14 August 2019

Africa’s song, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

—for Geoffrey Philp

The ancients never suggested death by fire,
being consumed by it, dying; the unbearable
reach of the bible, its dark truth; that was no fear,
nor were boots on our pavements. We were death
in another way, fire was not needed for our dying.
On a pathway or in the home everyone who died
was the kingpin of their kingdom, a forebear caught
between dogma and the views of Jah. Yesterday
was besieged by the chronicle of today, pyramidal Nubia
and the turrets of Zimbabwe turned into faceless
rudiments. Though there’s a song to put it all behind
and that song, if you listen to it, resounds in you.

Geoffrey Philp
The poem 'Africa's song' is from the book Qoaling,
published in 2017 by the Onslaught Press

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