There are nights, many such nowadays

when sleep does not give me the time of day

perches itself, to take a bird’s view of me

care takes over, I’m tired of wishing will

could transport me up, have a real discourse

not on ‘the cloud’ lay the topic to rest, while at it


hit the hay, upon white heaven-made fluff

it’s dreamy, two birds, one stone.

The dusk sky stares, an infinite blue screen

I watch it toy with my frontal lobe

this is a tag-of-war, I declare, lay some strategy

on the ground, it’s work in progress


enters the ostrich, so hot to trot

proves he stands out from the rest

pees his taunt on the road map

relaxation is bullied into a whiff

of a veld on fire, wish I could escape but

there’s no way out of this flightless aerodrome.



Spread-eagled in the heat, feels like I am

the Kalahari, cheated, a regular jumping jackdaw

toss, turn, s t r e t c h crook of the arm

it needs a break, this friction smell

is a naughty bird’s poop.


Sandman the egret, all in white trampling ticks

in a wedding march, timid little bride abandons

the cattle ride at the threshold, no honeymoon night

come morning and I will be the sore-eyed groom

breaking the fast on gritty scrambled eggs

dip-tank deep in shit.


Block-headed, stiff elbowed

will have to layoff knobkerrying(we improvise)

for a while, white balls are eggs

found in the Woods, no cries of “Nick Price!”

I’m sulky, the robust arms of Morpheus

have declined to give me a hug.


In a tantrum I bury light-shyness under an oblong

feather pillow, it has a fowl antithetic smell

of a dressing that lays every part bare

have pluck, the bedroom light is off

nasal drawl of the grey lourie rings in my ears

it’s no piece of jewelry


go away, go away, go away’

a round table of wood borers takes up the call

in Chinese whispers banqueting away, already!

sprinkling some powder onto the night

distorting circular hut thatch stringers, whispering

fervently insomnia insomnia insomnia’

ah, the shape I’m in.


Nap flees, vortexing above, a whirlwind

blowing, creates a hollow in the centre

skirting me like a totem, the bedroom hunter

in me is awake, tries to waylay, moving with stealth

in siesta’s leeward but the wind reeks of queasiness

takes the crow’s route straight south!


I hear the books on the divider rustle

have to concur with The Godfather

no option except to ‘go to the mattresses’

till this disorder ‘sleeps with the fishes’

the flamingo stands on one leg

above the turbulence of waters


that shimmer in the wavy moonlight

the other conceals a lupara, bent

on making restlessness ‘an offer he can’t refuse.’

In slow motion, I watch for the umpteenth time

the full moon being swallowed whole

I’m done for


wide-eyed, a goat-sucker, keen to bust the myth

screeching on and on I’m Just another sucker

someone else has been milking the doe

oh, cut the Chase night bird, with that bill

might as well Tell it to the birds

a case of the proverbial book by its cover


darting in-out across the length of the plot

dining on six legged snoozers with a wow

each flap of the predator’s billowing wing

spreading far and wide the bait’s magnetic field

a fragrance of overripe mangoes

fatal attraction.


East is brightening, my world darkening

the fading moonlight, an aging woman

sleeping with makeup on is wooed

elopes with beauty slumber, it’s no party

for the animated scarecrow

duty-bound twenty-four-seven.


A jerky hand reaches out to Shakespeare

Please…”I have caught the tail of kip

within the dusty lines this way before

shakes the copy, “What the?” nose rebellion

a night-jar in distant lands, omen of death

has found a niche


takes ‘whip-poor-Will’ to another level

so high it flies out of my reach, the audacity!

Now to interrogate or not to interrogate

he “who does murder sleep” is the question

and hornBill weighs in his deep timbre descending

from the cavity of a black ebony tree


an erect silhouette on an anthill pedestal

threatening its beak to extinction

a huge biased comma, that punctuates the day

turning a blind eye to my predicament

it’s dismaying ‘As sparrows eagles’.


Sun-bird stretches tiny rubber-like strips

on sides of beaks brimming with song

Y- shaped catapults aimed at my Z’s, I bag zero

gets down to it, melody sweet as nectar

my heavy head bobs like a cork from a bottle of mead

reused on a fishing line


the hammerkop flies by and plop! goes the spanner

into the works. Marley’s “Three little birds”

are ready to salvage the day with that offbeat guitar sound

in particular, the reggae riddim set as alarm rises

like the morning star tailing its forerunner

a drum buster for a new day.


I’m cuddled by the belated lullaby without time

brother-man, still teetotaling yet drunk as Chloe.

The rooster’s universal whoop pecks

bed bugs to the side, at the eye gunk

on the insides of my laden eyelids.

How will I ever find the opiate?


I believe it’s there, somewhere within the leaves

in Uncle Tom’s cabin, I’m helpless and Aunt

is Mrs. Malaprop apt, insisting on ‘calling poultry poetry’.

I’ve been out all night within this single wall

an owl working loose stitches of sleep I’ve cast on

war woes!it’s witchcraft, jinx still unbroken


I face with superstition another breaking day

a yawn lengthy as the first morning’s number one

my cue to get back to work, slave driving the Muse

a blob of sleep walking, open Windows

seven in the morning till the chickens…

rest is history in repeat mode.


Nobody knows…for I keep it to myself;

my worries and I mate for life like doves.

What are you looking for?