Big Sea, Small Me


Big Sea, Small Me

I look at the sea
a vast expanse of water
and realise how small I am.

Not even a drop,
I am nothing.

Yet, it is me
so I am everything.

Oh! But how tiny I am,
how deep and never-ending it seems.
All I can do is gaze at it.

It frightens me,
and lures me.

I could drown in it,
float around like a piece of driftwood,
or navigate it to discover new horizons.

But, if I can do that,
does it not mean that
I am actually the bigger one?
If I can understand it
and be one with it,
then it is mine.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

Playground Ghosts


Playground Ghosts

Why don't the children play?
they ask,
too afraid to admit
what we all know.
It wasn't like this in my day,
they smirk.

But I ask,
why would kids jump and run
when two thumb taps
provide instant fun?

Why renovate the park,
when all the children
would rather sit around at home
behind screens and
in the dark?

So playgrounds shrink
and profits rise.
But who's to blame
now that we're
one finger's swipe
from our own demise.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019


The Bell Still Rings in Janjina


The Bell Still Rings in Janjina

Notre Dame burned
but the city kept ringing...

Culture appears to be
dying,
the proletariat
thriving.

In the village
time stands
still,
yet every hour
you're reminded
that in the rest of the world
it moves along.

There you sit,
mesmerised by
nature,
yet blind to
human nature.

Some say
the soul
of the village
is in the toll
of the bell...

To remind us of the disparity.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

* The text in italics is partially stolen from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) OST - 01 - The Bells of Notre Dame (lyrics by Stephen Schwartz).




Race Does Not Define Me

Photograph by Yakima C. Waner


Race Does Not Define Me


I am not your exoticism
A mere fantasy
to satisfy
your eroticism.

My hair is not your
fuzz ball.
Do not!
Caress it
Brush it
Or touch it at all.

I am not
your quasi-Nubian queen.
Although, I have lived in Africa
so there's nothing
spectacular
you can show me
that I haven't already
seen.

I am not
your evolutionary successor
your slave
your bitch
your sister.

I am not
anything
to you, but a
woman.
So, please
do me a favour.
Fuck off Mister! 

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

Open the Door


Open the Door

Open the door
to sexual conversation.

So that the children know
they can understand
what feels
right
wrong
too fast
too slow

So that they learn
to give
not
take
take
take!

Show them
real love
Not what's on TV
pornography
Mostly fake!

Open the door
so that people
don't have to hide
in closets.

Don't let them get stuck
yearning for true love
but chasing
every mindless fuck.

Please open the door
Before young minds drift
and are swallowed by
predators
crocodiles
sharks.

Then we might never
be able to
get them back to shore.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

I Dream of Africa


I Dream of Africa

I dream of Africa
and my soul dies a little.

I see the children cry
and shuffle for pennies,
while the Chinese laugh
and the fat cats grow.

I dream of Africa,
I see my home.

I hear that Highveld thunder,
and I see them plunder it.

I dream of Africa,
but I know
Africa is no dream
It is a camouflaged heaven.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

One Woman's Symphony


One Woman's Symphony

They say she has a
malady
but in her head
there's this glorious
melody.

When others hear noise
or nothing at all,
she recognises
her song.

It is heartbreaking
that they'd rather
judge her
try change it,
than
listen to her experience
save her the loneliness
and joyfully play along.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019


You Think You Have Time


You Think You Have Time

Today they will crawl
and grasp at your feet.
Tomorrow they will fly away
and forget everything but your name
(if even).

Today you'll laugh,
but tomorrow
the tears and the pain will come,
and vice versa.
Until there is no more
vice versa.
It's just one way.
For your sake
I hope it's the laughter
that remains.

The problem is
you think you have time.

You fool.
You goddamned fool.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019


God Is Love


God Is Love

God is love.

Amor omnia vincit.
Amor est veritas.
Veritas est infinitus et absolutus.

Truth is void.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

*Two lines are “stolen”:
“God is love” ~ the bible.
“Amor omnia vincit” ~ Virgil

The rest ~ my interpretation to complete the circle.



Festina Lente


Festina Lente

Run,
but slowly.

Walk,
but briskly.

Fly,
but within sight.

Ride hard,
but safely.

Go,
but not too far.

Slowly...
Faster...
Slow!
Fast!

Hold on,
do you even know
where you're headed?

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

*Festina Lente is likely the first oxymoron and Latin adage I learned as a child, thanks to my father's taste in music.


Don't Be Afraid Of The Sun


Don't Be Afraid Of The Sun

As a child
you played with matches,
bonfires gave you a thrill.

But they told you the fire burns.
Fire can be dangerous.
Fire kills.

So you stomped it out,
let your body grow old,
your soul now cold.

As the ashes settle
light comes through...

Your fire embered,
seemingly died.

But you always had
and will forever
be at one with
the sun.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

Nothing Can Harm Me


Nothing Can Harm Me

Nothing can harm me
for life has already
had me.

I've been
cussed at
spat on
trampled over
punched in the face
and kicked in the lungs.

I've been told
I am worth nothing,
only to smile
and realise
I am everything.

Nothing can harm me
for life has already
had me
and here I am still.

My spirit thrives on.

© Maja Dezulovic 2019

Destined to Die


Destined to Die

Have you ever
played with lion cubs?
Touched a bleeding rhinoceros?
Watched the marked eagle take flight?

I have,
but my children never will.

Have you ever
Dived with fishes?
Run from vicious wild ducks?

I have,
but my children never will.

Have you ever
laughed with gorillas
and spotted the mountain leopard?

I have,
but my children never will.

Have you ever
swum in crystal clear waters,
not a single plastic snake in sight?

Maybe you have,
but do you know?
Do you understand
that your children
never will?

© Maja Dezulovic 2019


Inspired by:


"Who really cares?
Who's willing to try to save a world
That's destined to die"

I Miss My Mother


I Miss My Mother

I

I miss excitedly running to the kitchen
at 7 a.m.
to make her tea
and say good morning.

I miss long nights of endless chatter
laughter
and sharing thoughts
startling ourselves upon realising
how many hours had passed.

I miss her naming my puppy,
and thinking that
maybe one day
she can name my child too.

I miss buying her cards, flowers, dresses, anything...
Seeing her eyes sparkle in knowing that I took the time
to care for her.

I miss her daily soap opera routine,
and her obsessive cleaning.

I miss her annoyingly catchy
choice of 80s R&B music,
songs of love
and love, and love,
and love.

I miss her when I wear the dress
I know she wore when she had me.

II

I miss singing her the songs
I'd learned in school
so she'd learn to sing them with me
and we'd play together.

I miss pretending to fall asleep
on the couch
so she'd carry me to bed.

I miss her pulling me out the bath when I took too long
scolding me for not brushing my teeth
and patting my afro into shape.

I miss her reading my report out
to everyone who called
and framing each award.

I miss her cherishing every year's
horrible school photograph.

I miss walking home from school
stopping for sweets at the shop
and telling her about my day.

I miss parents' evenings, sports days, school plays, end-of-year assemblies, and graduations,
because I knew
she'd always be there.
I'd wave my hand from the stage
and without a doubt,
from the crowd,
hers would wave back.

I miss the big birthday parties she'd throw
for me
to show everyone
how happy she was that I existed.

I miss opening my lunchbox at school
to find a bit of everything – healthy sandwiches, snacks, juice and fruit.
I miss
pap 'n gravy
soft porridge
and Sunday lunches that were grand even though it was just us at home.

I miss the jealousy I felt
when I thought she was being too motherly
to my friends.

I miss her buying me boys' clothes
when she went shopping
because I refused to wear anything else.

I miss her nursing me to health
and wiping up my throw up
because I thought that only love could make someone
clean up something so disgusting.

III

I miss her voice
reading me books
before bedtime
until I fell asleep.

I miss her teaching me four languages
Tswana through speech
Zulu through listening
English with flashcards and reading
and Afrikaans with homework we'd work on together.

IV

I miss her strong arms
and gentle heart,
her quiet resilience
when insults were hurled at her.

I miss the fights
because although we were angry
at least we were still together.

I miss the passion in her eyes when enraged,
and the forgiveness she sought
without saying a word.

I miss judging her faults
only to see that they're also
my own.

V

I miss Vinolia, Popiki, Suster, Dineo and Masego too,
because every time they helped my mother
they were my mothers too.

VI

I miss her telling me
she never thought she was beautiful
then people told her I looked like her
and since I'm beautiful
she saw that she was beautiful too.

I miss my mother,
but I needn't miss her
because I have her
in my heart
and in my prayers
everyday.
And I will see her soon,
but until that day,
it's difficult not to feel,
and not to say...

I miss my mother.

© Maja Kelebogile Mercia Dezulovic 2019