when i left town last friday, the world was caught up in the throes of a fairytale wedding. when i came back on monday, everyone was talking about the death and funeral of a man hated by many. there has been much rejoicing at the death of bin laden and much controversy at the rejoicing. i remember being woken up in los angeles by a phone call to turn on the tv on september 11, 2001. minutes later we watched as the towers collapsed on the other side of the country and i remember the tears i shed at the horror of so many deaths. my ex-husband is from new york and i remember our fears for friends and family.

and yet, whatever the world may think of him, though he was abhorred by many, i cannot rejoice at another death.

this is a poem i wrote at the time:

fragments   911/9.11                   9.15.01


tomorrow is late

for the clocks were stopped today,

time evaporating in a fiery ball

and with it, all we know

of how a life is lived.

a ghostly,  gray oblivion holds sway;

so many vivid lights  flickering


today fear took flight on grim wings,

a grisly nightmare from which we shaken, cannot wake.

the mind rebels.

my mind repels reality as if any moment now

i’ll see the credits roll.

i’ll find that this is just

the  spill of celluloid unspooling-

a blockbuster.

the world is rapidly unhinging.

our souls are singed –

indigo, tinged with rue…

my feelings are mirrored in the frozen faces,

the gashes of tear-stained, stricken eyes,

horrified hands, aghast, clasped

over silently screaming mouths:

“this is the way the world ends

this is the way the world ends

this is the way the world ends…”

tomorrow is late

and despite our hopeful waiting

for some,

today will never come.

we are standing in the shadow of dark wings,


we need to send out the light,

we need to bend back the black.

we have plumetted

and plumbed the depths –

now let us ascend.

and today i would like to extend this wish i wrote for someone dear to me, to you reading this. have a good life. to quote gold fish, get busy living.

have a fabulous odyssey with  marvellous adventures.
be safe and successful in your endeavours.
laugh long and loud with enough tears only to bloom the bulbs of joy.
walk in the world with honor and respect for yourself and others.
have compassion as well as passion.
be truth.
magnify and be magnified – be magnificence personified.

i honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
i honor the place in you, which is of light and peace.
when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.


a dubious anniversary

my phoenix woman image

my phoenix woman image

at 02:45 a.m., on this day in 1992, right here in johannesburg, a man came flying through my door while i was lying sketching  in bed and over the next half hour, proceeded to rape me at knife-point. 

it was the yeoville rapist, at the time, on a spree terrorizing the women in my neighborhood (now in jail due to his fingerprint on the glass of water i handed him). the police had put out a profile saying that he was targeting young white, blonde women. i certainly wasn’t white (the government at the time made sure i was aware of that) and i wasn’t blonde and being a 12 year incest survivor, i certainly didn’t think the universe had this ordeal in mind for me as well. so when the neighbor’s dogs barked all night, i ignored them. when i heard the creaking of the floorboards, i thought that i really should ask my tenants in my duplex next door, to be a little quieter at this time of night. little did i know.

half an hour later when my friend who was staying with me for the week, came home, preventing the threatened encore to my involuntary experience, the guy finally took off over the back wall and any plans for my immediate future came crashing domino-down. the worst violation was not being raped, it was that he stole my sense of immunity, that thing we all need to get through the day, past the horrendous leading news stories, the thing that helps us believe “it won’t happen to me”. once it does, it’s as if you can never let your guard down. every noise you hear is the warning you didn’t heed, every person you see who looks vaguely like the guy, is a threat. the only night i spent alone in the house after that night, was spent walking from the front door to the back, investigating every little rustle. and i was probaby right, because 2 weeks later when i flew to new york to be with the man who would become my husband, he broke into my house again and attacked 2 women who were house-sitting for me.

6 months later i had, even though i didn’t yet know it at the time, moved to the states, gotten married and developed both ovarian cysts and grave’s disease, a hereditary hyper-thyroid condition which i didn’t even know i had, but which can manifest itself after a major trauma. i walked away from my house, my career, my life, my family and friends and i did not come back till i got the role on this soap 3 years ago. i really never envisioned myself coming back to jhb ever again.

it took me years to recover from that night. in fact i don’t know that i will ever be fully “recovered”, but coming back to jhb forced me to stop running and face the demon, acknowledge it and say “namaste”. for many years this day would bite me. i spent at least the first year in bed with the duvet pulled over my head. a measure of my recovery is that i only remembered what day it was as i was driving to work this morning. a far cry from the constricting dread that would overcome me in the weeks leading up to this day in other years.

i drew this around the 1st "anniversary"

i drew this as therapy that first year



man with a gun (lyrics to a song i wrote)
it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

then through the door you came
your knifing eyes foretold my pain
and though it wasn't for my life you came
now it will never be the same

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

now i never can again
look the same at other men
though they didn't lie me on the floor
to take what they had come there for

even while i hid inside my head
imagining you in pools of red
i remember staring at the carpet
the one i'd chosen from the market

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts

3.15 you took with you
my feeling of immunity
and in it's stead you left in lieu
hell in perpetuity

it was almost 3 a.m.
a quarter to, to be exact
i heard a noise above the music
but i didn't face the facts
 – my site for survivors