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

I Do Not Miss The Sun

i do not miss the sun

i welcome the cold

i do not miss the wind

i welcome the calm

i do not miss your eyes

i embrace the darkness

put the gold away

fetch me some ash

wipe that smile away

cry me a river

nothing can ever be the same again

and so will everything

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!


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.

Zindzile IX

I promised my girl a walk by the river

Many years ago–but it rained

And we took shelter under a shack

Where we giggled and talked with shiver

a whole afternoon was gained

and we cursed our luck


the plastic shade was worn out

and with the windy rain we got a little wet.

Rock breakers shelter in them from the sun

where their glistening backs give out

where hammers and fingers in pain are met

brows winced and sweat overrun


I passed by that spot today

The shade shacks are all gone

Rocks are broken by machines now

In their place a cover of teaming hay

Where we sat forget-me- nots are grown

Right where I swore my vow  


 Now I wander around looking for a riverbank

Where I’ll take my Zindzile for that promised stroll

but it always rains and the shacks are naught

so alone I walk in the rain with eyes blank

I go around the blue blossoms on a roll

 wet lips whispering forget me not…..forget me not

The Line

I often impress myself

by mundane acts such as; washing my socks

or getting my dry pants from the line

or doing the dishes or taking bus to work

and I wonder how I am able to keep on going

getting on in this strange mechanical manner

when my soul is not here–mostly–lately.


I want to take off this reality

Like a dirty cloth that has begun to stink


Just a little turn of my head

Just a second more staring at the wall

and I realize the miracle of my daily motion

how I am able to keep on going

like a stray bag left in the seat of a bus

which no one is coming back for


What a thin line, a tight rope

between keeping up with these mechanical motions

and tipping over to the sweet gnawing melancholy

that calls on to me like that attractive forbidden lover

to abandon my washing task

and sink my head in my foam covered palms.


The miracle is in walking this line

Zindzile VIII

In the days I readily fell in love

My whole being leaned towards possibilities

And I took cause to succumb

to the slightest maiden glance

In days like these I did meet her- elegantly clad

in the only green dress committed to the closet of my memory

I rushed to my spice box

And a soup did make her

To tell of the savories of love to come


I told her of the death of my childhood dog

How I learnt not all pain is physical

How not to relive the pain I foreswore dogs

I took her hand in mine

And with the great sense of possibility—or illusion

In my heart made her my wife


Zindzile dear I am brave now

With you by my side

I am ready to keep a dog again


I remember counting my steps as a child

From our hut down the stream

Every day on my way there and back

How when spanked for some mischief

I rushed to the garden to weep

And nocturnal birds imitated my sobs

How I heaved a sigh and went silent

Seeing reflection of the starry sky in a puddle of rainwater

and realized how the flower bearing shrubs

That grows around the hut formed around me

a colourful protective moat from the darkness beyond


For a long time life felt like those steps from the stream

Same path, same steps and everyday counting

Over and over again

How these memories come back now

Like projected pictures in a theatre hall

And am alone in the darkness all seats empty

I am the stream flowing seamless

With no need of counting

I am a nocturnal bird imitating other’s sobs

In this garden – world–of constant sorrow  

I have drunk all the stars in the rainwater puddle

and sigh no more

a fence of flowering shrubs around my heart


Whenever I want I can be eight again

Sitting on the rock terraced slope

Of the old church hill

White warm pebbles of a Saturday midmorning

Among a colony of periwinkles

Looking out on the yon still morning lake

Little passion fruit seeds on my smeared cheeks