POEM: SING SIBONGILE

sibongile-k

Sing Sibongile
sing for someone forlorn and homeless
supping sorrow from
the big spoon of wild winds
somewhere in the meadow
in the veld of promises aplenty
sing for someone whose eyes face east
of the indigo sky
praying and hoping
to make it somehow someday

Sing blackbird
healer of the solitude
nightingale of the walking wounded
noble daughter of the soil
soar and sing
ma mngoma
like the skylark sister birds
cooing
twittering
dove tailing
yearning for lasting peace
in the twilight shadow of the valley
of a thousand hills

Jazz it up with sojourner truth
mama ella
princess magogo
ka dinizulu
sarah vaughan
beyond the middle passage
yonder at the congo square
and back again on the mother land
from where we are all borne
our folk songs
our ancient evenings
in the pain of a dim memory
of the silhouetted matsiks manaka
bull horn of performed poetry music
immortal but secret

Sing my suster
sing my ma se kind
the home baked lullabies of old
softly like the beat of rain
the heart pulsating as ever green
here and now
twinkling toes dancing on the stoep
only as we know how

Sing Sibongile
sing sister
love birds are mating
the ripening soil is cracking all smiles
booted soldiers are trekking back home
bloom is about to burst forth
thanks g-d
harvest is happening
the toddlers have said it too
sing my sister
sing

Jaki Seroke
Photo credit: http://www.notedman.com

  • Jaki Seroke

    Thank you for publishing my poem on Heritage Day. The IFP insisted that their celebration of King Shaka should be accommodated into the calendar of ‘a new South Africa’ and the concession resulted in accepting it as a cultural day. For me, Sibongile Khumalo, scion of Prof Khabi Mngoma (who led the Ionian Society of the Arts with Es’kia Mphahlele and Zephania Mothopeng in Orlando, Soweto, in the 1950s), is among the best talents in higher art forms that Africa has nurtured and sustained. We must proudly celebrate and enjoy her music. My surname is Seroke not ‘stroke’.