Blues for District Six

early one new year’s morning
when the emerald bay waved its clear waters against the noisy dockyard
a restless south easter skipped over slumbering lion’s head
danced up hanover street
tenored a bawdy banjo
strung an ancient cello
bridged a host of guitars
tambourined through a dingy alley
into a scented cobwebbed room
and crackled the sixth sensed district
into a blazing swamp fire of satin sound
early one new year’s morning
when the moaning bay mourned its murky waters against the deserted dockyard
a bloodthirsty south easter roared over hungry lion’s head
and ghosted its way up hanover street
empty
forlorn
and cobwebbed with gloom

Abdullah Ibrahim
Cape Town
1970s