21 July 2018

I looked at the boy, and wondered

whom he looked up to, if there were poets in his head
who stirred him, people who sculpt his morning
out of night to make life sufferable, individuals
who scrap memories of strife. That’s what I asked him.
It was a deliberate question, for he had to know
about the origin of beauty the way a priest knows
the face of God, a star the sound of a nameless world
that spins like a top in a vacuum as it floats by,
a star bright in its capacity to light the dark. Beauty
in forms of colour, summer ushered in by swallows
darting, each trailing the ribbon of its tail behind.
I said to him: everything is in a poet’s nib, you know—
the love everyone dreams of at night when rain
won’t wane, magic that makes what’s under a child’s bed
disappear with morning, a morning that is sometimes
grave with concern when the sound of no one breathing
comes from an adjoining room. He looked up at me,
making me wonder again whom he looked up to.
That year blossoms invaded summer branches,
reflected in a poem I heard one evening at Rockview
Beer Garden where a voice is loath to hide itself,
after which I watched a sun gild the river a profound
dye, and remained on the precipice with my legs
over the edge above Mohokare, till the bar closed,
and I could actually hear the sound of ecstasy die down
around Maqalika, still rife with people heading home.

Rockview Beer Garden

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