university of life

after life

IMG_20160320_142801Before the earth swallows me
And the maggots come to my party
I want to dance at the top of the mountain
My body trapped by the drum
Caught in a state of trance
Singing in a tongue native to my lips
Only audible to the spirits
When the heavens hear me
Let it rain
Soft droplets of water massaging the surface
Wiping the sweat of my forehead
As I stomp my foot into the ground
Thump the area below my feet
Awaken my ancestors
Hoist my spear aloft in recognition
Of the luxury of being alive
Singing praises to the most high
Let my voice be heard in the deepest of caverns
If it were up to me
My voice would be etched onto the cave wall
A message to future generations
Life never changes
Despite the complication of technology
Modernisation is a mirage
All a soul wants is a quiet resting place
Somewhere it calls home
A nook in the mountain side
When my time comes
Don’t shed any tears
Let the heavens come down hard
Wrap me in a moist cow skin
And let me rest as I lived
Allow me to sit upright in a cave reserved for royalty
Amongst the bravest of warriors
Because I was a soldier in my own battle
Amongst my people
A king in my language
Cos my vocabulary is my habitat
We’ll meet in the after life

knox mahlaba
Copyright © 2016
Author of Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
‪#‎backfromthedeadtherisingofanafricanspirit‬
+Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

Photo Credt: knox mahlaba Copyright © 2016

olympics

I want to go far away
A distance from the smog
Get out of these shoes
Retire from the formality of the pin stripe
This tie reminds me of a noose
I want to go somewhere
Where I’ll greet each sunrise like an Olympic event
Tie my boot laces
Climb hostile terrain
Live on a ranch
Off the grid
Deep in the woods somewhere
Spot wildlife unexpectedly
Chase after impala
Only to see its beauty at a closer vantage point
Smell the taste of the range
Embrace the width of the plain
Go back into time
Light a lantern
Sit on a porch listening to crickets
And the rest of the night time choir
Look into the eyes of the pitch dark forest
Circumvent fear
And the associated trepidation of introspection
Find my soul somewhere in the solitude of the forest
Hone my archery capability
Give nature what it has given me
Balance the scales ever so lightly
Earn a livelihood hunting poachers
Kill trophy hunters for a sport
Enjoy the olympics

knox mahlaba
Copyright © 2016
Author of Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
‪#‎backfromthedeadtherisingofanafricanspirit
+Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Photo credit: knox mahlaba © 2016

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

pussy cat

i want a wonder woman
wake me every morning with a kiss of death
kiss me like a lion
a tigress whose claws will grab hold of my spirit
a woman who wears her onyx fur coat with utmost pride
whose mind embodies a black panther
my kitty must have a big heart
kind enough to forget the sorrows that led her to me
agile enough to land on her feet
lick her paws
our love be blessed with nine lives
she can be lithe like a cheetah
or heavy like a leopard
as long as i feel her canines bite into my soul
she must never change her spots
hold me tight like prey

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

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