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An excerpt of Within Reach 


No entitlements

No rights

Teetering on the outer fringes of life,

Who would want to lean their bodies into someone so undefinable, so open, so vulnerable?

Who would want to know a man or woman trapped in unknown physical spaces of the universe?



Our voices drowned out by those who know better,

By those who claim to know the answers to sexuality and gender

Politicians and conservatives with their narrow-minded views on who we are,  

Truly try to rule over us with an iron fist but we will always fight back,

We will persevere and continue to strive for the lives we desire and deserve,

We will fight for our rights as part of the human race,

Those in power preach equality but act in accordance to their own fears and have tried to bend us to their will and leave us to be broken by the strongest of men

The strongest of women

Or the strongest of universal forces

No space to breathe,

No space to feel

The only place in sight is

Falling into an abyss of nothing,

Scraping the surface of our skin and making ourselves bleed,

A flame diminished before it could lap up the oxygen it needs

A beating heart told not to believe itself

A tired mind told that life is for a conservative world where narrow walls cave in on the brave,

Where carbon dioxide steels the sanity from your mind

Fight back, always fight back

Fight for what you believe in,

for your right to hear your own heartbeat

Your right to love,

Your right to live,

Your right to a bright a future and

Our human rights

© H.S. Botha (2017)

All rights reserved


Let the boy live


I found him sitting quietly on the dirt road, ten kilometres from the farm house. The sun had started to kiss the horizon, beckoning the moon to rise for the coming night. The oak trees met each other’s leaves in the middle of the afternoon sky. It seemed as if the autumn leaves touched each other in a warm embrace.


The boy was four years old, yet he reminded me of my grandfather when he was still alive. A kind warm heart with knowledge about life far beyond his living years. The boy had his eyes closed, as he faced the multi-coloured sinking sun. His hands rested gently in his lap and I was compelled to share a timeless moment with the boy. I quietly sat down next to him and crossed my legs facing the sun.


‘Why are you so far from home,’ I asked him softly.


He did not move an inch. He kept his eyes closed and I heard his tempered breathing remain in a constant unbreakable rhythm.


‘My voice is lost,’ he replied, not answering my question.

‘Why,’ I asked.

‘I don’t know how to live,’ he said.


He hunched his shoulders forward and he rested his chin on his chest.


‘I don’t understand,’ I whispered.

‘I’ve been lost,’ he replied in a hushed tone.

‘Lost?’ I asked.

‘Always lost, always on the brink of death,’ he offered and in that moment I saw his body vanquish out of sight.


I blinked my eyes three times as the cold night air rushed through my hair. I closed my eyes again for a brief few seconds and opened them again. He stood in front of me again with wide knowing and piercing eyes, as the light of the moon became trapped under the overarching oak trees.


‘Let me out!’ he bellowed, ‘I need to live … NOW! Not yesterday or tomorrow, NOW!’ he said in a stern voice.


I looked at him and tears poured down my cheeks as I recognised my eyes and mind in every nuance of his body and mind.


‘How,’ I asked him in a moment of weakness.

‘Give me a name, give me a purpose, give me a voice, and give me peace,’ he replied softly.


My eyes drifted to the night sky and when I turned to answer him, he had gone again. I looked down at my hands, my tired feet and heard every muscle in my body pound against my skin. Tears still streamed down my cheeks as I whispered to myself in the silence.

‘You will live.’ 

© H.S. Botha (2017)
All rights reserved 




Love is the soft prickling in your skin

A thumping of chambers that hide behind the even spread of cartilage and bone in your chest,


Love is every life affirming breath that moves with the ebb and flow of your blood

An answer to the pain you carry every day of your life,


Love is the hope you hide from others

The voice you hear when the world has gone to sleep,


Love is the silence that envelopes your flesh when she watches you,

When she touches your inner most thoughts

When she peers into your tired soul,

When she holds you

When she dreams of you,

When she beckons you to be one with her,


Love is the energy,

The vibration

Electricity and

An ever-present beginning.

© H.S. Botha (2017)

All rights reserved 

             We Were There

We drove to the mountains, and I showed you the world

Where silence and electric winds meet in a warm embrace,

I heard you breathing inside me,

I heard a flood of hope penetrate your skin,

I opened my heart, and you heard the noise,

I showed you the best part of me

I showed you what I saw in your soul


We travelled along familiar roads, and

I showed you my pain,

I welcomed you in, and

You breathed new air into my lungs


We were truly almost there

Almost at a place where the pain would be bearable

A place where the uncertainty would rest


We were there

I know we were, but the noise took hold of us and tore us apart

We were there

I know we were, because I can feel you inside me

Giving our noise a place to live,

Giving our pain a place to heal,


We were there, and

Tomorrow we can be again.

- H.S. Botha (2017)




Walls weep in my dreams

Ceilings cave in empty chambers,

The sun slowly kiss glimmering waters,

And she runs,

She waits and


Walls crumble,

Roads are her wastelands


Moaning whispers call her name,

She weeps

Waits and



Light finds a glimmering drop of hope in her eyes

She waits


And run,


Heavens whisper a future in her skin, 

She pushes again

She looks straight into the sun, and wait.

 © H.S. Botha (2017) 

All rights reserved