There’s Something: Adam Small

You can stop me
drinking a pepsi-cola
at the café
in the Avenue
or goin’ to
an Alhambra revue,
you can stop me doin’
some silly thing like that
but o
there’s somethin’ you can
never never do;
you can stop me boarding a carriage
on the Bellville run
white class
or sittin’ in front
of the X-line
on the Hout Bay bus,

you can stop me doin’
some silly thing like that
but o
there’s somethin’ you can
never never do;
you can stop me
goin’ to Grootte Schuur
in the same ambulance
as you
or tryin’ to go to heaven
from a Groote Kerk pew
you can stop me doin’
some silly thing like that
but o
there’s something you can
never never do;
true’s God
you can stop me doin’
all silly things of that sort
and to think of it
if it comes to that
you can even stop me hatin’
but o
there’s somethin’ you can
never never do –
you can’t
ever
ever
ever stop me
loving
even you!

Adam Small

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Follower: Cathal (Charles) Lagan


FOLLOWER

Mary of Magdala, the words spin easily off the tongue,
was seven times torn within, had no centre
from which the flag of self could fly: it was
in tatters Jesus found her, before he dealt
with seven demons and made way for her life.
And so it was she simply followed him,
God’s gosling taking to the air. She was
the night walker of the Song of Songs, searching
for him in the morning darkness,
and finding Him was the first to proclaim Him
to the frightened patriarchy, and continues still
today to ruffle starched minds embarrassed
by what great love gets up to next.

Cathal (Charles) Lagan

The Revolutionary: Luci Shaw

THE REVOLUTIONARY

Do you
wince when you hear His Name
made vanity?

What if you were not so safe
sheltered, circled by love
and convention?
What if
the world shouted at you?
Could you take the string
of hoarse words – glutton,
wino, devil, crazy
man, agitator, bastard,
nigger-lover, rebel
and hang the grimy ornament
around your neck
and answer
Love?

See the sharp stones poised
against your head! Even
your dear friend
couples Your Name with curses
(‘By God! I know not God!)
the obscene affirmation
of infidelity
echoes, insistent
from a henhouse roof.
Then – Slap! Spit! the whip,
the thorn. The gravel
grinds your fallen knees
under a whole world’s weight
until
the hammering home of all
your innocence
stakes you, stranded,
halfway between hilltop and heaven
(neither will have you)
And will you whisper
Forgive?

Luci Shaw