Monday, December 19, 2011
Q and I were in English and Journalism together. We had mutual friends and got to know each other because we were in the same English tutorial, but a shared love of poetry was what really made us bond. He had his own poetry blog. The link to it is on the sidebar on my blog. (See: Words Will Never Be Enough)
On the day of our last English tut, a whole group of us got together to drink boxed wine and talk nonsense. I think this was the last time I properly spoke to Q. It seems chillingly appropriate that I lay on the grass at one point during that afternoon and recited a poem about death - Derrick Brown's "A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me" - to the leaves above us. Q observed that it was funny how I could remember those words when I couldn't even walk straight.
He was one of those people who really listened - not only on that afternoon, but whenever someone had an idea. He would sometimes make really sweet tweets about this blog, whenever I put up a new post. His kindness also shone through in other ways. Once, I had a go at reading a rap poem aloud in one of our tutorials. Q didn't laugh at my amateur attempt to do something that he could have done better, but rather engaged with me afterwards about the poem and what it meant. He saw beauty in everything.
Q, I know it's too late, but I need to say that I can't philosophise this with fiction. At least, not yet. I still can't process the fact that I won't see you again. This is all just too... strange... to dismiss as a simple poem or piece of prose. And I know some might see that as an insult, but to me, what is stranger than fiction should be presented as what it truly is. And the truth is you were not ready to be written out of this Earth.
The time will come when we all will be able to look back without hurting so much. But until then, I can't write it out.
"I won’t be able to wait under the earth for you...
but I will meet up with you
and here’s where you will find me.
Get a pen.
Hold your finger up
(two fingers if your hands are frail by now)
and count two stars directly to the left
of the North American moon.
You will find me there..."
- Derrick Brown, "A Finger, Two Dots, Then Me"
In memory of Qaqambile ‘Q’ Mapukata
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
It’s a year since you left, and I’m feeling fine.
I told you no man could claim the space between my shoulder-blades, and the sun kissed both our backs until we could only talk when they were turned.
The seasons have changed, but some days I’m sure our footprints are still on the sand where you swore you’d never leave.
Some days I walk the roads we drove down and I want to make postcards of the asphalt, because each stone has a few hundred stories scrawled on it.
Sometimes I still pretend I’m strong – the ice-queen extremes, the oyster-lip smiles – but today, I’m soft as snow.
And the summer sun is rising.
Tonight I’ll tiptoe onto the beach and set the shell collection free. You see, I’ve learnt that even sand in a pocket can weigh a person down.
It’s been two winters and a summer for me; a winter and two summers for you… but today, today is our equinox.
Today is the day we start to learn from our mistakes.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Those were the days of rusted jungle gyms and crinkled toes – the days when our clothes smelled of Being Afraid of the Deep End.
Our parents took us to aquariums, and we wondered if they knew that we were just a big shoal of people, being watched by the fish.
We wrote letters on mulberry leaves in words that didn’t exist, or weren’t meant to.
Latin could have been our second language.
We could have been anything.