24 May 2018

Arriving at the night fire, a poem by Dorian Haarhoff

in Motetema, Limpopo Province
I feed the teachers,
morning to late light,
a feast of stories.

as the sun sifts the room
one ladles a question
onto my plate.
it lies there like the pap
we ate at lunch.

Who did you inherit story-telling from?

a big meal question.
he watches me chew. first response,
inside, I say, No one. It started here.
but this Lazarus has raised a ghost.
I take his question down to my gut
to search for one who hands down gifts.
who multiplies fish and bread.

I answer his gaze. when I tell,
the story comes from somewhere else,
through me. You see this?
he slowly nods and smiles.

a match strikes a woodpile.
Europe and Africa
blood and belonging
reconcile in the telling.
it is the ancestors who story through me.
a night fire ignites my belly.

Dorian Haarhoff

3 comments:

Greyscale Territory said...

This is a poem with amazing guts. The rawness of truth rings clear.

I love the gruff voice of the narrator spelling out the only story that needs telling eternally.

Gemma

Michelle said...

"as the sun sifts the room
one ladles a question
onto my lap"

"Europe and Africa
blood and belonging
reconcile in the telling.
it is the ancestors who story through me.
a night fire ignites my belly."

Stunning. Thank you for posting this, Rethabile.

Rethabile said...

I have a specific affinity toward this poem, and would give a lot to read or hear more of Dorian's work.

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