Monday, June 11, 2018

The Deep

for Bra Ray Phiri

pluck the strings
amid the mkhukhus & tenements
along billboard-littered motorways, by grubby streams
via grass-topped homesteads
wending, winding, entwining, splicing
woven thread. the fabrics
from the sinews of the ancient folk
that still adorn
the broken school, chisanyama, spaza shop, the crafter's shed

pick the notes, brother
amid the jazz wizards, who cluster and eddy
faces floating in moonlit pools
the instruments, blackened walls, beer-stained tables
bitten fingers, chewed-out gum
standing by
the faces & barely-tied laces
present,struck, restless but unhurried
grainy as the blues

strum, brother strum
a soothing embrace
to accompany those troubled dreams.
for seekers
that melody, coursing
like the fierce waters of the zambezi waterfall
along fault-lines & edges of love & broken skin &
cracked smiles

those visionary
those sounds with lips, tongue & vital throat
that body with notes
      spurting forth
      from grey rocks, hard sands, volcanic rock, silt, carbon

your horn wails, sighs & sings
dances in the aisles
till we hear our own voice
calling out
from the deep

Saturday, April 21, 2018

New kids' story: Teacher Owl's Class

Just like my other children's stories, Teacher Owl's Class features the animals of Africa.

In this tale, while other learners play and do other interesting things, Snail learns something new about her family.

See the story here:

Frank Meintjies

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Children's story: Elephants encounter lions and fire on their journey

In this story, the elephants encounter lions and a runaway fire on their journey.

Frank Meintjies

(This story may be copied and used for educational purposes. It should be used with author acknowledgement and, if the attached/linked version is used, due acknowledgment of the creators of the illustrations.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Children's story: a wolf that saves the day

My new children's story, Mystic Moon Saves the Day, can be read here: or here:

This is how the website introduces the story: Mystic Moon is a wolf that is traveling through the Magaliesberg hills by himself. As he has been traveling, he has noticed some lions that haven’t been very kind to him. When some lion cubs get stranded at the top of a mountain and Mystic Moon is the only one who can help them, will the lions get over their pride to save their kids? Or will Mystic Moon be punished for trying to help?

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The storm

lightning flares, a phosphorescent scar
a Jedi sword
of galactic proportions
pile driving/slashing/talking/linking
 into grey of sky, & then
a massive bang, like cracking earth

raindrops pelting; two
& five rand coins
zing bare skin; bend leaves

wooshing trees
raking wind
    the quivering branches
    the brushed grass

small & big pulses .... flash& boom
call & response
a jazz-rock mixture
written in the sky, in the
folds of my heart

later, an eastward drifting
of stygian clouds
a soft roar, whirring rain
pours forth like purple slush
daylight stirred                                          
into a soup

here, where vainly
i seek cover …
i notice
the bark’s abrasiveness,
its brown
deeply darkened

a degeneration of
this leisurely stroll
into moist abandon/water-lit brows/glistening lips

back on street
I take small steps; then
glance back
steps …

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Gay Paris

these streets of sarah baartman
nina simone, dulcie september
boulevards of james baldwin
these hard roads swept by                                 
sekoto’s brush

citadel; your belltowers & domes 
a collective memorial to
human rights; on grey days
dreams and hopes
surge upwards
against a ribbed skyline

t/here where
scientists honed their gaze  sideways
all-round, but mostly down
along the spine of the nose
     the formulas
         trying to define, to measure, to calculate
                  who can enjoy egalite (as filling between hunks of
                       moon and sun or
                          plain bread)
i came
to find other truths
amid branded words, finessed tastes & eye-wide shapes
i came seeking
ways of perceiving, the delving, the ways to know
the twisted journeys of art
i came to dig
their treasures
but …
your basic  scent pervades the metro
your shadows
lay their (finger)prints
over trimlines, neon adverts & bunting

and when the lights shrivel
in galleries; the cafes go silent
their chairs stacked
the last waterborne-carriage departed
to overnight moorings

from the footpaths
to and from RER and waterways
past endless glass windows & concrete paving
& miles of lines
in my eyes

gentle whispers
lilting sounds, arias & calls of longing from the animals
of mountains and open plains
a-sail on the evening air: your names
touch ears, nape of neck, the pulsing folds
of this
corrugated heart

when i leave
what parts
will be tatooed on my brain
tricolours bordered in shweshwe cloth
a story ringed
by silvia's dreams and o.r.'s marks
sewn by singer needles
that clash mid-note:

who am I, algeria, haiti or reunion?

Oct 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017


a motorbike
soars through the sky

a beret turns green, red, black
that glance off
the rising moon
the waning sun

a guitar becomes a
kalashnikov; a kaloshnikov becomes
a guitar
a t-shirt, a flag fluttering its redness
above green fields
& corralled horses; against
coral-coloured sunsets

for a short while
(just for when
you pass by, overhead)
borders open up
mountain ranges flatten
the sea divides, revealing pathways

back in buenos aries
you commune
with eva’s ghost; the generals
have nightmares
as they watch …  

a tango of silhouettes

an accordion
speaks from a twisted mouth
words go
this way and that - amused, emphatic;
nimble fingers
blue green blue & dripping red
streak their paints
across the expanse
of wispy blue

now and again
pathways cross
yours and
victor jarra, thami nyele, youcef sebti, nadia vera, el sadaawi, brother hugh
now and then the patterns cross
you and i
you and ordinary folk, in their numbers
in free and battle nodes, in zones of light and dark
talking late into the night
we meet, along
pathways and veinlike-patterns of the heart    

Nov 2017