South African poets – Two poems about women

Wonderful South African poetry shared by Robbie Cheadle.


The Woman at the Till by Tatamkhulu Afrika

She had a plain, hard face,

A head thrusted forward like a hawk’s.

Impossible brass triangles,

Improbable steel manacles

Cluttered her thin arms.

Clearly, she had little love for the world:

She had learned, though,

That she would not win,

So she did not throw your change at you,

Nor did she press it in your palm,

But placed it, sullenly,

On the counter in between.

She would wrap your purchase languidly,

Yet fast enough to cut off an complaint,

And when she had her punch-up with the till,

It was an exercise in ferocity,

Delicately restrained.

She was what we call “Maboer”,

A low white trash,

AWB most probably,

Slouching barefoot in Boksburg or Mayfair West.

I did not feel any particular hate for her,

Perhaps because I was what

She would call a low black trash,

Which made us quits.

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feeling (for life)

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the song (of the Flock)

Yesterday, I coincidentally learned a little more about the flock of pigeons that so captivated me with their wheeling around and across the sky a couple of years back. I wonder if anything of this sort is truly coincidence. I was told that the flock was the personal joy of a fragile young man who … Continue reading the song (of the Flock)

another day, another rabbit (er . . . pigeon) to pursue . . .

Flock project - sample page #1 26/07/2021 Back awhile (in 2018) I had the good fortune of having two flocks of pigeons grace the sky over and around my home, here in Beechworth. I'm not sure what happened, but around the same time, perhaps 18 months or 2 years ago, they both disappeared. I believe … Continue reading another day, another rabbit (er . . . pigeon) to pursue . . .

quick quick (watch them twirl)

A rat crept softly through the vegetation ~ they are quick politicians their artis to turn the story – the wholeof the virus –into a thingthat isfor them orto turn the thingso that it facesaway preferablytowarda rival onewho will appeara lesssympatheticcharacter less likeable appealing competent to a persuadable . . .gull-ableconstituency it is a dance … Continue reading quick quick (watch them twirl)

The Beechworth Bakery Bears – an e-book progression

For a long time, now, I've been nagging at myself to do something to fix the Bears. What has been nagging at me is that I haven't been able to turn them into a generally accepted/acceptable digital copy. I'll explain. Without getting technical (which is a place where I trip over my own feet) I … Continue reading The Beechworth Bakery Bears – an e-book progression

still (bellowing)

Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,Sweet Thames, run softly ~ Silver Creek - after the rain 21/07/2021Silver Creek there is a beautyin storms a beautyin the aftermath today presentsas a morningof sunlightsparklingon the frost the airrarifiedin a post-stormclarity I walked –deliberately –to the nearby creek the little streamthat shockedjust a seasonor twoagowhen … Continue reading still (bellowing)