Housing Targets

Somewhere in our past
we believed in the future

that a better world
would discover foundation
under our feet, and we
would forever be singing,
in its kitchen.

Bricks pile up in a field.
Whether they will be enough
no one knows. How
they fit together
is anybody’s guess.

Men with darkening skins
scribbled on by weather
wait for their instructions.

From time to time
limousines miraculously appear:
there is always a somebody
in a suit willing to smile
and shake their hands

who lays the first stone.

Then the camera lights
and racing engines
turn around, shrink back
from where they came.

Those left behind
stare at their own hands
afterwards, puzzled
at precisely what
has been transacted, why
they are still being offered
bonds

squint
between gnarled fingers
pace out the hopeful distances:
– there will be a flower bowl.
– my bed is going here.

As for now the doorknobs
have no doors.

Their windows peer out
at no sky.


from Love That Is Night (Gecko Poetry, 1998), © Kelwyn Sole 1998, used by permission of the author

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Kelwyn Sole

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1Letter to an artist

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2Poem from Botswana

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3Whales

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4Mankunku

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5Woman, trespassing in a garden

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6Reconciliation

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7Poem in black and white

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8Housing targets

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9The burning

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10Haghia Sophia

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11Dancing

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12Akkedisbergpas

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13Your smile is a sudden bird

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14Highveld

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16He had to come in

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17Domestic

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18Seafront

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22I want what comes after

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Books by Kelwyn Sole