© Farouk Asvat
Here, in the city of towersIn the land of midnight statements
Among the bluegums and minedumps
Here, it is the silence of the jungle.
I lean against cold marble pillarsIn the foyer of the magistrates' court
While Vuyi waits for the verdict
His solitary confinement mind
Not taking in the jargon.
Here in the peninsula of the KhoiAgain, the seasons are out of touch:
Our lives are yesterday-today-tomorrows
That bloom in the spring that comes before winter.
NhuNhu, unknown and unmourned,
Took his life
Tied it up in a shoestring
Hung it from the prisonrail.
Our lives are not our ownHere in the land of the mielie farmer
For cattle are easily bound and slaughtered
Laughter and tears go unnoticed.
I was not born with a switchblade in my hand;I had to learn the rhythm of the streets:
Western is too fast with its guns,
The whiteman too calculated with his dealings.
Apartheid has done its work.
Soweto, shrouded in smoke,Raises its Black fists against the sky;
And I, somewhere inbetween,
Raise mine here in the city:
We live in interesting times.And in the nature of this curse
We gallivant with death
We make ancestors of young men
We make heroes of dead men
Zanempilo, the bringer of health,Is also the bringer of death.
Malusi's rolling laughter
And Biko's spirit lives here.
© farouk asvat
composed: 1976 [Johannesburg, South Africa under apartheid]
Mosaic was previously published in:
The Time Of Our Lives, (black thoughts publications, p73, 1982);The Time Of Our Lives (piquant publications, p79, 2007).
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