The poem was read aloud without competing with the sound of traffic, but rather letting the city noise give a sort of background hum. A Bergie stopped to listen. ‘That is lekker, Mevrou!’ he said. A very light wind rippled the leaves of the creeper growing against the bridge.
“Poetry is good for all sorts of dispositions and indispositions. It is especially good for people in power, for it draws attention to truth and simplicity.”
Your hands among the dark leaves
Move like doves in a pine forest,
Exploring the branches,
Circling the yellow fruit.
There is sun on your voice,
Sun on the blazing piles
Of ripeness at your feet.
And I, trenching water,
Watch, and think of evening,
That quiet time when the stoep faces
Pale darkness; when I shall come,
Under the cool tree of stars,
And taste upon your open lips
A fruit more potent than the sweet harvest.
Francis Duncan Sinclair (1921-1974) is one of 149 poets included in the anthology Africa! My Africa! He was born in Inverness, Scotland. He lectured English at the University of South Africa.