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Two Poems


Lesego Rampolokeng

Art by Amir R. Hariri


There's a Sermon in My Snout

they are weeping their eyes out of socket.
they are raining busts/statues to suffering.
but these are shadows monkeying matter.
battle-ground mentalities

electric power to the people.
let’s be specific in the season of hell’s flaming dark.

the land sprawls belly to the inverted sky but where’s the earth?
now vultures are life symbols beaks of doves drip red.
existence is theory in a social science text-book

it’s demons that know good like night sunlight
the serote poet said it of dreams and nightmares

preacher sees honey & milk in diarrhea
they collect the waste in a bowl & use it for baptism
come down moses touch soil
i want to see the wages of my toil

we stuff maggots in the mouths of babies
it’s the corpses breast-fed the knowledge of the age

condolences & the glitter of a dead eye are the same
to the widow & orphan on a mat full of grief
& the cum of alms in the tearfilled palm

worms sit at the mouth of the birth canal
the church is doling out salvation in skeletons
there’s a breaking of waters where hell rages pregnant with hope
for the birth inside the tomb likewise the death in a womb


What's Sacred in a Dead Land

on the edge of death birth is sacrilege
in the desecration age
those born in glass cages
learn to be afraid of cutting edges
like the artist crafting himself prostrate
in his own portrait
but what’s sacred in a dead land
the question of children caught in a flood
of pus & blood left unanswered
but profane prayers for peace
spill/spew from lips of merchants of violence
it’s all clean & innocence
for the hangman the assassin
& the war-lords’ poet is full of praise
awards are doled out to the putrid
but the hand of the medicine-man
is dripping & ridden with disease
& christian soldiers stand
at the ease of rigor mortis
before their crucifix of complacence
what is undying is the tongue oiled
on the judas decadence ride
climbing another rung
on the bloated-belly side
to the heaven of homicide
& life is an impurity
strife dispensed with such impunity
even lucifer can’t decipher
these codes of inverted morality
body counts are stock-taking exercise
in the industry of murder
the minion of economics
is fed fat on carrion knives & forks in corpses
are a dissection of stocks & shares
yes predators wield the scales
of the commerce of justice
the sword of command & demand
a state of infinite mortality
what’s sacred in a dead land