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!

Love and hate in equal measure

This secret has made me tired, bitter, angry and lonely. Maybe if I talk about it the pain and anger will finally leave me.

I was an only child for many years, my parents had tried many times and every time it became even more difficult for my Mother. She had almost died the last time but she always to said to me that she believed God wanted her to have one more child. When I was fifteen, my parents finally had another child and this time the baby survived.

I was very excited to have a little sister and at least some company. I was besotted with the baby but afraid for my Mother. The birth had taken its toll on her. She had stayed in hospital a long time. A sadness and quiet air seemed to settle between my parents after baby’s birth.

I did not know it yet, but the winds of change were quietly blowing through my life.

Excerpt from the book Love and Hate in Equal Measure by Natalie Mathenge 

Monster, Monstrous, Monstrosity

It is difficult to love a creature that is not of this world, a creature whose mere existence reminds you of all that is ugly and monstrous in the world. The monster had torn her apart as she came into this world. It came into the world angry and screaming.

It was not until the nurse passed it to her that she realised the magnitude of the horror that lay ahead. Furaha had blue eyes that reflected a red light that made people afraid of her. Hair that was a light coppery colour added to her odd looks. She made people uncomfortable. Many were afraid of her, believing ridiculous superstitions.

Furaha, was as happy as her name suggested, but by the age of 10 she had only one friend and it was not for lack of trying. She had tried to make friends but the other children had thrown stones at her shouting ‘Monster, monster, monster…

She dreamed of being normal and when she turned 13, she was so excited. She wanted to believe that the rest of her life would be easier than her childhood. Her Mother spoke to her for the very first time and had a gift for her! Life was definitely going to get better.

Furaha followed her Mother to the back of the house. Excited to receive her gift. This was the best day of her life! She did not see the shadowy figures that were hiding by the side of the house.

Her Mother held a machete in one hand. As she brought the machete down, she looked Furaha in the eye and said to her, ‘… This will bring me back the life you stole from me, you monster!


Excerpt from the book ‘Monster, Monstrous, Monstrosity’ by Natalie Mathenge 




My cure for writer’s block

I love to write but my brain loves procrastination more – also known as writer’s block.

I am very proud of these first fifteen words, these are the closest thing I have come to writing in four months. Not very good for an aspiring writer. The excitement lies, not in the fact that I have found a cure for my writer’s block.

My cool blue morning turned red! Red like a matador’s cape swinging left and right, urging and egging El Toro to a rage. I was basking in the hot aroma of my morning love, coffee. Sleep laden eyes glancing through emails that were drifting in as I enjoyed the stillness of the office. One eagerly awaited envelope caught my eye, I was suddenly hopeful, finally a shot in the arm!

I moved my face closer to the white light of the screen and as I read, shots were fired. Fired in those condescending words from across the more civilised quarters of this vast continent. They did not miss their mark. My attempts to solve a problem in my uncivilised-far-side-of-the-moon quarters was quite annoying; irrational even. How dare I imagine that I could possibly apply my still evolving mind to such a complex matter?

My seemingly well thought out opinions were worth as much as my used soggy coffee cup. A nice amber hue was beginning to colour my aura, … maybe it was the sunrise.

I read on… was I daring to look my more evolved counterparts in the eye and raise an eyebrow? Why was I even speaking? The email asked. Sh! just be quiet, it was best if I just listened and followed instructions. Let us more civilised types who are less emotional and not driven by their instincts do the thinking.

It was all red after that.

My very basic un-evolved instincts took me from zero, to fifteen to over 300 words in less than an hour after four month’s of writer’s block.  Yup, I definitely found the cure!