Yahweh my Shepherd : Tatamkhulu Afrika

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tatamkhulu Afrika

Remembering

I am looking back a long way now:
will the circle close?
Why does the city this morning seem
so much like that other city,
its lines imposed upon its lines:
the same slow sweep of waves,
the same dust-haze,
the same crumbling buildings sinking into the salt sea,
the same sad, unstoppable malaise:
this garden I pause beside,
its dahlias sun-dried,
the nasturtiums neutered,
a solitary palm-tree bending towards Siwa,
begging its moisture
as little and as bitter as urine on the sand —

nothing dies:
all that I thought long-dead
is rising up again:
the little house where first they slapped me into life,
took off the tip of my manhood as the religion demands,
the red sand slipping into the blue Mediterranean,
the smell of incense on the khamsin wind —
so much remembered,
so many old lamps burning again —
lamps whose wicks I thought had long since charred —
and from the night beyond their light
a face is floating,
bending over mine —
its sweetness is effulgence,
its fragrance is of flowers . . .
- See more at: http://allpoetry.com/poem/8624125-Remembering-by-Tatamkhulu-Afrika#sthash.a04azB4I.dpuf