Welcome Reef Collage


I know the place.
By now I recognise its footsteps.
Red-blond grass
warm baked-bread smell
like living on the pelt
of an enormous cracking animal.

of vaporous eucalypt
with poppy and rose.
Kangaroo grass, poplar
patchy clover, granite rock.

Granite and grass
were here for black men.
I don’t know them except in feeling.
(The conqueror ponders events
after he’s bivouacked.)

When I feel displaced
I think of South Africans
having to go,
then black, scoured out of their own landscape.

I cry in a house.
It has a roof and rooms.
Each room inhabits itself.
Special pieces, stones, cups
postcards, earrings, unfixed love objects.
Shells, broken combs, beer bottles
spent seed husks, old envelopes.

Half a box of matches from Hong Kong.
Love letters, white bones
estranged wives (sad children)
the collage of life.

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