October 4, 2016

A Poetic Tribute by Bilkis Moola: "Shades of a Luminary: An Ode to Doctor Nanda Soobben"

Bilkis Moola is an Educator who works as a Head of Department in Languages at a school in Vukuzakhe, a township located in Volksrust, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.  Her first published anthology, “Wounds and Wings:  A Lyrical Salve Through Metaphor” was received throughout South Africa and launched her poetic persona.  It evolved as an introspective quest for recovery from her personal narrative of an abusive marriage.  She presently divides her time between professional responsibilities and  postgraduate studies in Education.  Her pen continues to sketch the flotsam in her mind from the passion in her heart on shreds of paper that bloom into poems.

 ~Photographs submitted by Bilkis Moola~

Image result for himalaya amarnath yatra 

      “Of the mountains,

I am the Himalayas”.

Image result for tom thumbImage result for charcoal drawing

 "Doctor Nanda Soobben" artwork by Shameeg van Schalkwyk

Shades of a Luminary
An Ode to Doctor Nanda Soobben



White streaks of light cast a glow
on he where the sun’s rays flow -
blushing in his eminence, colour splashes as an arch
the Rainbow Nation sketched,
in his vision for liberation
on a canvass stretched.

Dispersed in a spectrum of red and orange,
yellow and green -
hues of blue betrothed
to violet and indigo -
a crusade,
in a mural illuminated by a halo.

A palette of his kaleidoscope -
coloured the fragments of a land,
lacerated in divisions circumscribed by race
where White, Black, Coloured and Indian clashed
beneath a sun that scorched
lush fields of green
blemished red, in defiance as he fled -
banished from Cato Manor,
a farewell kissed to his kin -
shipped as slaves, from a land of silk and spices
to harvest sugar -
boiled and brutalized by discrimination.

Sugarloaf Mountain in the Bay of Rio,
embraced the caramel South African,
who embellished the walls of Clairwood High
in figurines, charcoal-caressed -
with gallons of paint for a mural
to nurture planet earth’s nature.

Lady Liberty, draped in her gown of freedom and democracy
appealed his message for peace,
expressed in the tradition of Expressionists before him -
resonating echoes of Edvard Munch’s “Scream”
portrayed on the walls of New York,
juxtaposed as poverty consumed by greed insatiable,
spread in as vast a distance between
San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean -
an exaggerated marvel of modern engineering as a Golden Gate
spinning on a raging planet,
smouldering on the brink of
hell’s inferno.

A melting pot of cultures brewed
in a country cradled in the womb of Africa.

Triumphant against the tyranny of apartheid,
raindrops splashed the killing fields
of a civilisation emancipated from the Struggle in fists raised -
“Amandla!” exhaled the veteran artist.

In a city swept along the shores
of an ocean -
rocked a casbah of eclectic Indians
whose buckets jostled the waves for sardines,
spiced and fried in spluttering oils
of puri swells and patha rolls -
roti circles soaked in mutton curry
lime pickle tickled,
fireworks flavoured and calabash infused
for his “crossing” to Isipingo -
njengoba ashukumisa linqamula umhlaba
“as he moved across the earth”
lapha yena bheka phansi konke lakhe ukhulupheka
“where he lay down his troubles”.

Flickers of orange ember in his eyes -
a glint of mischief as jester
to truth in laughter,
penned as prophet to politician puppets.

Splendid is nature’s masterpiece -
a harmony of colour in red’s radiance
drops of sunshine sipped in pastures of green,
postured as heaven’s hope, from a sky
blue, violet and indigo -
personified as “Shades of a Luminary”
in he, the Nation’s Rainbow.

~Bilkis Moola 

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