07-12-17

Tatamkhulu Afrika, Dirk Stermann, Johann Nestroy, Joyce Cary, Gabriel Marcel, Willa Cather, Noam Chomsky, Friedrich Schlögl, Samuel Gottlieb Bürde

 

De Zuid-Afrikaanse dichter en schrijver Tatamkhulu Afrika werd geboren op 7 december 1920 in Egypte. Zie ook alle tags voor Tatamkhulu Afrika op dit blog.

 

The Beggar

When I passed
the bus-stop, his black
as biltong hand
thrust out,
demanding alms.
Beneath the grime,
he was a yellow man,
and small,
and crumpled as a towel,
eyes receding into bone,
shivering, too thin frame
denying the truculence of the hand.
'No,' I said.
and walked on,
annoyed that I was annoyed,
swatting off shame
all the way into town.
Coming back,
the day-long drizzle stopped
and a suddenly clear
sky sang
of summer round the bend,
white sails in the Bay,
birds grown garrulous again.
I looked for him.
He was lying on his back in the sun,
eyes closed,
stretched out as long as a spill,
hardly distinguishable
from any of the other
drifts of the debris in the lane.
'Drunk again,' I thought
and paused, then pressed
my penance into his palm.
Quick as a trap,
his fingers lashed
over it: suprised
sober eyes blessed
me for being kind.
Then he slept again,
fist wrapped, tight,
about the bribe my guilt refused
limbs thrown wide
as though a car had flung him there
and left him to a healing of the sun.

 

 
Tatamkhulu Afrika (7 december 1920 – 23 december 2002)
Cover

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