The heavens will comply

Today is Slie’s last day at frayintermedia.

She joined us as an intern in 2007 and became a permanent staffer after serving her time. We fell into an easy friendship, jamming out spoken word in the smokeroom while she taught me bits of Xhosa and decided I was black enough.

She’s moving on up to a great position as a communications someone-or-other at an organisation in Pretoria. I have no doubt that she will step up and up and on and on. She has the determination and drive to succeed for herself, and for her child.

Her little boy’s second name is Xhosa for ‘rain’, and that’s what’s inspired my first rhyming poem in years.

I know a rainmaker;
a claimstaker,
a groundbreaker.

I know a deep thinker;
a float neversinker,
an eyeswideopen blinker.

I know a rainpath guider;
a light strider,
a feetforward glider.

I know a rainmaker.

And I don’t mind the drizzle.

On our way home

We are
creased commuters, squashed between mama and the silent man with the itch in his side. After-robot! Now we can nurse life back into a tingly leg.

We are
drivers with our windows open and the radio up, we’ll chance metal against our temples because the air con’s broke and it’s a long wait at a dead robot at 5.30pm on a weekday.

We are
the man selling sunglasses at the corner. And the one selling mangoes. And the one selling clothes hangers. And the one selling a massive neon bouncing ball.

We are
the lady selling chances to numb your guilt.

We are
the one giving her money, thinking her child seems too old to be carried. “Look, his legs dangle past her knee,” we mutter while fishing in the ashtray for the car-guard’s change.

We are
taxi drivers, battered emperors of the tacky tarmac. Don’t be so insolent as to believe you have any right of way over us.

We are
12 year olds at the roadside, wielding spark plugs for just one shot for glass to rain. Just one chance. One cellphone. This is the difference between today and tomorrow for me.

We are
the people who shoot them. Thieving bastards deserve it. Damn, he looked older when he smashed my windscreen.


You may have heard/read this in the news. Crime has made something ugly of us all, the victims and the perpetrators. See how the lines are blurring.