top of page

Poetry Feature of Sher Chandley

TEARS AND PRAYERS A golden bell tinkles
in the distance.
I hear a call to prayer,
incense wafts gently on the air.

The flame of love,
the sound of surf
dies in my eyes.

A surly wind
blows through my soul
in total dark, I trip into
a well of absolute silence.

With all my might
deaf, dumb and blind
to all good and right

My vain desires
frozen and wedged
between the banks
of my love and life

Withered into madness
moulded by fate
struck to ice

Splintered and shattered
by a black vomit
of dark, dense cloud
shutting out the face of day.

In this cheerless place,
my dreams chained
my hopes pinned down

For here, everything
struggles, sickens and sinks
under hot, poisonous breath
not a blade or bud of promise.

In this mournful shadow
a depressing influence
steals upon the spirit.

Such is the hopelessness
of a conviction in dying
without fear or anxiety
of fleeing the dismal gloom.

With staggering feet,
bloodshot eyes plead for bread
drowning in tears.

In my periphery,
stony figures petrified
wan in their looks
ragged in attire.

My cart rumbles by
bearing me in a rude coffin
in an oppressive nightmare.

A speedier power
has outrun my haste
my ugly form of existence
spurned my tears and prayers.

If only I could with Fate conspire
change my sorry life
nearer my hearts desire.

Alas! In the purple midnight
even Heaven with all its stars
flee fast and recede

Veils its shine
. . .from poverty and need.

A golden bell chimes in the distance.


The bell rings out
with a mournful sound.
None but the stars
look into the upturned face
of this frail, perishable

Leaning out, staring pensively
at dreamless sleepers close
grown sad from communing
with a shadow of the dead
a leaf rustling on a grave.

A heart grown heavy
in a dull, solemn ruin
lapping crumbs of gloom
with the sickly eagerness
of a meagre starveling.

Unheedful of the living
for the tumult of life
falls with a gentler sound
to tired eyes and ears
the quiet remains the same.

Always stillness prevails
save the music in the air.
The sound of Angel wings
a sweet and happy dream
that fades and grows dim.

In this old, laden silence,
I gaze the unseen with awe,
tempered with a calm delight
sighing with memory's breath
of a life and an age gone.

Chords of my heart
mute and senseless to passion
strange, varying strings
struck by accident - stars
respond to glimmering touch.

The graveyard, my solemn garden
often I rise in the cold dark
when the wind stirs the grass
put my ear to the ground. . .listen
to her breathing in a dreamless sleep.


In the twilight shade
a shadow flits before me
gambols about my path
shuddering cold dwells here
cladding me in the ice
of loneliness and longing.

Fate has cast my gem
high into a lonely sky
brighter as it mounts
turning into a violet star
a glittering teardrop
lamenting in silence.

She has taken a seat
at the gates of the mighty
only I hear her chanting
we harmonize in my grief
each the others delight
she gladdens me still.

Always did and always will
her breath is in me
love infused into my veins
with a hunger like the sea
drinking each and every river
but is never filled.

I surrender to our spirit
for we two are one
commune with my eternity
catch a promethean brand
in an exploding burst
that fires my heart and soul.

A fire that licks me like oil
fixes my attention in earnest
in a hale and healthy blush
reddening my all in a glow.
A welcome solemn presence
stitching life and death with love.

All through the night
we talk and think together
voices and pictures in the roar
see her face in strange scenes
in the red hot coals of my heart
a heightened resolution of love.

In the glare of the sinking flame
reflecting in my dark gloom
shadows come and wait
with the flickering of the fire
that purify and fill me up
with deep and thoughtful feelings.

Up and down, to and fro,
all about and around me
my dead love comes and goes,
a change steals over me
fate gifts sleep rather than death.

I nourish myself
by eating myself
in wakeful doze I sorrow
for the meeting of tomorrow
where meadows are sweet
and the wind sighs the promise

. . .of a happy, dreamless sleep.


Under the sheet of sea-dreams
you think you're sleeping
but fly away - into something
real and bright as day.

I into me. . .into you. . .into we

I into me. . .
a drifting loneliness
unfettered yet unfree
gazing upon solitude
pensively paddling sea dreams
cloud shrouds lift and rent
revealing starlight and star
from the void and beyond
from far and from afar
nearer draws your star.

I into you. . .
Energy has its own patterns
Love gives the secret knock
so the flowers are strewn
petals that daze the eye
breaths of love in a sigh
loneliness cracks into green
a new paradise is seen.

I into we. . .
So we come
face to face
in a state of grace
a united sphere
lifting into supernal
to soar and sing
in love eternal
our souls entwine
in a heart-lore divine
a love-knot fairer
than the fairest star.

And the mermaids
sing to moon,

"Eye sees eye
Mind meets mind
Body clothes body
Heart touches heart
Soul clasps soul."

Sane love is no love.
We drive us crazy.
Our perfume is unslung
Fragrance of absinthe bung
I only admit to being young
yet I'm very old
so you have told.
You have aged me
a thousand years
through joys and tears
our heart and soul
deliciously dance and roll
through time and life's
floors, windows and doors
here, there and everywhere.

It's what was
It's what is
It's what will be.

I was born
the day I met you.
I died
the day I met you.

. . .I died into We.

© 03/16/21 Poet's Bio:

I cannot catalogue myself in normal terms because of all the things I've done and places I've seen in addition to the abnormal society that spawned me. I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in township of Newclare to a rebel father and powerful mother. I grew up in a place where gangsters, drug addicts, intellectuals, artists and priests all rubbed shoulders. This place, though much changed, has colored my outlook ever since.

I schooled for a long time in the mountains and vineyards of the Cape, from where I explored natural beauty and wonders of my country. To this day, I have an innate love of nature embedded in my soul. My tertiary studies have explored a vast array of subjects and I have in a hit and miss way, ended up as architectural technologist more by default than anything else. My love for physics, philosophy and history remains paramount. I have been told I' m not a bad painter, either. Apartheid has foisted on me, a deep vehemence of injustice and violence. I will fight oppression and exploitation wherever I encounter it. I never discard any experience or learning I have had. If I must describe myself, I am a holistic eclectic. I am an earthling. Give me a certificate for that.

Poetry Feature of Sher Chandley
bottom of page