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

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