And there is anger
In that bronze patience
Tied to the murmur of his fingers.
Those speaking eyes,
Squatting on me,
Take up my helplessness
Against his communal gestures.
An apologetic fidget in the chair
Adjusts his hardness.

He is the son of the soil who roves
The outskirts of our jungle;
He is our brother who moves
With the sun so easily.

His eyes have strange fires.

Will there be a time,
For us, for me
Groping for a neutral gentleness
To reach him without burning,
To lift into laughter?

by Edwin Thumboo
from Gods Can Die (1977)


SELECTED POEMS: "May 1954" >