A Poem

Legacy

The footprints of the San

blown silent by the winds of change.

Silent…

in the noise.

The land is fraught.

White against black

Black against white

Black against black

White against white

Colour, culture, chaos.

People

 –  brothers, sisters, children –

against people.

Men in arms

Men at war

People at war.

The Empire surges forth

Tycoon

Claiming

Dominating.

The land rebels

Impi chants rush in and over the hills of Natal

and then they, too, fall silent

The Boers trek, north…

…to nowhere, anywhere but under the arm of the tyrant

Founding that which has already been found, naming it –

the Orange Free State,

 the Transvaal.

The Cape was always the Usurper’s (even though it wasn’t),

but the arm is long and the arm is greedy; it wants obedience, land and wealth.

Diamonds

It wants diamonds, and gold.

It wants gold

A greedy, gaping maw.

Land of opportunity

People flock

Immigrants

The arm wrestles the treasure into its grasp,

cramming nuggets and gems into the salivating orifice

more and more and more

it’s teeth crack and its throat constricts

Foul breath.

Blood in the soil.

Penetration

Dust, digging, fire in the mines.

The legacy of the land

South Africa.

Violence

Beauty

Messy infatuation.

Conflagration.

Home

Heart

She is home.

She is heart.

Broken

She is broken.

Hate

Nonsensical hate.

Imprisonment.

Her soil corrupted,

Her people slain,

Her soul polluted.

Her story is pain,

tragedy,

but also

love, joy and imagination.

Generations

– great grandfathers, grandfathers, fathers, sons –

– great grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, daughters –

(and greater still)

fashioned by the land…

hurters,

hurt,

healers.

Her story

– my story, your story, their story –

a million voices in conflict and in unison.

Us

Listen, and the silence unfurls

And there is strength

She spews Grit

It’s in her DNA

She is resilient and she has made her people so.

Her destiny is freedom.

A dream,

a hope,

a prayer.

South Africa

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