Episodes in SWA

The early rains have already made their encounter with the fields,

leaving behind a trace of their intercourse

so they greet us with their wetness,

and we embrace their coolness.

but soon,

Etango glares and flares his glazing scotch at us

then we finally admit we have indeed

landed our feet in the desert

of the East.

It’s a small town

of coloured houses and mad huts-

cone-shaped structures of mud and dung,

hidden behind rustic fences

we’re welcomed first,

by appellations

of bleating cattle

A shadow emerges

from the cone hut, behind the rustic fence

a shadow of a woman adorned in intricate hairstyle-

red matted braids with cattle horns,

graced in her Erembe, of pure goat leather

her red skin gleams with butterfat and ochre mixture

Is that a necklace I see?

cone shells strung with iron and ostrich egg beads

Is that a bracelet I see?

coils of iron and plastic etched hair,

beauty of culture embroidered on the skin of a feminine gem

like the beauty of spring as it bursts out from the rocks,

diving gallantly into the depth of Zambezi

Mopare worms, mahangu, are your delicacies

red ochre, aromatic resin- your beauty’s hallmark

we have come, and gone far

with our episodes in South West Africa

a long episode

but to me,

a blink.


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