‘Pursuit of Happyness’ by Azola Dayile | a review #InMyHumbleOpinion

Pursuit of Happyness
I have spent countless hours
At church,
And strip clubs.
With pastors,
And drunkards.
In pursuit of happynes,
The truth
And fleshy desires.
Sang happy songs with Hedonists
Travelled with Nomads,
Got high with Rastas
And broke bread with Pariahs.
Camped on bended knees around
hell-like fires
To listen attentively to grown men

Slaughtered sheep,
And cows
For this little bit of sanity
And crowded peace of mind,
But my hands are smeared with
And the dark cloud still looms
closely behind
Where the hell is this love?
I only know hearts for pumping
Not as an asylum for
Said feeling you people cannot
even describe.

And do you remember
When god said “let there be light!”?
I was unfortunate
And cast out
To write this poem
With my tongue in this grim dark
I am convinced collecting empty
beer bottles
and picking bread crumbs is my
birth right.
I am still in hot pursuit
And the journey now leads me
To a mad house.


We journey with the speaker through multiple contexts, tracing for a seemingly fleeting and insatiable feeling of contentment through discovery, trial-and-error and experimentation. In the many cultural and social spaces, we are introduced to: “Church / Pubs/…strip clubs” for which are institutions to cater to human needs in varying ways. A sense of seeking a ‘home’, the longing of a person wanting to belong in a set society could be interpreted as the message of this poem. A place of refuge, whether physical or otherwise, is sought and is never found. The unattainable asylum has been searched for within the confines of organized religion and in areas of ‘profanity’, and neither house the happiness the speaker wants. It appears that the search is for inner peace is pursued outwardly, and it is because of this that it is never attained. Furthermore, want can understand the subject not to be an individual but the personification of a place, that is ‘home’ to churches, pubs and strip clubs, but still has citizens who are not happy, a place where poverty exists even in the presence of church, pubs and strip clubs, institutions were money is found in abundance.
In wanting to make sense of the world, find comfort, balance and peace, and meeting the demands of life, all the while having faith and hope that a connection to the world will be made somehow. Church offers to fill the spiritual void of humans, pubs hope to pump gallons of socialisation down the throats of its regulars, a ‘holed-liver’ of fun, while strip clubs seek to fulfil the “fleshly desires” of our Hedonist core as humans, all contributing to the wholesome human experience. With pubs being a platform for the social activity of drinking alcohol, we see this as an escape from the negative feelings, the chemical-imbalance causing beverage tends to remove the anxiety and stress. Also, in South Africa, drinking is a social norm, if fact one of the leading nations in consuming alcohol, furthermore if we examine the black community, particularly, this is customary. It is a behavioural expectation to as the speaker attempts to be one ‘fit in’ with his contemporaries, and not be relegated to the margins as nomads are, as gypsies are, as Rastafarians are, all minorities made ‘pariahs’ of society.
We get an idea that the state of mind of the speaker is deeply troubled and unsettled, perpetually anxious and stressed from his unending quest for ‘the truth’, that alludes him, and he cannot even receive it from the elders as they are deceptive – “grown men liars” in the first stanza. “For this little bit of sanity /And crowded peace of mind” of stanza 2 continues this image of mental instability. An “asylum” is mentioned in this stanza as well, an institution that provides care and protection to needy individuals, such as the infirm and destitute. It is a sanctuary, away from profanation and violation. Both physically and psychologically. It is a homely setting. Here one enjoys liberty from what is required by society and law for and from most people. It would appear that not even the feeling of love, “what the hell is this love”, can save the speaker from feeling like an outsider. He dismisses ‘love’ as “said feelings people cannot even describe”, an abstract concept that people do not comprehend therefore cannot practise. Stanza 3 sees the speaker reaching his destination, “And the journey now leads me/ To a mad house”. He has resigned his fate to insanity. Here he can find serenity. Ironically, he can feel a sense of connection to the world once removed from it. His spiritual transcendence, like prayer or meditation is his soloism. Isolation from the madness of life, and its many demands.
The intertextuality is rife herein, borrowing a number of images from the ‘Holy Bible’ to fit his spiritually rich poem and references. The first stanza’s chaos and the sliding scale from extreme holiness to extreme profanity, the polar opposites that are presented in closeness show how samey we are in our differences. We are united in our separateness. “Let there be light” from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 3, represents the void, the darkness ceasing, the birth of something from nothing. The light here is not literal. The light of the world is man, as in ‘human being’. Human being who has dominion on all that happens on earth. The abject poverty presented in “picking up bread crumbs”, is a human construct, the great ill of neo-liberal capitalism, a zero-sum game that sees individuals with billions while some go without bread each day. As some would collect “empty beer bottles” to sell as to make money, to buy basics like bread, for example. This could also be a critique of the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness”, the title of this poem, where the protagonist seeks for fulfilment in the material world. We can deduce that the speaker establishes his pursuit of happiness in the world outside of worldly things is of higher moral ground, or, that the for any community, more than money, we need to find spiritual fulfilment, or risk something of the most high value, our peace of mind – sanity.

– nublaccsoul #InMyHumbleOpinion


‘Social Commentary’ the single off the forthcoming mixtape of the same name, download link:

'Social Commentary' artwork by NOZIPHO SINEGUGU GUMEDE for thINK-media


‘Then & Now’ download:

'Then & Now' artwork created by NuBlaccSoUl #NBS for thINK-media

‘Then & Now’ Lyrics:

Credits: Both songs written and arranged by NuBlaccSoUl.
Songs recorded, mixed and mastered by L.B.Nefilibata at B.G. Records Studios.
‘Social Commentary’ produced by MXBeatsGlobal and ‘Then & Now’ produced by IWishIKnewWho.

Her Hands

UKhulu, My beloved grandma, still she works.

She rises with the sun, to clean our home; sweep the yard; make heaps from the grass cuts and pile up trimmings from the windbreaker tree.
The wobbly wheelbarrow, from years of slaving, is filled to the top.
And off to the pit-hole I will push, to the fire-spitting-flames that she has already tendered to.

Tirelessly she labours, with not a bit spared to a break,
Her backbone bent and straightened every semi-second,
For as long as I’ve lived and much longer before.

Midday struck with its ultra-solar
But her sunlit face always to the ground never showing strain or beat.
We escape the scorching elements and seek shade in the veranda.

Well I do. Her hands hands-on, curtains off the wall.
No time spent sitting around.
Sheets to be ironed,
Garden to be done,
Toilet to be cleaned,
And outside windows to be mirror screens.
The spirit of a slave. The soul of a light in a cave. The grand grandma.

Those early hours, barely slept, to heat the waters as warm as your love.
Breakfast by the bed-side,
A sprinkle of care & kindness in every bowl I tasted with my being.

My Childhood Home  was
and remains you. 
The source of strength.
I thank you for my life. 
I thank the Lord for yours. 
May you live forever!

There is always something someone must do, 
and the work is never done…

(C) 2016. Phila Dyasi. All rights reserved. Intellectual and ARTistic property of author. Don’t bite! | Writings and the other things…mostly experimental writing. UMamBhele madoda. Intombi yokugqibela ka MaMasango, uMaSobuwa ongasekoyo emhlabeni.

#love   #work   #temple   #grandmother  #nublaccsoul   #socialcommentary  #gaaahdbody   #umndeni   #izandla  #usapho  

before i met You

before i met You,
i was happy, content and whole.
that very day i was on my way,
to the launch of the anthology with three of my poems in it. 
and your sister’s works too. 
now i got three books worth 
of poetry about You Flower Child.

before i met You,
my life was pre-determined, 
on an everlasting date 
with my destiny. 
the stars were aligned, 
my moon and sun shared 
the same vault, 
the sky at the very same time. fate formed, finally confirmed what my faith had long since envisioned. 

before i met You, 
sleep was not a mere rumour. 
a tall story, thirty stories up 
hanging in the air like castles 
in children’s fantasies, fables.
peace was still sole my soul.
nowadays, restlessness wrestles 
with my slumber every damn night.
Rumble in the single-sized-bed jungle. 
No, no snuggle.
Not one for the solo cuddle.

before i met You,
the girl i was with seemed like the ‘one’. 
a soulmate and marriage worthy. her imperfections sealed with 
a flawless kiss into acceptance.

before i met You,
i had never felt this feeling of having found a familiar form 
in a strange, yet inviting face.
always one for reciprocated love, never give when i don’t get
but(t) your ass got me trippin’ anyway. i want You. all of You.

before i met You, 
forget that nostalgia.
we are in the here and now.

when i met You,
I should have asked for a dance, 
if not that then for a picture
at the very cowardly least 
— to make the evening
last a day longer 
than midnight’s dream-ending, cinderella-fairygodmother-drama.

-i hope he treats You good. ||

(C) 2016. Phila Dyasi. All rights reserved. Intellectual and ARTistic property of author. NuBlaccSoUl – trademark. Don’t bite jou gat! | Writings and the other things…still with the experimental.

Mr Misappropriation of Trust

Sounds of honesty, unsung by the flute.
I cannot break the spotless window
that people choose to see me through.
Unspoken truths, trapped in the tongues of the mute. 

I am a liar, a ufckboy, morals-deficient, and a dirty cheat.
My lady does not deserve any of this.
For our love and beautiful things, I ought to gift my one with bliss.
Instead, I am my Father’s son, uncommitted, a damn deadbeat.

We not all religious; but we are a people that is spiritual.
Our beliefs have us performing borrowed rituals.
I gave my soul to the Higher self, the Lord, God, who I am He.
It was a once-off deal like a residual, but with renewals.

When the only real solution
Is the inevitable dissolution
Never one to be under an illusion
I see the faux & forced inclusion.

Trying to align these intentions with the contradicting actions
LOVE You today & forever
Let’s share our eternity together.

It all begins as,
a celebration of love.
a great portion of life.
a potential partner you like.

(C) 2016. Phila Dyasi. All rights reserved. Intellectual and ARTistic property of author.

vexed thoughts

I am the broken dream 
of the sloppery porter. 
A vase that never survived 
the spitting furnace fires.
The clay that cracked 
at Man’s man-handles of mould. 
Some riverside thought,
washed away by the sweeping rains, never created.

I am the seed that never got to see it’s flower bloom.
Gone a short summer too soon.
The shelter that could offer no security…warmth…cover
— my heart.

Uprooted with our home, 
and left me in this haunted house,
Where nothing rattles me more than my thoughts.
When the winds came I caved in.

Thoughts of how I journey through life
On a constant adventure of the unknown.
Where even my own perception of myself
Has been left distorted by how I continue to be left feeling how I am truly estranged,
An unwelcome guest within the confines of what used to be my humble abode.

I’m a stranger around familiar walls that whisper commands of eviction,
Under-breath chants of…
Echoes of…
Soft whispers of…
Gentle shivers from…
Subtle quivers from…
Shattering outbursts of the deafening silence.

Home has become a ghost of spirits ascended,
Of what I probably thought to life,
Of what ‘reality’ has continued to have me believe is what it should be,
Then again,
All I had was a glimpse into what a misconception I had fallen into the deception of.

Could it be gullibility?
Or perhaps,
Falling into the trap of believing something to be,
Just to fill that void of a missing feeling of belonging, arriving.

“When my house forgives my heart for plundering its walls, we will be home.”

(C) 2016. Phila Dyasi. Nonkululeko Anicia Khumalo. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of authors.