No more letters

I stop scribbling midway

No more letters I say

ink and paper no longer hold sway

No more hungry words I pray

and so down my pen I lay

and start straight on my way.

O that happy day

all my scribbling at bay

and all letters stashed away

your glassy eyes I’ll survey

and my love speechlessly convey

My words I shall press print and display

directly from my lips to yours in soft array

day to day till we are gray.


The albatross encircles Noah’s head

The ark is from dreamland safe

Lazarus is back from the dead

The stone of sleep unrolled

Judas unkisses Christ

It’s the dawn of a new day


I open the window of my tomb

Light floods my face.

The albatross has defiled my sill.

The ark my bed,

the winding shroud my sheet.

I step out on the threshold

I welcome the day

with an expectant joy

like when a cheek blushes

awaiting its turn

as loving lips approach the other cheek

Gathering purple blossoms

All the benches in town

are begging me to sit on them

in their cold aloofness they cry out

But I have places to go

and errands to run

I take one quick side look

and think of how nice it would be

to cancel all these trips

abandon all these errands

and sit one that bench for a while

the one am now just passing by

Shady under the great Jacaranda tree

Covered in all that purple magic

Can you imagine it?

Me– a great big man like I am

in a great black suit like I have

seated on a roadside bench

gathering purple blossoms

The song of longing

A blind man of ancient streets

Plays on his alabaster flute

sings out a story song

and all who are parted from their loved ones

Gather to listen and weep

This is the greatest story ever told

He beats his chest and sings on

and all the women waiting on their men lost at sea

Unwrap their heads and pull out their hair with bare hands

and their unborn babes violently kick in their wombs–

as they writhe in pain.


The scribes ruffle their papyrus

and spill about their inkpots

In the ecstasy of immortalizing this song

The hostess has abandoned her weaving task

and now sinks in her lap in tears

her oil and flour jars lie broke

the guests have overstayed their welcome.


This is a song of longing

This is a song of hope

Do not sink into despair

Odysseus the lost will escape Calypso’s Island

and finally approach your porch

in the guise of a beggar

Do not sink into despair

The meeting

I see you coming towards me

along the busy street

You haven’t seen me yet

You almost pass me by

I finally make up my mind

To make myself seen

I hesitate and finally tap your shoulder

You turn with a surprised smile

I extend my hand for a shake

Halfway change my mind

and go in for a hug

Leaving your hand midair

The sideways shoulder hug don’t last a second

You are standing on somebody’s way

You move aside and trip on a rock

We are both saying sorry

I muse a little space

You lick your lips bashfully

and they come to life

Someone is asking to paint your nails

You moved places’ I ask

I don’t go down that road anymore’ You say

Parting pleasantries

Serious silence

You turn to go

I turn

We are strangers again

First Concert

The band is here

The stage is set

So enters Winyo the songbird

With his set of blues ballads

Gold bracelets and a straw hat

lifts his hands away from him

as if presenting a sacrifice

to the invisible gods of music

closes his eyes and belches out a note

and another, and another — unchained

the crowd is enchanted

and as we dance hypnotized

I see from across the floor

Other lovers at this altar of music

arms raised singing along word for word

Our eyes meet in the haze of blue lights.


There is a kinship so sacred

Between the lovers of music

There is a gratitude so great

like the end of a prayer

Centre of the World

There’s an image of peaceful solitaire

Thinking back on the countryside air

The fields and my childhood lair

I remember a great fig tree — its still there

Standing many a feet up in the air

In a land no owner known nor heir

Everyone admits they were born and found it there

The vast expanse of land around it bare

And grass of gold, green and fair.

scientists claim the centre of the world I know not where

But I have always thought it to be there

Under that old large dark green stare

Cut it down and the world deflates all its air

Like an unknotted balloon at a county fair

Chainsaw-wielding fiends don’t dare!