A Tribute to Hugh Masekela

silky sounds
shuffling and sliding
shape-shifting and slipping
snaking along the velvet air
this music raw and rare
tribute to a legend
the maestro, the one and the only
the Trumpet Lonely
Hugh Masekela
his spirit rebounding
his echo resounding:
bring back Nelson Mandela
back Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

and tonight
under the pulsing light
he’s poised like a cobra
swaying before striking
moving from the shadows
grooving in the echoes
as the music tip-toes
on and on and on it goes
before tripping and flipping
and beat-stripping into
foot tap-tap-tapping and
knee slap-slapping and
hand clapping
music in motion
momentum mounting
swirling eddies in a stream
stoked coals glowing
perspiration showing
steadily building up steam
like a locomotive
a-hissing and a-huffing
and a-plodding and a-puffing
and a chugging and a-chuffing
stimela! a-hamba!

go train go!
go slow, go steady
gather up steam, get ready
for the steep mountain climb
the syncopated time
the synchronised rhythm of rhyme
overlaid and understated
overplayed and underrated
the song talk
the long walk to freedom
we won’t forget
we’ll never regret
the way we won
the day the sun
came shining
the people lining
the suburbs and the streets
the colours and the beats
no we won’t forget
the day the sun
came shining
the sun, the day
the way we came
as one

Wayne Visser © 2017


Life in Transit: Favourite Travel & Tribute Poems

This creative collection, now in its 2nd edition, brings together travel and tribute poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology pays tribute to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, Antoni Gaudí & Leonardo da Vinci, and reflects on travels ranging from China and South Africa to Ecuador and Russia. Life is lived in the in-between / In transit / Between coming and going / Between staying and moving on / Between here and there / And what we call home / What we call settled or contented / Is merely a resting place / A station for refuelling / A nexus for reconnecting / A junction for changing direction. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.