the strangeness of existence


the strangeness of existence.

for hundreds of thousands of years i did not exist. then, enter darkness, light, water, heartbeat, blood, bone, body, breath, sentience; movement of me, them, us, we, on green and brown Earth.

i am here.

a century at most is all i have. then i will cease. no movement, no sentience, breath, body, bone, blood, heartbeat, water, light, darkness.


or, nirvana.

or, that unknown thing we cannot name.

or, oblivion, the abyss, the Great Nothing.

i won’t exist—not in this way; for hundreds of thousands of years, the me i’ve come to know will reside in uncharted existence.

the strangeness rattles my soul.

it is like a queer dream masquerading as reality.

it is frightening and exhilarating all at once.

it will be the journey of a lifetime.

it will be what it is.

© zaji, 2016

dreams not for sale


Someone sold me a dream
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure
Dreams are relative pieces of things
        scattered across life’s landscape
We catch the dreams we want
        and vomit out the dreams
That make us sick

I had a dream
But it was mine

My dreams belong inside another world
        where they are welcomed
My night visions are not welcomed here
        on this big blue circle
Where false dreams are a dime a dozen

I dream of freedom and truth
No, my dreams aren’t welcomed here
This place is made for other men’s dreams
        not mine
Mine are made for those
        who don’t know how to be good slaves

Dime store dreams
        keep the greedy awake at night

My dreams are not for sale

© zaji, 2016

the road ahead


Half naked maple trees flank black asphalted highways. The empty branches are surrounded by evergreens that warm their trunks and roots until they wake again in Spring. Green road signs float by and mile markers tell us what we already know; the road is long ahead, and time doesn’t care how long it takes us to get there.

We arrive, worn from the road. One person’s destination is another person’s escape. Who left when I arrived and why?

© zaji, 2016

remembering jamaica


i am remembering jamaica

i remember jackfruit, gineps, bami, star apple, sour sop, dumplings, festival

the land of victuals is vast and satisfying

rastafarians fish by ocean side near smooth rocks

seaweed floats across dark brown legs


short fast cars on narrow streets

barefoot children, roads filled with wild, free, ownerless dogs,

outdoor fruit and vegetable markets selling long after the sun has crawled over the horizon

dark streets left strewn with rotting vegetables

carts with wooden wheels squeaking up low hills head home

tin shacks undulating by dim lights house low beds

dreams are short

the night ends before the sun rises

the ocean breeze blows the ancestors to shore

they remember jamaica when it, was

when it was still ancestral and free

i watch the waters carrying stories

a small fire on the beach lights the returning night

we sit

flame created shadows casting on solemn faces

we sit

remembering what most have forgotten

© zaji, 2016

into my bones

i flow into my bones

my blood smooths rocks

        water is crimson

it moves without veins

        inside my bones live roots

dark brown

crying flesh of The Lost People

        deep inside sunless soil

the worms of my skin

        Dust reaches for sky and clouds

the dust of my cutis

flesh grows roots

blood waters my bones

        into tomorrow

© zaji, 2016


the ruins


I am like the wildebeest in your dreams

Search the ruins for my ghost

There you will find me

        flesh and blood returned

                digging through the rubble for my ancestors

My nails bend and break

I bleed from fingers that cannot move the rubble

Flesh is not stone

Not today

Time leaves me here

        trying to remember why I came back

Was it the hot gray stones, pockmarked by loneliness?

Or was it my tears?

Why did I come back?

Flesh and blood under red sun

I am wanting to forget this un-home

© zaji, 2016

dark tracks


i walk barefoot on dark tracks

the cold steel is warmed by the hot summer sun

my feet and toes learn the dance

the tracks carry history

of times when men poured sweat

to nail ties across miles of native land

the tracks travel into yesterday

each stop is a moment when men

and women thought the engine

would pull on forever

forever into yesterday’s house

© zaji, 2016

to write

i’m in a semi dark room.

the energy saving heater blows to warm the chilly space. the sky has turned a muted red and i feel the muted voices of my ancestors telling me to write something, anything.

but i don’t want to write. it’s too hard. the pain is too loud and obnoxious.

i want to sit and stare at bright screens and paper and quills and orange and black pens next to unsharpened pencils. i want to stare at them so i can try to conjure the memory of what they are truly for.

the ones and zeros and ink and lead don’t house the truth by virtue of their existence. what are they for?

the truth is behind that which moves these things. the objects that want for a muse. they will never speak truth, instead they will be the conduit for truth. but truth breathes rarely in this place. not even ink can coax it forth.

ink spills from my mouth and mind onto that which must receive it without complaint.

Paper has no choice. It must receive. The screen has no choice. It must receive.

i don’t want to give. i want to run and hide from this strange life that carries more pain than joy.

to die now in my sleep would be ok.

i hope reincarnation leaves me behind.

because words won’t bring peace, only voices from the past—voices that want me to write that which cannot heal.

but i don’t want to write. the pain is too loud.

© zaji, 2016

blue glass bird – the profane

The blue glass bird does not fly below blue skies, above green grass, using wings feathered by the power of DNA. This bird sits indoors, blown by something other than wind, with no breath of life to move it across valleys. It gathers dust. Its life is contrived by imagination that has forgotten what it means to be alive—flesh, blood, bone. Glass has no soul. It imitates in stillness, embodying nothing more than an idea.


the moon

I look out the window at the big white moon, full, pregnant with life. Gray clouds pass. The sky light dims. The witch in me seeks frankincense and myrrh and words that create magic. I speak them to the moon, offering them like a sacrificed lamb. I am naked on the grass, blades moving through toes, hands to the sky, calling to the gods that made the moon that shines down on my brown skin. The moon and I are sisters remembering connection and time and synchronicity and bodies intertwined in love–deep love. The men that moved our souls and made us women by simply being men, real men. The clouds pass. The sky light beams, lighting the grass around me. Breasts and belly and all things that shine back at the moon, brown and intense. All things. They remember love. The moon writes the stories across the sky.

Artist: S4cr4m3nt (