During My Dark Painful Days: Part 1

Nomanono IsaacsBlog

I wrote words that needed to come out for my inner healing journey – Poems


So many times I have told myself

Life has to go on anyway.

For there is so much I want to do.

I have told myself, life is short and has to be lived.

Feeling homesick is not important anyway.

So I have convinced myself.

I have detached myself, sometimes successfully

From the feeling that somewhere, something

Very important in my life is missing. 

The family I left behind.

You see, I used to cry a lot.

Nowadays I tell myself

I am tough, strong and life has to go on.

But I have images

Of my twelve and nine year old brothers.

They were that age — those twenty years ago.

They are old men today.

But somehow, the images, are those 

Of nine and twelve year olds.

As for my mother, 

Twenty years ago she was 43.

Today she is 63.

But images still, are those

Of a beautiful 43 year old.

I tell myself, I’m tough and strong.

I must carry on regardless.

But suddenly, it hits me.

I can’t hold my tears any longer

I let them flow down my cheeks

When I am on my own — no one about.

Yes, I am homesick.


When the year is bad

No rain to keep us cool

Only worries over what next

The soil is hard to till

No hope for survival, drought is here.

Starvation prevails

A child cries on its mother’s back

Wrapped in dirty linen

Days have passed, no water for washing

Let alone for drinking.

No one cares about being clean at this moment.

The priority is water for drinking.

The village is barren; death hangs in the air.

Children cannot understand

Why there is no food.

They cry because they are hungry.

Mothers cry because the children are crying.

Fathers weep because they feel helpless.

People pray for rain.

When prayers have been exhausted,

When hopes have been thwarted by forces unknown,

When no strength is left ,

People die a slow death.

There’s something nasty about drought

There’s something horrendous about the devil.

It is an agonising slow killer

Everyone in the village is a walking skeleton.

Mouths are dry, bodies thin,

Even those with very little strength try to go on.

Looking for grounds to dig

In search of water to quench the killing thirst.

The atmosphere is stale and stifling

Rotting animals in the midst of rotting humans

Prayers on high hills have not been answered.

Only vultures are having a field day.


When sounds of distant drums

Echo in my mind’s ears,

I hear rustling of dry leaves,

Hooves gathering momentum

Birds chirping and every possible 

Life in the veld joining in.

It is morning and the wild is alive

Ready and eager for the day has begun.

Yes, in my mind’s eye I see

Beautiful rays,

Colours of lovely orange

On a clear blue

African sky.

Over the horizon — 

But all in my mind’s eyes.

A beautiful sunrise.

Over the veld

The early morning breeze

Whispers to all life.

Roam! Fly! And above all — BE FREE!


Moving like a snake without sign

Of head or tail in sight

Only the body graciously inching

Further towards the Indian Ocean;

Is that glorious enormous river.

Watch on a calm and clear sunny day.

Beauty is there wherever it cuts

Through green fields with patches

Of white birds here and there.

I gaze and feel an urge to reach

Somewhere on the horizon.

If I could ask it to carry me

Where my eyes can’t reach but

Only it can reach.

Glorious river.

But when it’s stormy I see how

Deadly my idol can be.

Rushing furiously carrying logs and dead animals,

The colour changed to rust.

Without sign of mercy for everything

On its way is swept along.

But when days are good

My river, lovely river,

You are serene. I still adore you.


He sat wrapped in his blanket,

Smoking continuously his pipe by his cattle kraal.

He thought of all that he possessed years ago;

When once he was wealthy

Before poverty was forced upon him.

His pipe filled with snuff

From the old stock — 

When once he grew the snuff

Good old days were gone.

His future was a plot of shelterless barren earth

In the Bantu Homelands.


When it dawns it will be late

The unforgivable has been done.

The oppressed races are dying

A slow wretched death.

Physically, emotionally, mentally and socially.

South Africa’s white regime’s Apartheid 

Is a slow poisoning germ.

It goes into one’s blood and spreads

Slowly and deeply.

Leaving no part untouched.

I don’t care, the way I see it

It kills both sides.

To the privileged, it is a germ.

To the underprivileged, it is a germ.

Dear God, Help before it is too late!