Africa Kills Her Son
I am alive, Africa!
I speak with a poet’s pen
then write with a weapon that cleanses the
hearts of despots….
Ah, Africa! My Africa!
Greeting heroes and welcoming them to her bosom.
Beating drums reverberating
waiting patiently for her children to whisper
in voices echoing rebirth and life on barren land.
rising from ashes of broken hopes and dreams,
rejoicing in human spirit
as the wind whistles whoops of joyous
cries of bohemia . . .
I kiss life tasting Africa’s sweat
I see only benevolence placing hands across my eyes
whispering the ghost of past, present and futures. . . .
. . . and upon my lips to breathe a breath that will speak
no anger nor wickedness,
raise wizened hands frenetic in forgiveness.
Shall I resonate to the leaves my pain
and hear the haloed echoes across the valleys?
Will you whistle my name upon your delicate breath?
. . . just once more . . .
hailing the fallen and saluting the dead?
My name is my presence.
Sing for me sweet Africa, sing,
if only a dirge . . .
She carries her baby on her back—
her pride of love and possession swathed
in the muted tones of rural Africa
her breasts carved heavily with the strength of her milk.
The bundle of sticks under her left arm
the water perched precariously on her head
her fingernails knarled, embedded with earth
heels cracked and cleaved with sand and stone
her right hand balancing a bucket of water
that spilled with every sway of her hips.
Wiping the sweat from her brow, still sweeps his hut,
Washes the clothes at the rivers end
and milks the cow, grinds the corn, with uncomplicated content
Tells the tales of old and bows …
She is the super woman
dish washer, washing machine, tumble dryer yummy mummy.
Her life, a huge spin that tumbles with each day.
Some days it is a rollercoaster and others a miserable lull.
She washes, cooks and cleans or alternately dials a house cleaner
or dials a meal.
It is all ‘quick and easy’.
Her disenchantment lies in her quest for perfection.
She still treats him like a King,
but reduces him to nothing
when she throws him out on infidelity, infertility and pomposity.
The Seeds of Xa
Hands of the baobab
knarled, reaching for the southern stars
house seeds of ancestors and shades.
Spirits wheeze through
muted leaves, slithering on the charred dust
as souls are captured in the fruit
while footprints imprinted on the stubs of root reach
for the salvation of the future
and the restoration of the past.
It is my home. …
The home of the nomad and wayfarer
free in spirit and mind
my heart belonging
to the earth!
From the threads of manacle we are blind
the spoken words sometimes unkind.
we have innate
the ability to dominate, then obliterate
not to appreciate
as in darkness we try and illuminate
the truth which can only be revealed
in effulgent cogitate.
The past echoes triumphs of the future.
The wounds of Xa healed by sutures
once revealed in the starkness of nature.
Seeds of the past bear fruits of the future.
Land, speak to me as I speak of you.
Caress me as I lift you in the palm
Of my hands and let you sieve through my fingers.
Own me by taking me in your bosom
Unlike I, who possesses and stamp my imprint
Scarring and wounding your flawless,
Land that bites the hand that feeds her,
and feeds the hand that bites her.
She does not hesitate to illustrate
Or neither demonstrate nor remonstrate
her fury or scorn.
She ingests and regurgitates
Scintillates and fascinates
then oscillates in the circle of life.
Many have turned their backs on her . . .
She still welcomes them smiling
On a face scarred and ravaged
Wrinkled and savaged.
There is still a smile!
Fiona Khan is an internationally published award winning author and poet, one of South Africa’s leading children’s author with many titles, some of them on school catalogues. She is also an educator, lecturer and motivational speaker