By Joanne Tippett, (British Poetry review 1994)

Blood on red walls of gullies in the mind

Rending my existence into shattered fragments

Unraveling the certainties of edifices I had built.

The round houses with mud plaster

Red against the blue doors, grass roofs tidy hair,

Smile but remain obscure.

I exist at the edge

Of my own and Basotho culture

Which beckons and retreats under an African sun.


I tend to the garden -

Unfurling its green tenderness

Whilst brown beer bottles build the

Fluid dams in mind’s channel

Down which my truths run, sweeping the silt of habit

And from which new meanings

Push forth green fingers into the sun,

Dig roots to cling to the tumbling particles of thought

And resist the erosion of self.

In this intimate connection of daily living

Weave a fibrous net in contours on the mindscape

To catch each idea - examine anew

In the light of other’s eyes

As slowly we build defenses against the crumbling of the land.