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Tag Archives comrades

A PUBLIC MAN

i.m. David Robinson

 

At the celebration of his life –

in an erstwhile garrison church now

educational centre – there was music,

applause, laughter, sadness, his cardboard coffin

with red roses and his panama hat.

And it was as if he were there – as he was,

for sure, in the gathered memories

of the many present and the many,

in absentia, who had written.

The order of service commanded

‘All Sing The Red Flag’,

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A PUBLIC MAN

i.m. David Robinson

At the celebration of his life –
in an erstwhile garrison church now
educational centre – there was music,
applause, laughter, sadness, his cardboard coffin
with red roses and his panama hat.
And it was as if he were there – as he was,
for sure, in the gathered memories
of the many present and the many,
in absentia, who had written.
The order of service commanded
‘All Sing The Red Flag’, and printed the words –
and most did, not just the comrades like us
who savoured and relished his serious joke.

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ROBBEN ISLAND


His cell, of course; breaking stones in the yard;

his endurance; his spirit; and his comrades’;

some warders and prisoners living there still,

in harmony, in freedom…

 

and these images:

 

the birds, teeming – African Penguins,

Crowned Cormorants, Cattle Egrets, Sacred Ibis;

 

part of the concrete wall of a cell block

made into a door on rails – ingenious, pointless;

 

Cape Town  and Table Mountain gilded in the soft,

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VIRTUTIS FORTUNA COMES

Stepping Stones, Kettlewell © Sylvia Selzer 2007

 

Lasting longer than the Thirty Years War,

than half our biblical shelf life, this marriage

has grown like coral – drops of the slain

Medusa’s blood – become, like Corallium

Nobile, a charm against fits, poison,

sorcery, whirlwind, lightning, fire, shipwreck!

From Norway’s fjords to the Cape Verde isles,

the Niger’s delta to the Orinoco’s,

reefs build, decline: the slow massing of

defunct algae,

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VIRTUTIS FORTUNA COMES

Stepping Stones, Kettlewell © SCES 2007


Lasting longer than the Thirty Years War,

than half our biblical shelf life, this marriage

has grown like coral – drops of the slain

Medusa’s blood – become, like Corallium

Nobile, a charm against fits, poison,

sorcery, whirlwind, lightning, fire, shipwreck!


From Norway’s fjords to the Cape Verde isles,

the Niger’s delta to the Orinoco’s,

reefs build, decline: the slow massing of

defunct algae,

share