Monday, December 02, 2013

Hang on to every hope

Hang on to every hope
That doesnt diminish
The Magic in your soul.

Tie ribbons to that dream
Where lighting strikes a chord
And every jolt awakens your heart
To new life.

Make every wish work wonders
Where wonder never worked,
And reignite the spark of the creative spirit.

It's the only way to save tomorrow from
Today's encounter with dejection and dismay.
The best way to show life that you're the musk on its every breath.
The surest way to stretch your days to eternity.

Drug of choice

Confess this precious delusion.
Take a drug of choice
And turn it into crystal meth
Acid on my tongue or
Something purely sinister that burns nasal passages,
Makes my head spin on
Many kaleidoscopes
Beyond reason.

The need to know
And often to be known
Is the only drug
That ends it all
When the time has come
To say it like it is
And play it like it's over
And then to know
That knowing is not
Any sane knowledge.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Huda Chronicles 1

Henceforth I shall be edited by the eloquent two-year-old.
'There's a fly around,' says an annoyed Huda.
'Don't worry it's just floating overhead,' says I.
'Floating? Like in a swimming pool?' she asks, incredulous.
'Erm, well not floating more like flying, like a fly,' says I. Embarrassed. Grateful. Mixed metaphors sorted. Phew!

No rocks of grandeur

Mixed emotions make for
Powerful potions
In the chase to create new time
For lovers and warriors, the fighters for redeemed souls
Wielding pens and precious stones.
These are no rocks of grandeur,
They're made to heal the deluded, cure the hopeless, and manifest rites of passage for the children of a future we have yet to dream of.

Shafinaaz Hassim (C) 30 November 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Faces, spaces, reflections

Being South African forces one to reflect and re-evaluate, sometimes daily, how to identify, in some general and particular ways with who we are. Sum of parts, or a sore thumb, the nearly two decades span of freedom is a precarious space for identity. Too black, too white, not quite right, we continue to grapple with the colour of skins, the link of ethnic histories frozen in time, while trying our utmost to shape a new reality free of overkill metaphors of dark and light.

Everyday, we're brought face to face with disparity, the yawning gap between have and have not as we compete on a global stage. Slogans from the pathways scream: down with economic apartheid. The skin, faces blur, eyes tell stories of the real pain, frustration, hope dashed. Poverty knows no creed or colour. The mirror beckons.

Sometimes, the face in the mirror is a little girl hearing the sound of an ice-cream truck as it approaches her home, wishing that she had enough coins to fill her dolls tea cup with the icy pleasure.

Sometimes, the face looking back admonishes her for not making the team, not getting the highest test grades, not finding the courage to speak up to a petty bully.

Some days, the face is pink, white, brown, the colour of pale disillusion at the rants of politicking and self-policing. Watch what you say and it wont come back to bite you. Big brother is watching you. The patriarchs roll the dice.

Often, dreams are severed in the hopes of a happy family.
Sacrifice accentuates self worth. It takes a lot of stepping away from the mirror, and then returning to face it square in the eye before a selfish decision can be made to live the life you're meant to live.

These days, the face in the rearview mirror seems nervous, at all that is being left behind, perhaps filled with fear at what lies ahead. Sometimes it feels like every step forward, takes you further away from where you belong.

Soon, we'll find that the face in the compact mirror is haggard. Not the same, filled with the memory of yesterday's hopes and dreams, the forgotten songs on the playground that echo to this day; the taste of candy still fresh on the tongue. Alas. They just don't make things quite like they used to.

Faces in the mirror do just one thing: they only focus on what's right in front of them, and sometimes omit to see the full picture. This is the conundrum we're caught up in. We fixate on self reference. My identity, my race, my beliefs. We make value judgments and decisions based on this form of reference. We choose to imprison ourselves in these frozen boxes of history. And we do very little to bridge gaps.
When I look in the mirror, I want to see transformation. Not just growth, don't get me wrong, there is always growth, change, dimensions of newness. What I want to see is a shift in consciousness, and evolution of spirit. That's the only turn of face that will take this rainbow nation forward. And in order for that to happen, South Africans need active citizen participation. Face to face with a democracy that's very much alive.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poets a new sun, and fading moonlight

There's something incredibly elegant about the way poets string emotions into delicate strands of hope, tethered to the branches that spell out life purpose, even if just for the moment. How to test if life seeps from these leafy arms, down sturdy trunks and into far-reaching roots that will sip as much love as they need from Mother Earth, to keep this magic going? Or will they just pop pills via the vending machine and be done when a new Sun rises and the moonlight has faded to a memory?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

SABC interview with SoPhia 2013

Cave of the Mind

The rock cave of Mind 
echoes dangerous duets;
swirling dark waters
threaten to drown out desire.

She knows she doesn't belong here,
trapped by worldly mimicry.

In the distance, Love beckons,
the stars come out to play
in folds of inky blue.
Moonlight sends armies of delight
to reason with misty shadows.
But Mind is the treacherous Ruler of this Kingdom,
mocking imagination and free spirit.

Broken, heart sheds hope.
Soul seeps through her eyes
to be freed of precious delusion.

S Hassim (C) 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Jozi Book Fair 2013

Fantastic energy at this years book fair with the schools programme kicking off to a great start.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

One day at a time ...

Sitting on the edge of life's pier,
we're so busy living,
a day at a time
while casting nets
into tomorrow's vast ocean,
that we forget to make note
that we're also die-ing
one day at a time.

The pier behind is shortening,
spiraling clouds overhead, and
swirling waters below
are closing in,
one day at a time.

What have we done, my love?

I'm listening to the torments of birds,
choking on early morning dew -
and the bitter song of sadness, echoes.
What have we done, my love?
To dreams and words and hopes ...
How did we get to such madness?