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Random Notes To My Son – Keorapetse Kgositsile


Beware, my son, words,

That carry the loudness,

Of blind desire also carry,

The slime of illusion,

Dripping like pus from the slave’s battered back,

E.g. they speak of black power whose eyes,

Will not threaten the quick whitening of their own intent,

What days will you inherit?

What shadows inhabit your silences?


I have aspired to expression, all these years,

Elegant past the most eloquent word,

But here now, our tongue dries into maggots

As we continue our slimy, death and grin,

Except today it is fashionable to scream,

Of pride and beauty as though it were not known that,

‘Slaves and dead people have no beauty’,



In me and around me confusion,

This pain was not from the past,

This pain was not because we had failed,

To understand:

This land is mine,

Confusion and borrowed fears, it was.

We stood like shrubs,

Shriveled on this piece of earth,

The ground parched and cracked,

Through the cracks my cry:


And what shapes,

In assent and ascent,

Must people the eye of newborn,

Determined desire know,

No frightened tear ever rolls on

To the elegance of fire,

I have fallen with all the names I am,

But the newborn eye,

Old as childbirth,

Must touch the day that,

Speaking my language, will say,

Today we move, we move ?

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