Three poems by Allan Kolski Horwitz

Bringing Forth

Eve was there
She had no need for another
She was full breasted

And she lay in the garden
And seeded herself
And her milk made her happy
Eve after Eve after Eve

But when the moon was full and red
A warring rod and whirling light
Disturbed her womb
Till a hard-muscled child pushed out

And so Eve made Adam
Made herself and unmade herself
Made a man to stand
Beside and against her

It is never quiet in the garden
There is always vibration
And still Eve lies alone
Bringing forth Adam after Adam after Adam

Knock- knock

Can you see him?
The trees are close
Stop talking
Time to stop talking
Look up
To the woodpecker


To the thut-thut
With that woodpecker’s

Stop talking!
To the thut-thut

no one is safe

+++++++++++++GANG BULLET CASH
+++++++++++++++++++++++that’s the one t-shirt
++++++++++Freedom Dignity

in the street

young boys play soccer with a rolled up raincoat
wait for passing cars to get out the way

older majitas slouch by the spaza shop
+++++++three toothless women on the stairs
+++++++let them suck the baby’s milk
++++and there is music
+++++++relentless beat
there is always music coming from the shebeen
+++++++in the garage in Phuza Mansions
where an old man shuffles by with his empties

++++he’s afraid of the girls at the corner
++++you know those three in the basement of Cinnamon Court
he buys them airtime if they’ll visit

across the road from the hair salon
the abandoned building where the homeless
make use of the ceiling
+++++++++++++lights up every night

the flicker of these fires
fires the imagination
++++++++++++++++OVER THE WALLS

the old man shuffles
++sees rats tails on the kitchen tiles

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++inside the mayoral office the mayor
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++repeats reports about urban decay
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++the media broadcast his policy:
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++no surrender to the mafias
+++++++++++++++++++++++foreigners ARE responsible

the boys playing soccer do not see the official sedan

+++++++++++++++++++the man behind the wheel
++++++++++++++++++++++++++steers it away from the scene

+++++lucky the media were asleep in their hammocks
lucky there is no one to video the panties on the car seat
+++++++++++++++++++the mayor’s open bottle of heavenly spirits

+++++the youngest boy’s in the gutter
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++neck broken on impact
the oldest boy is crying
++++++++++++++++++++the ball has popped and the game exploded

now clouds shade the street

and as the weather turns
the old man shares his wisdom
+++++he is a guy who dreams

he confirms +++++++++no one is safe from the gang that comes over the walls
+++++++++no one is safe

but the biggest crooks are the white collar brigade
who sell you insurance

+++++++++++there’s no point trying
+++++++++++++++++to play safe
+++++++++++by living+++ in a safe

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Posted in Poetry
Myesha Jenkins – Tribute

Botsotso would like to pay homage to Myesha Jenkins, the poet and promoter of poetry who died on Saturday, 05 September 2020. Myesha was a founder member of Feelah Sistah, the all-woman poetry group that in its time made such an impact. Thereafter, she was indefatigable in organising and strengthening poetry platforms on radio and for live performance/readings. Myesha’s work was included in two Botsotso productions – the anthology Isis X and the recording Roots and Branches. Her spirit as a politically conscious, jazz-loving artist lives on and is well expressed in her seminal poem Autobiography which was included in both these projects.

Click here to read Autobiography, a poem by Myesha Jenkins.

A Call for Submissions: Johannesburg in Poetry