On Reading of the Hanging of a
Dissident Black Poet in South Africa
FromWatercolor Painting of a Bamboo Rake -- Brooding Heron Press, 1994
Here on the Bohai sands waves curl into their green sounds. Benjamin Moloise was hanged today in Pretoria. Where the sun burns the water Chinese fishermen fling their nets. Their boats bob like corks. Beyond boats and nets, my country floats, a dream of far away blue. Benjamin Moloise was hanged today. In blue padded jackets, a crowd of locals comes to stare from a pier at the weird Americans in their shorts and bikinis, leaping in and out of foam. That old woman with pruny skin has never seen a blond boy, never heard an American boy shriek and splash in the chilly sea we love. Benjamin Moloise will never stroll this blond shore. Beyond men and their nets floats an island where no one is ever hanged. On the far end of the beach, a young woman sits before her easel. She paints aspens, waves, wind, boats bobbing like corks, a dream of far away blue. Today in Pretoria they hanged the poet Benjamin Moloise.