Kobus Moolman


A long cattle truck returns
empty from the Camperdown abattoir.

Overtaking it at the top of Key Ridge,
the steep stink of fear and shit;
the tail-gate hanging open banging, banging . . .

But there is nothing now,
nothing at all
      left to get away.

* * *


Hills are wan in the distance,
grass is dry and yellow.

Somewhere an old fire burns
a dead man's dreams.

* * *


The first fire of the season
makes me smile; snaking up
over a stony ridge
into the cold dusk. Bracelet of amber
unexpected, bright between
these sombre hills on my journey
home from the bay.
Dirty and brown
billowing of thick cloud
tracks the red trail. A heavy moon
hovers at my shoulder.
The first fire of the season
makes me smile.
I had not imagined
loss to be such a release.

Kobus Moolman is a South African poet and playwright, resident in Pietermaritzburg. In 2001 he won the Ingrid Jonker Award for his debut collection, Time like Stone. His second collection, Feet of the Sky, was published in 2003. The above poems are from his most recent collection Separating the Seas. Moolman is the editor of the poetry journal, Fidelities. In 2004 his play, Full Circle, won the Performing Arts Network of South Africa Festival of New Writing award. "Soldier Boy" from his collection of radio plays, Blind Voices(2007) was broadcast by the BBC and the SABC. He currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.