This road runs as if charted by drunken hands,
Winding across lands shapeshifting from flat crop fields
Fused into horizon’s edge, highlands curving ’round
God’s foggy ankle to jaded settler towns
& native villages that defied time’s advance.
I watch all this behind a back seat window as
Pat Matheny’s guitar transforms the landscape to
Nabraskan prairie & Colorado Rockie;
Helps me dull exile’s longing & celebrate
A world that is shrinking before my very eyes.
Note: I have decided to use a new format for posts using segments of poetry over images. Let me know what you think!
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.
The frigid Highveld air had contempt for your anxiety.
It was an opening audience observing
Your scenes of fear and uncertainty.
A higher purpose flew you to Azania’s* ebony arms,
But on that first night you wanted out––
Back to the self-security of the homeland.
At a crude coffee table lit almost like a darkroom
You repeated your parent’s promise like an
Undeveloped exposure: We’ll only be here for a season.
Instead of critiquing the meaning of these words
You let your quarter of a KFC Family Feast become
A greasy morphine dulling your sense of uprootment.
* South Africa
I’m tired of criticizin’
I have found fault
where fault exists,
where graft and waste
rot administrative wheels
like puncture holes of gangrene.
I have listened to talking power heads
repeat-repeat their rhetoric
on a scratched CD of promises,
seen the blood and fire of history
scream from the mouths of dying
protesters and communities.
All this I have witnessed.
All this has waned my will to critique.
For what good is it to rage a reality on replay?
To say all is lost, this nation is doomed,
we have gone from rainbows to dark-clouded gloom.
I have let my speech and thoughts be flogged
with whips of negativity for too long
and like an amateur graffiti artist,
I have tagged ‘‘failed state’’ on this land
without spotting the mural of hope
struggling to breathe beneath.