Early Days Of Madness

The sorrows that are—with or without our will

The terrors that set men lightly fleeing

It could only be this

Or something worse

A man was running along the street – and fast

There was sweat dripping off his brow

And terror in his unblinking eyes

Yet no one was after him

Or knew why or where

But I saw him get smaller

And disappear way beyond in selfsame speed

Seemed like he’ll never stop running

Like a man in early days of madness

He’ll run on a long while I thought

For the demons he was fleeing

I saw them in his eyes


One fine afternoon I sat outside

with such a capacity for joy

and like a little child I believed

 I was controlling the movement of the clouds

with my brow.

Then from out of nowhere

a flash of blinding light

hit my eyes for a second

and I asked —

Is this the beckoning of the beloved?

Or a reflection of some silverware

Hanging outside a shop in Marrakesh

Zindzile V

Many a day and night I hoped – a lover forlorn

And my incessant passions dwelt for long

On the wind creations of fairy airs

As vivid as the brave imagination dares

And there I dwelt among silent groves

Whispering steaming words to a cold world

My hand clasps missing the fleeting doves

My fiery touch melting female figures of wax mold

Eventually did I burst out of this lonely dream  

And finally did I find my beautiful — my isle girl

O I want to sing and dance and whirl

Having tasted love I want to shout and scream

My Zindzile– it is more delightful to wait on a lover real

Than fading images without the lover’s feel

The Belly Dancer

Right on the evening of my enchantment

Heated up by a bonfire –an outdoor party went on

In came a fine belly dancer

Nearly stripped—with charms on her waist

And had danced dead all the cobras of orient

she had a neck like an antique vase—

fired in ancient kilns and varnished by kisses sweet

her eyes had trapped all flames she had danced around

and now they burnt with a fierce glow

and as she danced

her lips like poppies soft

chanted opium incantations

that had us all in a trance

her waist flashed in the firelight

giving it a caramel sheen

with every pulsating move

I spotted a beauty mark

on the softness underneath her breast.

her adorned ankles defied dust and encircled all

she was the center of a whirlwind

taking us all with it

and her legs, her thighs were time defying pillars

of an old forgotten civilization

a hallway to a temple –dedicated to the worship of beauty.

we all became pilgrims that night  

and her navel —the altar of a holy land

On our Journey To The City Of Love

On our journey to the city of love

we crossed mountain passes

and dangled on edges and cliffs

and the open road welcomed us

unending dust and mirages of heat.

I watered a roadside cactus

with salty fountains shooting from my groin

out behind a rugged boulder

was a colourful serpent flaunting its forked tongue.

In the rolling plains

with different shades of green

were fields of gilded wheat and corn

and other hard knock crops.

The expanse grasslands

looked like a playground of angels

and every single tree was beautiful

their drooping branches

kept the river in a state of constant seduction.

When we reached the city of love

the outstretched arms of a long lost friend

reached out to us

for a feast in the house of David

eat this

drink this

and here is a soft pillow and white sheets

to rest your weary head

tell me

was there ever a shortage of miracles?

Grand Tour

Go within yourself

And examine your heart

The sages said

So I took a grand tour

To my heart’s tenements

And there it stood

Old, grey and dark

Like an abandoned warehouse

Or like Noah’s empty ark  

And everything of metal rust

Wood chipped, termites and rot

Wild vines and ivy swallowing walls

Grey lizards coming out of cracks

Waiting for sun

I went in and I cried out

But not a single soul was there

In all that vast emptiness

Not even echo answered my cry

Zindzile IV

Its lunch time break

and afternoon prayers

the scent of spicy food

hit my nose from the balcony

The Imam’s voice

pierces through the foggy air

from a minaret close by

my colleagues grab their prayer mats

and head out to the prayer call

I pull out my writing pad

this blank page shall be my prayer mat

I anoint my quill in ink

and these words I write to you Zindzile

This letter is my prayer.