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!

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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.

First Night

First Night

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’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.