Posted by: inzwakazi | August 17, 2012

Him and the son/sun

It spoke to him

In ways, only he could understand

Early morning

It urged him to ready for his day

Time to prepare his ox for plough

Plant or reaping

 

 

To us a systematic torture

Insensitivity to our comfort

To him, a possibility of tomorrow

An unreserved today

 

 

While ploughing it will rise

With its faithful concubines

The rays

To him it would say

“Settle in, the day has only began,

Plant, plough the land is yours to do as you please”

 

 

Early afternoon

His work half-done

Oxen released for grazing

He would allow it to tantalize his sun-kissed skin

Knead his back muscles; work on his work-toned back

While he found strength emarhewini*

Making his way home

The sun warm on his back

Pacified by his straw hat

 

 

He would sit by uthango*

Have his lunch there

While the him and the sun

Continue their affair

Half the day has gone by

Half the work still to be accomplished

While others take afternoon siesta

It could fixing fence

Lifting heavy stones to prop up poles

Anything

 

 

Brother sun now makes his way to bed

A final word before goodbye

A final meeting place, Ezixhotyeni*

Where deep conversations ensue

Ancient secrets revisited

Discussion defiled by a mere mention of any mortal

Then when Mr sun is done

My father would tip his straw hat

And make his merry way home

 

 

Emarhewini – (amarhewu).  A brewed non-alcoholic drink made from ferment, grinded mealies.

Uthango – The wall of the kraal

Isibaya – The kraal

Ezixhotyeni – (Izixhobo). A natural cluster of stones. Ours faces a river that runs to Umzimvubu , leading to the Indian Ocean.

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Posted by: inzwakazi | August 17, 2012

You

why you?
Then, why not?
I’ve wished time and again
That it would not be

Yet it was
it has always been
will it always be?
I know what was and is

I’ve tried to run away
Hide and pretend
Convinced myself otherwise
Still it was
You again

I wish I could not
That we never met
So that

I would never wonder

It had to be you?

Posted by: inzwakazi | August 10, 2012

Task-masters

aint we all

puppets of

different masters?

strings pulled

invisible and strong

aint we all

pawns of

a certain game player?

predicting our moves

testing our strenghts

weighing us

An invisible master

somewhere…

Posted by: inzwakazi | July 31, 2012

lost and found

in the misdt

of love and hate

misunderstandings

we find and lose ourselves

does it matter

that we sometimes lose?

if we again

find

and if we didnt

there’ll be nothing

worth finding

Posted by: inzwakazi | July 31, 2012

the making

Weaving through life’s tendons

Stories of sinews, news and views

Every scar, a story

A line, a frown, a laugh

Life

Doing to us

What it does best

Teaching us lessons

To make us

To make others

Posted by: inzwakazi | July 4, 2012

The sad dancer

She swings her long limbed arms

Like a lifeless rope, she lets them fall off

Only to lift them, sway

Hips, side to side

Repeats the routine

Only this time

Her right foot falters

While her left foot presses forward

Her face, a mask of sadness

A throbbing in her heart

This too shall pass

Thumbing with Sade’s rhythm

“How ordinary?’, she asks

No one in particular

Loses her rhythm

Too many questions of izm

The sad, sad masked dancer

Finding her izm through life

Posted by: inzwakazi | June 22, 2012

…never forget you

i have to say your name

speak it out

say it loud

paint it in my memory

like a seed

let it grow

beautiful rose

 

 

inprint it

in my soul

your face

let it linger

live there

carry it with me

let it live in me

 

 

i have to speak your name

let the winds carry it

roofs to echo

the sounds of your beautiful name

 

 

i will never forget you

there are things more wonderful

but your precious name

i will never forget

Posted by: inzwakazi | June 18, 2012

Dying to survive

Crawling the walls of my skull

Hissing in the comfort

Of my winter bed

Words

Burn me

Get up, get up

Knocking relentless

Gong on my chest

Haste, haste

Vehement whispers

Pleading, screeching

Write me down

In the dome of my head

Haunted, begging

Let me live!

Keep me alive!

Words

Dying to survive

Posted by: inzwakazi | May 11, 2012

Current favourite

Posted by: inzwakazi | May 8, 2012

A short story

Do you think she is going to tell her?
Maybe…
Are you in trouble?
Maybe. Who cares! She already knows anyway.
Shock!
Desiree told her already.
And?
I told her she is being vindictive because I dumped her.
And she was happy with that?
For a while, until she asked me if I’d date a black girl.
A moment passes. She yields.
And what did you say to that Dave?
I told her that there is more to life than race or racism of whatever it is that she is obsessed with. And I asked if she has ever been inlove?
Whoa! Thin ice Dave, thin ice.
I know. She sneered, shot me a killer look and pouted.
You know you are gonna be responsible if she has heart problems don’t you?
Oh well…
The conversation drifts to less heart rending topics like traffic, weather and work. They find their favourite spot, a cliff overlooking the wild coast beach. When he first brought her here she was nervous. A desert place with no sign of life except for the sea, the shrubs and beautiful curved (natural) stones. Today she brought a mat. Calm and restful they sit infront of the car facing the beach. Him with his beer, she with her thoughts.

SHE SAYS

I ask him why he drinks so much. He looks at me with pursed lips, smiles, shakes his head and takes another sip. There is deep seated sadness in his eyes. I have seen it so many times. I have actually discussed this with Miki long before we even dated. We joked that he might have killed and buried someone without anyone knowing.
What attracted me to this dark white young man?
His looks? Because he was pretty damn fine.
His kasie white man lifestyle? He spoke isiZulu with a bit of isiXhosa, (he calls it Dave taal)which made him pretty likable to my friends. I think he must have mentioned growing up in a farm in Kokstad, or was it my imagination?
Was it his dark personality? Was I drawn to this sad young boy? Sometimes he would be here but the darkness in his eyes will show that he is miles away. In those instances, like now, you would not know whether to drag him out of that dungeon or just let him wallow for a while. Maybe it gave him some kind of satisfaction, who knows?
In my thoughts I hadn’t realised that I had moved to his lap and was now caressing his arm. In a split second he came back, promptly stood up and said “let’s go, its getting late”.
We get into the car. He immediately hits the accelerator. Its nine pm and the speed needle is touching 220km/hr. I beg him to slow down. He gives me that knee weakening smile and steps on it some more. By some kind of Divine intervention we get to my place. My cheeks are soaked in tears, my hands are soaked and shaking.
He cups my face and kissed my tears. I jump off the car and race to the door, willing very hard to hate him. After locking I hear the car screeching away. I head straight to bed and cry myself to sleep.
At about 6am I have to go to the bathroom. I am about to climb back to bed when I decide to check my cellphone. An sms reads “home safe, love you”.

HE SAYS
She is like a balm for my aching heart. Yes, my heart is sore and I don’t know why. Maybe I do, but going there, maybe it will kill me all over again. Yep, I thought I was dead but I’m still here. Receiving love I clearly do not deserve.
She is the sweetest thing although I fear that I might contaminate her with my bitterness. Can such innocence be touched though? I need her. I would never be able to survive without her. Wait, how did I survive all these years. Maybe I was in waiting of something I could not even define. That must have sustained me.
Does a balm have to know the sickness it treats? I don’t think so. (Gospel according to Dave).
I will not contaminate her. I made a decision although not discussed it with her. I will not touch her as long as I can. And if holding out proves too much I will find other means.
She is my balm, my innocent naïve balm. The race issue, I’m not even willing to entertain. My mother will have to get used to it. As for her friends, it is none of their business, period.
She hates my excessive drinking. And letting her know why will mean telling her about the pain. I know she sees it, but telling her would be a whole different story. When the thought that its not gonna last haunts me, the pain shoots like a javelin and I have to drink.
I know my father would have liked her. He would have had reservations of course at first. But I know that he would have like her once he had gotten to know her. I mean, what’s there not to like?
I try to imagine growing old with her, but the picture gets dark and dingy. What if she meets someone who is willing to go all the way, marriage, kids, the works. I think I need a drink.

SHE SAYS

We are at his mother’s funeral. The mood is meant to be somber and quiet. I am suppressing a need to shout and celebrate. This after all is the woman who lived to torture me. She banned me from coming to the house that I now have to pretend to know every corner. Somehow I know it had nothing to do with the colour of my skin. Sometimes I could see that young widow who lost her husband to war. That glimmer of bitterness mixed with self-pity. No he did not die, their marriage did. He came back a different person, his zest for life somehow removed and hatred burning like fire with sulphur replaced it. A story I’m still to be told because its always said to be long and gory.

The sense of guilt over the triumphant feeling makes me restless. This after all is the mother of the love of my life. It has always been the two of them against the world. Now, she is gone. He looks lost, like a puppy woken up from a deep slumberous sleep by a banging cold, a sign that mom is gone.

So, I compose myself. There is a lot to be done and decisions to support. For the first time I feel what my husband always feels in our family gathering. But my oddity is two-fold, the never accepted daughter in-law and the only black face in the family. Others want to like me but do not know how (an act of rebellion?), others do not want me here and make their point as clear. Of course there is the younger generation who are fascinated by the whole debacle.
Suddenly everyone is gone. I am standing in kitchen preparing supper. My husband and his uncle are talking softly in the living room. The rest of the house is quiet and gloomy. How do you suddenly take charge of another woman’s territory without her presence or permission. Is she not supposed to guide you as to where you will find the kettle? How her oven takes a tad longer to warm? How she likes to keep her bottled stuff here and perishables there because this corner is more humid than the other.
I’m here now, so the show must go on…

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