Zindzile III

when you strip down

before you take your bath

touch and hold dear

your cold naked body

and think of me


when sit to comb your hair

tear out your kinks in anger

feign the pain on the comb

bury your face in your palms

and think of me


when you oil up your skin

or moisturizing or cream

repeat unnecessary strokes on your neck

then pause a while

and think of me


when you try on your dress

straighten out the creases with care

run your hands over your curves

tilt your head to one side

and think of me


when you lie down to sleep

place your pillow between your thighs

stretch your wailing arms

on the cold empty side of your bed

and think of me



Painting by Michael Orwick

Soul Friend

They say each tree grows in its own shadow
But we are strange trees you and me
For I am entwined to you stem and roots;
Someone passing by
Would swear we are one tree
and lose that bet
But my bark is rough and yours smooth
Your leaves are the shape of the heart
and mine the shape of an arrow head

all striving for light

Crossroads Park

At a highway crossroads
Leading out of this City
There is a tiny little park
Where maidservants on their off day
go to meet their sweethearts.
Amidst the noise and dust
the fumes of the passing cars
the shrubs and trees
which might have otherwise been beautiful
are coated with thick dust.
Intimacy is brewed and thrives here
every sunny Sunday afternoon,
and one passes by without taking notice
only once in a while an estranged heart such as mine
stops to wonder with admiration
how this love thrives and holds its own
in this noisy, dusty and soulless city of ours.

Bird Scarers

As when the air is yellow

filled with the light of peering sun after rain

 and everything looks light and gay

with the sheen of droplets on green

reflecting the yellow light

and with every blink I thought

I was blind but now I see

the joy of vision ever renewed.

We got out of our makeshift shades

made of sticks and arrow root leaves

back to our guarding task

the rice field against thieving birds

a stretch of golden field

bent stalks and ears bursting heavy with grain.

Thinking the birds were long gone

to seek some shelter from the storm

and now their wings too damp to fly

we abandoned our task

and went off playing in the mud

then out of nowhere

a flock of weaver birds

descended upon the ripe rice field

like a horde of Mongols

as we slid in the mud slope – naked.

The Sleeper in the Plains.

In the scanted plains where dust blows

where smooth barked acacias cast rickety shadows

and thistle and thorny weeds thrive

It is a vast plain wrought with silence


A jumbo Elephant lies on its side

with the back of its ear bathed in red mud

he sleeps with teary but hard shut eyes

stretched out on the thorny ground

silent on its red bed – gathering throng of flies


The piercing heat does not twitch his skin

nor the flies set his tail to task

He is having a nap like someone with a broken heart

Might take a nap – unmoving

He sleeps in the sun Tusk-less

There are two red holes in his snout  

Sky Sculptor

Who is the sculptor up in the sky?

so undecided on his task

with fleeting marble bubbles  

sculpts the ever changing clouds

now a bearded sage

now angel wings widespread

now the shape of my dead dog

Then giving up his task  

blows away his marble—Smokey

into a vault like the gate of heaven

and I change my expression –solemn

like I know something of God

the sun peer out brightly

hot on my face

and I get up seeking some shade.