Morning

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

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!

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

Zindzile VII

I dreamt I was a child again

And I was walking on to you

So I can relive the chapters of life

Which I lived without you

I left the swing chair

Still going back and forth under the swing tree

My toys lying idle in the ground

Walking on to a happy being

The jacaranda shed its purple hood

Carpeting the path on my way to you

.

I passed by Celtic meadows

The horses have been left there– free

To roam in the wild untamed

As reprieve and recompense

For riding and dying in all history’s senseless wars

They understand this journey—

.

My dear Zindzile, my love, my all

I’ll sit you down and tell you

Everything I remember since my birth

I’ll show you all the birthmarks

In the most private parts of my life

Zindzile VI

A song comes on like a long lost friend

My mind is once again a dance floor

of wooden polished planks

creaking under the weight of waltzing thoughts

Am reminded of our first slow dance

how shy you were and a little embarrassed

for now and then stepping on my feet

I had never been a dancer either

but the music came on

and you had a lovely dress on

there was nothing else to do

Am reminded of that flowery summer dress

few inches shy of your knees

that you love because it flatters your waistline

Am reminded of the scent of your neck

and blots of tears on my shoulder

My Zindzile—the selfsame song came on again today

And my feet itched for a dance

My arms reached out in the empty air—for your waist

All the while all alone – listening

I muttered under my breath

What a waste, what a waste

What a waste of a good song!