Category Archives: 4Pheli

Behind the Blurred Mountain


He has brought the bakkie to a halt out of the busy road. They were at a T junction that led southerly to Laudium and westerly to MotseMogolo. He had used the busy road from the easterly to this point. Behind them Iscor’s lights shimmered and about them a chorus of crickets wailed monotonously suspending the silence that embraced them.

All were silent now except for the wailing insects and the passing cars to Pretoria and back from Pretoria either to Motshemogolo or Laudium. Silent as if digesting what he had just said. The street lights illuminated their bleak faces, if you were fortunate enough to be part of this entourage you would have seen that none of the boys was beyond eighteen.

Ek sal jou dood maak jong you say the money is not enough. You do not have a right to tell me how much I should pay you. Zeke (he has come to call him that) you think you are a Mr. know it all heh, voetsek man!’ said the Indian man in the bakkie and all the boys sprang back in fear even though he was directing his swearing to Zakhele not to all of them. They knew he had a gun and this made them uneasy.

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Passage 2

Episode 2

The tire fires stories and theatre of pranks and the unfathomable jokes became our sopies, mediums from which we could draw information and laughter and ponder what lay ahead in life, what the world offered and what it didn’t.

And as the preteen years crept upon us the older boys spun out of sync with us and moved on as their persons was absorbed by adulthood. They appeared dressed well and surprisingly courteous. They got together permanently with their sqeeze, their girlfriends or chucked them off for new nonos. On some odd day we saw at their homes a tent and witnessed a lot of signing loudly and outright merriment if we were invited into the white big tent. They had grown away from us.

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Passage 1

Part 1

Phelindaba is where I grew up. Things have changed in that Township. When I was growing up, children played outside in the dusty streets. The boys pushed bricks pretending that they were toys – Putco Buses, Jeeps and Porsches. They reserved their most priced praised toys to their solitude play or with best friends. Presently I an’t speak for the dolls. And when it rained, the rain frustrated us the little ones. Great was our happiness when it subsided. We would trot outside, each taking a lungful of the light breeze that the rain always leaves behind when it has drizzled or showered, and wobbled onward to our tiny childish gatherings. Out of mud the boys fashioned figurines or build tiny houses. And when a chance presented itself we played house with the girls. Playing house, as wives or sisters or children, the girls baked cakes, pies and breads out of mud. And us boys became children, brothers and husbands. Fixed cars, cut the lawn and smoke smokeless cigarettes.

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when I first beheld you esse’ I was a loxion native

searching for beads through your tributaries

to decorate my mahogany-ness

the shackles of apartness had fell

You were far ahead with people of all hues caressing your anatomy

they have converged within your bosom O’ isle of sunny’ O side


u r indwellers gesticulations & apparel shimmer

at midday saturday  to saturday

and their varied voices & tongues buzz like swarming bees

hallowing u r uniqueness.


asserted those wealthy with sensibilities &

jovial temperaments

& by this knitting neatly your busy veins

jeppe hamilton troye and celliers and leyds bourke

consorted they are by your heart muscle mall sunnypark

within the confines of which the famous shoe shop

for the phelendabens & mamelodians, sosha’s, gara-gara’s & the everyoneans

is nestled

where clothing, music, jewelry and convenient stores gasp & gag & gape

with the in-go-flow and out-go-flow of your pips after you have relished the juices thereof

while the transmitting four wheel machines whoosh and screech  ‘round the muscle

the heart muscle

while jeppe crosses your breast bone en route to the movie joint

& the scent of travera market, mag at the corner jep’

kwazi’s opposite pharmavelue not so far from ok

like that of the laboring stomach preceeded by intestines workings

transmutate thoughts to the shadow that reflects the status quo

of our metropolis.

oh esse

within my recollections you are embossed

& i rejoice in you potential – full stop.