Poem introduction

In 2004 when South Africa celebrated ten years of democracy I was painfully aware of the reflections that were filled with extreme negativity, particularly in the media. I then decided to write, just for me, what I valued most about our democracy. And seeing as summer is my favourite season I chose to call the poem 'Summer'.

Summer

This is the summer of things we can touch.

Snaking queues that lead from farther than eyes can see
to terminate at a ballot box, is summer.

It is a summer of black children in busses and combis,
and on avenues, paths, roads and streets,
numerous like ants, going to school.  

A summer of colourful houses along major highways 
and a summer of women in high places, making meaning.

It is a summer of songs composed in blood,
tuned with guns and arranged in conversations.
It is a summer of songs I sing in swelling volumes. 

This, is the summer of things we can touch.

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2My Book

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3Waking Up

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4This Dance

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5Locked

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6Find Me A Fan

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7Send Me A Sign

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8Words

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9Tongues of Their Mothers

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10My Name is Gentle Fingers

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11Who will wash my feet?

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12Dignity Spills

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13March 2006

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14And the game plays on

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15The speed of life

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16Brakpan 2002

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17Summer

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19To my librarian

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19The Brown Pelican

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20Speaking of hearts

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21Her body has not been found

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22He said, she said, we said

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23Sorting

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24Wishing

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25Come

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26Handle with care

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27these hands

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28X-Himself and Song

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