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DEATH (Alfred Temba Qabula)
Alfred Temba QabulaStunning creature
Invisible to naked eyes
If we could only see you
You would have already
Been slain

But you left us grieving
For those dear to us
Young and old
Who stumbled in your path
They were stalked and throttled
By your jealous and ruthless power
They were whisked through the world
Before we noticed their arrival
What they did wrong No-one comprehends

With great fury
You clasped them for your killing
Extruding their flesh
So that now only their bones are left
We remain in constant mourning
For you have deprived us
Of even those who we could turn to for solace.

Death, you always murdered
Our helpers
Our heroes and national leaders
Men and Women who cherished justice
You lifted them up
To dump them under gravestones
For punishment.

Death how did they offend you?
How did they worry you?
You are silent No answer escapes your lips
The day will come
When the orphans
Those widowed
Will turn out to be your judges

Woe unto you death
On that day
The fires you stoke for others
Shall haunt you
The pain and suffering you fully inflicted
On nature
On nations
Will descend on you.

The nations of the world
Shall stand before the greater judge
Giving evidence
Of crimes you have committed
And can't deny
And finally the truth shall emerge.

You shall receive the
Hatred with which you
Netted nations
But double in its venom
Your conscience
Eternally persecuted
A haunted creature you shall remain
But now...
You are the intruder
The gate-crawler
Baffling and stunning
The doctors
The faith-healers
Who make it their business to save lives
From your deadly paws
Frustrating their success.

Your evil deeds constantly disturb us
You are the abyss
Which stands in the way of our desires
In fear of you.
We meekly stand

Devourer of life
Raging bull
Rude intruder of sealed doors
Howls start at the exit of your many departures
Your elector has no misgivings for your labour
For daily you drag plenty more prey into your caves.

You are recognised In all lands
Talked about amongst the nations
Disturber of peace.

You strike and take
Even young committed men and women
Workers for liberation
Builders of communities
In the midst of their efforts
Leaving behind a trail
Of unfinished mounds of effort

You have marched
Those who are our yardstick
Into jails in the shadow of your feast
Into graves the others
And after your kill
You are still thirsty for more

Do you know that the
The wagon you use
Will one day carry you over as well
Do you know that the
Day of your end
Shall reverberate throughout the universe?

And all human creatures
Will scramble for your remains
Your bones
So that nations
That people can strike up
To celebrate our liberation
Maye! Death!
Inventor of orphans
The day we apprehend you
An agonizing punishment awaits you!

On that day
The impossible will become possible
Donkeys shall sleep with lions
Negations shall become confirmations
And your turn
For final punishment shall sound
Death Enemy of man
Woe unto you...

(Flagstaff, Transkei, Christmas 1985)

...read Alfred Temba Qabula's obituary >>

3rd Ear Music Company est. 1969 (Pty)Ltd.

P.O.Box 50633
Musgrave 4062
South Africa
email: [email protected]

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