Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Bongwi the baboon...
A haunted soul put under ban,
A hunted beast that has to roam,
The voiceless image of a man
With neither speech nor home-
Upon the summit of the height,
Where only wind-swept lichens grow,
Bongwi, lit by the dawning-light,
Watches the plain below.
Fierce eyes, low brow, protruding mouth,
Short hands that twitch and twitch again,
The hairy gargoyle of the South-
A man without a brain;
Upon the highest krantz he waits
Dim-lit by golden streak of dawn,
Guarding the interests of his mates
Who wreck the fields of corn.
Far down the mealie-gardens lie,
And he, a patient sentinel,
Shouts, ‘Boor-hoom!’ to th’ offended sky
To show that all is well.
A white fish-eagle sails along,
His mighty pinions harping tunes,
Till dawn throbs with Aeolian song
And, far below, the brown baboons
Look up and note the paling East,
The fading moon, the stars that wane,
And, gorg’d, they quit their stolen feast
And seek the open veld again.
And Bongwi sees. But turns his view-
Brown-eyed – towards the breaking morn,
And gazes through the soundless blue,
The golden distance of the dawn.
(By Kingsley Fairbridge)