Category Archives: Mga Tula / Poetry

Jumping up and down at Checkers

Checkers is one of the big supermarket chains here in SA. They must have to deal with massive numbers of people who come to their premises – mainly to do their shopping, one hopes. Security, a word that means the opposite in some (most?) cases, has become a major concern to most businesses in this country, particularly as the holiday season approaches. The rise of armed robberies at shopping malls is a disturbing reality that shoppers here now face. In fact, one such incident had taken place just a few weeks ago at the particular mall we frequent.

This post has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the way I must have looked to the personnel monitoring the security screens at a Checkers when my beaten up cellphone notified me of an email. My daughter who was standing next to me thought her father had gone bonkers. I was trying very hard not to jump up and down. I was also beaming at every stranger who walked past. I was, to put it mildly, overwhelmed by a most unexpected news.

The official announcement has just been released, so I am posting it here. I have been warned that maybe I am blowing my own horn… sometimes a little too loudly. I want to think of it as sharing some good news. Here it is. Books LIVE has the same announcement up.



announcement page 2

“The Unspoken Child” haunts up Aerodrome

the unspoken child doodleMy poem, “The Unspoken Child,” just went up on Aerodrome. It’s an odd piece that mixes memory and longing with elements from fantasy/horror movies – or one could just say a child’s imagination, just so potential readers don’t get creeped out. If you’re going to ask if any of this was real, as always my answer would be YES and NO.

I’m really glad that the poem has found a home so far from home, a place to haunt outside of my own head. Speaking of head, the original title was “The Head of a Child,” lifted from a line of a fantastic poem by Jimmy Pappas. Maybe one day I can get his permission to share that poem. For now, thank you, Jimmy.

My poem forms part of “Counting Backwards,” the opening section of a forthcoming book, A Thousand Eyes (UST Publishing House 2015 – hopefully).

There may be a bit of a gap between this and the next poem that sees publication as I have not sent out poems for a while.

She Hates Elmo’s Voice and other poems on Kritika Kultura


Four poems free to download are featured on Kritika Kultura: Bulletproof, Nails on the Floor, Ignoring the Hand of God, and She Hates Elmo’s Voice. Be prepared. They are not for the faint of heart. (just kidding)

HERE is the link to Kritika Kultura

Thank you in advance to readers who might want to give me feedback which I always welcome.

Day of Rage and a previously posted poem, “Rent a Horror Movie”

After seeing Jon Snow’s “Unseen Gaza,” many years ago, I wrote a poem called “Rent a Horror Movie.” It is full of rage, but one that is like a fist in the dark. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE POEM.


The following is taken from the BDS Movement.

Gaza Calling: All out on Saturday 9 August Day of Rage

Join the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement today. Demand Sanctions on Israel Now.

As we face the full might of Israel’s military arsenal, funded and supplied by the United States and European Union, we call on civil society and people of conscience throughout the world to pressure governments to sanction Israel and implement a comprehensive arms embargo immediately.

Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel.

From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words.  Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.

While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.

This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel.  Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!

We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.

– See more at:

Three poems from Sound Before Water featured in Dead Snakes

Cluster bombs being dropped on Gaza by Israel (image from Wikipedia)

Three poems from Sound Before Water have been posted on Dead Snakes. Please click THIS LINK to read them. Posting a comment (or three) will help encourage the editors to keep up their good work.
Thank you, Stephen, for making room for my work.

Maybe, just maybe

Three Views of an Israeli Checkpoint and a Missing Mother

Who chose your womb before you were born?
Was your name known
to the speck of dust that first entered your eye?

Are you the only one
who sweats in the harsh burning
of this sun as it turns in silence?

Why does the next moment lie
on your finger that senses fear?
It is only a child you face,
why do you warm the trigger?

You are in full military gear.
He is wrapped in a blue blanket, serene.

The barrel of your gun is close to his feet.
His grandfather holds him steady, to keep his sleep.

The next moment is measured in increments
of fear, that distance closing in.

Old man, it is not time alone
that has struck
your hair this white.

Your hands know the depth of olive roots,
the countless times they can be pulled
out of the ground by those
who wish to see them twist in the sun.

Those hands
hold more
than your daughter’s child.


“Operation Cast Lead” is not the Title of a Movie

After a night of gasping
at fireworks
I nurse the consequences
of champagne.

Somewhere else they are remembering
smoke that takes forever
to clear, the ringing in the ears,
the smell of burnt flesh
among personal belongings.


The Dog and Its Master

With a firm wave of the master’s hand
the dog sets off, sharp as a dagger,
its nose cuts the wind.

Over and over, this lesson is taught.
The dog quickly learns
whom it must seek, sending hairs on end.

They conduct this concert of violence
with such precision, in the end, with the slightest
twitch of the master’s brow, the dog
flies swifter than a bullet, finishing off a prey.

Israel, which are you?



I’m not sure if I’ve posted these here before. But I feel I need to share them right now. I don’t often post comments to articles I read online. This time I had to. The article can be found HERE.

A dilemma for the party responsible for mass slaughter of a people in an open air prison?
Through the years various war crimes (as documented by the UN and other international bodies) were committed repeatedly by Israel and not a single Israeli official or Israeli have ever been tried. Now we are seeing worse atrocities for they know they can get away with it again.
It takes a certain imagination to accept a twisted view of history. Israel is an occupying power and Palestinians are under one of the thickest military boots in the world.
The oppressed has become the oppressor and, in full battle gear, continues to call himself the victim. And the people who are desperately trying to defend themselves are branded militants and terrorists. Having a starched uniform and being armed to the teeth (paid for in billions of US dollars a year) as well as having extensive control of dominant media are apparently the way to keep oneself from being called a terrorist state. For it seems terror-spreading weapons manufactured with quality control (to ensure precise kills and widespread destructive powers) make all the difference.
Yes, there are Israelis who oppose the Zionist madness, and they need to shout out louder against this atrocity to prove to the world that this is not how they wish to be seen by the the rest of humanity.
Meanwhile, the number of people worldwide who are waking up despite the dominant media’s relentless support of Israel continues to rise. They take to the streets or spread the truth through various means.
One last thing. Apparently there is a vast wealth sitting in Gaza. Is it all about greed then?


Launch Notice: In the Heat of Shadows

In the Heat of Shadows


Click this LINK for full details of the launch notice

invitation to cape town