Voice of the Cape

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Itheko

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The poem below was an answer to a challenge by colleague Irfaan Abrahams. “Write a poem for the inaugural Cape Slave in Cape Town hosted by Itheko Athletics Club,” he said.

Sure.

Except I forgot that I gave up trying to write verse over 20 years ago, realising that my attempts at poetry were usually pathetic.

The call is itheko, itheko

As far the eye can see

Amongst the clouds
I am infinity

I’m a sparrow hawk in a thermal
Gliding over the spirit of a Muslim saint

I think of the China Sea in full-moon
A trade wind ruffles its silver reefs

Dreams of my forefathers
Imprisoned, exiled for their beliefs

Whipped on by the South-Easter
White horses parade in Table Bay

Servants only to the elements
As the gale drops, they ride away

I’m Robben Island
I’m its shore

I’m the kelp-filled Atlantic
I’m its swell-filled roar

I’m the Tana Baru
My bones call to prayer

From the dungeons of the Castle
To the Lodge in Adderley Street

I’m more than just a
Minstrel, dancing on my feet

Bought under a tree
I was never sold

As a person I was always worth
More than my master’s gold

From the Grand Parade
To the Company Gardens

Your chains have never chained
Your whips have never whipped

The call is itheko, itheko

“The Big Occasion”

As far the eye can see
Amongst the clouds

I am infinity


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Comments

comments

1 comment

  1. Please submit this poem for an anthology.Enjoyable and thought provoking.
    Who knows,it will probably be included in the Matric English syllabus in the not too distant future.

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