"Number 4"

On the prison that is now better known as Constitution Hill in Johannesburg




                 When they brought me here

                                                 it was me they took...

                 and it was me they left when they left


                 locked up and bruised,


                           can see me (could...) and hear me (could...),

                 I am not an idea,

                       I am NOT (was...) an intellectual exercise.

                 I know it is ME (was...) inside this body.

                 It is ME (was...) they flayed with high pressure water

                                                                 crushing me up


                               the far wall of the cell they put me in

                 naked in winter at night...

                 It is me (was...) they starved, that was starved,


                It is me that lost my family to

                the world


                lost my name, lost my life

                and it  was me, I, the me you maybe knew

                that died here and left my body here

                as I shivered

                shook myself to shredded pieces on

                                                   the floor of a cell in number's 4

                winters night open to the night.

                IT IS!  (was) DARK.

                There is no sun

                No more sun... No moon

                No pain ......

                It is, (was) me here. In  Number 4

                Remember me...








"  Mosquito  "





            I keep

                          on killing the

                  same mosquito

                          over and

                          over again as it

                          flies past my face.



I got you!

                        and rub the smear off my hands

                   on to my shirt late at night

               to find him in my face again

               buzzing my computer screen and

                  arms and bare feet under the table.



I got you ! (again)

as I gleefully stare at that leggy smear

on my hands

                       (or are you the cousin or

                the uncle

            or auntie or somebody....) (I have the whole

               family here already on me it seems)

and there YOU ARE AGAIN  !!!!

engaging me in that bull-fight ,

                     me versus you ,

                                      dog - fighting clapping space

                as I mentally

                        curse survival.





“ The 2 sugar club”

-morality of custom-


                         Some people like

                                                               no sugar in their tea.

                                         Some people like one

                                                               or three sugars in their tea.

                                         I like TWO sugars

                                                  and some milk.

                                                                  The milk

                                                          is not an issue


                                                          to some I might concede

                                                                                    it might be…


                                        as for me, two sugars

                                       define me fine

                                       and defines those I

                                       converse and sit with fine….

                                       The two sugars 

                                                     in the tea

                                                      [(as we sit

                                                                   and savor

                                                                   and know)]

                                        speak well for

                                                       the way we like to be

                                                               regardless of all others...


                             The three & one and none tea

                                                                          sugar drinkers

                                                      we will keep from our milieu,

                            to maintain

                                                      our table manners nicely gracious as they should be,

                            to know

                                                     for concurrence to be had

                                          it‘ll be a concurrence that we know,

                                          with people that we know,            

                                         people that sip tea nice and proper

                                                                           like I do, with 2 sugars in their cup

                                          as if …

                                          with  this Chalice, this Holy Grail, Kiddush Cup

                                                       held delicate between two fingers

                                          we don’t really exist on this here lesser plane

                                                                                                                   of existence…






"Am I home ?"

on commuting daily by train, then work


                        In essence

                                       my body could do anything

                                       that you might ask

                                                               of it

                                                                to do,

                           like work  at work so absurd

                           at hours so absurd

                           at jobs so absurd and boring….


                                                reality has it,

                                                that it does have a mind that rebels

                                                at boredom,

                           and a heart that shrinks

                           from doing

                           what it feels it might feel to  be wrong .


                                   What to do then,

                                            shut down and  go brain dead ?

                                            Tell it that eish …  it is lucky to be alive?

                                 Know that things could be worse?


                         What lies do I need to tell myself

                                         or tell others to be able to go on....

                                         to take a train every day at four in the morning,

                       to step over still sleeping children as I get up to leave,

                       to return by train at night...

                           to find a family already ready to go to sleep.

                       Good night my loved ones, sleep well.

                                 Tonight every morning, every night.


                       What do I tell myself about the world

                            when I seek refuge in a Christ

                            they tell me about every Sunday ,

                        one that rose from a death

                        I feel to be to close to  mine to give me comfort...

              or Allah the all merciful, what do I do with his mercy

                                                                       peace be upon him?

             Or what do I say to myself


            the one that declares emptiness

                                                 to be the essence of life supreme

                           as I walk out

                           the door in


                           a day that's still night

                          for  me, to the sound of 

                           of shadows curled up against each  other,

                                                                          snoring in their  beds?

                         Good night, sleep well.

                                                 Tonight every morning, every night.










     (253) -2


                  My body can do it and does…

                                   do it as long as I do not allow myself to exist….:

                                   As I make sure to have a funeral plan for myself

                                   that is stable and secure.


                             My body can do it and does…:

                             As teachers tell me that my children need a parent’s


                                                IN at home; I know that too, I know that too...!


                  My body can do it and does

                        as I rock back and forth

                        to the same train’s rhythm that rocks back and forth

                                        all those same others that seated

                 or standing lean against each other…

                                            and  look same as me

                                                            with  eyes not even absent.


              Candy, candy ten cents a sweet!!!

                      Pea-nuts, peanuts one rand one rand…..

                               We all know him in our sleep, the man that with his

                               cardboard box

                               makes his way from coach

                                                to coach, the man  that head down discreet

                       goes from carriage to  carriage, the only one awake in this place…


                      In the dream, out we dream.

                                           Ten more train stops before I out my dream to

                                           burst in to another dream , and I’m at work

                      clocking in

                      going through the motions

                    -“Hello, yes, no, have a good day”-

                                           what dream that one, is THAT the dream?

                                 -“ hello”- and then –“hello”- and then –“good night

                                  sleep well”-,

                                  tonight every morning, every night.


                       My body can do it and does.

                                      In essence

                                          my body could do anything

                                          that you might ask

                                          of it

                                          to do,

                                   like to do work   so absurd

                                   at hours so absurd

                                   at jobs absurd and boring.


                                   reality has it,

                                              that it does have a mind that rebels

                            at boredom,

                            and a heart that shrinks

                            from doing

                            what it feels it might feel to  be wrong .


                       What to do then,

                                shut down and  go brain dead ?

                                Tell it that eish  it is lucky to be alive?

                                Know that things could be worse?

                                          -“Good night, sleep well my angels”-.

                               Tonight every morning, every night.













is there Harmony






                                Right ?


                                When 2 people



           hand in hand



























                             " Guitar ”





        The lady gives her gift to the man that plays


                                                     the guitar


        in the long stare of exchange that lilts around


                                                 his notes,




                      looks at her


                           and drifts far beyond the music,


        and by his craft of high and low


                       then crosses the room


                                 and takes her head in to his hands.


















          Built to last

                     built  to grasp

                     built to breathe and eat flies

                     deep eyes stone pool eyes,


                     set green thin on a branch

                                     reaching for

                            back for        reaching for        open fingered

                     the world living                breathing

               built to grasp

                built to breathe and eat flies


               look like a wild leaf

                           from deep places

                        jungle deep       ravine deep

                       deep of a silent glow

                       silent,              quiet       to the visible sun

                       to be a pattern of leaves

                       of bark

                       of grass



                       hands grasping….

                       eating flies….

                       not seen

                 beautifully hidden

                               by its nature.










" My Africa "


   The  thin  reed  is  a  flute ,

         wind  and  rain  its  musician ,


         thunder, my heart ;

         a  rolling  rock  is  the  drum  I  hear.


         From  behind  the  mask  of  wood  and  bells


         I  see people dancing  the  sway  of  hills


             their  feet   kicking  dust  like  smoke


                 more quiet than the bird that sits


                               un - moving    in  the  tree .


         I   hear voices ,  I see faces ,  painted


              to be mealy , cloud  and rain.


          I sit  and  watch - from behind  these  eyes ,


                                and drink deep my family.














"And now what" …

A break away group of men moved trough the village with axes and guns



                            After the war


                                    seemed to bear

                                    the scream of noise

                        beyond repair;



                          smeared           across

                 what used to be white walls

                                                  of a home

                                                  that once

                                                  had known what peace was about;

                  had known children,


                  grandmother songs,


                          and the laughter of

                                mama and papa laughing

                                in the kitchen . 


                     Now its walls, no roof,

                  doorways, no door,

                                  windows, no glass.  


Just broken glass

 and old blood.













"On crossing a street"



Running across the road toy hand

                                       guns held high

                                       the sun low

                                       in the sky,

a bunch of young boys playing at what they know,

                                                          what they see.

                 Running across the road from playing

                 slidy-me on short grass

                         with flattened cardboard boxes

                toy guns held high

                                 the sun


                                 in the sky running after a little

                 short fella …


                                    caught him up against a wall.

               Toy guns to the head ,three guns to

                the back of his

                                   head pressed

                                   up against the wall twelve

                                   maybe thirteen years old with

                                   toy guns pressed up against

              the back of his head

              his mates

              go through

              his pockets

                                   as they play at what they know.



                                   The sun low in the sky

              plays with shadows……..


              And if it was a movie I had just seen

             I would have thought whatever...

                         but it was no movie I was watching ...

            I stood and witnessed  from twenty metres away...

But really  from so much further away than

twenty meters   















“ How to be kind ?”




                        that have 3 pack a day ego’s

                        just LOVE to talk

                        about their egos and how they are

                        in the process of  giving it

                                                  ( their egos)  up.

                                 Lets talk about it

                         (they say) as they explain what they are doing

                         to accomplish this extraordinary

                                                      (and humble) feat.


                No, I do NOT want to talk


                                        your ego my friend…

                I do not care to look in to your toilet when you finish.

                What you flush

                                 and how you flush it


                                 your business but that don’t mean that

                                             we cannot talk about matters YOU !

                                            (or me)

                                              or anything else really, as things go …

                                                  But   to talk

                                                  about anything that obsessive

                                                  obsessively goes round

                                         and round

                                         and round the same centre

                                                          is like talking with a drunk


                                        the next day

                                                          wont remember a thing …



















                              Your silence frightens me…

                                         Within it I sense the one

                                         ready to be…waiting to be



                              a prism of deceptions,

                                      a      back          broken        by perceptions

                                      so        bitter….

                                      a          vicious fighter


                                           in love,

                        justified by driven



                                            your hands   flesh biting;

                                    a soul drowning



                             terrified  dark   and lonely night;

                             your hands   not even


                             too strong to be human,

                             bruising hands,

hurting hands.


                             I must     ( I feel )

                             keep my distance...

                                                                   SORRY  !















“The exile of sight”






                                     In a life

                                            and times of SO art conscious…..

                                            SO saturated by art and artists……


                                            where has art gone, where has the message

                                                                            of shape and color

                                                                  of the sort

                                                                            that triggers in the fiber

                                                                            a cord of piano strings to music

                                                                            in to God and in to being, where’s it gone? :

                                     People play


                                            on to idea and reason trapped by critics, and schools, and

                                    the search for fame:

                                    They search for formula, …


                                   What will people call our time if not the time

                                            of reason an innovation …

                                   but then

                                   behind the hand

                                   a snicker

                                                          a snigger

                                   to say… well…  -“that is what they thought it was then, REASON”-

                                                                                              And then …..maybe….. 

                                                   in compassion,

                                  as history takes over

                                                            they (might) ,will call it

                                                            oh! –“the land of delusion before their big change”-…..



















“ The laughter of a man

sitting down ”





                                    The laughter of a man

                                            that laughs

                                           sitting down;

                                           alone……. while doing nothing …..

                                           conjures theater of mind.


                                                 YOUR theater to YOUR mind but……..

                                                                         his to YOURS !!!


                                   Your theater


                                            guessing at his thought.


                                           maybe you are  laughing

                                  at what you THINK he’s thinking.


                                          being disgusted

                                          at what you THINK his vulgarities are…






















“The truth of belief”



                     The truth of belief

                                              must go uncontested.


                                              How to define without belief

                                             all we know, all we love and don’t ?


                                        How  to unite dream

                                                            with reality  without belief ?…..

                         We need belief in our life

                                        long enough at least to give us the steering powers

                                                                          necessary  to drive

                                                                          our  cars

                                                                          past cliffs and to keep ourselves on the road …..


 But know

                                 that truth and belief is only

                                an issue of false relief if you want to think that they

                                                                        are one and the same.


                          Do not go looking for truth

                                           in amongst beliefs, do not hope

                          for something solid to stand on there

                                                 to give solace if something solid is what you need.


Truth is Gods domain, as nothing exists separate

from the other and the picture is so vast

no human eye can be wide enough to see..


                        Allow truth to be out there in its magnificence

                                   recognized to its glory, something we can strive to be a part of

                       if we want, but know that to live in truth

                                         is to access something beyond all definition,  a state

                      of being that in description becomes belief,

                               greatly less

                          than the sum of its parts.


                     Belief is a shadow.


                         Truth and belief are NOT one

                                                          and the same……

                                                   and to confuse the one with the other

                                                   is to dine on chalk and not cheese.











“ Points of interest ”








                            He’s looking at a TV screen;

                                                        she is turned sideways

                                                                   to look at him.

                            Both are looking,

                                     both are seeing.

                                             Both, are following a story…..





































“ Asking Pat ”

-about stuff; and eating strawberries with sugar

as “STUPID men seem to like to do” -




                      Are you angry

                                                with the male psyche?

                      With men?

                      With how

                      the genes were stacked for us (as males),

                      with us males that are

                      living by codes

                                that were given-handed us

                     by nature for whatever reason nature had in mind…?


                     We like women….!

                     We like to see them dressed and…     undressed…oh woe…

                     oh woe  that we don’t see them

                                 exclusively as  partners  of intellect

                                 partners to draw conversation out with…

                                               and  furthermore

                       some of us males

                       have been known to enjoy strawberries

                       with sugar and by doing so

                                                destroy the natural sweetness of the fruit…. !


                          Pat, are you holding our being

                                                                  against us

                                                                 to demean us to our eyes; (?)

                              But you  forget that you


                           are functioning

                                                        to programs

                                set firm beneath your

                                              and (I am guessing)(sorry!) beautiful (J)

                                                                                  and ample  breasts.











                             Gray Gandhi-cat









                  There he is, my cat,

                            for a visit to my room,

                  checks my eyes

                                    from floor level.


                  I sneeze only once


                               without seeing him go…

                                                            there …

                                 He’s vanished.


                           Not even the tip  of his

                                           furry grey tail

                                           can be seen

                                                               past my door.
























“ ABC ”



                                   Sometimes you want me

                                                             to like you


                                            you do A,B and C …


                                   Sometimes you want me

                                                             to hate you


                                              you do A,B and C …


                                   Sometimes you don’t  care

                                                             what I feel or think


                                           you do A,B and C …


                                   What are you ?

                                                              An abacus ?     L


























                            Watch a fading thought

                                                     fade to nothing

                            while letting it go,

                           fire embers at the end

                                                       of a loud party.




































“ The beach ”




                       Its when the grain of sand

                                       believes itself to be a mountain

                        and unmovable in its essence like a rock

                                       that the beach is then forgotten

                        and the sea with its power to take and give


                              then  forgotten  too.


                       To remember

                           will not turn tides

                                                 in any way

                                          but for sure to know

                                         our true nature

                                         will keep us nicely to our path.


                       Learning needs a source to learn from


                               if the homing is to “occupant unknown”


                                will just float and bob  around like useless flotsam.


                       Clutter it’ll be

                                   on a beach of sand and mountains,

                                   clutter it’ll be in our minds and hearts

                                                             till the day

                                                    we get our address right

                                                    that will be again a day

                                  for us to enjoy the beach again


                                      by how it embraces water

                                      to its edge.














“ Tree ”


You can pick and eat

the fruit of a tree, stomach happy.


You can hang yourself

from the branches of

a tree and seemingly end


all right there.


You can climb

and play fun games

in a tree, see how big

the world really is.


You can stand away from rain

under a tree

(if there is no thunder)

and wait

for a gap between clouds

to run.


You can hold hands

and share with your lover


 the power circle of

a tree, the tree  witness and

sanctifier of love.


Bears of course

stand and lean themselves

against a tree

inspired by fleas or just plain play

to scratch themselves to ecstasy…


And then of course

you can cut the tree down

to make furniture,

to make chairs and picture frames and stuff, but then….

where is the tree?















“Little Nomatemba”







                           The tiny one

                                                       came to show me

                                               a line drawing print out page

                                                        she had colored in

                                         with wax crayons,,,

                                                                   She’d scribbled over


                                                                   those printed lines with purple yellow and green

                                        the image of a space man

                                                        with a space helmet on his head

                                                                                        with stars all around

                                                                            and planets too.


                                       She showed it to me


                                                                  to show me what she can do…..

                                       and I said like an adult would –“ Oh look!

                                                            a spaceman,

                                                            a man in the sky!”-

                                                                              -“Yes!”- she says with a smile

                                                                                             on her face,

                                                                               “-yes, look”- she says…..

                                                                                                -“ Jesus…. !!!!!!!  She says”-















(783) -1

“ letter to a stranger ”

beyond glitter


                                I was talking with you of my annoyance.

                              I was talking of pushing envelopes.

                                                   I was talking of conversing with people


                                      will reduce what they hear to

                                                                                  to “a want, a need ”

                             to respond  (without hearing a word of what’s being said)

                                                 with aphorism and truisms, scripts of  books read…..

                             answers that reflect          ALL                      


                                                general tried and tested isims


                                                by the consensus of our new age

                                               ( and peoples purely biological need to pass opinion).


                             I was talking of the judo


                                                      one needs to bring people to themselves                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                       away from their need to look good

                                                                                                      (or look bad)


                                                       on  their usually  demanding mainframe constructs. 


                             I’m not challenging

                                         as a sportsman would challenge to win arguments and points:

                                         To win approval recognition or love.


                             I am just LONELY

                                                        in amongst crowds (and in need to hear voices)

                                                        that true  with their truth

                           “cast their bread upon the waters” happy to feed the fishes of the sea

                                        and not throw pearls

                                                               that bottom line are just some mollusk’s irritation.


                   ---“Allow people their fun (the little inner voice says)

                                               don’t be heavy and pedantic don’t be spoilsport

                                                                                                            and mean”---


                             But then …

                                   there will always be

                                                   that race

                                        to be the most entertaining of personalities ,

                                                                                        a performer for the many,

                                                                                        to be the gatherer of souls

                           that with well placed moments

                                  will have people bring them their machine guns, or a country,  ………

                          their babies to be kissed.


                            We will always have people

                             that want their egos caressed

                             and for us to win them fame and fortune,



                             allow them to depreciate precious time in the face of spiritual entropy.


(783) -2


                             And in all of this…..

                             there will always be those that happily blind

                                           will comply ( DO comply )

                                                              without further thought of outcome.


                                    We need to bring value to our words

                                                               (and their meanings )

                                                               (to see where we are going

                                                                                           in the dark.)


                                 Magic has to do with  powers of value

                                 and value is what allows us the unseen (in our lives)

                                 that without

                                              (to us)

                                                           is only a life that’s the shadow cast of itself.


                                    For THAT I argue…..

                                    THAT is WHY I argue…

                                    I need magic  in my existence:

                                                                Of  the sort

                                                                that when breathed life in to

                                                                becomes that instant miracle

                                                               of moments aflame with wonder


                                                                proffered existential insights.


                                   I LOVE those moments that lived


                                             are enjoyed  with  honesty  (of intent)

                                                            ( are shared without  the greed to  be right,


                                                              without a need to prove somebody wrong )


                                   I LOVE those moments that lived

                                                          with people of joyful  vision


                                                          in to the heart cascades  of multicolor hue and dance.

                                  I LOVE those moments lived

                                                        with people that   with each other


                                                      the one to one  more than TO BE the one that’s looked up to.

                                   I LOVE those moments that lived with others


                                                  sharing as outflow of trust…….



                                 In those waters my dolphin is happy ….. is a child.

                                 In those waters the sun is a jewel.

                                                                In those waters I can fly

                                                                I can  dance ,

                                                     I twist again …   

                                                                without worry of  whaleboats

                                                                                       killer sharks

                                                                                       or  medusa men of war.