De Zuid-Afrikaanse dichter en schrijver Tatamkhulu Afrika werd geboren op 7 december 1920 in Egypte. Zie ook alle tags voor Tatamkhulu Afrika op dit blog.
I wheel my bike under
the cathedral’s dark overhang.
Seized by a rictus of the wind,
the trees shed rain.
Rain slides down
Wale Street’s sleek, steep fall:
air is an ocean booming round
high bare walls.
My hands freeze on
the bike’s crossbar,
seek the sodden saddle, toy
with the ice-cold bell:
I am suddenly fugitive,
homeless and cornered in
a of pressure and cloud. caprice
Then they cough and I know
I am not alone:
far back, against the great, nailed doors,
they huddle: troglodytes
of night’s alcoves,
parking lots, sparse green lawns,
municipal benches where
lunchtime’s city workers, stripping down
their food-packs, sit
in sober rows.
I fear to turn around,
stiffen in expectation
of the inevitable tugging at my sleeve,
wonder of I have any coins
wonder why they do not bicker,
as they always do,
cursing their mother’s wombs
in tired robots’ tones,
why only this
curious, chuckling, liquid sound
drawing me around.
She has the usual wrappings on
stick-thin, brittle shins,
patchy-purple, quietly rotting
methylated spirits skin:
doekie of incongruous elegance crowns
the scabrous, half-bald skull
Her man, grotesque
as a gargoyle roused from stone,
cradles an infant on his lap,
feeds it from a bottle with a teat,
makes the chuckling, crooning sounds
that turned me round,
that hold me now spellbound.
‘Good morning, sir,’ he says,
and his voice is grave
as a paterfamilias in his lounge.
Only the odd man out,
leaning against the harsh green walls,
looks at me with carefully indifferent eyes,
finding me , alien on his home ground
wishing the clouds would break and I be gone,
ringing my bike’s absurd, small bell.
Tatamkhulu Afrika (7 december 1920 – 23 december 2002)
Doorgaan met het lezen van “Tatamkhulu Afrika, Johann Nestroy, Joyce Cary, Gabriel Marcel”