Dripping Poison

Dark times
was it planned?

Malice aforethought
not sleight of hand.

People gather on the streets
a bottle’s thrown
petrol flares…


Shelves are cleared
bags are stuffed
snatch a shopping cart
fill it to the brim
seize a hi-fi
grapple with a fridge
snatch another shopping cart
come back for more!

Grab your phone
tell your friends
the shelves aren’t empty yet
and not a cop in sight…


We might pick up the pieces
we might mend fences
but it’s going to be
a long
road
back.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #91 photo prompt.

The image shows a bust of a man. A dark thick liquid is being poured on it.


Important note: this poem was written from the photo prompt. The fact that it shows a dark liquid being poured on a white figure should not be taken as a representation of the violence that has occurred here in South Africa. The victims of the violence are primarily Black African-owned small businesses whose shops have been destroyed in shopping centres and malls, and the staff who work in the big retail outlets there.

kaleidoscope girl

brazen beauty strutting on the stage
taunting, teasing, technicolour dreams
reaching for the bright lights
looking for the wrong types
see me, touch me, feel me
take me, make me yours

drenched in glitz and glamour
splayed legs go on forever
shiny skin, huge black eyes
lips that shine and pout
beat thumping, heart racing
she can never give enough

falling, sprawling
every night another bed
white lines, liquid gold
rolling in the sultry dark
waking, shaking
dress torn and lipstick smeared

it happened once too often

star winked out

peel her from your wall
fold her up
and put her
in your pocket.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #90 photo prompt.

Image credit: Sean Robertson @Unsplash
The image shows a painting of a woman on a wall. There are words scribbled on the sides of the wall art and people have drawn on the face too.

Biding my time

Concealed behind that plain façade
silently observing yet unobserved
you creep along obscure corridors
listening at keyholes, capturing confidences
pocketing intrigues and salting them away.

Green mantle cloaked, you traverse the town
sniffing out secrets, ferreting for indiscretions
licking spoons that stir the pot
snatching skeletons from cupboards
to one day share and spill.

Nothing escapes your inimical attention
under your watch, people scarcely sleep
they mind their tongues, mind other people’s
but blank of countenance and with eyeless innocence
for now your secrets stay safe with me.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #81 photo prompt.

Image credit: Victoria Strukovskaya @ Unsplash
The image shows a closed wooden gate with the number 28.5 written on it with chalk. The gate is surrounded by thick green creepers.

Day after Day

each night, enveloped in scarlet
golden sun slides under blue blankets
gossamer strands of lingering light
caress cooling sands
waves wash upon the shore, breaking
breaking, unceasingly breaking
erasing away the day

each night, cloaked in obsidian
silver moon shakes out her gown
scattering glittering pennies
over wine-dark skies
waves wash upon the shore, breaking
breaking, unceasingly breaking
hailing a new dawn


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #79 photo prompt.

Image credit: Philippe D @ Unsplash
The image shows a lighthouse situated on a small island. The sun is setting behind the lighthouse, colouring the sky in beautiful shades of orange and pink

Embrace me

Forest’s glamour calls us softly
tempts us to tread her tranquil tracks
entwines us in expired enchantments,
past promises and spent desire.

Shrouded mysteries lie before us
veiled in magic, lost in time
where dryads strolled and naiads frolicked
in crystal pools and creeks of light.

Darkness falls as we draw closer
tracing the edge of moonlight’s sight
we trespass boldly on her magic carpet
and embrace the secrets of the night.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #74 photo prompt.

Image credit: Eric Muhr @ Unsplash
The image shows a forest scene with a path going deep into the forest. The trees in the distance are shrouded in mist.

Stalker

I know you’re there
watching, silently
out there, always out there
monitoring my movements

the click of a camera
the slam of a car door
behind me
a flash of movement
reflected in a window
will I ever be rid of you?

monitoring my movements
out there, always out there
watching, silently
I know you’re there.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #73 photo prompt.

Image credit: Sonny Mauricio @ Unsplash
The image shows a bald eagle sitting in the bare branches of a tree. It is looking down at the camera.

How she shines!

golden sun’s fluid glow flows
over your curves, filling your crannies
opulence wrapped in creamy pearlescence
your soft skin shines in the pale pink dawn

now dazzling white in high noon light
towers thrust skywards to pierce
softly yielding cornflower skies
your marble-clad radiance blisters bright

now descending, the great bronze orb
drapes his saffron cloak over your opal shoulders
while beneath the aquamarine firmament
your gleaming countenance smoulders

silver stars prick the velvet twilight
sapphire serenity pervades
everlasting yet ever changing
your beauty pleads devotion


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #71 photo prompt.

Image credit; Sanin Sn @ Unsplash
The image shows a front view of Taj Mahal, Agra. The sun is either rising or setting in the background.

Topsy Turvy World

humankind turned upside-down
keeping safe’s what matters
all around the world
economies in tatters
scientists in overdrive
to keep one step ahead
corruption, disruption
stop now, keep your head
mixed message, fake news
sops to the masses
governments in disarray
staying put’s what matters


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #70 photo prompt.

Image credit; Lance Anderson @ Unsplash
The image shows tall skyscrapers lit in the evening light. In the front there is a small pale-coloured house resting at an angle on the ground, one side of it raised from the ground.

We’ll Always Have Paris

In the new bloom of passion
and the early flush of spring
we first walked the boulevards
of the city of lovers
entwining ourselves
in darkening alleyways
indulging in delights
behind closed doors.

In long, lazy, late summer’s days
we roamed gardens and parks
and wandered through galleries
spent evenings in Montmartre
listening to a solitary pianist
playing our tune.

In the midst of winter now
we travel no more
but like Bergman and Bogart
we’ll always have Paris.


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #69 photo prompt.

Image credit: Lucas Albuquerque
The title image shows a view of the Eiffel Tower at night when it is illuminated in golden light. In the foreground you can see the Seine river reflecting the lights.

Marking Time

Days which merge
one into another
marking time
tied down
by new normal’s rope.

tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

A ray of light
spills through the bars
a gap for hope
to squeeze through.

tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

How long before
with the tiny prick
of a needle
we widen the chink
in covid’s armour
and creep through
to emerge, blinking
in the light?

tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…


Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #67 photo prompt.

Tim Hüfner @ Unsplash
The photo shows a partially open gate, which is thrown in relief by a light filtering from a doorway.