Reading a poem by Lucas Zulu

The poem was read aloud outside Ajmer Store in Woodstock. It started to rain hard and the drops fell like diamonds from the sky, splashing against the printed words, splashing against the spoken words, and then shining with them, making the storm a luminous thing. A vagrant, sheltering in an alcove across the road, called out something jovial despite the cold, while the diamonds carried on falling, hard against the pavement, forming a river of light.

Poetry! It should be everywhere! On banners and on the sides of taxis! It should come free with bread and milk!


A letter to Njabulo
Lucas Zulu

Dear my adorable companion,
When you pay me a visit, unlike everyone else
You don’t ring me a bell, or knock at my door
Surprisingly, like a butterfly darting over dainty flowers
For the time being you land over my shoulder.

Your presence is like Christmas in December
You shower me with largesse money can’t buy
My heart tickles, I can’t reserve a smile or laughter
All that turmoils me soon melts like frost on the grass
My eyes are flooding joyously with your tears.

It pains me when you desert me
You don’t even wave hand goodbye
You simply vanish like smoke rising into the sky
You leave me with your unforgettable sweet memories
Quietly, moan and groan for your presence.

When are you coming back home dear friend
Well I can’t tell, predict or guess …


Lucas Zulu is one of the149 poets included in the anthology Africa! My Africa! He is a South African poet whose works have appeared in numerous anthologies including New Coin.

To purchase a copy of Africa! My Africa! please email African Sun Press


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