Between my shadow and my soul

Alice Band

The answer is in the question you didn't ask.

"No one notices how the steam opens the rose of each mind"

What if shows me,

The shadowy charcoal etching
I vaguely try not to see
That lives vibrant in your working memory

Of me.

If only you knew then, what
You know now, she murmurs purringly.

I interject:
Then perhaps, they,
Would care more for me?
What a necessary pity.

And she is left unfree.


Call me cold and unaffectionate but,
I think love stories based on
Bouts of passion after
Tenuous separation are, tedious

The magic for me, is the slow and unimaginative,
Everyday, in-your-face, living, breathing, exhaling
Acclimatisation, patience, sacrifice, confused silence,

Feminist narrative

That night the lights went out. In a little corner that before towered over the other sensitive crevices of her heart. She wished it could function like a phantom limb and show some evidence of life long after suffocation but whenever she accidentally ventured into that blind pit all that she felt was quiet desolation, even years after that night. Ravi looked into her eyes at one of those moments and said, "Ah come now. We all grew up like that and we turned out fine. We're happy aren't we?". And she smiled that smile recognised universally by all women from patriarchal societies, a mixture of bitterness, grief, sarcasm and the tint of humour that kept her going every day, the humour of knowing that there will always be a reality within her, a truth, that no man will ever comprehend.

You are successful...

if you see this every day.

When you

Hear that song and it
portkeys* you back to
The day an orchestra crescendoed
though your ventricles
Delicate chords pulled and plummeted,
gutted and teased
Opiate nostalgia now dances through veins
A symphony of ecstasy in the pride of distance
travelled from masochistic agony and,
Yet tickling the enticing risk of tumbling
enraptured once again

*Harry potter refs return thanks to inspiration from

Tongue splatter

Bubbles are a constant obsession here,
from trying to blow the fuzz from my tiny wrinkled
palm in the bath
to the stamping of perfectly rounded spheres
on an airport floor
Always a staggered and crashing flight these ephemereal globes
of airy non substantial beauty and fascination
All those dreams pierced by blades of grass
in fields where the sky preys hauntingly and the soil
swallows whole, where do I put the precious bad ideas lurking
claustrophobic in cobwebby neurons, heroic in their attempt to splatter
on my tongue?
Some questions are better left dead


I shed a tear tonight, for what
I do not know
It could, perchance have been, that
Drop of snow
That crept into my heart, as I had
To let go

It was but a single tear
For something not so very dear
And time tells the tale of greed
Of how one's ungrateful desires feed
When we are all but hollow reeds
Requiring just heavenly fire to fuel our deeds

Curved meridian

Birth is everlasting through the
Wind on this skin and the roots
On my tongue, my land is forever
Suckling these beats, as a horse
Rolls through hay, I aspire awed
Clay upon clay, salt upon sweat
Hues overwhelm my retinas as
An effect of our mountains circling the sun


Most days I feel
I do what I do to make myself feel better

And not because it has any negligible effect on this universe

Still Life

Food gets consumed

Flowers wilt

Metal rusts and

Paint c r a c k s

Underneath these things

We call real

Is the moment

When time stood still

Floating ships

If this world was a ship race, then I
Would stare dolefully as the rest floated
Calmly past, towards certain generally expected
Should haves, as I lag here
Thank goodness the world is round, and even though
We all converge on the same ports, beyond, we each have
Different tides, tempests, calms, storms and undiscovered islands,
So no, sweety, you are a ship with a Sail
Let the Wind guide you

Time and Love are at times the most bosom bedfellows

Time, is an interesting creation of our createdness,
and what I find most fascinating about her is simply
the more I require of her bounty to lavish another with,
translates into more bounty in the requirement lavished


Her first love, it was murmured
I cringed in aptworthiness
You are, yes are, my first

Firsts are forever present
In childish flirtation and blind exploration
Then the firm glorious sensation of, we are real

And cascading, the understanding, you make me feel
I make you be, it even came to that hurtling pressure
Point where you only made me together,

And those nights where I held your ailing hand
Through nursing wounds I fel pleasure and
Fascination at my presence in your strength

It is love, no doubt that keeps one's heart churning
To the rhythm of even regressive suicide
And smiling in pride at the source

So this is twisting my own flesh, searing my own ecstasy
To look into your irresistible vision
And break, shatter, scatter

Shivering, hearing, yet unresponsive
This path enshrouds towards
Solace, regret, matter


I worked it out of course
Even if all the privileged,
spoilt, carefree people
Like you and I and Jack and Jim

Worked 24/7,
All of us, all the time,
It's not enough

Our lives will be toiling, shovelling

Grumbling, and it would still be less

And so we could just turn around,
We could read the fine print,
And see it stated, one is all you need.
That's all that's asked. One.

So now you have no excuse

Stay. Hurt. Believe.

What are we doing, God?

Quietly at the back of my class,
He sat, I never spoke to
The boy who shared that same space,
All those years, that same "Muslim" space
Whereafter he moved on, looking for work,
And his mother died and he was alone,
With himself and himself and the alcohol
And then the dagga and himself and the hunger
And just the person who sat at the back of the class
And now he is still at the back,
I with my parents and my comforts and myself
And one self is more equal than another
And all wrongs are more equal
And this sears me as much as the
Cold blooded Israeli murders
And what are we doing wrong here
What are we doing, God?


One day you will have to do what you always said should be done.

Beware of that day.

Cement: A corollary to "words should be like rainbows"

I want to be cement
For it has become ever apparent
Where sticks and stones save lives
Words forever fall short


How can anyone express this out loud, despite the drowning noises in your ears? The tearing splitting genocidal urge, to shine the blackboard to the tune of long screeching fingernails, a Hitler urge is what it was not just to purge but to add a profound satisfactory zapping noise to it. She stumbled out of the bathroom, and nearly bumped into one of them. "Sorry," he mumbled. That was it, she covered her face with her hands as the tears streamed unbidden, "God, oh God oh God, forgive this" she whimpered.

And love, my dear, is ordained between you

Her bible sang volumes of frilly white dresses and coy flitting eyelashes. She looks down now, as she clutches her bag of potatoes close to her chest, smells of the earth and plastic mingle in her overworked limbic system, making her feel afraid and uncertain in the grocery store's all too familiar surroundings. Fear was in her quran too, of uncooked rice and fish that didn't have the tangy spice of his mother's deft fingers. Of what she had to be now, here, at home, in bed, talk to me about your fantasies he whispered over and over and over in that first week when he could do no wrong, he paid for that with two month's salary for the lush honeymoon in an island off the Malaysian coast. Her taurah told her to keep him happy, her body belonged to him and no other now. How thrilled she was when she packed her first bag, only with her things, things meant to please him, thousands of rands of her inheritance easily glutted on seaming her up, on the thinnest eyeliners and lipsticks meant to bring the blush of an English rose to her complexion. No, it was fear that thudded in her heart, like the back of a fist on her perfectly aligned jaw, violence was so satisfying in and of itself, but the fear would not rest. If he can pulverize and affectionately move his tongue over the very same skin, this paradox was then not contradictory at all. If he could buy her a new wedding ring, intricately designed to the tiniest inflection, could he also not leave this marriage for something simpler, less demanding, less mundane. She could kill herself, or the far more attractive option, die, trying to keep him happy. This was the only way to attain Heaven.

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious." Jung

To God, we Belong

Some relationships can be compared to human bodies suffering from multiple trauma in ICU.

No matter how much you "work on it", sooner or later you're going to have to switch off the machines.

This begs the nonsensical question, do relationship memories go to heaven or hell?

In another news I really want Summer to stay this year.

On staying single

He's there no doubt, in the corner behind the gleaming glass
A lopsided smile, cargo pants just the right amount of creased
Forgotten while she dusts and spicks and spans, everything for now
But just let another peak through the window, she immediately straightens,
Scuffles to the cabinet and shines his marble visage, admiring how
The years have kept his glasses askew.

Of stolen sunsets and painted patience

All sunsets are stolen, how can
something so beautiful be affordable
and patience, patience is just something
I have never earned


Halfway to the shore
the current kicks up,
sea water drenches my nostrils
and I give up.
We cannot fight what is
Not in our control, the
Tide has spoken

Ventriqulous Vant*

In front of them all today, my voice
Stopped, peaked, spluttered, dead
Down the rabbit pit, towards uncertain hell
Like snow white who's prince charming forgot,
and for eternity she screams rage, rage against
the dying of the light, in the midst of decay
you become a burro that toils and tills fields
noticing only the muscular aches and cramps
no idea as to the source, the idea, the belief
with a 5 cent copper piece of change to show
for your day, thinking big means redefining the
limits in your head but limits become road signs
and you pray, this too will pass

*Noojlish word combining rant and vent and pronounced in a pseudo French accent

All men

*Note to the masculinist brigade: This post is tongue in cheek and has no resemblance to actual facts

All men are the same
When they are tired, they
Bitch over petty nuances
And only when you offer them
Food do they become playful
Again. One day I want to learn
to like dogs


Wa'tasimoo the Holy Book reads
A rope brought down by the blessed Jibraeel,
Come families, Shia, Sunni, those on the fence
Lets sing in unison, hold each other's hands

Ashura on CNN, underwear on Facebook
Where is the humanity in our human outlook

Soon after the Prophet's demise Husayn was killed,
Armies and soldiers, power just deceives
Minarets inspire fear and wine drunk after Maghrib
Keep to the basics, brother, Halaal and Tayyib

Ashura on CNN, underwear on Facebook
Where is the humanity in our human outlook

I'm a judgemental fundamentalist, loosen up, you say
A little leeway here and there, keeps you on your way
I'm scared, for sure, I keep wanting more,
Ideals and principles and justice just for all

Ashura on CNN, underwear on Facebook
Where is the humanity in our human outlook