Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Allan Kolski Horwitz

Featured Poem:

Parys

Enlarge poem

Dan se ek, ek sal gaan
dan weet ek, ek sal gaan
dan roem ek, ek sal altyd gaan
as die Vaderland my roep

Without waiting for night’s pure purple cover
umbrella for licence
crimson brain
overheated behind fences
Meneer de Blank oils his gun
I drive in
past kafees garages
bare high gutters flowing with brown water
beside brick rectangles
spires where voices join with Meneer de Blank
to praise the Lord of Light
but my eyes have seen
motorist cruising where the road runs
by the grey river
long lines of Christians
whirling serrated wings against sunwashed blue
springkaan birds over the Bridge Motel
day dry windless
peeled trace of moon suspended
bowlegged beakwinged
cacophony of flocks
I coast by the grey river
watch children in scraps of pants
drop sticks into the water
then order hamburger and chips at the Wimpy
while the waitress with lemon perfume
says God’s White Hands
lifted a curtain from the world
and there
behind that film
He watches Meneer de Blank
throw umbrellas
the blown heads of his woman/his sons
till loving man of glass turns the gun
on himself
sticklegged in the trees
locust birds watch
children swing their fish
cauliflower butterflies shimmer scales
locust birds unblinking
before the bodies in the brick rectangle
Man whose wife had to be sent Elsewhere
Man whose kids had to die on their beds
Man who would go shopping for shoes in a tan safari suit

behind a curtain in room 999
at the Bridge Motel
I switch on a television
to watch his white hands
throw purple umbrellas
all over Parys
all over the blowout
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Biography

Allan Kolski Horwitz grew up in Cape Town. Between 1974 and 1985 he lived in the Middle East, Europe and North America, returning to live in Johannesburg in 1986. Since then he has worked in the trade union and social housing movements. He continues to be a writer in various genres as well as being an educator and activist. He is a member of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group and of the Botsotso Publishing editorial board.

His books of poetry are entitled Saving Water and There are Two Birds at My Window; in addition he has been published widely in various anthologies such as We Jive like This, Dirty Washing and Essential Things. His short fiction is contained in three collections: Un/common Ground, Out of the Wreckage and Meditations of a Non-White White. He has also written a children’s parable entitled Blue Wings and five plays, The Pump Room, Comrade Babble, Boykie and Girlie, Jerico and Book Marks.

Allan Kolski Horwitz

Biography

Allan Kolski Horwitz grew up in Cape Town. Between 1974 and 1985 he lived in the Middle East, Europe and North America, returning to live in Johannesburg in 1986. Since then he has worked in the trade union and social housing movements. He continues to be a writer in various genres as well as being an educator and activist. He is a member of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group and of the Botsotso Publishing editorial board.

His books of poetry are entitled Saving Water and There are Two Birds at My Window; in addition he has been published widely in various anthologies such as We Jive like This, Dirty Washing and Essential Things. His short fiction is contained in three collections: Un/common Ground, Out of the Wreckage and Meditations of a Non-White White. He has also written a children’s parable entitled Blue Wings and five plays, The Pump Room, Comrade Babble, Boykie and Girlie, Jerico and Book Marks.

Featured Poem:

Parys

Enlarge poem

Dan se ek, ek sal gaan
dan weet ek, ek sal gaan
dan roem ek, ek sal altyd gaan
as die Vaderland my roep

Without waiting for night’s pure purple cover
umbrella for licence
crimson brain
overheated behind fences
Meneer de Blank oils his gun
I drive in
past kafees garages
bare high gutters flowing with brown water
beside brick rectangles
spires where voices join with Meneer de Blank
to praise the Lord of Light
but my eyes have seen
motorist cruising where the road runs
by the grey river
long lines of Christians
whirling serrated wings against sunwashed blue
springkaan birds over the Bridge Motel
day dry windless
peeled trace of moon suspended
bowlegged beakwinged
cacophony of flocks
I coast by the grey river
watch children in scraps of pants
drop sticks into the water
then order hamburger and chips at the Wimpy
while the waitress with lemon perfume
says God’s White Hands
lifted a curtain from the world
and there
behind that film
He watches Meneer de Blank
throw umbrellas
the blown heads of his woman/his sons
till loving man of glass turns the gun
on himself
sticklegged in the trees
locust birds watch
children swing their fish
cauliflower butterflies shimmer scales
locust birds unblinking
before the bodies in the brick rectangle
Man whose wife had to be sent Elsewhere
Man whose kids had to die on their beds
Man who would go shopping for shoes in a tan safari suit

behind a curtain in room 999
at the Bridge Motel
I switch on a television
to watch his white hands
throw purple umbrellas
all over Parys
all over the blowout
6 people like this.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (2)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (0)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.