June 10, 2017

Three Poems by Don Beukes: "End of an Era," In One's Hand," and "Him"

Don Beukes is originally from Cape Town in South Africa and taught English and Geography for 20 years in South Africa and the UK. His poetry has been published in numerous anthologies and literary journals in the USA, Canada, India, Bangladesh and Philippines. His poetry has been translated into Afrikaans, Farsi and Albanian and his debut collection 'The Salamander Chronicles' was published by Creative Talents Unleashed in December 2016.

end of an era

and so it comes to this
the end of an era
plenty minds
moulded over time
they resisted but
knowledge persisted
it began in the
Southern Hemisphere
in a city of Good Hope
Table Mountain standing guard
over enquiring minds
thinking out loud
a profession so revered
alas its reputation dented
by society’s failing support
of educators igniting a
mental chord
countless abilities
exciting possibilities
generations uplifted
stereotypes shifted
some resist it
others just existed
a silent majority
versus a disruptive minority
Eros my first experience
a sister dear opening
a new sphere
cerebral palsy not a hindrance
valuable techniques learned
a worthwhile journey
cementing a future unknown
Bernadino Heights a brief affair
many a future talent there
Voorbrug a sudden opportunity
community choked by criminal mutiny
abandoned by governmental scrutiny
Forest Heights a vague memory
close bonds withered into obscurity
foundation incomplete
a chance set of circumstance
propelled me to the next experience
closer to home
a community in need
ready to inspire at stellar speed
Perseverance to cement my path
amidst social and political wrath
a treasure chest of
Belhar's invisible best
young minds on the brink of greatness
stunted by political bureaucracy
in a veiled fake
gravy train drip democracy

A two year break catapulted me
with young Clint to
the northern hemisphere
a cultural divide
London a brief choking hive
direction to decide
culinary skills moulded
at Burlington's Dining Rooms
Ribchester a temporary haven
testing our cultural global acumen
supply teaching a golden opportunity
to test my skills faith and dexterity
not without pain
but professional gain
minds fused
a temporary welcome strain
inclusion a necessity
cultural values instilled
young minds able to lead
some lost in life’s stampede.

St Thomas More
destined to explore
my strengths and southern influences
challenging my deep seated cultural nuances
a leader with vision
innovative and with mission
and moulded generations
the Academy a veiled escape
Northampton delivering a
crushing sanction
their hidden turmoil
my fiery darts
my trust crushed
slow realisation
not that kind
my exit darkened
by death of a sister dear
punctured by a familiar spear
Les Beaucamps my last
as a supporting leader
to crown my success
a perilous journey to confess
Guernsey Island
a revelation of
stifled mentalities
me once again
just another foreign fatality
I -
a proud legacy terminated
a soul still searching
discovering inner calm and peace
supported by unconditional love
acceptance and newfound spirituality.
An era ended
a soul still mended…

(Photo Credit - Casper De Vries)

In One's Hand

In one's hand
deeds could be controversial,
My existence is ambivalently universal
all intentions are inherently pure
yet beyond yesterday
have regrettably caused
apocalyptic dismay,
Millennia have passed yet
a biblical blast from the past
left scathing scars,
The power to make a stand
still lies in one’s hand,
I ably struck a brother dear in fear
overcome by jealousy
it remains my scandalous
pitiful legacy,
My self immature
erratically erupts my nature.

In one's hand,
Hibernates a power grand,
With one swift calculating gesture
I may cause centuries of hate to fester
only I have the power to influence
my actions lead to humanitarian negligence,
With my finger on an atomic button
I alone can end you all of a sudden
in solar explosive light
blinding cataclysm,
I am however
guided by your wisdom,
I do admit
I have a tender touch,
My outstretched virginal hand
loving you too much
so here I am
holding your pre-marital hand,
Sweet heavenly promises
my weak nemesis,
With this ring
my love for thee confess,
A ceremony
meant to seal our
holy matrimony
yet there you are
quivering shivering,
Dreading the loss of liberty lost.

In one's hand
might be locked a shameful past,
My appearance reveals secret scars
of marauding battles
burning shackles ,
I expose sun-kissed blisters
violet sores throbbing
from perilous persistence,
Stained with indigo ruby veins
of unspeakable pains
nothing gained,


(Collaboration with South African artist Casper De Vries previously published in Asian Signature)

Him (For Heath Brougher)

A foreign friend of the
literary kind, sharing his captured
thoughts of a younger social grind
confessing what we’re all guessing –
Mankind not that kind, so he takes a
literary stand with lexical intricate mastery
an attitude surely grand to rebuke failing
mankind –

He rages engages, opening sealed mental
cages – Liberating creating stating the obvious
taking the last stand –

The global village oblivious, so he ignites
the Neon Nation into reactionary literary

I am honoured to know him –
A friend like Heath...

© Don Beukes

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