hardship

wanted

I want to lose my way
Lose myself amongst canyons and dunes
Watch sand storms dance in the vastness of a desert…
As I wrestle in the sand with my shadow
Negotiate a binding contract with my entourage
Sit atop a lonesome boulder in a prenatal posture
Awaiting my rebirth
Pay homage to my invisible entourage
My forbearers paved the way
Amongst the sand dunes of the Kalahari
Kgalakgadi in my native tongue
Trace the scent their footsteps in the sand
Listen to heaven and nature sing
Wolf whistle like the blistering wind
Hear the echo of danger from afar
Pay attention to the rustle of murmuring cattle in the distance
Feel for my heartbeat with an open palm
Find the narrow path leading into the thick of the forest
Follow the lonely foot path towards righteousness
Hunt down my alter ego
Get lost in my own consciousness
Amid all the contagious congestion secure peace and quiet
Identify with my people
Draw an identikit of my soul
Lose myself in the spirit world
Offer a reward for the capture of the rebel
The rogue within
Wanted dead or alive

Knox Mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

NB: visual doesn’t belong to the writer.

rainbow

In the deep wells of my eyes
Lies moisture to wet my wet wipes
To wipe away my sadness
Tears to irrigate the greener pastures I so yearn for
So when I cry, don’t despair
I am from the soil
Tears are my rainfall
So let me cry
Allow me to say goodbye to my sorrows
The same tears put out fires burning within
Especially my bonfire
Tears are a blessing
Polishing my vision
Nourishing my insight
See the rainbow on the horizon
Colorful, isn’t it

Knox Mahlaba
Author -Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

cry wolf

The world is silent to my tears
Deaf to the plight of the voiceless
Blind to cries for help
When my voice loses its pitch
Decreases in volume
Drowned by the establishment
As I try to breathe
Gasp for a pint of air
Will you recognise my goat wails
My pleas for help from behind the veil of a choke hold
Should a strong uniformed arm over power me
Place my fragile neck in a vice grip
Will you document the proceedings
Just in case the surroundings decide to do me in
Should the most probable occur
Don’t look away
Place your recording on record
As my corpse is placed on trial
Castigated for my dress style
Persecuted because I wore a hoodie
Please highlight my side of the story
Or at the very least
Allow me to state my case in absentia
Tell ‘em I ain’t no thug
When the world ignores my cries
Trying to breath is no crime
Mistaken for resisting arrest
Tell ‘em I have ghetto mentality
I don’t do no fairy tales
I don’t play no cry wolf
I am dying

the future

Reading my palms like an encyclopaedia
Searching for a heads up on the future
The red paths on my white palms signalling a danger ahead
Streams of veins forming an intricate network
A complex highway interchange
Rubbing my hands in tentative anticipation of what’s to come
Society making us sick with its protocols
Forced to work all the time like farm labourers
Imprisoned by an unnatural pastime
In order to amass more than we need
Driving some of us crazy with depression and hypertension
Breaking our backs with stress fractures
A nervous breakdown one pill away
The most mentally deprived people are the normal ones
The perfect citizens with medical insurance and life assurance
Oblivious to the dangers of the mainstream
Voting for different people with the same corporate mandate
Life has no guarantees
Going back and forth like ants on the job
Whilst I am busy swinging gently like a pendulum
My tongue skiing on the slopes of my ice cream cone
Enjoying a cold treat in the middle of winter
Going against the grain
Watching society commit suicide
Placing people in a pressure cooker
Whilst the status quo cooks the books
Tempers with the history as it occurred
Contaminates the future of drinking water
Making my way back to the future
Returning to the ways of my ancestors
Securing the soul of my people
Peace of mind a greater priority
Far ahead of expensive real estate and it’s material appendages
Safeguarding what belongs to me in my ark
My rebellious mind depriving me of vanity
My roots anchoring me in anticipation of a great flood
When all the feeble people will be washed away
Washed away by pollution infested waters
The city can drive you crazy with its hustle and bustle
Losing your mind is acceptable
But losing your soul is a completely different chapter altogether

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

Photo: Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Ruimsig, Johannesburg, South Africa

the spoor

my search continues
seeking mammals amongst reptiles
scavenging the hills for pretty words
looking for the comfort of fragile settings
beautiful landscapes
though thorns reside
side by side
with colourful flowers
leaving no stone unturned
scowering the terrain
searching for for people amongst the mainstream
kind hearted individuals
following the spoor
footprints left by my nomadic ancestors
like the Amazon i carry baggage
sediment from where i come from
a chequered past
a history rich with experiences
scar tissue from life’s lessons
heritage from chromosomes
forensic evidence of where my people come from
somewhere in Africa
deep in a forest
under a mound of rocks
lies my title deed

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

child of africa

Nigga please
Choose your words wisely
Sometimes words lose their meaning
Are devoid of emotion
Absent of common sense
Cos sometimes life means death
Or rather that’s what
They try impress upon you
If you’re like me
And don’t give a sh*t
You tend to ignore what they say
And do what comes natural
Words can be heavy
Careless words can crush a human spirit
Breathing an aerobic exercise
An act of defiance
Just cos you down don’t mean you got to stay there
I too was born in the ghetto
I’ve been to worse too
I’ve been to rock bottom
Touched the bottom of the barrel
Like Tosh says
Not too many know where that is
Too many talk of stuff they know nothing about
Nobody knows the bottom like you and me
They can build a fortress around you
Tie your hands with time
Strangle you with debt
Attempt to miseducate you
Arrest your development for all I care
Hang in there
Cos bottom is a strong foundation
A spring board to up-up and away
A place to build your castle
So nigga please
Please call me sir
I am a man after all
I am what I am
Am black and proud
Child of Africa
Mr Wendal

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

amen

a watershed moment
happy for no reason
no particular reason
smiling with my heart
uncontrollably joyous
feeling the urge to get down
dancing one miracle too far
sitting my ass down
appreciating the genes i have
amen

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015