Literary Yard

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‘Words of an African Child’ and other poems

By: The Muse

Photo by Dazzle Jam

Words of an African Child

I’ve wanted to
hold your hands while
the sun is closing its eyes
when that flower
in our backyard
is saying ‘hello’ for the first time.

(I wanted for you
to open your eyes
to see my soul)

do you not know
I am
formed not
from the sand that
made you?

(even the colour
of our skins-
not the same…)

my soul longs like
a plant starving for water
leaves wrapped in golden hues-
for you to
peel of that mask
which you show
me every day.

(is that too
much to grant
my whispering heart?)

I have turned
made of your parts.


To The Arms that Held Me

fingers coiling round
my neck
serpents slithering on my body
nails digging into
my roots to
uproot them from soil
iiving gashes,
rivers of scars
that colour my
backscape as red paint
flows from these openings…

these were the hands
that held me,
formed me
& mounted me.


Letter to My Son

I wish I had all the time in the world. It is sunset, and my eyes; soon shall set.
For you, the one whom I planted, remember my words which I showered you with when you were a sapling.

Know that who you are is limitless like the stars of the night, and like the warmth that the sun brings, you are needed in this world.

Always apply fertilizer to your roots. For if you do so, you will soar higher than the birds of the sky. Cover others with your branches, because it will save you from the axe.

The night is here, and I must go. As I turn into soil, remember you will too.


Lessons from my Father

my father taught me
how to wear masks
that hides the smile
he has
sucked out of my face.

he taught me
how to hide in
shadows he created
out if the fear
that lurks in my heart.

he shaped me
to become
a man whose
heart cannot
be melted by
a child’s tears.

my father taught me
how to wear masks
that hides the smile
he has
sucked out of my face.


To the previous generation…

Going to when my legs couldn’t stop running,
When the days stretched – like looking at the sky,
Our hands laced together, me and granny,
Ready to conquer and fly- like butterflies.

Her presence: a magnet which pulled delight
into my soul; for I was a shadow –
was a sorry sight when she brought her light:
She made me shine, a maiden made aglow.

Night fires which spoke of stories
in your voice; the whispers of melodies
that patted my bed; making memories,
Which carry scents of home- us two buddies.

My gran was both a storm and a flower,
If asked to choose, she will be my tower.

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