i have lived to discover a city, an open road,
a bucket of milk, and two gentle doves.
i have discovered in myself
two frightened birds with miles of dirt road to fly.
in the forest hills spiders and black dogs clamoured.
in the corpses of yellow flowers
a rainbow spun across a darkened sky.
i lived in a street where girls with dark eyes sang,
birds with their wings welcomed a harsh rain.
Kotaz Mxolisi Nyezwa is founder and editor of , now in its fourteenth year.
Click here to purchase Issue 04 City 10.01.2012
4 a.m. Streets under fog. Streetlights gone.
Except a few down the road
and the moon’s halo
easily obscured by a plume of breath Fog 10.01.2012
(After a photograph by Victor Dlamini)
There is that sea, deep sometimes
as the heart at dusk,
the shine on its face soon to fade.
There is that caravel drifting in
and all it brings: a load of good
and the bad unreckoned by the quartermaster. This is the Sea 10.01.2012
Longo Dongoa & the Pocket Crucified
We asked for social overhaul
Got a power-hall roll-CALL
& the world coming down to play ball
On the site of our umbilical burial
tick it off the life-wreck list If Only the Tswanas Could Dance 10.01.2012
f rom the poem cycle Anatomy
The wrist, the right one,
is a wrench.
The wrist, not the left, is rust.
The Wrist 10.01.2012
And God gave the man little wingless birds,
small as a shock,
to eat while He was away. Hunger 10.01.2012
He did not know what the sky was made of.
He did not know what fire tasted like.
He Pleaded Ignorance 10.01.2012
I only realised I was at risk
when my brother phoned to check if I was still alive— How I Knew It Wasn’t Me 10.01.2012
It’s a cold, bleak day
which might explain why she says:
“This is my daughter Nuala,
who has come all the way from South Africa to visit me.” Odd One Out in the Dementia Ward 10.01.2012
My mother has a brief flirtation
with Mr. Otto, a rare male in Frail Care.
He has the look of a Slavic conductor
—sweeping, side-parted silver locks
offset his visible nappy line. Brief Fling in the Dementia Ward 10.01.2012