My Long Lost Broken Father by Phumelelokuhle Ngidi

Phumelelokuhle Ngidi | September 18th, 2017 | poetry | 1 Comment

Father, where are you?
For a million years I’ve searched for you
Sought in hovering scent of uneven jazz and grotesque blues
Plunged into mother’s purple heart to seek what’s left of you
Found scotching gobs, horrid hues and oblique puddles reflecting,
You following a head of headless men into the hollow earth
Shambling, ankles tied with flaming girth
Museums of decrepitness advancing like a chain of ants.
Father, where are you heading?
Leaving mother with towering burdens
But mother is strong; you should see her when she sings her enchanting songs
Throngs of thistles gather around her to establish a bond
A woman made of golden dust, fond of the translucent rays of the sun
One exalted by the waters and stretched skin of drums
One who breathed dance into the winds, a glory unsung
Daytime, she clutches on burning incense to swallow the vapour with her lungs
Her eyes closed, her neck ascends to the cosmos
Hands flimsy as smoke, exuding waves – shuddering pine cones

Where children play

Night, in her dreams she bends your pathways and embroids them kisses,

For you to return home.

Kodwa wena baba,

Uyinja, edla ezinyaweni zomlungu

Ekuseni masivuswa yinkukhu,

Usishiya nezinhliziyo ezibhodla ubuhlungu

Ugcwal’ilokishi, usaphazek’okwemvuthu

How far have you stretched yourself away from yourself?

Whose footsteps am I to follow when yours stray me away from self?

Your charred six-legged demons visit me

Making me sing songs that curl my tongue down my throat

At night, I choke

During the day, I choke

In fright, I choke

Where angels lay, I choke

Father, I need you

Take my hand; tell me my palms compliment the grains of sand,

Bluets and lilies, cotton of snow, coiling vines, and the Pleiades.

My son,

I’m a broken man,

All life has seeped through these cracks caused by these pale men

from the frozen land

Bury the memory of me next to weeping willow trees,

And write beautiful poetry of how your mother raised a king.

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