Monday, January 10, 2011

Verse of the Day - Tatamkhulu Afrika

It's a strange phenomemon but on my main blog Brits in the USA and this one I don't think anyone has ever visited from Africa. The continent remains Conrad's Heart of Darkness, in my blogisphere at least.

So, I thought I'd highlight some African poetry. Dark where Loneliness Hides is a poem from Tatamkhulu Afrika, a South African poet.

Dark where Loneliness Hides

Cat’s small child cries
in the dark where loneliness hides.
Cat’s small child beats
its breast in the soft
furriness of its need.

Cats don’t beat their breasts,
cats yell with lust
in the dark where loneliness hides?
Is it I, then, that cries,
mad child running wild?

Is it I that lies
in the dark where loneliness hides,
that listens as the wild geese wing
past short of the stars,
rime my roof with their dung?

Cat’s mewling, sky’s
sibilances, these
are the thieves of my ease?
What else waits
in the dark where loneliness hides?

My song has a crooked spine.
Should I break a bone
as I straighten it?
Or birth its crookedness in
the dark where loneliness hides?


  1. :) I did! I visited when I was in South Africa!

    This post made me yearn for home. Home isn't even Kilimajaro but the photo and the poem touched me very deeply.

  2. cool Emm - glad it struck a chord, even tho the photo's not South Africa.