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


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


They plunge hers wares
Embroil her in their wars
Steal her jewels
Dishonor her name
Misrepresent her history
Little do they know
Material matters not to her
Despite their attempts to rape her soul
Separate her from her offspring
Little do they know
Her children matter most to her
Whether they adorn themselves with beads
Attire themselves with hoodies
Her children matter most to her
Black lives matter
No matter their location
Their pigmentation
A reminder of a mother’s love
Blessed with melanin
Africa is more than a landmass
She is a congregation of souls
A village filled with hope
Black men united
Sounds of blackness
Sisters with voices
She is a survivor
The voice of love
The face of humanity
A resemblance of the supernatural
Knox Mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright 2015



My sisters lonely
My sisters caught unawares
Filling the penitentiaries
Too many brothers doing too much time
Some awaiting trial
Successful brothers fishing in another pond
Sisters fighting for the rest
Unwilling to share
So a few get the ring
Too many single mothers
Far too many frustrated women
Fatigued by the wait
Tired of visiting rooms
Disappointed by the odds
Angry at themselves
For being too damn materialistic
Brothers behind bars because
Nabbed by expectations
Doing life because of the finer things in life
Diamonds and pearls
Whims of women
Vanity tampering with the soul of a community
Single ladies getting their groove on the side
Children cheated of a father for life
The father figure history
Stolen by desire for the dollar
Even though it’s unintentional it is the case
My sisters’ expectations filling the penitentiaries
Clogging the prisons
Blaming playas
Faulting the system
Ignoring the hands on the wheel
Our part in the genocide

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

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scenic route

A simple lust for simple things
Burning grass shedding its past
Smoke sending signals to destiny
Asking gods to prepare a feast
A harvest of dreams
Heirs to the past
Conduits to the future
The journey within a paradise
A parade of chameleons and dragons
Colourful feathers ushering a new dawn
Sailing the limits of my conscious
Entertained by laughing waters
Rapids revving up the motion of the canoe
Ripples in the pool
Reminding me of life
Fragile by nature
Here today, gone in an instant
Taking the scenic route
Satisfied, satiated, sated
Appreciation is heaven

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


tree of wisdom

where the people once gathered
thrashed out their differences
let go of ill feeling
left light

until we began to think
assumed people could do nature’s job
only nature can heal
like nature heals

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014

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



I pierce through stubborn terrain every morning
Cycle back through the grasslands in the afternoon
Our dilapidated school is a luxury in these parts
Most of my peers are cattle herders like their great grandfathers
Somehow they are able to count
And know every plant in the vicinity
Only attending the school at the top of the mountain

I don’t like school much
Teachers always talking about everywhere but here
I love the challenge of getting to school
The weather gets to add to the excitement
Periodically reminding me that the heavens can be unforgiving
When you’re going downhill on wet gravel
You get to understand gradient in your mother tongue
I take my chances with caution
There’s no emergency number here
Unless you regard a congress of baboons as paramedics
Or expect a pack of hungry lions to forgo a happy meal

Despite the dangers
I still have to get an education
I no longer want to be a doctor
Ebola kills all and sundry
Irrespective of qualifications
Nor do I want to be president
The soldiers have a tendency to run amok
Shooting the president for looting state coffers
Shooting the president for refusing foreign aid

I just want to be a well of knowledge
Like the old man in the village
Keep history stacked beneath the white of my hair
Watch the cycle of events unfold like an avid soccer fan
Tell stories to generations like the commentator on the wireless
Give perspective to the passing of time
Like the old man with a white crown
Grow old like a baobab

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014

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