Comment on this
and Ancestral Voices
by Chris Ingham
A single tree stands white, stark white
Against the dark African plain,
The blood soaked plain of Empires lost.
Leaves, red against the blood red sun,
Siphon the dead's lifeblood through roots
Shallow, clinging to the surface
Of dusty rock; ancient, malign,
Xhosa blood. Zulu blood. Boer blood.
English blood. Forever blended
In leaves which rattle like sere bones
In the dry, dusty winds of change.
But the earth turns; it always turns.
The rains will come to cleanse the earth
Of ancient grudges and vanquished dreams.
The leaves will siphon life at last
Through roots now deeply embedded
In the benign African heart.
"The past is a foreign country: they do things
differently there." L.P. Hartley.
Driving home against the glare of rainstreaked
Headlights. Radio talk incessantly
There to keep me from drifting into sleep.
I listen, trying not to hear voices
Of a lost generation constantly
Seeking the genealogists advice
On how to hear ancestral voices lost
In mythological longing for belonging.
Displaced, misplaced, clinging to the edges
Of continents dark, they seek concrete links
To a true past, familiar not foreign.
But they fool themselves. Ancestral voices
Speak only in our imagination.
in Motion] [Store]