Portrait of Jozi By William Bowles

1 May 2014

Believe or not, I have been known to write poetry occasionally. Now I’m clueless when it comes to poetry, whatever rhythms I generate are entirely intuitive. Here’s one I wrote back in 2001 when I lived in Johannesburg that I’m kinda fond of. It really is how I reacted to my ten years there as I sat in my back yard overlooking the city of Johannesburg.

Portrait of Jozi By William Bowles

A searing, southern sun on top
Tin roofs, oven-ready
People galvanized
Sip beer, Pirates
Amakhozi talk
Unsteadily, turn over
Dust blows
Gold’s fine crap on taxi rank in Jozi

Mama starts
Long day’s journey
Skims bald along black satin
Extending, slip through
Ending, fading into
Rough-hewn, blending into
Whirlpools of paper, crap, spin
Unions of dust scatters diagonal marks on Jozi

Childrens’ chatter, play
Along dusty scars
Abandoned cars
Endless causeways
Meet the veldt
Brown folds
Burn around the edges
Fade to some
Forgotten, ancient time
Smoke, burn bright outlines
Snake eyes, cats eyes stare out of Jozi

Wrinkled, eyes squint
Memory haunts
Rocks remind us
Blind us
A land buried
Under Western signs
Gone mad
Clouds sear purple, pink
Sky fades, and folds itself over Jozi

2 thoughts on “Portrait of Jozi By William Bowles

    • InI says:

      I thank you. I’ll put a couple more up I think, from that time. Written sitting in my backyard in Troyeville, overlooking Kitchener and the stadium.


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