The Sun eats pain in Zubenelgenubi

Those school days / a humid summer fragrant with coconut and smells of the sea /
begged to be let in through sticky windows /


I helped the librarian usher in the air / and exhaled a searing pain / feeling the tip of my finger cleanly sliced by the frame / that overlooked the bleeding hibiscus / wood so blue like my ashen lips /


She stood beside me / a girl with an emerald name / her ebony hair braided like a coir rope / and smiled so that my heart pleaded to have her as a friend /


She offered, as I bit in the dizziness by the skin of my teeth / eyes as dry as the sand /

“Were you born when the sun was in alpha Librae, the moon in Taurus, fourteen years before our tongues espoused an English, embellished by the diacritical course, of a black river meeting the Arabian sea?”

Her words salved me further / ” Is that why you don’t cry?” /


I smiled at the thought that / we blossomed the same day the sun rose in Zubenelgenubi / planning to bond once again in the future over the eating of pain /

The price of shame is thirty pieces of silver

Sweet Irises, daisies and hibiscus sighed/ when you kissed the beloved of God/ Judas/ they weighted down with the love you felt in the moment/ a love, the Sanhedrin wouldn’t know/ for they were men of law, order/ the fleeting judicial vestments of the ages/ for vindictiveness.

You too, a man of God, Judas/ and you loved like only a man could/ his own brother, his own father, his own master/ a love that made you fear the only one/ who saw in you the darkness of your demons/

Your burgeoning shame at such sordid revelations/ the compassionate son of man felt in you too/as you walked in silence/ among the sleeping olives/ afraid they would see you/ betray your own heart/ for you wished to denounce the humiliation in your tainted veins.

You knew, he knew, you both knew/ yet you both played a game Judas/ of the infinite pain a heart can hold/ for your name never crossed his lips/ and his was planted in your silent kiss/ in the soft whisper of ‘Rabbi’/ In that moment he knew that you loved him/ for he went freely.

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I am not a woman of religion, yet nothing has resonated with me as much as the crucifixion of Christ, that to me stands as the most important aspect of all of the gospels. For in this killing of a man, in the ways that were familiar to the Roman empire, (crucifixion was a common punishment meted out to criminals), there are many aspects to it that stand out as exemplifying the most of our human foibles and flaws. So many parallels can be drawn here to shame, betrayal, humiliation, forgiveness, mental health, depression, self doubt etc.

It’s a story I always revert to when I have to think of the larger issues in life that have petty origins, yet overshadow our thinking and make us lose faith in ourselves and a broader humanity.

Sometimes, I envy the faith of the religious, for theirs is one of acceptance of the ways of the world, a way out of the struggle. Mine is more of a persistent questioning for meaningfulness and the drive to change what is, into what can be or should be or could be. It’s a very rocky path and gives me a hope in humanity which perhaps is as naive as hope in religion or the supernatural, but it feels closer to home and to my own comprehension.

I don’t think that the betrayal of Jesus by Judas of Iscariot makes Judas a traitorous man, for the humanity in him is seen in his remorse. He commits suicide in addition to returning the thirty pieces of silver. I believe it was the shame of being revealed to the one he loved that made him betray Jesus. In fact, Jesus knew he would be betrayed by Judas and Judas knew that too, yet, what was it that allowed them to persist until the garden in Gethsemane. Sometimes it is the interplay of human emotions that drive what is marked down in mythology or history as events of significance. We should attempt to look beyond mere facts as to what truly drives human behaviour. Only in this perhaps, lies a compassionate understanding and acceptance of each other.

I will write more about the themes of the crucifixion that bring me to some important questions, for questions are all I have.

Generosity as an unplanned outcome ~ in the Savanna

The savanna was ignited by a lightning rod/as it heaved under the wet season of tears/ The acacias had no intention to plan/ for anything unclear/ so they conserved their meagre spirit/ crucified in a crown of thorns/ their little leaves in perfect  balance of routine/ weaving photons, holding water, bracing wind / that only submitted to the rubbery kisses/ of Lamarck’s giraffes/

But the fires raged as wild as the grass/ and the soot seeded the clouds/ and soon there was a fresh drizzle of pearly tears/ the sorrow of Gaia now lush in green, adorned such/ that came hurriedly the wildebeest and the impala/ to an antelopian feast of emerald/ freely given in kind/ for is this not the way of the generous grass/ to burn, to grow and to give?

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I think we can now laugh at Lamarckism  and how giraffes got their long necks. We must also be prepared to laugh at a lot more in a few decades as our schools of thought transform and we find that certain theories do not evolve, they just get relegated to the trash can of incredulity at our own scientific assumptions.

This poem speaks more of natural fires caused in violent thunderstorms as opposed to the ones that arise due to anthopomorphogenic factors.

I am always amazed at the resilience of grass, its wanton growing, it’s indespensability in the ecosystem. There is a competitveness between grasses and acacias but both, despite their glaring  differences, are an important part of the grassland ecosystem. But what would be the life of the grazing herbivores without the ubiquitous grass. What is this, if not generosity?

Borodinsky Bread / Boardwalk / Brighton Beach

It’s a long drive to the end of the earth.
Ah no, that would be Coney Island.
We look for sea gull action at Brighton beach,
murals too, darker than the Atlantic, where
the paddle surfers were as intrepid
as my brother in the North Sea.
She packed sandwiches, for she knew
I loved smoked salmon in borodinsky bread.
The dark rye was in mourning,
the loss of our social freedoms perhaps,
studded with coriander seeds
like spent ammunition for weapons
discharged all over the world,
but those weren’t our conversations.
Ours were as long as the boardwalk
was insufficient until the wind
had turned us entirely glacial.
Someone remembered mundanities,
a parking meter.
Our clothing, the weight of winter,
but one of us outran the wind,
bracing hungry sea gulls and
people transplanted in time.
An hour late, a handsome cop, I think,
had left me a bright orange love note
that could have been
a little less demanding.

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I had my first taste of Borodinsky bread from a store that specialised in Russian and East European food in Queens, New York, after that, at a little bakery in St Petersburg.

I love this bread and make it a point to get it wherever I may be able to find it. If I ever manage to recreate it, I will post the recipe and the photos for certain.

Collective Ascent

There it looms, a life like mountain/ sheathed in fynbos, all shades of green/ while the cape drags in reluctant seaweed/ and the wind makes contrails of my hair/

I ascend too with the heather, the rooibos and the hottentot/ We climb/ now a collective of exaggerated beauty/ defiant in wind, spray and fire/

There are leaves as prone as a flat lined heart/ reeds as resilient as a returning pulse/and we all watch the hope of yolk/ of a Sunday sun dipping into the ocean/promising to rise again/

We creep up the leeward and the windward/ ensconced in the spiral of a soul entropy/ determined to survive every rock and crevice/ to hoist ourselves up the flagpole of the cosmic plan/

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Here is a poem inspired by the  #bloodmoonjournal  sunday prompt, ‘climb’, to produce something a bit inspiring as  the majorly beautiful poem of Amanda  Gorman, ‘the hill we climb’.

I wove into the poem, the Fynbos or the shrub vegetation of the Cape Floral Region in South Africa that we visited years ago.  There are some photos too from the hundreds I took and never thought I would use on Instagram someday.

Do please visit my instagram handle @davinaesolomon to see the photos.

Tuning in to Lazarus

Your heart, Lazarus,
returned from the realm of light
to a cascade of earthly voices
demanding intervention
Strangely channelling messages
on the tails of the wind
that stoked her questioning heart
tuned in to the songs you were playing
through your bandages
for some were familiar;
but every pulse of her being
rebelled at the onslaught
of Dante’s purgatory
that spilled forth
from your possession
Lazarus.
She mirrored in it
an allegory to madness.
The wind laced her face
with a veil of sorrow
as she walked through
the first circle of hell,
where she saw sentinels of pain
ricochet on walls paved with
the devils of the future
in the ninth circle of treachery.
The kindness was
the weight of an anchor
trailing at sea and the ship
had never sailed.
so they read
the tea leaves together
and found only tannins of regrets,
notes of stale memories
festering on skin
like the blemishes on the moon,
a carcass of dead emotion
now that the soul had cruised
to a swan song.
The love had left the tea
and in the dregs of the leaves
were sunken hearts,
she knew this because,
lazarus had risen
after 8 minutes of flat lining
so he could bring back
the messages of the living
into the silence of the living dead.

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Sometimes the divine muse is available to poetic license. I read about near death experiences recently and an observation of those that have had an NDE, resort to spirituality to help with the ensuing PTSD. Many of them also report turning psychic.

I am also intrigued by the fantastical relationship of Dante and Beatrice, as one of dedication and the glorification of the feminine as he sought to mould it in his writing. She never knew of his love but he exalted her to a stature of perfection in his writing especially after her death.

I find his use of Beatrice as a muse needs to be separated from his patriarchal proclivities to create the image of an unreal woman, a woman that does not exist.

I wonder though if he would ever love Beatrice the way he did if they shared a bed together or a love immersed in the temporal. His love for her did usher in his best work though.

Long live the muse.