Zindzile XII

We sat at a roof restaurant in perfect silence

enjoying the view, the company

and the inexpensive juice

You remember?

How could you not.

You came over to my side

and we took pictures cheek to cheek

smiling ear to ear.


I printed the picture and stuck it on my wall

Tonight sitting on my hard-knock floor

listening to down and out blues

I stare up at the picture

Your hair short

Your glasses on.

A mosquito has landed just right in the middle of your smile

giving the illusion of gapped teeth.

How much you look like my mama from here

My dear Zindzile — my heart is in the Highlands

My heart is not here

My heart is in the Highlands–my love my dear


Little rebellious voice inside

That stretch the ends of my wits

threatening the anarchy of passions ;

fears and anxiety

I’ll suffer you

rioting and kicking against the light

I’ll suffer you—

Easy easy easy Bucephalus! —

It’s only your shadow.

Gallop on steady

and let’s conquer the world!

Zindzile XI

There’s claw marks on my left arm

thin stripes of scar

that was left on me by my beloved

on the last morning of our parting.

I bear this mark with pride and nostalgia

The only visible mark left on me by love

For you can’t see all the kisses on my lips

Or how my heart has since grown twice its size


My scar has been disappearing- my woe

Where was it ever heard

of one mourning the healing of a scar

My dear Zindzile – here on my left arm

it’s like seeing you walk away all over again


Years ago I learnt from a fellow reader

Who did tell of how sacrilegious an act it was

To fold the tips of a book leaf to track pages

So this day I was reading outdoor without my bookmark

I plucked a young hibiscus and with it marked my last page.


With nothing else to read today

I picked up the same book again after so long

The flower was dried up where I last left it

It was like a meeting of ex lovers

in their hometown where nothing has changed

And each corner street is achingly depressing

Both burnt out and spit back home by the big city lights.

Painted Birds

I have painted Birds on my wall

every morning I wake up to their silent songs

The city is still this morning

The rains tore down all the chaos in the air last night

There is a strange calmness before the start of day

Which for sure will be noisy and chaotic

I take one look at my birdy creations

And like their plumage

I hear the colorful songs — each to each

All in my head.

Lo I can’t hear the Hoopoe!

Oh dear oh dear

I got to paint more birds!