The Struggle

A great mass of voices,

Connected in heart and mind,

Crying for free choices,

Why can’t they decide?

Gathered as one against state forces,

Leaders of the young fighting just causes,

Enemies in uniform, fathers killing children,

Is this why they are born?

Is this nation building?

The questions travel through time, line after line,

Why must I learn in your language when you don’t speak mine?

A chorus of God Save the Nation rises to the heavens,

Bullets sing through the air and create roses with perfect petals,

That drip to the dirt,

Mixing with the earth,

But never really quenching her thirst,

Black polished school shoes beat a cloud of dust,

Some hands hold dustbin lid shields, others throw stones,

Child soldiers with cloth face masks,

Acting without their parents, suddenly becoming old,

Through the teargas storm their path is paved with bones,

They reach for the future, for the future is theirs,

In their hands and in the shade of state capture,

What’s education when nobody cares?

Where are the leaders of iconic stature?

Imprisoned for years by oppressive expectations,

They will pay their own price,

When corruption, discrimination and inequality are inherited,

Who will seek good advice?

If it comes from the youth, then nobody is hearing it…

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damage by the #numbers

as kind as a tall stranger

i dare not look twice,

an invite from ill fate,

paints twice the damage,

an odd something in the confines,

never at ease not once,

best forgotten like the niggles,

that once were a pain,

vague notions in the air,

four times like seasons,

make a year worth dreaming,

the fourth in a square,

i complete my stand,

from under my top ten,

still counting blind,

but get ten out of ten,

crush chalk with my teeth,

white lies took a third,

made spit with pencil lead,

with two thirds i couldn’t focus,

a black star in a black night,

still nobody’s zero,

got habits to cull,

until i amount to naught,

always against childhood,

i feel like i’m coming second,

a race until the end,

my worst is second best,

nobody is even watching,

one in five can’t even listen,

don’t need to know the half,

a glass with five is empty,

life is a purring stretch,

ask the cat with nine lives,

its often torn down the middle,

without a stitch its suicide of nine,

they’ll invite you to a feast,

its off to seventh heaven,

skinny friends beware,

binging on the seven deadly sins,

at least one’s spoilt for choice,

i’m already down to six,

but nobody’s counting,

it could actually be eight,

#ouch my belly,

must be something I eight,

(hate)

(fate)

#great…

 

**sleep**

Oil pours from the eyes,

Sockets soggy with grief…

Sleep,

Butterflies in my head,

Their wings scrape my metal,

Sleep…

Something inside there…

Sleep…

Simply isn’t working,

Clogged with bad dreams,

Not sure what that means,

Sleep…

My will has surrendered,

Sleep…

It burns on my skin,

This desert sun emotion,

Mushrooms blooming from my armpits,

I’m half dancing backwards,

Sleep…

Smile with grey teeth,

Just a stone’s throw from home,

Sleep…

Black Mist Woods

The hood of my long cloak casts a shadow on my face,

My eyes down cast, staring at the ground as if wishing it away,

But the carpet of dead leaves, insect bones, and moist earth,

Are as real as the dreams I didn’t ask to be there,

This side of the world is mine by design,

I pray to it with silence and it hears me through the torment,

The paths from here are many, tangled and inviting,

In the same way that a ghost’s hand might be said to be welcoming,

I’m coming some time just give me one more chance,

The first step like crossing a starving chasm with a black hunger,

My still roots burn holes through hell,

I cannot leave until I understand the face of danger,

Looked upon it as if in anticipation of a noncommittal kiss,

But how am I to know what is so far from the why,

Forever will one day see me bleed through my bark,

Will it be here amongst others that would be like me,

Or will it be beyond these woods where misty entanglement leads,

I go against my very nature by allowing thoughts to wander,

They may never return,

Leaving me to be what I think I am,

But without them I can only feel I am,

Feel I am here,

And that is all that matters,

For even over there,

If I feel,

Then I know I’m still here…

tr-igg-ere-d

smudged thumb print on the second last petal

imprint of a feeling that hungered

snap back with the stinging as the red shows

a wounded flower so pretty in its pose

still pretty with only one hope left

clinging to the base of its blossom with cloying grandeur

at least it thinks

at least it continues to define the whole

apart from the stem

the others sigh green

why always this one

always the last one born

so pretty can’t you see

its edges catch reflecting raindrops

with swirling smiles from the sun

moon

and stars

it could command the galaxies this one

leaving four fingered prints on their lenses

making them so giddy they’d spill their soil

exposing all routes

there would be truth in that

a way at the very least

to make its detachment

seem

alright

Gone Gone

An unsmiling leaden cloud cynically blocks out the sun,

Hogging the sky, as if it alone has rights to the day,

An uninvited wind, unseen and death cold, steals its own moment,

Pretending to be uninvolved…

“A world of darkness is one without answers,

A life full of answers is one with too many bad questions…”

White flashes of pain accompany the metallic rumble,

A sour rain threatens to pour from my eyes,

Dousing what’s left of this day and killing my hope,

I can already taste the earth…

“The faith of the faithless is never tested or wasted,

Yet it throbs with the strength of its own purpose…”

When the land is soaked through and yet my throat remains dry,

I know time has left me behind to face the night alone,

Wrapped in my own feelings I imagine a moon after the storms,

And my roots shiver…shiver…shiver…

“Growth is immeasurable while it happens,

It becomes shy when you stop to notice it…”

 

Walking

“How long have we been walking?” I asked turning back into the fuggy darkness.

There was no response, just the faint sound of a branch breaking in the undergrowth as if the silence were furtively retreating.

I blew warm air on my gloved hands and looked at them with irritation as if it were their fault they couldn’t stay warm.

Looking down at my own footprints in the cold mud, and then all around me as if in disbelief, I wondered who I had been directing my question to.

Was I thinking that out loud or did I really think somebody was here?

Surely there was somebody just here, somebody who had come all this way with me in these conditions, otherwise how could I have done it alone?

The answer to that question quickly became irrelevant as I now started considering where exactly I was and the new question was “where the heck am I?”

This time I was sane enough to think it in my head although it seemed loud enough in there to startle me a little.

Or maybe it was the slight fear that I had to ask the question in the first place that startled me.

What a bother I am in, surely.