Rethabile Masilo

‘if needs be, it is an ideal
for which I am prepared to die.’
~ntate mandela

before the naming rites,
even before we were free to be free
from terror in our ranks,
before prison or death
became our constitutional rights,
a cry echoed among the elements
to shake the tenements
inside heaven and inside hell;
flesh came into my shell,
resided in me, heavy and light
according to the moment— more

Lesotho fatše la bo-rra, I sing you/then and now
Each day I sing you/ from mountain to cave I truly
Sing you. Spring is dawning in the valley’s
Old venue for kingly things. Thirty-seven years my love,
Thirty-seven years, and promises-/- the gravestones of our
Heads are cool, too cool for upper rooms in top
Offices, where someone’s already polishing promises-/-

In my dream, hope like a mad river washes the low

Lands, clearing years away/ I more

The broken garden

The ash moon like a hole
siphoned all flowers
to adorn the other side.

Every plant of every seed
all gone for the sole
glory of hyper-powers;

gone forever is the star’s
confession, where we stood
in lineage a little while,

God’s hope, the life of soil,
the need that feeds my hours
in the night, muddied blood

let for gain. Look at the sons
of slavery among the saints!
© Rethabile Masilo