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


love II

Love II

Love is majestic
Mightier than the bullet
It is love
Love for her people
Love for herself
Making Rosa realise she tired
Love is stronger than hate
Turning songs sung in captivity into Negro Spirituals
Songs sung with hope
Love is the soul of a people
Making Martin turn the other cheek
Love for his people
Inspired Garvey to build a fleet
Love dresses dreams
Produces U.N. I. T. Y
Forges brotherhood like a Black Panther
Gives five on the black hand side
Makes the hood into Hollywood
Turning kids into stars
Planting a seed of hope on a plantation
A glimmer of hope in private prison
Love is considerate
Wearing a condom in dangerous times
Standing by his woman
Uplifting her man
Raising their child
Love for his people
Taking Malcolm to Africa
Love is colour blind
Doesn’t differentiate between red and blue
Love is black ‘n beautiful
Listening to Kathleen break it down
Love is a sister in an Afro
Affirming her looks
The looks of her people
Love reads the situation
In short supply of late
Too many brothers on their backs
Too many sisters on the street corner
Families torn apart
Kings and queens on opposing poles
Love is a secret ingredient
Love never fails
Stands its ground
By any means necessary
Love is the love of people
Bringing families together
Love conquers all
Love is the new black

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

facing forwards

Looking back against my will
Peeking over my shoulder
Afraid long ago may return
I can hear my midnight train to Georgia moment
When I had to let go of an unwanted present
A forgotten past today
My fingers retracing my steps
The chalk lines of my downfall
Where I was supposed to be no more
My tongue tasting Lot’s weakness
Wiping the sweat off my forehead
Looking forwards to tomorrow
Yesterday gone
Keeping yesterday at bay
Surviving despite the hopes of my past
The wishes of probability
Running like a bullet train
Going as far as I can
As fast as I can
Unproductive memories unnecessary
Chasing my dreams
My foundations strong like concrete
The past only a building block
Similar to a brick
A unit of structure
Never defining the building it shapes
Using the rails from my midnight train moment
To fashion a trend setting outlook
To give my building some architectural character
My eyes windows to a brighter day
Peeking over my shoulder
Never looking backwards
Reflecting for historical reasons
Looking towards my ancestors
Standing before greatness
Facing forwards
Slaying the past and her demons

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


Jacob Zuma and the African family!

We are forever bombarded with images of absentee black fathers and yet you’ll never see images of strong, selfless, capable black men, who not only father their own children (on a daily basis) but the entire street or block, on mainstream media!

The media portrays black men as nomadic baby-makers but also castigates responsible black men who marry all their baby-mommies. 

Forgetting that ‘the system’ was designed to weaken the black family via the migrant labour system in South Africa (a system that exists to this day) and a welfare system that rewarded black females who pushed away their husbands in order to gain access to welfare cheques in the United States.

Though I strongly disapprove of Jacob Zuma being President of South Africa, he is a good example of a black man who takes responsibility for his children by marrying those he procreates with.

Africans must re-establish and fortify their family units and avoid defining ‘the family’ in narrow western terms. 

In an African family aunts and uncles are as important to the family unit as the biological parents.


status campaign

Lest we forget
Sharpville and its population
Sacrificing their dreams
Putting the struggle on the map
Placing the matter in context
Putting a face to the problem
Human suffering exposed
A people belittled
Sharpeville standing up
Demanding respect
Standing up with pride
Falling with dignity
A population dehumanised
Cheated of the pursuit of happiness
Sharpeville marched
Leading by example
Remembering Africa
Where we come from
Dispossessed of our land
Holding onto our soul
Sharpeville a reminder
Where we should be heading
Always looking back
Losing the significance of the sacrifice
Living in Sharpeville today
Sharpeville still the same after all these years
Punished for exercising their franchise
Sharpeville unhappy
Mistreated by comrades