Saturday, 5 January 2019

Burial - Kingsley Fairbridge

Among the Manyika, a dead infant is buried by its Mother without a ceremony.

Yowe, yowe, mwanango duku!
I bury you here by the edge of the lands.

Under the scrub and the weeds I bury you,
Here in the clay where the bracken grows.

Here on the hill the wind blows cold,
And the creepers are wet with the driving mist.

The grain-huts stand like ghosts in the mist,
And the water drips from their sodden thatch.

And the rain-drops drip in the forest yonder
When the hill-wind shakes the heavy boughs.

Alas! I am old, and you are the last —
Mwanango, the last of me, here on the hillside.

The dust where you play'd by the edge of the kraal
Is sodden with rain, and is trodden to mud.

The hoe that I use to fashion your dwelling
Is caked with the earth that is taking you from me.

Where now is Dzua who ripens the rukweza?
And where now are you, O mwanango kaduku?

Alas! Alas! My little child!
I bury you here by the edge of the lands.

Kingsley Fairbridge (1885 - 1924) Zimbabwe (born S. Africa)
Source: Poems and Poets

  • yowe mwanango duku - cried my little son


  1. I too like, Kingsley Fairbridge, am a South African born Zimbabwe bred poet .... you may use my poems with pleasure

    1. Thanks - I'll take you up on that offer soon :-)


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