Happy birthday Dadda!

Two warriors.

It’s your 66th birthday. I’d have bought the cake and hidden it. Placed a card strategically so that the first thing you see in the morning would be a cheesy greeting picked up at Archies. And then I’d have wished you in that awkward manner that was our own. But I believe birthdays up in  heaven would be a lot more fun, so I’ll leave you to that. Here are 26 life lessons you taught me before I could even turn 20. Until we meet again.

26 lessons my father taught me:

  1. Never give up
  2. Don’t take no for an answer
  3. Believe in yourself, even if you are the only one to do so
  4. Help others, especially when they cannot repay that help back
  5. Be kind to all, no exceptions
  6. Read, read, read and read some more. It makes you the person you are becoming
  7. Fall in love with sports. You won’t regret it EVER. Even when you fall ill and wake up from a surgery, ask what’s the score and not “how did my operation go?”
  8. I am the best. There’s no one who can do a job better than me (he believed so)
  9. I can move mountains. I only need to write the word
  10. Write, write, write and write some more. You have the gift of words, use it to script and tell your story to the world
  11. Voice your opinion. Nothing is gained by staying quiet. Your opinion counts, express it
  12. Have the courage to stand out from the crowd
  13. Believe in your dreams. You owe them that
  14. Drink what you want provided: you don’t get addicted and you don’t drink in depression
  15. Don’t smoke. It’s unhealthy. Period.
  16. Live your truth. The world may hate you for it
  17. You aren’t here to please the world. You will make enemies in life, it’s okay
  18. You will lose friends along the way. The ones who remain, hold them close
  19. Debate, argue. Don’t accept something just because someone told you to
  20. Think, think, think and think some more. Don’t walk through life passively
  21. No dream is too big. Keep at it patiently
  22. Hard work and discipline can triumph over talent
  23. Be proud of your humble beginnings. If you aren’t, the world won’t either
  24. Dont do things that make you unhappy
  25. Respect is earned, not demanded
  26. Love. In your own way. Even, and especially when, it is the toughest thing to do – love. It gives you the strength to do things you never thought you could









And she sings


For a while I’ll take refuge behind walls I built myself.

I’ll let my light fall in love with darkness.

I’ll let it flicker and dance hazily with the shadows in my head.

I’ll teach it to breathe; even if a slow ragged breath it be.

I’ll teach it to breathe in places that have never known

What it is to inhale life and exhale love.

I’ll let my Light shine strong

In Darkness’ blackest corners.

And thus shall my phoenix song be birthed.



They asked me,
what would I save
for myself
from my house that
was set on fire?

Unsure. I had no answer to give.

I simply watched
the crumbling dust
that was my house
mingle with flaming ash
and settle at my feet.

I blinked back
at the blackened remnants,
much like God would
at the shattered fragments
of his child – Earth. (Mere days remain).

Five spoons of grief. Ten of regret.

We drank – God and I –
to destruction.

The home I built.
Burning rubble now.

I stepped to take a
last peek inside.
Hoping for waves of
bittersweet sadness
to wash over me.

I felt none.

I felt nothing.

Heart of stone, I heard them whisper.

And then they caught my eye.
Glinting in the dying embers
as triumphant warriors would.
Crossing the hillside as the sun rose,
heads thrown back in glory.

They escaped the fire
May be a scar or two
Cut through.
Scars – a reminder
of their courage,
their valour.
Brave indeed
to have stood up to
those monstrous licking flames!

That’s when I felt kinship
take birth within me.
I understood what brotherhood meant.
Heart of stone, is it? I whispered back
to the ghosts in my head.

I picked them up.
My jewels
that lay sweetly
among the ruins.

They were alive
for a purpose.
Who was I, then,
to deny them their destiny?

I let the rope slip itself
onto my neck.
My garland of roses.
I let the knife plunge into my heart.

Flesh and bones.
And blood.

I whispered back
To the ghosts in my mind,
“Honey, I’m home.”

A letter from beyond


To my baby girl,

Let go baby,

let go.

I cannot

would not

prise your tiny fingers

off my withered hand.

You have to let go, baby.

When the walls seem a closing,

Do not run to the grave.

I am in your heart,

You are a part

of my soul.

Look within.

Stand strong, my child.

You are made of

the greatest virtues

that exist.

The thunderstorm can’t

knock you off.


You are the wind.

You are the sun.

You are stardust –

the daughter of the

Moon and Night Sky.

You are Love, baby.

I was sent here

to tell you this;

but never could.

I had to leave,

for this message

to reach you.

Let go, baby

let go.

You are strong now.

– Love,

Your Father.

Of time machines & toy dogs on wheels

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The floor of my home

me in my pretty pink frock.

Chubby fingers

holding a pretty red dog.

And I’d swing him by the ears

and his wheels for legs.

Clouds for a seat

the sky my playground,

in my fairy blue dress

I’d dance around.

Oh how I flew!

Butterfly wings

and crescent plume.

Headfirst I dived,

the sea white

of hope and dreams

my bedrock.

Oh how I sang!

Verses and litanies

in joyous strains.

My world.


Just mine.

Birthed by the wheels

that I spun around.

The floor of my home,

clouds for a seat;

Of time machines

and toy dogs with wheels.

Is it magic?


Would it be too much
to ask if I could lay
on your bosom and be
carried forward into the
world that lay beyond
your lilting footsteps?

To say that I was awestruck
is belittling your beauty.

All I wished then
was to be engulfed into
your vastness;
To be swallowed and
regurgitated out
of your depths
into the infinite existence
that lay wrapped in sheets
of violet and pink.

And as the sun set down on you,
blessing you in all its
fiery fervour,
I’d wake up to dawn
on the other side.

And they say magic doesn’t exist.

Do dreams come true?


The grass beneath my feet tickles.

drawing giggly, sunny patterns

like the doodles I drew in kindergarten.

The mountains

much like my father

gaze down on me

with pride,

with love.

In their enormity

I am safe.


Wild lily flowers

crown my head.

The petals

brushing aside my worries

with the gentleness

of my mother’s palms.

This here,

is my happy place.

On a wooden bench

in an enchanted forest.

And you –

with your warm, brown eyes

shy smile and a golden heart –

besides me.