15 November 2012

Poem: Letter To Country

1. Climb atop the rock and look,
The grass of your escarpment
Awaiting plough and gait of cattle,
Land of fertility and slope,
Of hilly mountains on their backs,
A land of men dying to till it.

2. Through tool and implement
We seek the electricity of hammer
Against anvil, spark a world
With toil and labour because
They are hope's only key
And we its only gate.

3. Spring is the offering, the core
Of brightness. From the door
We watch it come into the house
With breakfast in its cereal hands.
Oats, wheat, barley—and seeds
In all its pockets.

4. Our ancestors came, holding
The sun in their right hand
Like an object of worship,
Crossed Mohokare into the foothills,
Bags full of hops, paint sticks,
Venom in phials, dry meat in leaves;
And they hung the sun
On a rope above the Senqu river.

5. Bowls clanging like ghost vessels,
In the blankness of the hour
When all else has deserted us,
Beneath an oven sky we wait
For the black bird’s arrival.
~from Things That Are Silent
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  • Review on Balanced on the Edge (Christine Swint)
  • The book on The Highland Echo (My university paper)
  • The book on Peony Moon (Michelle McGrane)
  • A recent poem on The Poetry Shed (Abegail Morley)
  • Interview on Geoffrey Philp's blog

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