Two Poems by Dennis Webster

Now I wash my Underwear by Hand

When you first came to
my home I still called you by half your name.
Your father’s half.
You were as lovely as graphite on paper or
the bend of a heron, or of
an egret.
And, egret, this home has so many new places.
Now
and then
they throw up your hair, which is still
here. Sacred and profane,
I am turned to a high priest, all
ritual and ceremony.
And look! You have turned me, hands still
warm amongst soapy dishes, to
the thievery of poetry.
I am giving you back. I give you back.
You will find me, the way the bus
finds me waiting.

Morning Run in a Pandemic

I was born dying.
The umbilical chord wrapped twice
about my neck.
My face the colour of a plum.
On a morning run in the pandemic
my lungs heave again, like
those first, desperate minutes.

A tall and a short friend turn the corner.
Here, a single file family, there
a family abreast.
Strange they interest me more
now they are masked. As if
I knew all of their stories before this.

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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