Random Notes: a promo

is an Anglo Afrikan poet. He was born in the United Kingdom of Anglo Welsh parentage in 1946, and migrated to South Africa with his parents in 1947. There he grew up in a gold mining town as a member of a despised, newly side-lined, Anglo-Celtic minority community, in a society controlled by fanatical, god-subsumed zealots who sought out every opportunity possible to beat the hell out of everyone who wasn’t in their club.


To give his life some kind of balance .NiK began giving poetry readings from Gilgamesh when he was four, continuing from then on. He grew up to the sound of TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, Euripides, Shakespeare and almost every other poet of significance. By seven he was roaring out both Gilgamesh and Beowulf and at the age of fifty-four, in 2000, he performed the work of Friederich Nietzsche for that poet’s centenary, and as his own fiftieth anniversary performance as a performing and secular poet. He started to write down his own poetry in 1973.


He read Political Science and Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand during the turbulent end of the sixties and later trained as an economics schoolteacher: then ‘dropped out’: ‘Sixties’ style. He travelled in Europe, at first alone, then later with his wife, Diane, with whom he has also worked in various parts of Afrika, in a variety of occupations. Amongst these they spent some years working in the former Rhodesia where he was part owner of the Sundown Theatre Company, and where two of his three children were born. He returned to South Africa in the early eighties to generate family sustaining revenue via a variety of opportunities in the field of direct marketing, writing Marketing ‘stuff’, selling, debt collecting, more writing and, doing whatever else went with urban survival in an unwelcoming country being assiduously raped by International sanctions.


In the ‘Year of the Revolution’ in 1994, on a fateful 11th of September .NiK was ‘reborn’ in Afrika, when he survived an assault by armed murderers, killing at least one of his attackers, and wounding two others in a wild and frenzied close quarter unprovoked gunfight. He learned later that he was the 37th person to be shot by the same group over the preceding six weeks.
The injuries he sustained though, changed his life; returned him to the classroom, as a substitute teacher in a variety of State high schools, presenting various subjects; mostly 9th Grade economics and senior business and experimenting with methods of accelerating awareness and insight amongst young humans.


Eventually, in about 1998, he was declared permanently redundant in the State sector, as part of a process that favours the appointment, to State teaching posts, of citizens who were, in pre-revolution days, disadvantaged by discriminatory hiring policies. He now teaches part time in the private sector; and writes full time, when he is not busy doing something else entirely: living in the only time we know… now.


Random Notes is literally that: a kollektion of random pieces written over decades simply because they ‘happened’ when they did and were kollekted.




‘Truth knocks upon the door
and you say
go away I am looking for
the truth.

zen koan
I was an
old fragile man
it seemed to them then.
They were young
fragile men when
the business began
and I felt a gathering
of angels
swirling through the dust
of our berserk
to fetch us
to our destiny,
amongst the anthills
of urban renewal?
There were we
those three, who
their lead
at me; striving
through such
to burn
their way to
the centre
of my station;
convinced I
should fall
to their
They came;
unheralded they left,
the way stoned men
for mitigation.
The circle closed
the loop was done:
in blood:
to links of lead.
In the dark soul of that instant,
the moment of
at the place
of convergence,
I slipped into
I slew one of them
And he was not even my enemy,
was never
the one in the swirling mass
of our
who have howled for
the bullets
of our darkest desires:
I have made life
and I
have taken it
And yet do
I know
I am not
some deity
awaiting frantic offerings
upon the essence
of our darker rhetoric.
It is simply this:
I have killed
a man
and now
know the
passage of life;
breathed first
upon my arm,
and last as well.


Performance Poetry
Sitting in the park
one blustery day
I noticed the distant
of a man
from the roof
of a building.

At first I thought it
was a
by the wind,
then heard his
voice crying out;
a primal song of joy:
to seek eternity.


Election Manifesto.

It is a one step two step
slanging match again
I run you down
You do the same
One step, two step,
Throw a bad word
Never think of telling
Where the whole thing will go.
Never think, or never dare
mention how to do it.


No it’s
One step, two step,
Ignore the pointed question
Hover on the edges, until
They’ve all forgotten
Then promise something
No one thought to mention.
One step, two step,
Shifting from
The centre…………….


Publ…Sting Mag, Former Rhodesia 1980. (Now Zimbabwe)
Banned by the British Interim Administration…1980:
A faceless flunky fellow told me it was “bad form”.
Refers to the election that brought Robert ( Bob the Roz)
Mugabe to power in Zimbabwe.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “ Lobster Quadrille.”


Some lines spoken by a long distance
shooter about:
the Man who never shot Mugabe

Doping the wind
Depends on the
Like Pool you know
Or Billiards even.
You know when you play
Pool you have to think at once
Of angles;
Subjectively nominating
Places on the cushions:
Angles to strike
A glancing blow to fetch up at a given point
Over there at the right edge of some other target
Which heads off to the pocket.


Feel the wind.
Feel the wind inside your head.
Stand in the weather:
Stand in the weather.
Rippling through your last remaining years;
Swirling around the backstretch of your ears,
Rippling tangentially, across the back stretch of your ears.


Lining up the barrel
On a heap of reckless sandbags.
Lining up your energy,
Between your finger and the wind.




To Wilfred Owen,
On the death of
Fourteen civilians,

We saw your pity of war
Wilfred Owen
distilled in the mine
blasted corpse.

Where laughter had been
there was now only death;
the horror of love
on a quiet afternoon
torn apart for
no reason at all.
No dignity here;
no graceful repose:
an arm
or a leg
are all that return
a vague
personal form,
stamped by the arbitrary bomb.
This charred human meat;
remnants of life,
converted to something obscene.
A shadow of hate
links us with you,
and that implacable darkness,
born in the vile


Freedom, enriched
with a harvest of blood;
and maniac
slanderous metal,
tears the smile from the eyes
of a child who survives:
and grows
in a gurgle of tears….

Publ. Maze…1978.



A vision at Easter
While rehearsing Marc Anthony


Across the veld
the horsemen rode,
they rode behind the light.
they rode from far
to rendezvous,
and end a ceaseless fight.

Never trust the horsemen
howled the man
with the bones,
never trust their solemn
hymns of praise.


The horsemen come from far
he called
and lust to take the land.
Never trust the words
they call,
or scribble
with the hand.

All hours long
the vultures hovered;
swooping as the sunlight softened,
as the daylight died.


Never meet the savage
warned the man
with the book,
Never trust the savage
warned the one
with the word.


But the feasting group
of horsemen sat bemused
beyond the fire;
they never heard the
heeded not
the warning:
never saw the shadow
in the flames…


And as they sat
and gorged themselves
the old temptations flew
the assegais were sharpened
and the battlelines formed true.


Then when the pounding
reached the top and
the whirling dancers flared:
lightning flashed
across the gap
the waiting vultures reared.


Never trust the savage
warned the one with the book
Never trust the horsemen
warned the ones with the bones,
never trust their solemn hymns
of praise.


Then the Man screamed out instructions
‘Bulala abathakathi!’
And then they looked,
and heard the warning:
called upon the word…

All hours long
the vultures hovered;
swooping as the sunlight softened,
settling as the daylight died….



· Bulala abathakathi…kill the wizards. (IsiZulu)
· Gingingdlovu. HQ of Dingaan, Zulu king who succeeded Shaka. Vision: refers to the murder of a Settler party in 1838, an event that has bedevilled race relations in South Afrika/Msanzi right into the present day. Editor.


WHat you have read so far are the first group of poems at the beginning of the Kollektion: the rest of the 50 odd pieces will appear in the digital kollektion soon [ish]… Hope you found them accessible… editor.