Friday, December 13, 2013

An ordinary blue Monday morning by Ronelda Kamfer

Note: This is my English translation of the wonderful and startling poem 'n gewone blou Maandagoggend by Ronelda S. Kamfer.

An ordinary blue Monday morning

it was an ordinary blue Monday morning
somewhere a mom was off to identify her child's body
i washed myself, brushed my teeth, and finished my science project
against the fridge was a note from mom
asking me please do not make the breyani too spicy tonight
my sis was searching for socks and by half seven i had the front door
and then i hid the key in the old place
at the house shop i bought two loose cigarettes
and slid them into my sock
on the corner of Wildflower and Rose Street
a girl was joking with her future murderers
in my head Dylan Thomas was screaming
do not go gentle into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light
in sex ed my heavily pregnant best friend started bleeding
outside on the street there were a couple of gunshots

by first break there was a corpse on School Street
a miscarriage in my class
a delay to the science project
and a woman running down the street shrieking
asking the Lord
"where was Joseph when Jesus was crucified!"

Monday, December 09, 2013

Bulela Madiba

here in my little place   suddenly 8 thousand miles      from home
the news came                  just half a sentence                  R.I.P.
always had that smile           even             ensconced in a fur hat
on a cold July               in stadium lights        what a happy night
waving at crowds       at us, can it be us now      waving goodbye
Bulela Madiba
                                            even my childhood is not the same
without your courage           casting light                     backwards
saving my innocence        from ignorance                      & shame   
Bulela Tata Madiba
for the years you spent away                  from your home in Qunu
& your happiest days               look         now we all come to you