Dan Wylie is another making his first visit to our Poetry Weekend. A Professor AT Rhodes University, Dan has published widely on a range of subjects. He is particularly interested in the legendary Zulu leader, Shaka, and is considered a leading figure on the man. He is also interested in African literature, particularly Southern African, spirituality and poetry, and ecological issues in poetry. A published poet, we are delighted to welcome Dan to our little village!
SHALL I AT LEAST PUT MY LANDS IN ORDER?
Burrs in the coat of too much thinking, too much pain.
My bony hands have grown rigid with grasping the right.
What is morality if it is not safeguarded by the voracious?
What force would justice have were it not
clawed from the carapace of scorpions?
But unforeseen birdcalls are troubling this anaesthetic age.
Am I to be condemned for holding on to what little I have?
Am I to be overthrown by what I have so long sustained?
Who commands the city that has swarmed up beneath me?
What conspiracies burble in those terracotta cells?
I am certain now of nothing but the persistence of stupidity.
This is the gift of the tall view.
We are drying out in the thin winter sun;
the dry ratchet of the barbet
winds down to some obscure apocalypse.
This is what history is: a throne
from which one cannot descend.
I send my bark echoing amongst the mopanes,
again, and again.
I will entertain no regrets.