Looking for Wilde Stars – Vincent Edward Manda


On the land

We dug up and replaced the jungle

With concrete structures

Spewing effervescent lights,

While in the skies

We stole the stars

And put in their place

Lit up planes

Ferrying us to distant shores

Like Charon did the damned.


All through our descent

Deeper into a chasm

Where even the North Star is invisible,

We mix our air

With the fumes of industry, progress

And celebration

At turning our concrete jungles

Into one hollow land

Made up of

Monolithic glass structures

Reflecting the effervescent lights

Devouring the diamonds of our skies,


Taking them directly into

The clogged gutters of our dream kingdom,

This creation of ours;

Our very own never ending valley of dying stars.

A Dream – Vincent Edward Manda

We stole grains from the sandman

To make our dreams

Last a little longer

And for a while,

The moon stopped running

To smile upon our fantasies


Before hastening away

On her cold trail

Which would soon

Be set ablaze

By her jilted paramour,

Who enwrought in the

Dreaded light of understanding

Pursued her hotly.


As the red sun

Kissed the sleeping hills

Beyond the river we never crossed

We saw dreams pave way

For reality

And realised that

Even the longest night

Abounding in tempered kisses

And passionate embraces,

Comes to end.

Words – Vincent Edward Manda

On one hand

They are meaningless,


Just words.


On the other

They are what you’re selling,

What you need to buy,

What you want to give

And what you’d like to receive.


Push, purloin, dispose of or pillage,


Words are everything and nothing,

Sticks and stones.


No, they aren’t food,

But they are a means to food, water and air…


They’re steaks sizzling in the pan,

Rivers feeding the earth,

Winds whispering through leaves or

Shit slowly circling the putrid, partially blocked sewer.


Words are life and death,


Or, to be pedantic

Death and life are words,


Just words.

The City Dreams – Vincent Edward Manda

The city’s dirty sounds:

Like the devil’s waste water

Streaming down the dead leaf

Carpeted streets

To drip into clogged gutters


And the sickly sounds

Of stray dogs, cats and foxes

Scrapping over and in dumpsters,


The alcohol fuelled cacophony

Of slurs and distended shouts

Hinting at fights never starting

Or crescendos of

Toothy, bloody brawls

Finally punctuated by fatigued police sirens


And the frustrated

Night’s ambitions, the rushes of

Stilettos in hand,

Girls on shoulders,

Fence and gate clambering

In the stifled closing time stampede

To the next event,

Twenty four hour booze shop,

Last bus or first train


Where the glaring contest of judgement

Between tired zombies of the day

And worn out vampires

Swearing to never drink again



These are the sounds

That reveal a city’s heart,

These are the sounds

That lull a city to eternal sleep,


These are the sounds

That ask it to join the ranks

Of cities that lived before it;

Old cities now slumbering in

Death’s dream kingdom

Forever awaiting one last sunrise

In that buried valley of forgotten stars

Where none claim

To have seen

The city’s surprising departure.


These are the sounds

That make my heart beat and weep;

The sounds of my dreaming city.

Naked Ladies – Amy

stuck to this night
to this summer
to this endless summer
which sounds idyllic and hot, so hot
but really it’s just sticky and wet
cut grass and drizzle
naked ladies in the grey evening
english hedges peeking
a century gone by, we didnt notice
fountains turn water around
and around, forever water
the thames slips by, unnoticed
a silver banner waved in the background
of the game
never centre-stage
only the bridge to the place
i always wanted to visit
sunken lawn, now I’m dreaming
the sky lit up like burnt amber
we cant see the sun
but the sky…
the trees are alight
no smoke just fire
over the river
eel pie overcooked
no-one else is here
no-one else can find us
a secret garden, like the book
but no kids, just a
coke bottle in the fountain
not so poetic, but what is
can certain materials not be included
in this poem
with the silken lilies
the fifty shades of green
moss, weed, grass, leaf,
my jealousy

Pub talk – Amy

A short conversation with one guy

10 mins later

he leaves the pub

with that classic line

‘behave yourself’

oh yes

I’ll behave myself

when you keep your dick in your pants

your tongue in your mouth

your mind outta the gutter.

Atonement – Amy

I am the butterfly

butting my soft head

into the cold glass,

freedom visible

but out of reach.

All my faults have been boxed up

and presented to me.

Complete with a fucking bow.


Sometimes I want to scream. Then

I remember

I don’t want to cause a scene.

I dream

of being alone,

wake up alone

and then realise I’m still dreaming.

I bite the pillow, tears chilling

the crescent of my lips.

What’s worse –

coasting, or being tripped up by sorrow

when you’re finally living?


I feel like I’ve swapped lives

with someone

who likes candlelit dinners

and casual love.

I could say

you don’t tickle me right –

I laugh

but there is a red light

in my eyes.

A Love of Life – Vincent Edward Manda

It’s like long trained fingers

Striking at piano keys:

I want to stop

But the music is too beautiful;

Like a disconcerted Shostakovich

A demented Paganini,

Grieg’s unsatisfied Gynt,

Or a frenzied Rachmaninoff.


Perhaps it’s  a mad Bach,

A troubled Mozart

Through Vivaldi’s progression,

A deaf Beethoven,


All without that calming Chopin.


It may be Oliver Mtukudzi’s sombre pleas

Or Thomas Mapfumo’s consternation,


It could even be,

A soothing Billie Holiday,

Howlin’ Wolf,

That rock and roll

I don’t give a FUCK



It could be

Screaming Jay Hawkins’ demeanour;

Or Bob Marley’s wisdom

Guiding through endlessly rough seas…


Perhaps it’s an angry DMX,

A longing Nas

A hilarious Red n Meth,

Or it’s a Poignant Tu Pac,


But without this, and more;

Oh so much more,

I couldn’t live another day.

A Story – Eduard Dantes

There’s a sentence

Wherein I’d like to put a full stop:

Right in the middle;

Such that it would make no sense


There’s a paragraph

So obscure

It deserves closure,


Pages that need

To be finished,

Prayed over

And buried


But I haven’t the courageous heart

To make that first and final




A Study of Flavours I Love (A Recipe of Sorts) – Vincent Edward Manda

Tomatoes are always in season;

Plump and juicy

Sweet and tangy,

They bring breaths of vitality

To the being.


Lemons of all shapes and sizes

Can be found all round,

But primarily they are

Yellow suns in summer skies,

Gleaming refreshingly in a cool easterly breeze.


Parsley is a tender deep green

Which at the slightest touch

Will send a smiling dewy scent

To the nostrils, bringing memories of

Of running hand in hand

Through freshly trimmed spring morning meadows.


Onions are that layered queen

Holding it all together,

Whose sharpness is swift to bring tears

That with time and the kind of burning love

Known only to some,

Turns into a melting caramelised sweetness

On the tongue

Which can be savoured forever.


Garlic is that special secret

Bringing with it

An exceptional kind of bite,

The type filled with copious amounts of flavour

Which will have you smacking your lips

Long after the dish is gone.


Chillies have no season!

They are that burgeoning passion

Caught in a dancer’s eyes,

Shining brighter than the dim lights

Draping her twirling visage,

Which if handled carelessly

Will flourish through delight

And explode in abounding agony!


Mushrooms are sturdy and sure;

A supreme hors d’oeuvre

That with its earthy confidence

Can rise to be an autumn main course

Bringing smiles of bewilderment to all.


Ah Rosemary,

She reminds me

Of that which was lost

But can’t quite be defined:

Intense yet tender on the tongue,

Fragrant but not overpowering,

Delicate yet still possessive

Of the type of strength which can

Cut ice that held ships,

Or end a flame

Which was everlasting.