She wasn’t there when I arrived,
the woman with rich gray hair
stretching to the small of her back,
I had been driving long
up winding roads across a plain’s
and down into the narrow valley
where she lived her dream
beside a stream
that happily ran into a translucent lake.
Her door was ajar
but no one had seen her leave,
murky clouds gathered,
the day darkened
and rain fell in large sorrowful drops.
On the lake
a blue rowing boat drifted aimlessly on soft water.
Twentysix flying fish rode elegantly on a crest of a mighty wave
followed by a marauding school of dolphins.
The flying fish spread their fins took off
sailed masterly in the air,
but alas landed on the rusty deck of an old tramp ship
that had a one eyed captain as her master,
he had lost the real one in a fight with knife wielding harbour rat
those who lurks in seaports ready to steal sailors honest shillings.
The ship’s cook hailed from Himalayas
but knew early on that the sea was his destiny,
his real leg was voluntarily lost
when his duty was to feed the crew on a ship moribund on the arctic sea.
The soup he made
gave the crew strength to live
and later rescued by a Russian trawler.
I, the deck boy, gave the Himalayan twentyfive fishes
and one to an evil seagull
that otherwise would have strafed me with basic cluster bombs
and hoped that our ship would never be becalmed on the vast Pacific Ocean.
Now that it is September
my car shed tears at dawn before the sun
with care dries its grief.
Perhaps it remembers a song
sung in the Korean factory where it was made
before it was tarted up spray painted
and shipped off to Europe,
a faint chime of an ancient culture
that is but dead
yet lives in man’s common memory
and will one day express itself in an abstract rose
spun into new live by words made of dreams.
When waking up,
often do in the deep night,
I hear them in the living room.
Can’t quite make out what they say,
but recognize their voices and laughter;
old friends from my, now fictional childhood.
When I get up switch on the light
to join them
they are not there,
a tiny rent in their dimension allows me to hear them,
they wish me well
but are not ready to receive me yet.
The tiny footprints, on the paved path
leading to the ornamental pond,
have long since gone.
It was a summer day when it happened
a pale face amongst water lilies.
The pond was filled with stones and made into a shrine.
A baby in the house calls for her attention for a moment
she sees the footprints of her lost child and shudders.
The boy has discovered death
before he thought death only happened to swatted flies.
His aunt died
but when told that she had gone up to Jesus
he asked what she was doing in a casket in a hole in the ground.
He’s worried about me
now I’m so much older than other dads in the neighbourhood
wants me to live forever.
Yesterday we drove to where the forest fire had been seeing the dead forest
he cried not only for the trees
but also for the animals that must have perished.
Wish I could say something soothing
but I don’t want to tell lies
so he has to work it out himself.
Still is this dawn, they said it would rain
but the sky is clear and pale blue.
Roses on bushes imperceptible
inhale morning coolness sense
like I do that this is the last sigh of summer.
Tomorrow we too can softly exhale and say:
”It was a beautiful summer.”
Leaving the question whether
we are going to see another one unanswered.
The toothless tiger deeply sighed
lay near the track to the stream
where the village women went to fetch water,
if one of them were young and dreaming of love
he could push her to the ground
choke her as he used to do with springboks,
chew soft delicate female flesh
he really needed sustenance and his gums where sore.
No one came that day or the next
our tiger didn’t know that the village now had running water
women didn’t have to walk for miles with a jug on their heads.
The big cat is almost a vegetarian now
eats green leaves, bananas, strawberries the occasional mouse,
but sadly misses the sexy sway women had when walking to the stream.
Sixty million rats
big as cats in our city,
no more space in sewers,
now they are taking over streets and parks,
no child is safe
not even in the nursery.
Rats are agile
they can chew through anything
scale walls and burrow deep.
Leave your baby alone for a few minutes
and it has no eyes, it’s brain sucked dry.
We have to fight them now
these disease ridden, sewer infested beings
or leave our city and head for the countryside,
but they will follow us there
because they see how merciless we are towards each other
and think we are their brethren.
Sailing the seven oceans
when years were new
I was so busy looking for landfall,
harbour lights and dance to dawn,
that I didn’t see the splendour of the seas.
Take my soul plant a tree if you must,
only let me sail the seas once more
and have serenity of mind
to see the grandeur of the oceans.