eared
Severely, thumb woven almost
And, with a mild shudder,
I dove
The crashing words below
Threw up foamy spray
Streaking my face, like tears.
The dark cliff edge, cliff notes
A keening, plaintive wail so
Close to my body
Beseeching almost.
While I pondered, it hit
Or I hit
I couldn’t tell
Body entangled, engulfed
Wave upon wave, of words
Pounding the mind
Into the deep current,
I struggled, gasping
Memory broke in, a
Harsh, grating shout
Chastising, warning me
I forgot, Dear God, I forgot
to anchor a safety line
Too late
I’m drowning

My Parents

They gave me life.
They rouse me up from a silent sleep
just like Jesus who rouse up Lazarus from death.

They nurtured me like a plant,
granting me all the basics I need,
aspiring that one day
They would harvest tasty fruit from me.

Every time I stare at them
I tell myself I will be a tree
in a summer season,
full of green leaves and
full of tasty fruit.

By: Mihlali Makunga

Destination Direction

Blood has been drawn, vehement oaths have now been sworn
Sin in desire has been born, written destinies are now forlorn
Light the path of future’s course, time goes on as is a curse
Life’s a drag and it gets worse, dead-straight life-force in a hearse

I am driven by the gears of my mind in reverse-motion reflection
Broken speed of my train-of-thought in automation rejection
Along the freeway of restricting limits that control my situation
As I park in the driveway of mentality in its amalgamation

I find it so amazing how I am still allowed to live this life
Yet I feel that many more have been deserving to be alive
But I do not want to be a part of this suicidal strife
When I am sure that positive influence truly is rife

And as I am a poet, words govern which way my thought goes
The destination direction as I depart from my sullen woes

The New South African Struggle

This new struggle will be faught by pens and papers,
Determined minds and willing souls.
No blood must be spilled
But skills and talents should be unveiled.
Our heroes and heroines died for democracy
We will live for the liberation of intelligence.
Our ancestors never knew freedom and equality
We will mark the end of mediocrity.
Born-frees put down those guns and knobkerries
Take a little break from those blackberries.
Your weapons are the books and pens.
We are the heirs of power
Invested in our learning.

My First Son (Requested By Fowzia Mansoor)

You were never a mistake, I don’t care what people say;
If you were by chance, you would be the best mistake I’ve ever made;
I’ve been taught that wishes never come true;
But that all changed the day God gave me you;

I’ve always heard about true love;
But never believed it to be true until I had my very first son;
Looked into your eyes for the very first time;
And I knew God heard me every time I cried;

Days I felt all alone and broken inside;
All those times I was broken and never understanding the reasons why;
The rise was worth all the falls;
You were the reason for it all;

If I had too, I’d do it all over again without thinking twice;
And go through all the trials I’ve had in my life;
You made all those hard times easy to take;
They prepared me for this special day;

The day I was given an angel from up above;
In the form of my very first son;
I never understood the bond between a mother and her child;
That she would do anything for her seed even sacrifice her own life;

I’d give up all I have just to keep the smile upon your face;
And I’ll do that until my dying day;
So I don’t care what people say or claim by saying you were a mistake;
Cause even if that was true, my boy you were the best mistake I ever made.

Japan

And when at last it came
to the end of the book
the idea came.
Our imagination
is organic, and a wreck broken off.
And so we continue to imagine,
inspire, and interpret.
War is barbaric like the onset of dementia.

It is something we fail to understand.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Japanese girls are zoo-pretty.
Japan is majestic, an ancient-country.
All its interiors have secrets.
Yet the sky still speaks of blue,
finding the poem, the haiku.
Welcome to Sarajevo, snipers, mass graves.

When seen from afar
Forget this war, forget all places of weeping.
Japan, Sarajevo and Africa.
Earth is simply waiting
for me to describe it.
Instead I speak about Japan and Sarajevo.
Poets who live not in this world of human nature
But rather a cage of their own making and design.

They walk on dirt roads African poets.
With their shamanic wisdom and their sails.
Their words are as old as a telescope, fossils, totem poles,
tribes, trees, Darwinism, the touch of the hands
of my paternal grandmother, antiques,
the coelacanth, the dishes that are waiting
for me in the sink, the footprint of childhood
On the beach sucking a waterfall of sea.