The Immigrant
By Afzal Moolla

Seeking solace.
Seeking a home.

The immigrant finds,
rotten prejudice.
Fungal anger.

The immigrant,
alone, hoping for,
A solitary chance.
To belong.

The immigrant,
alone, always,

an outside entity.
Eternal outcast.

A viral threat.
A reeking odour.

The immigrant,
ever alone,
and alone knowing,
that no place exists,

but that lost home.

The Stench of Prejudice
By Afzal Moolla

When silent prejudice strikes,
in living rooms with plumped-up sofas,
a quietly insidious venom begins to seep,
into the consciousness of the chattering ones as they sleep

The beliefs held so true and so deep,
appear stripped of all feeling,
empty and hollow and without compassion,
as the conceit grows in the chests of those with righteous passion.

The prejudice once firmly entrenched,
is worn like a warm and comforting shawl,
needing precious little to compound and to mutate.

To mutate into the doctrines of superiority and of aloofness and of hushed hate.

We are all guilty of succumbing to this silent pervasive plague,
as we sip martinis and laugh and shovel more food on our heaving plates.

And as we slip into pleasantly inebriated moments we dare not care,
to smell the stench of hate, prejudice, and greed,
wafting in the cool evening air.

The Elasticity of Love
By Afzal Moolla

Truth. Lies,

teeming mindscapes,
arrhythmic heartscapes,
wildly cacophonous soulscapes,

all the while as truth slips through the cracks,
on time’s wrinkled face.

How easy it is to sew the heart up,
extinguishing the embers crackling in a soul,
dousing the fires of yearning when memories bubble up.

How hard to euthanise such fickle whispers,
cremating unburnt passages of loose-leaf verse,
delving deep into a core once pure, and now rotten.

Shunning pleas,
ignoring plaintive cries,
sewing up the cocoon,
I want to rest in dead space,

As I,
slip inside private nightmares,
awakening long dormant fears,
eliciting a flood of tears,

Till I,
find that belonging,
that peace,
not much, merely a trace,

of belonging,
in a far-off inaccessible place.

Afzal Moolla was born in Delhi, India, while his parents were in exile. They were working for the African National Congress in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. He travelled wherever his parent’s work took them, spending time in Cairo, Egypt, Helsinki, Finland among other places. He currently works and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and shares his literary musings with his most strident critic — his 12 year old cat, Scully.