Sunday, 27 February 2011

Masilo's White canes bend at two places, like fingers...and another poem

Rethabile is a Mosotho writer living in Paris, France. He co-edits Canopic Jar ( and says he carries a manuscript around in his back pocket. Rethabile is married and has two kids. An amateur cook, he also plays football (the one with the round ball) and ping-pong, and blogs at Poéfrika (

I'll trust you'll find pleasure 'eating' the two poems below.

White canes bend at two places, like fingers
Cities through fingertips inebriate me.
Everywhere I travel lies this pavement
defining the town with a kerb that may
or may not curve to where I go. Patient,
I like to try and see it with my cane,
slightly slanted in the hand. Not a stick,
a pen I use to trace my life again
as I walk and tap or touch stone or brick
or granite at my feet. No need to prove
God or splendour. If you don’t listen well
to night you may miss the bat that moves
with rubber wing, and flickers round walls
in a feeding frenzy. For the glory
of everything belongs truly to the night,
which holds day as dead retinas carry
light, to watch life with previous sight.

(first published in Orbis 143, Spring 2008)

The San's Promise 
They came from the south
holding the sun in their right hand
like an object of worship,
crossed the Mohokare into the mountains,
leather bags full of ochre
and painting sticks, venom in small phials,
dried meat conserved in leaves. They stayed
long enough to paint the fat of the land:
hunt scenes, children hopping in playful circles
round a fire. An ostrich egg and roots
dug up from the desert's giving sand,
hand prints lit like sepals
exploding on grotto walls.

(first published in Boltsofsilk 143, January 2011)

1 comment:

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