(2020) you’ve taken away enough

(2020) you’ve taken away enough

A community in pain
out in Eldorado Park 
a youngster the victim
where crime and drugs rule

A community in pain
out in Oudshoorn 
a doctor on the frontline
the victim of our pandemic 

2020 
you’ve taken away
enough from us
a teacher-friend’s remarks
could be a world-wide echo

from the Eldorado Parks
to the Oudshoorns
from Africa to Asia 
to the Americas and beyond

2020 
you’ve taken away
enough from us

The youngster brought comfort
The doctor brought comfort 

Comfort well needed
in schools
in communities
everywhere

2020
you’ve taken away
enough from us

(Photo Credit: The Conversation)

Love Me (tender)

Love Me (tender)

Love me tender
love me sweet
never let me go 
connections have made
my life complete
and I love them so

Love me tender
love me true 
my pockets now filled
money dearest I love you
and I always will

Love me tender
love me long
Covid-19 a good start
for it’s here that I belong
opportunity and l will not part

Love me tender 
love me dear
tell me you are mine
I’ll be yours in freedom’s name
till the end of time

When at last my dreams come true
Darling Democracy this I know
the rotten stench will follow you
everywhere you go

Here down South, an Elvis Presley song is the obvious choice.

Just not (speeches and elections)

Just not (speeches and elections)

Just not 
speeches and elections
our own Women’s Day is
a radio fellow expounds 
like he needs to convince
someone out there

Just not 
though most 
to be heard is 
often same old story 
often same old song

(and for some reason
a bigwig male-head
does an official advert
saying “all racial groups” 
were at that historic March)

Just not 
politicians politicking
preying on the moment
feeding on the moment
angling for a sound-byte

Are we all talk 
the world over
at a time of a pandemic
and Gender-Based Violence

and SA’s Women’s Month
where women are free
where women are not
where women are not yet

Are we alone
unique at that

See, too: “OPINION: What are we really celebrating this Women’s Day?”

(Photo Credit: Sune Payne / Daily Maverick)

Women doing it (for themselves)

Women doing it (for themselves)

Unashamedly 
there they are
on a busy main road
soliciting

soliciting they are
what will the neighbours 
have to say

especially those ones
gated and walled in
their neighbourhood
watches standing guard

Women doing it
for themselves 
on Mandela Day 
in a SnapScan 
Donation Drive-By 

this in aid of CECD’s
#PPEforECD campaign
to support their ECD centres 
with personal protective
equipment – PPE

Women doing it 
for themselves 
in memory of 
Nelson Mandela

Unashamedly

I mask-up and join the Centre for Early Childhood Development on Rosmead Avenue, almost Claremont. To much hooting!

(Image Credit: Centre for Early Childhood Development / Facebook)

What do they learn (in school today)

What do they learn (in school today)

a hawker deliberate
she open-mouthed at the youths of today
unmasked undistanced
outside their local high

What do they learn
in school today
assembling now
up close and personal in our Covid-19 era

do teachers not teach about these new times
about this invisible enemy
along with the other
linking all pandemics in critical thought and analysis

(do they just stick
to the usual to the syllabus to what is dictated
not wanting to stir)

What do they learn
in school today
it being just a day
before June 16
a Public Holiday

are there doctors here
epidemiologists too
gathered boisterously
it being just a day before a Public Holiday

Remembering June 16 1976
of struggles past and present

South Africa’s Youth Day, June 16 2020

(Photo Credit: Simon Fraser University)

Still many rivers to cross

Still many rivers to cross 
(with apologies to Jimmy Cliff)


Still many rivers to cross
for those whose language
includes words and phrases
the world has heard before

Riots and Rioters
Vandals and Vandalism
Terrorists and Terrorism
(Destruction of Property)

Did we here smile
a smile of Deja Vu
at images of that statue taking a river-dive
(where else were there)

not just a statue 
but a symbol of it all
just as those uniforms are
the planet over

Still many rivers to cross
will we find our way over


Television scenes of that piece of stone taking a dive, brought the 1969 Jimmy Cliff song to mind.

(Photo Credit 1: Daily Mail) (Photo Credit 2: INews / PA)

We didn’t get to finish

Tembinkosi Qondela

We didn’t get to finish

We didn’t get to finish
a social media dialogue
in between the music
I sent TQ to keep
our spirits up

We didn’t get to finish
he asking leading questions
in response to my saying
that I miss the schoolchildren

What will you do he asks
when most are infected 
the school has to close 
and you can’t even 
visit them at the hospital 

Children whose nutrition 
and immune system 
is compromised are also 
vulnerable and then they 
bring it home to those 
who are more vulnerable

Whizz Centre suspended classes 
for 60 of their learners 
who were a major source 
of the Centre’s income
putting people’s health first

This is the TQ we knew
health before profit
health before economy 
not economy before health
he maintained you cannot sacrifice 
people’s health for the economy

Then he asks me
what is this economy 
we are talking about  
are we talking about 
food or gold

We didn’t get to finish

(Photo Credit: Facebook / Tembinkosi Qondela)

Perfect day

Perfect day

it is
with a young author
all of 11-year’s old
on my morning radio


she bubbling away
enthusiastic is she
about writing
and reading too


(World Book Day
has passed virtually)


A tad later
another is on
she somewhat 
longer in the game


Perfect day
is her first 
choice of music


a song surely 
to bring cheer 
to humanity


surely not
what with we all
held to ransom 
by a virus


one that has exposed
the planet’s cracks
for all to gasp at
and then to act on


A Perfect day


Two authors and a Lou Reed song on Michelle Constant’s show get this going, on South Africa’s Lockdown Day 31.

(Image Credit: “Joy” by John Von Wicht: Smithsonian Museums) (Video Credit: YouTube / Eagle Rock)

There shall be

There shall be

There’s a Manifesto
There’s a Party Political
There’s a Charter and 
a Statement too 
of some intent

There shall be
the usual smoke
come election-time
(and no doubt after)

Plenty for all
All for plenty
in the many
Lands of Plenty

Plenty of material 
for PhDs and movies
cartoonists and satirists 
and even for comedians
to stand up

Plenty now dressed
in their appropriate
Aims and Objectives
(no red carpet here)

from this stage
to every other stageist
in this phase or that
in this queue or that

There shall be
no walking of dogs
says a talking hat
(face on straight)

But
There shall be
Post-COVID-19
Elections 
and the beyond

There shall be
Plenty for All
to remember 
here and beyond

Dogs walking or not

Lockdown Day 5 went by, with a weekend Zapiro cartoon (Daily Maverick 4 April).

(Photo Credit: The South African)

Do you (wash your hands)

Pilate washing his hands

Do you (wash your hands)

Do you 
wash your hands
in these trying times

of the politricking
not just from those
financially ahead
at the royal feeding trough

there are soothsayers
and clever-dicks and all
those who phone in
incessantly to radio stations
and pen social media epics

Do you 
wash your hands

You who are
Unemployed and Unwashed
(even Poor and Unshaven)
Malnourished and Starving
Unhoused and Landless
and Illiterate too to boot

Do you
wash your hands
of Gender-Based Violence 
and all that goes with it
(is there a Gender Audit)

Are you stocking up
on toilet paper and batteries
and baked beans and the like
perhaps even travelling points

as you daily go
from your dark place
to light

as you daily go
from the ghetto
of your mind
to that of others

Do you
wash your hands
of all of this

and look at yourself

Pilate washing his hands

(Picture Credit 1: The Metropolitan Museum of Art) (Picture Credit 2: The Tate Gallery)