SGH (4/10/35 / Edinburgh, Scotland)

Matlapanen

Makoros glide swift
On the Thamalakane,
The fishing boys
Cast lines again,
Where the bream lie deep
In the peat brown pool,
By the old bridge
At Matlapanen.

Under gum poles span
Smooth water slides free,
And strong circling eddies snatch
The gnarled trunk
Of a long dead tree,
Past stooped women
Gathering thatch.

The river mist coils
In the searing dawn,
Writhing, ethereal fingers
Dew diamond bright,
The light strikes strong
From arched islands,
Black stones and timbers.

There bulks the wild fig
Thick rooted and high,
Where the night rustling
Fruit bat feeds,
Where the hippo’s bark
Echoes to the darkling sky,
While a thousand moons
Dance in the reeds.

Through Delta to Dau,
Throbs river pulse beat,
Flooding bank and
Wild forest root,
Languorous cattle now
Graze belly deep,
Where dust once
Scuffed underfoot.

East down Boteti
By silent Matopi,
South on Nghabe
Past Toteng,
The dream that returns
Is the Thamalakane,
By the old bridge
At Matlepanen.

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