All work on this site belongs to Amanda Watson.

Copyright on all works on 'the amandzing way' is absolute. Just ask, I'd love to get more South African poetry out there. Contact amanda dot watson at live dot co za

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Clan Crest Buchanan - courtesy of


old man Africa kissed me on the cheek

old man Africa kissed me on the cheek067
the other day
2014 freedom day
a day when he would remember
a lifetime of wrong
a day of sad song
no one would blame him for wanting to dismember
this caucasian this white this apartheid era ex-cop

he was sitting on a chair in the sun
i leaned close to him to ask him
that stupid question reporters have to ask in post-apartheid south africa
“Hello Grandfather, how does it feel being able to vote?”
and as he smiled a thousand years smoothed from his face
and i saw a proud young man in love with his country
with his wife his children his life
his people

old man Africa pulled me closer
cheek to cheek his stubble was scratchy
i was panicky i didnt know the custom
what if he was an elder
what if i was doing
way to go amanda piss off a people already pissed off
then he released me
took my face in his soft leathery hands again

he laughed gently at me
his breath of fresh umqoboti (traditional beer)
washing over me
his energy and vitality
bathing me
“This, my daughter, is how it feels,” said old man Africa
and i laughed too as his love cleansed me
and made me sad

i cried when i left
i cried for the wrongs, my wrongs
i cried for lives destroyed
because people say different is wrong
when it isnt
different can never be wrong
its only better
when different makes whole


2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Thank you all, for your visits, patience, and love. New Years resolution is definitly to post more here, and vist you all a little more. Thank you again,


Women are valuable…as target practice…

Interview: Amanda Watson by Ulla

Are you really a woman?

In my reality, yes.

Prove it.

Why? Is it a threat to you if I say I am, and I’m not? Is it a threat if I am not and I say I am? What about the binary of male / female is so critical and so threatening to the survival of homo sapiens that people can’t simply be who they are?

But no, the binary, societal conditioning, call it what you will, demands we be a what before a who. A shared consensus is a happy consensus, an oblivious consensus. No questioning if it is good for me, it’s safer in the crowd.

Everybody must fit into a socially defined mould that no-one knows who defined? It’s ridiculous and after 45 years on this planet, I refuse to pander to all societal norms.

Prove it?

Please. I’m so over proving anything to anyone except myself, so no.

What are your thoughts on Women’s Day in South Africa?

It’s a joke. I expand on this below.

Where were you during the struggle?

In school and to my shame, oblivious to the world around me.  Hopefully, my work now will one day constitute an apology for the harm we’ve done to others and ourselves.

What are the most important issues facing us in 2013?

I believe femicide by intimate partners is one of our biggest issues. Sure, there is corruption, and ham-fisted politicking, but the genocide being perpetrated against women is terrifying.

Sparse attention was accorded to a recent report by the South African Medical Research Council regarding intimate femicide. Perhaps it was too inconvenient?

Good news, gals. The report concluded women were murdered by their intimate partners every eight hours during 2009, instead of every six hours as was the case in 1999. Celebrations are in order because femicide has increased, despite all the Women’s Day pontification. The leading cause of death for women in 2009 was at the hands of their intimate partner.

We are doing well.

This gives new meaning to the cliché love hurts… In a nutshell, the report concluded police work was sloppy, half-hearted, and damn near pointless.

Police continue to perpetrate second stage abuse on victims and lip service reverberates through the nation but no real change has happened. Male police officers still undress you with their eyes before they speak to you, they still hit on you, and it’s not unheard of for male cops to phone female victims of crime and hit on them again!

We are second class citizens in practical law. And if you’re a lesbian, then forget about service, whatever happened to you. You probably deserved it. In June a poll by TrustLaw, a legal news service of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found that South Africa was the fourth worst place in the world to be female.

Simply, as a woman, South Africa is a dangerous place to live and your lover will probably kill you. It seems as if the entire patriarchal machine is there to grind women into grey paste that can be washed away so they don’t bother anyone. Sure, women are highly valued in our society.

As target practice, definitely. As an equal? Hardly.

What is your job/business/role and does your gender make a difference to it?

I am a reporter/attempted photographer. I believe being womyn does allow me to empathise and connect with people.

The million dollar question – what makes a woman?

It’s in the way she moves…kidding.

Seriously, until we stop being our worst enemy, extend our natural empathy to each other, accept instead of judge, and fight for each other instead of with each other, there will never be one thing that makes a woman a woman.

sleepless in jozi

tired wired
too tense feeling intense
i see dust floating in the air
its irritating me
irritated with myself
impatience was always a virtue
introspection has left me unsettled
fear of impending change
yes planned for change
still brings fear of self
but embracing the fear
i like the fear
the unknown challenges me
scares me
worries at me
gnaws at me
all i can do is stare it down
for my demons
my long time companions
i know their names
i play their games
they know where im weak
but they dont know
i know too but maybe
that scar tissue is a little tougher
a little thicker
more pliable less forgiving
the wind howls
through my forest of thoughts
each leaf an action
each twig an inaction
the wind caresses and tickles
swirls and teases
…a lovers touch…an intimate touch… a terror touch
…a just enough to make me grit my teeth touch…a sub-atomic touch
…my soul reaches out for that touch…
and the wind swirls and blows again…

smoke and mirrors

imagine a world where you could see me
and i could see you
the real me the real you
no smoke and mirrors
no social grease oiling politically correct smiles
how would we be what would we see
if we could see the real me the real you
the wanton whore the snake-oil charmer
the freak the meek the sad the mad
the very very bad

the world is watching
and judging
they see us
you see what I let you see
what society demands I should be
but if its all the same to you
im going to sit in the corner now
and bleed quietly
internally where no one can see

imagine a real world where
the real me was easy to be
the real you was true to you
would life be simpler and  honest
would we tear each other apart
instead of our monsters shredding the walls of our souls
where we trap our  demons
behind smoke and mirrors
the heartbroken the lusty the damaged the peacemaker
the very very lost

would you say my name mom

another anniversary another remembrance
another year another lost embrace
would you say my name as i silently weep
for my loss behind this stony face
for my childrens loss
for my loss
seventeen years and still no tears
even as my heart shatters each morning
as hells own fires wither in the face of my fury
for my loss behind this stony face
for my loss
fuck you death im not afraid you cant hurt me anymore
i didnt show you then and i cant show you now
i take my rage tame my fury and heel this savage beast
and turn my back on fear
even as my heart shatters each morning
as hells own fires wither in the face of my fury
for my loss behind this stony face
for my loss
i still dont know why youre gone
why i couldnt save you
these words are my tears
even as my heart shatters each morning
as hells own fires wither in the face of my fury
for my loss behind this stony face
for my loss
would you say my name mom
just once

naturally me

flowing tides
rolling seas
wide beaches
oh please
thats not me
crashing waves
rocky cliffs
rolling stone
ah yes
thats better
gnarled tree
moon mad
sun burnt
wondering star gazer
my nature
fits me

where are you?

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Cheers #Skukuza, until next time. #kruger #mpumalanga #SouthAfrica Double rainbow over the old railway bridge over the Sabi River #kruger #mpumalanga# #SouthAfrica Such bittersweet parting. Until next time #CapeTown #WesternCape #SouthAfrica Sunset over #capetown #WesternCape #southafrica I hear you @renedelcarme 😉 Drinkin water like I been to Parly n shit... 😎
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