My History with Language

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When I imagine borders

Copy of Gift

Shelling

Afterwards

Children resume

The street soccer match

Check Point

It is the mosaic scene on the ceiling 

that helps you bare the line. & then you 

notice a single colored body building a 

nation amongst a hard-hat army of white. 

You recall receiving news of a relative that 

made it elsewhere, via waves, on a vessel too 

small to hold its burden. You imagine some 

ancestor must have made it here, via waves, 

to build a nation not their own. But you didn’t 

make it here with the trauma of a journey. Your 

journey was via wings, belongings strapped on a 

shoulder & rolled on four wheels. & after an officer 

inspects your passport & your body, his phone call 

escorts you to a separate room, while the mosaic 

scene observes the episode from the ceiling above.

Negative Thinking


––For Herbert Marcuse

The arts––

Contesting what is

Envisioning what could be.

Unknowing

And then there is the question: 

Where do you feel more at home at, 

South Africa or the United States

As if this really was a choice like 

sex or love on a first date, 

death or suicide on a battlefield

Pepsi or Coke on a summer day. 

The mornings after Orlando, 

Sterling & Castile 

I had the options of escaping 

into Masekela’s Thimela or 

submitting myself to grief & despair. 

I chose a third option: 

wandering on a wind swept beach, 

sand stinging my un-sieved eyes.

I am used to indecision.

Just as I am that question of                           home 

that leaves me awaiting a 

sense of residence somewhere…anywhere.

Exit

The following piece is an edited version of my contribution to a collaborative effort called Poets for Peace on the blog ForgottenMeadows. To learn more and to contribute to the fabulous initiative, visit forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com.

When blood
Is a river

Drowning itself
Rage a wave

Self-harming in
Violent crests

You & I forge
Solace in the

Dove’s Oak
Branch alto

The swaying dance of
Resurrected blossoms

Stone parishes chanting
Vespers & intonations.

Together we dwell in &
Out of time

A present exit, so to speak,
From reverberating blasts

On breaking news abroad &
Popping clips & sirens nearby

Our space is  collected
in ourselves

In the union of
Our souls

Where we hold close,
At least for now,

In growing pains of
Our times.

#PoetsforPeace