reach of the bible, its dark truth; that was no fear,
nor were boots on our pavements. We were death
in another way, fire was not needed for our dying.
On a pathway or in the house everyone who died
was the kingpin of their kingdom, a forebear caught
between dogma and the meaning of Jah. But yesterday
was besieged by the chronicle of today, on pyramidal Nubia,
on turrets of Zimbabwe, which were turned into face-
less rudiments. Yet there’s a song to put all this behind
and that song, if you listen to it, inspires in you.
–from Qoaling (to be published in 2017)
Rethabile Masilo blogs at Poéfrika and co-edits Canopic Jar. He is a Mosotho poet from Lesotho and has lived in Paris, France, since 1987. His work has been published in various anthologies as well as hard and soft-copy magazines, including Canopic Jar, The Bastille, With Our Eyes Wide Open, Seeing the Unseen, Tears In The Fence, New Coin, New Contrast, Botsotso, Badilisha Poetry, and others. In 2014 his poem ‘Swimming’, published in New Coin Poetry, Vol 49, N°1, won the Dalro First Prize. The same poem won the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry in Periodicals in 2015. He has also edited two anthologies published by The Onslaught Press: For the Children of Gaza, and To Kingdom Come (voices against political violence). Rethabile was born in 1961 in Lesotho and left his country with his parents and siblings to enter exile in 1981, following an attack on his family that killed his 3-year-old nephew, Motlatsi. They moved through the Republic of South Africa, where they experienced Apartheid, then Kenya and the United States of America, before he finally settled in France. In 2012 his first book of poems, Things That Are Silent, was published by Pindrop Press. The second book, Waslap, was published in 2015 by The Onslaught Press (it won the 2016 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry), and the third, Letter to Country, was published by Canopic Publishing in 2016.