I burst from longing. Shining heart ablaze
to know your essence, feel your goodness pulse
like sweetness dripping hungrily from lips

that starved themselves in waiting. Why pretend
I have the answers? Let me fall on knees
that wore out bending falsely and before

I knew you, worshipped empty vessels. Suns
and stars, or wonders hands did craft, crude
without a spark of love, not knowing hope.

If dawn has come at last, let light purify
my soul and break the shackles pride erected.



It began innocently. Working hard
enough to break a sweat on balmy nights
with barely pause to let a thought or care

intrude the flow of body working hard
at shifting soil with plastic tools, a child’s.
Then brought to stillness, fury had now ebbed.

You sometimes catch yourself in moments, spun
by wild emotions every way but home.
And ask yourself: how come I think that’s normal?

So lying back, I watch the sky and putting
all tools of self-deception aside, breathe.



Although I began strong and certain, sure
I was everlasting, solid concrete,
a worthy state, foundation structure held

aloft by people noble, ancient folk
of fine distinguished fam’ly, circumstance
demands a recognition. Fallen far

from lofty status, left respect diminished,
not wholly vanquished. Mind in seeing self
not princeling — pauper, begging just concession.

But man, always, he is all free. Always.
And man in freedom, is a man burdened.



The timing struck at core, my being, deep.
Uncanny force reflecting thoughts like bright
array of knowing world that peers abyssal

in-depth and searching. Easy ignorance
of self, I lived like thousands others, blissed
and sleepful workers. Dosed by goods and drugs.

So whether timing chance or planned above,
I marvelled. Wondered: why? I mean, but why?
If lights were blanket’d, if sounds were silenced

and people everywhere despaired enough
to cry, to stand, to scream, then would I wake?



His loss was felt throughout our community
and what I understood about it failed
to give some meaning to words I arrived

at drafting over many days and nights.
I hoped that someone, not me, would, could, make
some sense of grieving. Widowed future plans

he made unflinching despite known disease.
He leaves behind a fam’ly, true. But more
than this, he leaves me. Speechless, bereft, mute.

Yet look at this, my face, unmoved to weep
and judge me surfeit propriety, stiff.



If chapters close and verses told they must,
if goodly things all have their time and cease
and music like muses are silenced soon,

I count the days I held you firmly, kissed
your sweet and tender cheeks, the nights I tucked
you beneath floral sheets, the precious gift.

I carry ticking clock inside my head
and worry, I worry greatly, too much.
The precious time we have, a boon, too much

for what, if anything, have I to give?
Returned to maker this, a priceless gift.



He stood and preached forgiveness, mercy, love.
And how we could all be if love our guide.
We listened, rapt. Then walked and forgot.

Our lives are busy. Our money hard earned.
To squander just inheritance on brown
and poor is wrong, we said. He meant our folk,

my neighbour speaks English, is legal, white.
So put their kids in cages, deny men
a human right to be a human, dogs…

We treat animals better. Listen, pray,
revive your heart. He comes with news, I hope.



In silent meadow voices boomed around
my skull like planes over the city, launched
in defence of politicians’ egos.

A war declared over nothing but lies.
A peace was jeopardized to satisfy
insatiable and urgent demands voiced

in tongues so twisted, murky oil our scheme.
If otherwise we gave up plastic thrones,
welcomed the world to garden, voices moaned

what work would men in bullet factories
have now? Should shrinks and capitalists starve?



I work with hands, extended being crossed
over machines connected, earthed in toil.
I work so food can grow in larders, hoard

my needs and luxuries are satisfied.
I rest on days others deliver stuff
I may not need but desire all the same.

I rest as worried men their plans do lay
on shifting sands machines someday will take.
I work and watch the pieces fall in place

and still it is not late for doing right
by making law machines, their owners, pay.



If prophets listened well they could avoid
the deafness brought about by shouting words
at men with hearing loss. Instead, like bees

they’d pollinate their thoughts like sweet nectar
and weave their singing souls around a vine
of hope, not recriminations and abuse.

I could never be one of those who stuck
their necks on chopping blocks or face the stones,
that price that must be paid. Or worse, ignored.

Instead I write my poems into voids
and breathe, relieved my calling is simple.