She Sits Amid Flowers

mourning

She sits amid flowers, among friends, in their graves,

To remember far days without fear,

The laughter, the dancing, and sometimes a tear,

Brown bodies splashing through waves,

When war was a word for the history class,

And peace was as natural as breath,

When all were as one in life as in death,

And all shared their wealth and a glass,

 

For each is the other and the other is me,

Or so say the old and the wise,

But these spilled their blood in dark harmony,

For the profits of those who use lies,

Stolen, their youth, their one chance to be,

By those with the pitiless eyes.

 

 

 

 

Once, Long Ago, In Dar Es Salaam

 

darpre01

Once, long ago, in Dar Es Salaam,

A beautiful woman appeared,

where I sat, silent, alone, with a book,

in an emerald garden, to read,

who walked up to me with warming brown eyes,

and a smile like the glorious day,

she moved with a grace that made the palms sway,

she laughed like the ocean kissed breeze,

that made me alive to my state of despair,

how far I had fallen from hope,

unexpected, she sat and talked of old songs,

the mysteries of stars, and the mind,

of kindness and giving, the sharing of time,

of why we are born and then die

why wisdom is rare and often is lost,

that question, to have or to be,

amazed by her words, her questions, her voice,

I asked her to tell me her name,

“I am Grace,” she replied,

with a tear on her cheek,

spell broken, she stood up to leave,

I lay my book down and rose to my feet,

she curtsied to my simple bow,

and as the muezzin began his soft call,

like a vision she parted from me,

and some might claim it a dream,

but standing I was, for me she was real,

so sat to reflect on her words,

still silent, alone, except for my book,

but now with the strength to endure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Stopped A Rich Man

Begging_for_change

I stopped a rich man on a bad day,

Some change for my pride, that’s all,

He threatened arrest,

Then spat in my face,

For blocking his way.

He wore a long black coat,

And a slaver’s face,

He was a priest of business,

A cardinal of cheats,

And so, twice robbed,

I stood, hand upturned,

Head bowed low,

Eyes cast down,

Shoulders tensed,

Waiting for the whip.

We Walk Down Streets Of Broken Lives

 

Picasso, Blind Man's Meal

We walk down streets of broken lives,

or drive, it’s all the same,

and see ourselves, the unaware,

in rows of broken dreams,

of faces etched with every grief,

in jagged homes of lies,

where art consists of murder shows,

or news from bloody eyes,

where family conversations

are dramas ready-staged,

to give a false impression,

but everyone agrees,

each of something guilty,

so to talk is to confess,

and TV heads with false concern,

deceive with every breath,

while love, poor love,

survives somehow,

a frail and hungry waif,

seeking warmth in crowds of fools

who think they know it all, are free,

but walk in many chains,

who’ve lost their joy of waking,

of a warming summer’s morn,

of the running and the shouting,

of the children’s’ field of play,

of kids with small red wagons,

and those crystal radios,

lost the wonder of their breathing,

their wonder of the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections

image-two face entwined

It’s a sharp, cold day in October,

up here in these far-rolling hills,

decked out in fiery colours,

like the coat that Joseph received,

but I’m warmed by longing reflections,

of hot summer days and a girl

who ran to the silvery river,

that flows through the village below,

where for hours we talked,

and for hours we sat,

and for hours our eyes we entwined.

Ah, to remember her beauty,

so gentle, so delicate, so aged,

her mystery now is transmuted,

a rainbow turned into gold,

so all that’s left is the mourning

for the future we lost long ago,

as with wine and tears we remember,

though old, though sad, and though few,

our quest for the love and the longing,

that gives life to the passage of time.

 

When Cold Winds Blow

 

When cold winds blow in darkened night

along the valley’s streams and fields,

while arms hold arms to warm in bed

and children dream their golden dreams,

I ask myself what all this means,

but I’ve yet to answer back,

and how can I when all is clear

as a dying candle’s light,

no, when cold winds blow

I gather strength and slowly breathe in deep,

and deeply drink, of wine, and song,

and sometimes bitter hope,

but long hours grind the spirit down

and sweep it all away,

leaving just one wondrous thing to me,

the scent of perfume in your hair,

but wine is wine, and with some time,

life’s candle flares again,

like stars above the scudding clouds,

singing silent harmonies,

that lull me into reveries,

of a door in Zanzibar.

 

A Cold, Cold Rain

A cold, cold rain beats softly

on the melting window panes,

like angels’ tears for mankind wept

with hopeless, anguished cries,

and there, look there, those birds, in air,

bedraggled, sad, bereft,

sweep and swirl round sleeping trees,

their quest a warming place,

to sleep, a time, to dream perhaps,

of clouds and journey’s end

they flash this way and then flash that,

look now, they hang on wing,

then suddenly, in silence sealed,

as if en masse ordained,

all en mass descend,

yet each with each unreconciled,

though all a common fate,

like me, alone, the modern man,

blank face among the crowd,

my lost reflection now only found

In shattered mirror shards.