Painted Purple

I was painted purple. I had no paint.

It does not matter which; my blood will be spilled.

Emaciated fingers accuse my ‘cake-crumbed mouth’.

Cracked swollen feet kick my calloused weary hands.

These tears and blood belong to no one.

I… we have been spilled, choked lifeless, hopeless!


I see you,

We hear you,

You say… if they shall not be mine then they shall neither be yours!


Know your place!

Ringless! Shame! Colour Shade Night! Boxed Us Many Know Your Place!

Booked! Three Ululations! Sweet Spice! Pfff!!! Us Part Many Know Your Place!

Sweetly spiced, I am coloured the shade of night, I desire my present perceived, un-boxed and un-ringed.

The majestic jade in Saigon

She rises majestic.



Gazing through lowered lashes, slowly she trundles.

Thorny brushes grab at her roughened-aged exterior

No match for her flat-footed pace! Remembered paces.


Slowly she trundles.

Majestic. Unbowed.


Beneath the cool vanilla peaks, slowly she trundles.

Majestic. Unbowed.

No match for her flat footed pace! She rises amongst the thorny brushes,

She rises where the sun married the Savannah, beneath the amarula trees.


Beneath the acacias, she is bowed.

By the city that suns itself, she stumbles.



Gazing through lowered lashes, atop the baked-brown-earth slowly she stumbles.

Three ululations bow her,

with the conquering lengths of their darkened barrels,

amongst the brazen dry blades of the Savannah, she stumbles.


Knees bent, her roughened exterior gives way.

Three ululations, she is bowed.

Gazing through raised-tear-stained lashes, she stumbles.

She is bowed in the crimson hue of the Savannah.


Away from the crimson hue of the Savannah,

her stark ivory trinkets adorn the majestic jade in Saigon!

Still rising in the Savannah

1 00N 38 00E the steel snake slithered away from the brine waters in search of the hidden pearl;

Its fangs barred like a buck-toothed trident; shackling, constricting and manacling.All the while the rat incisors gnawed away!

Six and three the sun married the savannah, the city sunned itself beneath the acacias… Whistling Hakuna Matata!

The lions and the giraffes are on safari touring the glass and steel views.


Tall and dark! Oozing machismo! Noses flaring, blanketing everything in smog! 24 spindly fingers clenching and squeezing, all the while spitting false platitudes.

Twenty and two warm custard deserts rising; sweet aromas filing the air.

Golden brown crusts, hot, steaming, scalding 24 spindly fingers! Letting go! Soft scooped vanilla peaks 5199 free, still rising but bittered by limes!

Saigon desires the Savannah

A host of hooves claps and raises dust in the horizon… dry blades of grass stuck between their teeth, seated on a hot black rock whiling away the time, two friends cool off under an umbrella tree.

Bunduki:     Have you ever known despair?

It cloaks you like the musk of a young bull elephant in heat. Pierces the soul like the tip of a stout tusk!

Tembo:        Chuckles

Ah! My friend, is there a being that has not been driven mad by the affections of despair?

Bunduki:    Sighs sadly…She is a cruel lover!

Tembo:       … a fleeting affair.


A light breeze blows… a swirl of dust flies about their feet, like a beautiful dancer running off gently.

Bunduki:     Sighs sadly, loudly.

This affair rips the air rat-a-tat-tat. It drives me mad!

My desire hides out in the dangerous Savannah lands; rips my being apart. I long for my desire to fly away to the land of dragons. My desire longs to adorn the hilts of its admirers with stark ivory trinkets; conquering the lengths of their darkened barrels!

Tembo:        What causes this level of despair? Are you struck by an illicit love?!

Smiles brightly, cheekily.

Bunduki:     No. Yes. No. No.

Looks embarrassed. Shuffles feet raising a small dust storm.

My children cause me despair, they yearn not for the settling of their shiny bodies resting in their organised wooden beds. They yearn for the heat on their bottoms… they yearn to bring me shades of jade.

Shades of jade to adorn my palace and cloaks of three-fourths of cotton and linen. This is my despair.


The trees sway slight. A bird call in the distance warns of danger; the lions are on the hunt.

Tembo:         My friend, you speak in twists and turns. What is this despair you speak of?

Bunduki:      Stands and turns suddenly. Paces back and forth.

Clenches and unclenches fists then blurts excitedly

                      Sacrifice! Your beauty! You my friend!

Tembo:        Looking nervous, cringes, shifts and moves away slightly, tentatively… 


Bunduki:    Yes, sacrifice.

Tembo:       What type of sacrifice?

Bunduki:     Gesticulates wildly.

You my friend. The sacrifice of life. You. You who will travel to the land of Saigon, to decorate beautiful women and give mythical healing.

Tembo:        Stammers … b-b-b-but you are my friend, my sworn protector…

Bunduki:    That is why I must have you!

Three ululations is all I got?

Riririri! whoop! yippee!

Three ululations is all I got, not five, three.

I was one of the many, so I guess I was enough.

Sweet as spice, coloured by the night, unboxed, I was enough.

Three ululations – riririri! whoop! yippee!

Stretching the length of growing shins.

Sweet rings circle spiced boxes coloured by the night,

One of the many but no longer enough.

Circular, over-booked and ringless, not enough.

Three ululations vibrate the depths of my night shaded body

I am one of the many, I was once enough.

No longer enough, sorry to be one of the many.

Three ululations distant as my past;

My present perceived, unboxed and un-ringed.

Sweetly spiced and coloured by the shade of night.

I am one of the many but no longer sorry – three ululations is what I had riririri! whoop! yippee!

Wangari Maathai

I know you are unbowed, but I will bend you to my will.

I will stretch your strength until the hunger at freedom corner bows you

I know you are unbowed, but I will eat you from the inside out;

I will permeate every cell. No matter how high the Kennedy airlifts take you,

I will bow you.

I know you are unbowed, I know you will not cower;

you with your fully breathing trees and your pitiful rallying cries,

I will bow you.

I have bowed your opined craziness and your many firsts,

your 50 accolades I have broken into 71 million pieces.

I will bow you, I have bowed you, I am bowed by you!