This is one of the poems that will feature in the poetry book I am writing with Kim Blades. It is called The good, the bad and the ugly of life and includes a variety of reflections and takes on living in Africa, family and friends, how you view yourself and leadership and corporates.

I spy…

The wind, determined and spiteful

pierces my winter clothes

my extremities are icy

from my nose down to my toes.


The grass, bearded with frost

crunches under my feet

Dad reverses out the car

I slip into the relative heat.


I gaze out of the window

as Dad navigates the roads

there are a number of salvagers

pulling their great and heavy loads.


Hunched over in the cold

they haul with all their might

their breath forms puffy clouds

in the feeble morning light.


The newspaper vendors at the corner

huddle ‘round a blazing can

their wares lie in forgotten piles

keeping warm their only plan.


The beggar at the traffic light

stands miserable and alone

a pile of plastic wrappings

is what he calls his home.


Education and job creation

can help improve their life

as a country this is vital

to prevent social discord and strife.


This poem is a tribute to some of the beggars, newspaper sellers and salvagers I see on the roads in the freezing cold of a winter’s morning. They light fires in paint cans and dustbins on the side of the road and gather around them. Some of the beggars sleep in tents made from plastic bags.