Western Voices: Don Beukes

Don Beukes is a South African and British writer. He is the author of  'The Salamander Chronicles' (CTU) and 'Icarus Rising-Volume 1’ (ABP), an ekphrastic collection. He taught English and Geography in both South Africa and the UK. His poetry has been anthologized in numerous collections and translated into Persian, French and Albanian. He was nominated by Roxana Nastase, editor of Scarlet Leaf Review for the 'Best of the Net' in 2017 as well as the Pushcart Poetry Prize in 2016. He was published in his first SA Anthology ‘In Pursuit of Poetic Perfection’ in 2018 (Libbo Publishers).

Chrome Dreams

My nightly journey into buried memories
missed opportunities forgotten stories even
existential muted soliloquies test my very brittle
essence every liquid drowning night trying my
best not to remain frantically swimming in
unforgiven regrets, whilst searching for those who
have gone before me –
I never got the chance to say goodbye or seeking
a last earthly blessing before parting ways from
this life not knowing the day the second the moment
which could be our last, so I wake up drenched in my
regrets unable to find answers knowing that each
new day I will have to serve my earthly masters –

My chrome dream sequence becomes my self-made
hindrance to find inner lasting peace, whilst being
swept away by bottomless rivers meandering, languishing,
punishing –

I try my best to reach those who I have lost
but I just float further away from my own being
and just find myself washed up to this existence –

My inner screams are faded now as I allow
myself to accept my fate with no regrets
in cream chrome dreams...

Voices from the Shadows

You see an invisible fellow human being
hovering within the fringes of your urban
dynasty hastening your increasing daily
accusatory melancholy –
I see a lonely human being ghost walking
through a decaying failing faltering city
filled with over ambitious chosen fat
soldiers flashing gleaming dagger smiles
surviving the daily financial grind –
Unable to sustain a paper facade whilst
offering false promises turning into
inedible corporate bitter molasses –
You say your sort deserves to exist within
the upper cohort of your honey crust
man-made opportunistic exclusive resort –
I say this to you, oh what a sad fool of
your own crumbling destiny you are
for believing your own desperate toxic
rhetoric, thinking we are unable to recognise
your well-oiled smooth talking publicity
tricks, painting us as the subjects of your
latest social project freaks in need of
upliftment and social mobility, whilst
we mourn for your damaged moral compass
unable to guide you along the expected
moral highway but you welcome your
soul drowning in your hunted earthly goals
whilst our voices ring ever louder to
lift the choking muffled veil you
hoped would eternally cover us ...


Leaving – A chance opportunity can open
a door to foreign shores to explore other
worlds, different cultures, unknown
adventures and meandering opportunistic
paths – Whatever the reasons for leaving
loved ones behind and chasing an
existence of another kind, many of us
feel compelled to shut a door and open
another in a perceived forced utopia
although our actual day of departure
becomes a strange living hell disaster –
A last traditional home cooked meal
gobbled down with excitable zeal,
knowing foreign cuisine would not yield
the same satisfactory appeal – The drive
to the airport silent, contemplative and
hesitant with each step another distance
closer to a new chosen future – The
hurried sip of coffee, an extended hug,
a last tender touch, the emotion crippling
then waving goodbye through a veil of
hot salted tears past that dreadful security
wall , suddenly catapulted into a transfer
ghostly corridor forcing each step in a
dream state regret...

Arriving – A different time zone to welcome you
into the past or future as you are faced with border
control staring at you suspiciously, lifting a questioning
eyebrow due to your nationality even your foreign accent –
You instantly feel like an alien but there’s no turning back
as you open the doors to a new land in which each
face, voice, stare, sound, even the air becomes an
existential welcome nightmare...

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