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Poems by Abbey Khambule

guns of daughters

she parades the free maidan,
sampling cadences of silence
beneath the falling vacuity;
she slew him cold with a serrate
stare, and foul lager spilled from
his throat like blood of a lamb;
tobacco in the air when she
walked out, off into the bitter
night; the raw burn clung to her
clothing, stifling dying residues
of sipho’s morning cologne and
that hugo boss for teenage girls.
often gasped with obstinacy, the
look bellowing with rage from
corners of her eyes, I’ll Kill You,
I’ll Kill You, I’ll Kill You, I’ll…
she had pledged herself
earnestly to the cause of a few
words; a thousand echoes, but
a myriad after his hand.


empty bottles

at home
we gather empty bottles
for a trade, we spare not

the local store pays
a sum expedient with profits
of the day,

protest and song
is inadmissible
from beggars,

every fortnight
we recycle emptiness
for a loaf of brown bread.


i know Nothing

pigs in a slaughter squeal a rendition
of dying horses, their cry is muffled by
marching snare drums; i wake to the
darkness crawling naked walls;
eskom has dismantled the light;

i sit in the dark, in the company of a
lightly stuffed blunt; watch as beautiful
clowns snigger like ghosts in a black
labyrinth of shacks; their words, small
as whispers of truth, clamber up the
anomalous void seeking the ear of a
beggar; they know something i do not:
something in the chapters of the day,
something rumoured to the wind, lost
to voices chancing the silence of the

i close my eyes, wonder if it is
another dream, another hand through
seams of my heart; i rub the sleep
off to find the two figures still joint like
lovers; i know Nothing; the incipient
light of dawn collapses upon me



two wooden patron saints mend t-spoon-tips like auspices of
a rustic lavatory; old stiff laced leather shoes part like a jealous
pair as he toddles in dragging prosthesis over the morning spill;
salutes the assembly in military trend, affirms his ego in the
house of drunken silhouettes; the fall of profanities wake a
naked child catnapping under the sun drooling a sweet taste
of the malus

day is measured by acrimonies of drunkards

black vinegar boils in a tin cup for the flies hovering a pot of
tripe; eyes water, nose burns. God bless our teeth cos mother
didn’ wash the damn thing

heat hangs heavy below mahogany tables and lost chairs; the
silver pot gasps and spits in gusts, drips over the whirl plate of
a paraffin stove like a dying waterfall; a rat titters in a corner,
cavorts around ideas of menace, darts in a gap as mother
walks in;

i cannot be here

jockey farts in the sun; barks and growls at his own inanity; a
goat disregards its frontier, prowls about the sere yard talking
rubbish; and he, the privileged one licks his balls clean and
then bites at a yellow apple

i sit in a creeping shadow, gaze out into the sky; the height of
the heavens whirls my eyes, there’s a lull falling gently from
above; seven feathers fly over, i watch as they peter out in the
distant horizon over by the gray blue mountains, there, where
peers surrendered their boyhood to the mountain tops

half asleep i hear the smell of thick brew accusing the air of
being too much of a moffie