In the company of words – by Gcina Mhlophe

I haven’t shared anyone’s work here, but I just loved this poem written by the legendary Gcina Mhlophe in 2001.

In The Company Of  Words 
It is truly marvellous, wonderful and comforting
To know that I have eyes to read
Hands that can write

And an enormous love for words
I am lucky to be speaking a few extremely beautiful languages
For I love words – language’s ancestor
When I’m happy, words define my happiness
When I’m sad and confused
Words turn into clay and allow me
To mound and remould my muddled up thoughts
Till I find inner peace in my soul

Had I to choose, between weeping and reading
I’d most definitely choose reading,
A good book
For I have proof, for aches and tensions
It works!
Countless times I’ve turned my back on pain
And found friends in characters from far off lands
Countless times I’ve defied anger
And caressed my nerves with an old comic book
Countless nights I’ve triumphed over insomnia
And had a heart to heart talk with my pen and paper


I come to my desk in the dead of night
I sit, without a clue as to how I wish to start
But then, before I know it, words of all types and sizes
Come rushing unto my finger tips
As I feel my whole body smile
I welcome them every single one of them

Like the good old friends that they are
When they start dancing in large circles around me
Throwing teasing wordy circles on my walls
I am convinced that I was not born to be bored

For how indeed can boredom even begin to penetrate
My timeless word circle
Now you see, why I’m so content
In the company of words


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