Getty Images
Getty Images

BooksJuly 9, 2021

The Friday Poem: I’m Sure You’ve Heard, by Khadro Mohamed

Getty Images
Getty Images

A new poem from Wellington poet Khadro Mohamed.

I’m Sure You’ve Heard

i’m sure you’ve heard, on the news, about the dead tomato fields, empty calderas and the droopy mountain tops that cast shadows over half-eaten sand.

i’m sure you’ve heard all about the bloated bellies, the broken alphabet, the dust-caked lashes and the long drawn-out breaths of the vultures that await your sleep.

i’m sure you’ve heard all about what death is like here, in the heart country, where footprints become disjointed and rise from the earth, where jet-black eyes stare off into the distance and mosquitos collect like tiny rain droplets on your skin.

but did you know that it’s also home to hordes of sheep and camel skin, who carry star constellations in the pit of their stomach? that it’s home to nomads who pick berries with their tongues, where pepper vines grow and defy gravity, where science dies, right there, at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro.

where wind pushes canoes over still water and the jagged outline of the coast bends and turns its spine, desperate to watch you sail. where oud strings are carried by the wind, where the songs of acacia leaves are hard to ignore, where the baobab silhouette sits over the horizon, watching, observing. where rose petals become jam, where zulu mats are crafted by the tiny dents in your fingers, where lions calls dent the night.

did you hear, though, that this place is where the earth canvas outward, where sand dunes bleed sunset hues, where water and milk are one and the same, where your heart is always awake, jolted and propelled into the turmeric-soaked air.

 

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again later this year.

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

A new documentary follows Scribe’s grim past, and looks towards a hopefully brighter future. Image compilation: TVNZ/Tina Tiller

Behind the scenes of Scribe’s new documentary

'We knew that potentially it could be an incomplete or unfinished story arc and that the end of the story might well be Scribe's vanished again.'
Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox

Books

The Sport OGs, photographed in 1988. Clockwise from left: Nigel Cox, Fergus Barrowman, Damien Wilkins, Elizabeth Knox. (Photo: Supplied)

Long live Sport, 1988-2021

One of our great literary magazines is no more. Its publisher looks back on what it achieved, and muses on the long-gone golden age of New Zealand publishing.