Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

You Beauty, the Monster

Enlarge poem

I remember dancing
in the sludge,
in the corners of your heart.
Lost in your palsied love,
Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the sudden rushes
that surged through my soul
when the sudden brushes
of your fingertips
left electrified pulses
jumping between hair follicles.

Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the resonate lows
I would bask in
when you didnít smile
in my direction
even though I made
no effort to curve
my own stagnant lips.

Ours was a silent love,
we learnt to kiss
just by staring.
Our footsteps and heartbeats
became so accustomed
to each other,
that if you skipped a beat,
I skipped
a beat.

We were angels,
dancing with muddied feet,
our beauty leaving stains
on the things we most
protected from each other,
we protected each other
from each other.

You taught me
how beautiful
four letter words were.
Want. Cake. Time. Fade.
And how love would fade
into nothing
but the nondescript
shadows
of a Venus flytrap
infatuation.

There the monster
lay, sleeping,
breathing
and dreaming
into its final
haze of reality.

The sludge
contained the
muddied footsteps
of angelic monsters
that would be
forgotten in four worded
stories
and slumbering caves.

Xabiso Vili

Featured Poem:

Kintsukuroi

Enlarge poem

“To repair with gold, the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.”

In Plato’s symposium
at the banquet,
Aristophanes announced
to minds that had gathered to speak of matters
of the heart.
In the beginning,
the human being had two faces,
four arms,
four legs
and two hearts.
God, in his infinite wrath
or eternal love,
separated the human being
and we,
in our current form,
were brought into existence
to forever search
for our other half.

Occasionally,
twin souls find each other
and if you squint
at just the right angle,
a golden thread can be seen
knitting auras together,
fixing lives
that were ripped apart
too early in the makeup of time.
But hearts age,
change,
and two hearts
don’t always remember
how to beat as one,
so irregular rhythm
has them beating
against each other
until they shatter.

Do you remember
scratching in the dust
trying to find the pieces
of your heart?
Do you remember
sitting late
into the night
of your life,
trying to sew the shards
together with silver thread
that was almost
not strong enough
to hold dreams intact.
And now, you walk amidst strange
souls that have too many limbs,
with a tattered heart,
not quite sure
why your pulse
beats so different.

Sometimes you have nightmares
of the gods ripping you in half
and your screams reach the sky
where a little girl
turns over stars
and strings them together
with silver,
looking for a constellation
that has her mother’s face,
who left her
when she was still learning
to crawl
on the moon,
and though it hurts,
she searches and searches and searches,
because not all soul mates
are lovers.

On rare nights,
she cries
and it rains
and her tears
land, salty on our skin
and remind us of our scars,
for we too
stand on the precipice
of this world
and fear falling
and cracking
like pottery,
because it hurts
and we can’t always
find all the pieces
to put ourselves back together
again, once clumsy hands
have dropped us from the wall,
to the ground.

There’s no number of king’s horses
and king’s men
that can mend
a broken spirit,
but too many little girl’s spirits
have been broken by men
pretending to be kings,
and now,
ripped sheets act as a barrier
as she wards off
Prince after Prince,
hiding her beauty,
for isn’t that what gave her
these wounds in the first place?

These scars heal slowly
and sometimes they bleed,
but our blood is holy
and golden,
we are fragile but it is our resilience
which makes us beautiful.
These scars which mar our backs
Are the creases of flesh
from which
our silver tipped wings
are waiting to escape.
And it hurts
when feathers rip through skin,
when molten gold runs through scars,
when we are ripped apart
just so our heavy fingers can fumble at
pulling ourselves back together.

But, if Aristophanes
could see us now,
he would announce to those minds
gathered to discuss matters
of the heart;
‘Gentlemen, not even god could rip them apart”.
And I don’t think
menders of pottery could full comprehend
the tenacity,
the beauty,
the resilience
of the lacquer of our scars,
because if they did,
they would have used our pain
instead of gold.

Xabiso Vili

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (2)
  • Reflection (6)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (7)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Xabiso Vili is a writer, performer and poet obsessed with social development. He has performed his poetry around South Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Grahamstown and more. He came in the top six in the 2011 Lover + Another national poetry slam and came third in the 2013 poetry slam of the same national event after winning the regional finals.

He has worked as an assistant teacher and run multiple workshops around poetry and improvisational comedy in Cape Town. He is currently staying in Pretoria and working with various organisations to further the reach and effect of poetry. In his spare time he enjoys battling silver-tongued dragons in the hopes of claiming one as his own.

Xabiso Vili

Xabiso Vili
Xabiso Vili

Biography

Xabiso Vili is a writer, performer and poet obsessed with social development. He has performed his poetry around South Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Grahamstown and more. He came in the top six in the 2011 Lover + Another national poetry slam and came third in the 2013 poetry slam of the same national event after winning the regional finals.

He has worked as an assistant teacher and run multiple workshops around poetry and improvisational comedy in Cape Town. He is currently staying in Pretoria and working with various organisations to further the reach and effect of poetry. In his spare time he enjoys battling silver-tongued dragons in the hopes of claiming one as his own.

You Beauty, the Monster

Enlarge poem

I remember dancing
in the sludge,
in the corners of your heart.
Lost in your palsied love,
Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the sudden rushes
that surged through my soul
when the sudden brushes
of your fingertips
left electrified pulses
jumping between hair follicles.

Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the resonate lows
I would bask in
when you didnít smile
in my direction
even though I made
no effort to curve
my own stagnant lips.

Ours was a silent love,
we learnt to kiss
just by staring.
Our footsteps and heartbeats
became so accustomed
to each other,
that if you skipped a beat,
I skipped
a beat.

We were angels,
dancing with muddied feet,
our beauty leaving stains
on the things we most
protected from each other,
we protected each other
from each other.

You taught me
how beautiful
four letter words were.
Want. Cake. Time. Fade.
And how love would fade
into nothing
but the nondescript
shadows
of a Venus flytrap
infatuation.

There the monster
lay, sleeping,
breathing
and dreaming
into its final
haze of reality.

The sludge
contained the
muddied footsteps
of angelic monsters
that would be
forgotten in four worded
stories
and slumbering caves.

Featured Poem:

Kintsukuroi

Enlarge poem

“To repair with gold, the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.”

In Plato’s symposium
at the banquet,
Aristophanes announced
to minds that had gathered to speak of matters
of the heart.
In the beginning,
the human being had two faces,
four arms,
four legs
and two hearts.
God, in his infinite wrath
or eternal love,
separated the human being
and we,
in our current form,
were brought into existence
to forever search
for our other half.

Occasionally,
twin souls find each other
and if you squint
at just the right angle,
a golden thread can be seen
knitting auras together,
fixing lives
that were ripped apart
too early in the makeup of time.
But hearts age,
change,
and two hearts
don’t always remember
how to beat as one,
so irregular rhythm
has them beating
against each other
until they shatter.

Do you remember
scratching in the dust
trying to find the pieces
of your heart?
Do you remember
sitting late
into the night
of your life,
trying to sew the shards
together with silver thread
that was almost
not strong enough
to hold dreams intact.
And now, you walk amidst strange
souls that have too many limbs,
with a tattered heart,
not quite sure
why your pulse
beats so different.

Sometimes you have nightmares
of the gods ripping you in half
and your screams reach the sky
where a little girl
turns over stars
and strings them together
with silver,
looking for a constellation
that has her mother’s face,
who left her
when she was still learning
to crawl
on the moon,
and though it hurts,
she searches and searches and searches,
because not all soul mates
are lovers.

On rare nights,
she cries
and it rains
and her tears
land, salty on our skin
and remind us of our scars,
for we too
stand on the precipice
of this world
and fear falling
and cracking
like pottery,
because it hurts
and we can’t always
find all the pieces
to put ourselves back together
again, once clumsy hands
have dropped us from the wall,
to the ground.

There’s no number of king’s horses
and king’s men
that can mend
a broken spirit,
but too many little girl’s spirits
have been broken by men
pretending to be kings,
and now,
ripped sheets act as a barrier
as she wards off
Prince after Prince,
hiding her beauty,
for isn’t that what gave her
these wounds in the first place?

These scars heal slowly
and sometimes they bleed,
but our blood is holy
and golden,
we are fragile but it is our resilience
which makes us beautiful.
These scars which mar our backs
Are the creases of flesh
from which
our silver tipped wings
are waiting to escape.
And it hurts
when feathers rip through skin,
when molten gold runs through scars,
when we are ripped apart
just so our heavy fingers can fumble at
pulling ourselves back together.

But, if Aristophanes
could see us now,
he would announce to those minds
gathered to discuss matters
of the heart;
‘Gentlemen, not even god could rip them apart”.
And I don’t think
menders of pottery could full comprehend
the tenacity,
the beauty,
the resilience
of the lacquer of our scars,
because if they did,
they would have used our pain
instead of gold.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (5)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (2)
  • Reflection (6)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (7)
  • Sadness (1)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

You Beauty, the Monster

Enlarge poem

I remember dancing
in the sludge,
in the corners of your heart.
Lost in your palsied love,
Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the sudden rushes
that surged through my soul
when the sudden brushes
of your fingertips
left electrified pulses
jumping between hair follicles.

Intoxicated by,
addicted to
the resonate lows
I would bask in
when you didnít smile
in my direction
even though I made
no effort to curve
my own stagnant lips.

Ours was a silent love,
we learnt to kiss
just by staring.
Our footsteps and heartbeats
became so accustomed
to each other,
that if you skipped a beat,
I skipped
a beat.

We were angels,
dancing with muddied feet,
our beauty leaving stains
on the things we most
protected from each other,
we protected each other
from each other.

You taught me
how beautiful
four letter words were.
Want. Cake. Time. Fade.
And how love would fade
into nothing
but the nondescript
shadows
of a Venus flytrap
infatuation.

There the monster
lay, sleeping,
breathing
and dreaming
into its final
haze of reality.

The sludge
contained the
muddied footsteps
of angelic monsters
that would be
forgotten in four worded
stories
and slumbering caves.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.