After exile These dark days and nights are signposted for us in omens: ... I drive through winter's most savage northwest storm for our reunion, along the Old Cape Road passing a crumpled BMW with bloody dead inside through devil'...
These dark days and nights
are signposted for us in omens:
... I drive through winter's
most savage northwest storm
for our reunion, along the Old Cape Road
passing a crumpled BMW with bloody dead inside
through devil's wind and murderers' rain
to a frail wooden seaside bungalow
for our reunion.
(On the car radio, vultures of Boipatong
hack a path through bloodflesh to
join apartheid's feasting
hyenas) — low in mountain nightmist
an owl swoops through my headlights
to feast on leopard toads
hopping the old road
by their thousand
through the stormrain.
Through blood, owl, frog and rain
to your seashack:
a womb I desire
whose amniotic sac holds
whisky, wine, African herb …
… we’re entranced, reminiscing
Africa, trying to understand the pain
of being reunited in an old triangle of
love, exile and return.
The omens of recent weeks:
a leopard in the road,
A woman immolates herself before her children
in Zimbabwe — and a thin family on the road
to Beitbridge — a mother and her children -
on their knees in dark rags whipping
about their thin bones in a dust devil's
soul-scouring wind, hands clasped in prayer
for food from us, invisible Gods,
or devils, speeding in our motor car
to a new exile that's also
a settler's return.
to South Africa from Zimbabwe.
We stormed into the talking night
a triangle of friends and lovers,
you pushed me to the brink -
I wept, you said you
loved me, we slept.
Alone I awoke in my crystal morn –
Back home I was and
Back home I watched
the unpainted dawn spring
upon her canvas sea.