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Dennis Brutus




Dennis Brutus, 1924 - 2009. Writer, Activist and Humanist



photocredit: Matthew Bradley


 A Final Exile


For the Children
of our Beautiful Land,
and to the memory
of our Freedom Fighters
who gave their lives ...
May Freedom Reign!

For Serote, Brutus & Makeba

Azanian exiles
weeping against the moon,
traversing the shores of strange lands
standing attention to foreign flags
alienated, tolerated nomads
sleeping in cars, park benches
or dining with kings,
I pine for you
with longing that eats my spirit,
tears out my eyes

Hearts reaching out
across the dark distances
where emotions are imprisoned
in the breast
voices crying where others are silent

I hunger for the fire-glow
of your comradeship, and
though our graves
have long been dug out
we smile at death

What some men call beauty
we call pain

Home is no longer home
but a cemetery
for unlived, unrealised dreams
where children seek shade
under trees of dead bones

By the river
by the sea
my soul awaits your home-coming

I am not estranged
from your anguish
you who weep
against the moon
and make your bed
on bramble bush,
I pine for you
with longing
that eats my eyes
and tears out my spirit

From Azanian Love Song by Don Mattera.
[African Perspectives Publishing] 2007.

          Don Mattera

Don Mattera

Mattera is the recipient of the Steve Biko Prize (1986), the Kurt Tucholsky World PEN Association Prize (1986), the African Writers’ Citation (1980) and the AIDA French Literary Award (1980). He was awarded the NAFCOC Service to Humanity Award in 1990.

Mattera's poem, Exiles, was dedicated to Dennis Brutus, among others.

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