GEOMORPHOLOGY Words. Words. Words.

A collaboration by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama June 2022 ~ (ongoing)

Sandile (June 12, 2022)

It is windy, rough, chimneys banging in the winds,

begging for mercy, pebbles.

Still meditating, but prayers return as cloudbursts. Blood.

Sky dances, but no raindrops on the lips.

Bare gullies. 

Bedrocks rehearsing illness songs.

Orphans on dry geomorphology.

Yuri (June 19, 2022)

The blue-green planet is but a sneeze

Lost in two billion light years of solitude,

That speck of snot, or dot, of human life

In an eternal line of ancestral tradition:

Like Shuntaro Tanikawa and Mansai Nomura,

On this Juneteenth, we remember

Hope, courage, that patient wait.

Sandile (July 2, 2022)

On the first day of the month, the sun went home in splendid form.

A good ruse for me to sleep, and wake up in top form.

A world of theatrical summons suddenly made sensuous.

I am walking into the village where one season,

the magic of laughter died.

My dogs running.


Yuri (July 12, 2022)

The Music falls silent.

Piping, pellets, powder,

Wrapped in tape,

Two smoking blasts

from a homemade gun,

Assassination Assassination

Sinking and numb

We face each other and a new world

Sandile (July 8, 2022)

hope pulses with astonishing freshness.

i’m home

embracing every tiny patch

food in green pastures

songs making me feel whole

while mourning a dear brother

Mandla Dlamini,

his leaf refusing to wither …

Yuri (July 14, 2022)

… you are home:

The rice smells sweet,

Take your shoes off and let

The tatami cool your tired toes;

Take a deep breath;

Let it seep within _

That feeling that you count

When what’s going on around us  

Is just the opposite.   

Sandile (Aug. 18, 2022)

A man from boyhood rises on a point of order.

Tells a tiktok traffic DJ, his potatoes are wrapped in blood.

Pleads for wifey to go gentle into his black potato sack.

To keep it cool, moist.

This tiny poem is no portrait of a man as a naked cook.

It is his pain.

Sandile (Aug. 24, 2022)

In the punishing winds,

chimneys sing in the bloody winds.

Why can’t you see?

Sit down. Grow wings.

Simply sing along.

Grow dreadlocks. Brush your dog.

Chill out with bafo.

And Hugh. Cool laughers.

Sandile’s photo for the segment above shows “Madala Kunene (left), a superb South African guitarist and raconteur. The young chap is Hugh Mdlalose, a talented documentary photographer. His father was a musicologist and named him after the great trumpeter. Madala is popularly known as bafo. Zulu for brother.”

Yuri (Aug. 26, 2022)

it’s a blessed day

when you wake up and write

a poem,

or rather a poem wakes up

and gets you

to write a poem;

it just comes but it

has to be

a blessed day;

never forget when it happens last,

or those long silent days

when you just suffered.


(The poetic trans-planetary collaboration between Sandile Ngidi in South Africa and Yuri Kageyama in Japan has evolved over time. Their previous works are: #peacepoetry (March ~ May 2022), and the work that started it all in 2021: “Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems.” The tradeoff of lines in a literary hand-holding defied geographic borders, in a shared vision, week by week, or almost week by week, through the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the comings and going of daily life. “This poetic dance is our call and response. A tango of sorts,” Ngidi says. Without having ever met once in real life, the poets know simple but totally perfect mutual understanding. Thank God for Poetry.)