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Poets Printery

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A Hudson View

hudson-1.jpgThe International Print Poetry Journal, ‘A Hudson View’ Spring 2008 edition is out. It has the poetry of Kobus Moolman, John Ballam, Gonapragasen Kathan Naicker, Stanley Kenani, Freddy Frankel and a host of other international poets.

I present this beautiful poem of Kobus Moolman who is one of the main representative voices of Contemporary South African Poetry.

The slow soft glow of evening
settles unnoticed on cardboard trees,
the backdrop of a hill-side, still,
brown and pocked with rocks but slowly
fading to a featureless block.

Bats and swallows weave in between
the shadows and the shapes of things
resolutely holding onto their separate spaces.
We sip slowly and stare, our drinks
growing warmer while the dusk changes
place with day. I am silent.
You are planning expeditions: maps and diagrams.
The soft glow of evening settles unnoticed,
unremarkable upon our individual worlds:
my hands, your lips, our eyes, our eyes
dimming into the blackness.

Kobus Moolman

Freddy Frankel is a retired psychiatrist in the United States. He belongs to Johannesburg.

The driver asks about my accent—I admit
South African. Raw apartheid backs up
in my memory pool, I see it with eyes
numbed by shame—Benoni, my home-town,
was walled-in white, the only blacks
were servants or delivery boys on bikes.
Here’s this bare-armed man behind the wheel,
stolid as a tribal chief—
when I was ten I stormed from the table, sure
the pepper-grounds in my soup were flecks
from the skin on the cook-boy’s arm.
I look back in disbelief—the madness
was contagious and went on for years.
The laws required me when grown
to notify the police if
Makson’s girl friend from the township
slept in my back-yard. I never did.
The day his daughter died, he sat immobile
in my car like a bas relief in bronze
as I drove him to the train.
The station agent didn’t have a ticket for him
at the Whites Only counter—
the platform for Non Whites was out of bounds
to me.

Gwalior 7
It was a night that had been sliding
On railway lines
Familiar sounds of caution
Rushing before a surrender
A wind telling an old tale
Of a ruthless sky that has now grown old
Small lights peep from the train
There is nobody to stop us
Only a sand billowing in eyes
Pained by constant watch
It doesn’t matter only if
I can remember
The colour of hurts
Breastshadows of a runaway kite
Your smile
That resisted
So long.

Amitabh Mitra

Hudson View is now archived in the National English Literary Museum
( N.E.L.M. ), Grahamstown. The Details are on Hudson View website:

and at the Editor, Amitabh Mitra’s web site

I appeal to fellow poets and writers to subscribe to ‘A Hudson View’. The journal is priced at R260 annually for 4 issues including postal charges.
It is necessary for all of us to help in keeping the journal afloat.
Payments can be made in cheque payable to me or by electronic transfer to my account -

Acc. No.62010911388
Code 210121
Amitabh Mitra – Editor

‘A Hudson View’ represents the voice of the South African Poet. ‘A Hudson View’ represents you.


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