Month: October 2014


A continent caught unawares
Pillaged for her wares
Sedated by foreign charms
Designer diseases spreading fear
Suffering from sleeping sickness
Africa stoned
Her children hooked on drugs
Could call it a co-incidence
A conspiracy more appropriate
Her human face defaced like the Sphinx
A parasite in her midst
The shrouded figure
Stays in a beautiful house
The shrouded figure
Forever lurking in the shadows
Scheming in the dark
Sowing division
Suffocating fertile soil
Bringing only death wherever he sets foot
A bloodsucker
Africa suffering from sleeping sickness
Blaming the tsetse fly
The shrouded figure
A hyena
A snake
Foreign aid a disease


Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit


Inspired by Daniel Chester French: Continents: Africa.

Gateway to images of Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, “Africa,” found at the Old U. S. Custom House, New York City, New York.


the price of peace

A place of peace
My home away from home
A battlefield in the middle of serenity
Fighting to the death
Dressed in an armour of concentration
Focused solely on events within the 64 squares
Anything and everything beyond immaterial
Including life itself
Knights, Bishops, Pawns
Laying their lives to protect the kingdom
Paying the price of peace
Queens marshaling the troops like Cleopatra
Chess a microcosm of reality
Castles and Rooks in my corner
Defending my strategy
My person
Occasionally suffering defeat
A gut wrenching experience
Inflicting a deep anguish
In my world
Though poetry and chess do battle for my soul
In times of despair
Poetry is my nightingale
Stopping the bleeding
Picking up the pieces
Uplifting a crushed soul

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

tower of babel

Everything that goes up must come down
Newton’s discovery an accident of nature
A natural phenomenon
One day money will fall like the Tower of Babel
Not just the value of a currency
But money as a whole
Fall like an apple off a tree
And people will rise
Regain their lost dignity
Become important again
Super cede profit margins
Matter once again
Like the faces on the dollar bills
The general on the franc
The queen on the pound
Your street will be just as important as Wall Street
So we can have fewer people on the streets
Shorter lines in soup kitchens
Everybody in a house somewhere
Doing their best to make it a home
Bring back our old folks from Florida
Grandchildren spoiled by grandparents
Family playing with family
Gravity must intervene soon
Force us to become people again
Tap into our greatest natural resource
The human spirit
Mold us into a community of nations
Citizens of the world
When the tower comes down
We’ll cease to kill each other for nature’s wares
We’ll build bridges
Extend a hand of friendship
Liberate the human spirit
And speak with one voice

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

night out

 A girls’ night out
All the ladies looking fine
Beautiful perky bottoms
Full bodied women
A black man’s dream

Celebrating a dawn
A birth of a new era
Redefining the black woman
Recognizing her part in the current demise

Sisters set to effect change
Letting go of alien standards of beauty
Unleashing their creativity
Styling her hair as she wishes
Cognizant of the subliminal messages
A woman’s choices have a ripple effect

Minding her manners
Giving respect
Demanding respect
Singing Aretha’s tune
Dancing to Stella’s groove
Acknowledging her value
Leveraging her power
Accepting her responsibility

The woman is a catalyst
From high society to the ghetto
She rules
Sets the tone

Toasting to a new beginning
Where women hold court
Play for the team
Share responsibility
Raise her standards
Adopt ninety day rule

The family requires championship material
Women who play for the ring
Keep their fingers crossed
Their legs together
Forging a family unit

No matter how beautiful she is
The MVP always plays for the team
Bottoms up
The future looking bright
Celebrating a change in attitude
Queens are back

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014

Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit


 Where do I begin
Not sure how I got here
Poetry is you and me
The way brothers exchange complicated greetings

The way her hips move
How her lips say I love you
What we do when our bodies are in sync
How we blend our souls
Uplift our spirits

The way we dominate the dance floor
Bring life to the mic
It’s all about the flow
Rhythm of thought
Essence behind the actions
The meaning to the words
Yet it’s nothing without feeling

It’s the woman who warms my bed
Who opened up my heart
Taught me how to love
Feel again
Express my emotions
Touched my soul

Like Garvey and Malcolm
Biko and Sankara
Poetry is political
Like Kathleen talking about an Afro
It’s a sister who knows she rocks
By being herself

Poetry speaks to my soul
It’s my calling card
The way ancestors communicate

It’s the ability to see the sun on an overcast day
Paint words of sustenance
Draw inspiration from surroundings
Phrases constructed by angels
Yet it’s nothing without appreciation

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

speak out!

The heart out of line
Going beyond its mandate
Conjuring up ideas
Poisoning the intellect with silly thoughts
Causing a parting of lips
Leaving an ample gap
Glaring enough for enamel to shine
Laughing at the silliness of it all
The thought of it
Delivering a smile
The heart demanding so much!
Ignoring consequences
Placing a life at risk
The body in an awkward position
Behind enemy lines
The heart wanting much too much
Demanding everything
Posting teasing messages
Pursuing a silly notion
Colouring the world
Taming a beast
Caressing the ego
Luring the soul into a booby trap
Conceiving a miracle birth
Conjuring up a possibility
Confusing infatuation with love
Running in the wind in an open field
All in anticipation
The heart playing matchmaker
Without the consent of the other party
Desiring what the heart wants
Pursuing a mirage of open arms
Warm meaningful embraces
Sometimes you got to follow your heart
Chase after your dreams
Speak out!

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2013
Author of Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

pitch black afro

Dark like earth
Wish I was dark like the universe
Watching Earth like the moon
Vigilant like the stars

Jet black
Black like soul
Sensual like poetry
Made from melanin

A survivor of waves of terror
A victim of an onslaught
Biochemical warfare
Cyber attacks
Yet intact I remain
A foetus in a SCRABBLE bag

My spirit ancient
Touched by ancestral spirits
Gifted a task

Writing because
The spirits have something to say
Expressing thoughts you fear to voice

Writing because
I love you

Wish I was pitch black with an Afro
Beautifully dressed in velvet coat
Treading the terrain like a panther
Walking upright in a black leather coat

No misgivings
Though coffee coloured
Wish I was dark like the universe
Black ‘n proud

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit