Published June 25, 2020

The poet must die

For James Matthews and Gladys Thomas after their poems were executed


The poet must die

her murmuring threatens their survival

her breath could start the revolution;

she must be destroyed

Ban her

Send her to the Island

Call the firing-squad

But remember to wipe her blood

From the wall,

Then destroy the wall

Crush the house

Kill the neighbours

If their lies are to survive

The poet must die




The Steve Biko Foundation

Sea and Sand
Sea and sand
My love
My land
God bless Africa
Sea and Sand
My love
My land
God bless Africa
But more the South of Africa
Where we live
Bless the angry mountains
And the smiling hills
Where the cool water spills
To heal the earth's brow
Bless the children of South Africa
The white children
And the black children
But more the black children
Who lost the sea and sand
That they may not lose love
For white children
Whose fathers raped the land
Sea and sand
My love, my land
God bless Africa



Azanian Love Song

Like a tall oak
I lift my arms to catch the wind
with bruised fingers
and somewhere in the ghetto
a Child is born;
a mother's anxiety and pain
hide in a forest of hope.

Like a straight pine
I point my finger at God
counting a million scars 
on my dreams
and somewhere in the ghetto
a Child is weeping;
a women writers her legacy
on leaves of despair.

Like a weeping willow
I drop my soul
into a pool of fire
somewhere in a dark sanctuary
I hear the sound of a Freedom Song:

The Child has risen
and walks defiantly
towards the lion's lair
undaunted,
unafraid




Don Mattera's Profile 

Born Donato Francesco Mattera in 1935 in Johannesburg's Western Native Township (now Westbury), Don Mattera inherited multiple cultural traditions from his Italian grandfather, Khoisan/Xhosa grandmother and Tswana mother. Mattera was largely raised by his grandparents developing a strong affinity with Italy through his grandfather s reminiscences, Mattera has written of those reflections "I virtually lived in the farm cottage in his native Italy, and walked among the olive trees. Even my blood was shed in the long vendettas. I became one with them who I had never seen or touched or spoken to."