17 February 2019

My mother holds in her right hand

a cane that holds her up. And weight
from the memory of nineteen seventy.
Long after the sun has died,
even as death weighs and smells her
like a buyer in the fruit section at Shoprite

among the melons, grapefruit
and mangoes
trucked from another country’s clemency,
she shuffles through the hallways of our minds,
opening doors to rooms to make windows in there
let air in to chase torpor away, aware
of the presence of the buyer of lives.

Sometimes she finds that going in
and touching old things brings the self
peace. Sometimes she just sneers from the door,
peering at the blankness with her mind.
The empty rooms cower in corners.

She totters along memories that link
dying and living rooms, into a den we meet in
for matters of grave significance,
shaking the earth with us till those that lie
at the bottom of this country
come up for a while
for air to deaden their wounds.

We had talked the other day about heat
that beats skulls; yesterday
about going to weed the graves,
the same that cling to us like newborns
and for which our heart burns.

One day we shall cut every tie with them.

Her oyster eyes gleam at the prospect,
her face an anchor beyond the vile thing.
Soon we will sit again at the table of departure,
when the time for me to leave arrives,
regarding each other and
re-living things.

Before my last day we’ll go to the graves
with spades
and rakes
to clear the edge, weed the perimeter
around each slab, then rinse our hands and utensils
in lekhala juice, before the lone walk home,
the way those men had left, that time
before the last dawn of Qoaling
after they had dipped Motlatsi in blood
and written the history of our family with his name—
though not before they’d wiped
their hands and tools with his bedclothes.



'M'e 'Makananelo Masilo

14 February 2019

18 poems about love

Bachata
Geoffrey Philp
Eve and Adam II
Rethabile Masilo
Echo
Carol Ann Duffy
A lover from Palestine
Mahmood Darwish
You, therefore
Reginald Shepherd
Feeling fucked up
Etherdge Knight
Love after love
Derek Walcott
I carry your heart with me
E. E. Cummings
The mornings
Phil Rice
Resignation
Nikki Giovanni
For Virginia Chavez
Lorna D. Cervantes
The profile on the pillow
Dudley Randall
Sunflowers
Pamela Mordecai
Video blues
Mary Jo Salter
Heart to heart
Rita Dove
All the Whiskey in Heaven
Charles Bernstein
Love song
William Carlos Williams
I love you
Ella W. Wilcox













13 February 2019

Poet's lament, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

The words a poem gives
are restless things that never live
at the same time for the same aim.
It is for the poet to give them comfort in his house.
When a line breaks into a thought,
who blesses the hand that grips
a pen, dragging it like oxen pull a plough
through soil? O lord of woman, lord of man—
words came to the middle of my night
and they showed me a dream, every lexicon
standing like hairs on the back of a neck.

But in the end they always wave goodbye
to every life they've ever had, and leave.




9 February 2019

Upon reading ‘facts about the moon’

When I started writing this, as a confession,
a solstice was circling the world, Stonehenge
was rife with worshipers, my wife was drinking
mojitos and rutting. I sat on the edge of our bed
and heard whales calling from the coast below.
Sometimes when the mood sets in I’ll fling dishes
to the sky (manhole covers are too heavy for this),
or resort to a frisbee in the park at night, see it wane,
then yield to a death its circle finds in words
and is captured by them. Big-arse plate for near moon,
tea saucer for far, bulb-in-the-sky little moon—
now when I look at it straightlaced I only see zits
on the face of the man there, among fields of craters
in the stillness of time where Michael Jackson
would have loved to walk, alone in Laux's poem.
My heart sits in the heaviest atmosphere of itself.
Silence is the only thing about this that is true,
a perigee-syzygy rendezvous with sun and earth,
hinting that in the end death is unlikely to be fair.



Dorianne Laux's 'Facts about the moon': http://goo.gl/emqfzl



Waslap
The Onslaught Press


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