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Tag Archives Blacks

THE MUSEUMS

For Sizwe Vilakazi

 

ROBBEN ISLAND, CAPE TOWN

 

Except when the Atlantic fog surprises,

from high ground in the city the island

is present like a leviathan,

its lights at night like white phosphorous,

a place of banishment since the first ships,

among seals and penguins.

 

DISTRICT SIX, CAPE TOWN

 

Razing its streets, clearing this cosmopolis

of Asians, atheists,

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RIVERS OF BLOOD

I think of a freckly, fair haired lad

of fifteen, an Irish Traveller –

from that nomadic, hard grafting culture

spawned by the Great Famine. As he ran

from danger across a playing field

he tripped and was killed by two youths, fellow

Catholics with Irish surnames, one of whom

allegedly said, as he stamped with both feet

on the boy’s head, ‘He’s only a fucking

Gypsy.’ The judge did not consider the crime

racist. (Possibly the manifold

ironies had leached into his judgement

and atrophied it).

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