POEM: Defiance

BY MATTHEW HARDY

I saw three black men in white
overalls painting a wall new yellow.
They had helmets on – building the immortal
kingdom is dangerous. Yet there they were
standing wryly on the roof, somehow still
awry and aloof. Somehow distinct and separate.
Somehow other and apart. Somehow resisting
a monstrous comprehension, lost and unaccounted for
by the vastness of a thing that, from the bottom,
looks burnt grey and in need of some paint
to help us believe in our evil again.

POEM: Moving into another life

BY MAAKOMELE R. MANAKA

Internet down
Computer crash
Not enough cash
Cellphone screen smashed
No calls
Alone but never lonely,
stationed walls surround me.
Everything out of tune
Still no confirmation
of my lodging
Brain-freeze!
quick airtime fix,
Phone call overdose.
Finally a home finds me
No food,
No beer,
No fridge
Just a breeze
Not yet settled
in settler city
No music, no dreams
Silence knows how to love
Long distances
Crutches on my legs
I’m Johnny the walker.
No funds
No bread
No smile
No all-access card
Shit!
Student life is hard

POEM: Industry International, Lower Illovo

BY JONATHAN HALL

Through the sugar cane
Past the rehab facility
Next to the distillery
Scene of last night’s revelry
Is an unused factory typical
South Coast scenery

Old machine parts lie quilted
In a post-industrial deconstruction
Drives, motors, pumps
Each in their ordered place

We’re looking for a flow meter, Endress and Hauser
(We have charged liquids to measure.)
I’m told it resembles something you’d expect to see on Deepsea Challenger

Dad is on the mezzanine when I spot it
I peer down to decipher its type
German cognates
Time stagnates
Afrikaans pop permeates
stop, wag, bly nog ‘n bietjie
in the unit next to this one they’re rebuilding motorbikes.

And it’s strange that I’m here on Wednesday afternoon
silently, respectfully peering at dismembered machinery
Imagining what this could have been
Amid the disused pumps, motors and drives, powerless, hoping