T. Michael Mboya

T. Michael Mboya

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 12:25


The Wedgwood Bed and Breakfast,

Melville, Johannesburg.



Are my eyes opening in a dream?

Or is a dream opening my eyes?


The furniture in the room floats

In steel–grey half–light


The side table swims towards me

It brings me my cellphone


Natural light at 5:30am?

I am far away from home.


In the front garden of The Wedgwood

A bird stutters a song about loneliness


With a wave of the television remote control

I summon the seers to tell me how today will be


Here the results of the weather check:

Young people battling the police

In front of an iconic university building

A bleeding priest being led into a church

A bus burning in the middle of a street

Young men looting a sportswear shop …


A stubborn dream is opening

The eyes of the young


It is another spring in Johannesburg.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 17:12

Cold Feet

and in spite of
all this
in the blood
and its
I will
at best
- only that?
A good father
by high
flying bat-blind
about a
concrete and glass
I can just see
and grunting
each time a word
brushes against
my newspaper-
Monday, 03 December 2012 11:53


And now
As the radio reminds us every day:
Rifles are writing bloody lyrics
Across our country.

For this reason
You would rather I stop singing
Of love and kindness,
You would rather I instead play
The kind of music that makes us dance
So that with each step we extol
The name of our tribe.

It is possible that if I stopped singing
The hope that keeps couples awake
And toiling,
Drenching cold nights in steaming sweat
And groaning,
Knocking on heaven's door
With insistent prayer;
If I started playing this music of our time
– The praises of our kinspeople
Will gather on my head, a crown.

To every bird her call, I say.
To every bird her call.

No. I will not sing
Songs that tether dancer-feet
To the rhythm of a drill.
Yes. I will continue singing
This commonplace hope
And its labour.

Without them nothing is.