Sunday, January 19, 2020

Mangrove swamp

Dark earth brooding
Mozzies, biting flies or imaginary gnats
Landing hits on tender skin
Body and limb squelch away, in yielding earth
While trees with wet boots trudge in cold cold sludge, & breathe & breathe
through straw-like roots, that snorkel out and up; 
Decay, everwhere, creeps once more
Into nostril, lung and pore

I know you have a purpose
But why must you be so awkward?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Old flag

The four-colour flag
is a gun
i hear it, rat-a-tat tat
in the ear's dark canal
commas, full stops and deadly colons
ending in a fitful pause

... is a dog
on the leash
tugged by shrouded figures -
benzine, spyker, mostert -
their bare hands & bared teeth
gouged air
from our chests

... is a yellow kwela-kwela
metallically cold
to the touch; in the
wire-caged part
my brain rolls around
as wheels slew
from caledon square to torture room to death farm to stick-figure appearance
in white man's court

the four-colour flag
tortured the confessions:
the first nation is extinct
plunder was a walkover
good neighbours and bantustan lords welcome 'pass books' & high walls
& baaskap flowers naturally, amid veldblossoms, grape-stalks, mountain bush, cacti, wild grasses & woodland

The new flag
is a too-long road
that's sun-baked, potholed, soaked
and gasping with sweat
twisted in the knots
of so many winds