He Called me Unworthy


He called ME unworthy? Perhaps my ears deceive,
Perhaps you misheard.
Unworthy?- when between my legs
He saw actual heaven?
When my touch brought him,
And brought him,
And brought him again
Till in hoarse voice he cried “No more!”
Even as his body begged “Go on!”?

When t’was me with whom he cried
And from whose breast he drew
Only tenderness, only love;
That special kind of nourishment
Only a grown woman can give her man?

When I saw him at his weakest
And called him strong
And by so doing spoke strength into him?

Forgive me for saying it, but I made him.
With my arms and my words
And my sweat and my tears
And my heart and my prayers –

I made him.

With my love and my wetness
And my blood and my affection
And my acceptance –

I made him.

I covered his weakness
Erased his mistakes
And together we stepped into fullness.
One and one became a greater one,
Greater even than the sum of the parts.
I drew up the game plan with which he slew the dragon –
When did I become unworthy?
When did I become a ‘thing’ he needs to get over, let go of,
Speak of no more?
When did that happen?

“When?” I asked them.”Why?”
“Stop,” they said. “You’ll never understand.”

Am I not human enough?
Woman enough?
Or is it that I am too much of both?
Why am I held to a higher standard
Than that to which he holds himself?
Blank slate he said, as if he himself – as if anybody – is untainted.
Fresh start he said, as if he can ever go back to not knowing.

I said nothing and let him go.

I watched him live a small and narrow life,
Watched as his dreams disintegrated
To be interred with the ashes
Of what we once shared,
His greatness tempered by lethargy
And a weariness that he could not shake off
No matter what pills he popped
Or what art he made.

He es still great, don’t mistake me,
For that was thrust upon him at Creation-
Just not as great as he could have been,
If he’d dared do the hard thing.

A tinge of grey colours his world,
And a miasma of secret sorrows and hidden regret
Clings to him and all he touches.
The terror of never reaching quite high enough
Or digging quite deep enough-
He dreads never quite making the mark.
He’s always searching for that nameless thing
That will satisfy his thirsty, seared soul.

He’s always seeking, never finding.
Always needing, always wanting.
Always hungering and thirsting
Yet questioning what it’s all for.
Never content, never really happy,
Yearning, always pursuing
And striving –
We would have risen to dizzy heights
If he’d heeded love’s call to enter.

Who hasn’t loved and lost?
Who doesn’t carry the scars
And the unhealed wounds of past experience,
Hasn’t been shaped and moulded by it all?
I have walked through the fire
And come out the other side rarefied.
I’ve been stretched and pulled and folded
And broken and mended
And lived to not only tell the tale
But to seek the high love and the deep love,
The kind of love from which sonnets are written
And poetry recited.

They said he was an idiot and a fool.
They said he was weak and a coward and a tool
But none of those things are true:
He straddles the line between man-child and man-whore.

The real truth? Feelings aside?
He just never knew what we could be,
Never saw the vision I did-
I cannot fault him for that.
In love and in love only
Ignorance is an acceptable defence.

-Beauty’s Daughter


On the Randomness of Life

Stardust, the things we know,
You, me, solar moons and the lunar rainbow.
Milky coffee and cheap chocolate and high-end fragrance,
Tattered books, e-readers and high heels.
Sneakers – big ones – and olives and expensive ballpoint pens,
Pasta carbonara and laughter and A-cup bras,
Jameson and Jim Beam, soft-touch keyboards and publisher’s emails.
Fancy watches and the battle of the sexes…
Thinking on those things that ripple through the cosmos and echo into eternity,
Then pondering aloe gel for hair and whether tonight is a good night for laundry.
-Beauty’s Daughter

The Gift of Time


The gift I value the most in this phase of my life is the gift of time. People don’t understand. I’m in a season right now where the people around me are gifting me with time, and it is a beautiful thing, something I deeply appreciate. I think about how I can show appreciation to these people, and I rest in the knowledge that there will come a time when they are not in doubt of how much I appreciate and love them.
The women in my life right now are covering me in love and I feel so blessed. They give me time to work, and time to rest and recharge, and I love them for it. One of them asked me, ‘So you’re working khonapho?’ I was writing. I said yes.
She continued, ‘But what are you doing?’
‘I’m writing,’ I said. ‘That’s my work.’
‘But writing from where? What are you writing?’
The words felt ridiculous coming out of my mouth. I felt like an impostor. In the three seconds it took me to say the words, ‘I’m a writer’, I died of embarrassment. How dare I call myself a writer? And yet here I am, writing.
There are people who by giving me the gift of time make it possible for me to meet major deadlines related to my writing, and I cannot express how grateful I am to them. I tell them often that I will not forget to mention them in my acceptance speeches. They think I’m joking.
Of all the people who support and surround me, none has a more special place in my heart than my wonderful nephew Thando (pictured above). I have often said I want men in my life, reliable men who are on my side that I can call on in times of trouble to do man-things like fix the broken shower-head, or replace it, and help me mop the floor when two of my rooms get flooded. My brother’s son has been such a blessing to me. He is a man in my life who has helped me, supported me, shown me grace in difficult moments. He has given me time.
Sometimes I’m moments away from a break-down and he doesn’t know it; he has saved me countless times. Without knowing it he has been there, strong, allowing me to lean on him, helping me do better and be better. I appreciate him so much. We have raised a man in the family and I am so proud of him. I don’t care ukuthi abanye bathini, kim’ uThando usharp.

First, Knowledge (Slice of Life)

Freedom is knowing who you are. It’s knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. With a bit of effort, anybody can set themselves free.
Excellence is knowing your limits, and then going further. Excellence is being better, doing better, always striving to become better.
I’ve been bruised and broken in the search for love. I’ve been buried beneath mountains of guilt and shame. Today I sing my freedom, today I begin to seek excellence.
I am handicapped by my nature. The Feeling-Logician wielder is the most rare of the wielder types; it is said that this is because where the Logician wielders can be counted on to act logically and rationally, and the Feeling wielders to act on whatever emotion is highest in the moment, Feeling-Logicians are unpredictable and can only be counted on to detest the appearance of being typical, and to be unpredictable.
All these years that I thought I knew myself I saw only glimpses, darkly. I completed the Spiral of Forgiveness before I saw beyond the veil; it was no easy road.
-An Excerpt -Slice of Life-