Gathering the Past

A Tribute to the Khoi-Khoi of South Africa

I. Spectre Song

Recall the ghosts
Of GuriQua
Who walked the coasts
Of Helena

Recall the day
Of CochoQua
Who found the bay
Of Saldanha

Recall the place
Of Khoi-Khoi past
With faded face
In shadows cast

Recall the name
Of Adam Kok
And what remains
Of Baster stock

Recall the sound
Of clicking tongue
Whose notes abound
In songs still sung

II. Rich Harvest

Tamer of beasts
Patron of feasts
Guardian of earth
Giver of birth

Tender of sheep
Sower who reaps
Herder of cattle
Farmer who battles

Wearer of thongs
Dancer of songs
Tribes who find-seek
Clans who click-speak

Hunter of roots
Bearer of fruits
Master of whale-traps
Reader of wind-maps

People of chiefs
Reaper of sheafs
Makers of law
Harvest no more

III. Melting Pot

From dry salt lakes
To southwest sands
Their dust-path snakes
Through time-baked lands

They were the first
Pastoralists found
With seed dispersed
On nurturing ground

Left in their wake
Cape beaches are strewn
With clay-moulded shapes
And tools from iron hewn

Cut with the scythe
Of settlers’ disease
Fate’s bitter tithe
Still haunts the sea-breeze

Those who survive
Reconcile their lot
To mix and thrive
In the melting pot

Wayne Visser © 2017

Book

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

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