Published June 25, 2020

David Wein

Ranbow snake 2

Brace yourself

This is what 

You chose

To feed 


It will be over soon

It will not hurt as much as you think

And it is coming for both of us

In time it will come for all of us 

All us wondering through 

The cracks between ideals 

Looking for a way in 

Always looking for a way in, desperate,

But now, 


The rainbow snake is gentle 

And that revolution 

That is bleeding now,

Bleeding Armani cadres

And crab-bucket communities 

Intent on cannibalizing the new dream,

In pieces 

That revolution 

Which is Molotov cocktails

Poured into champagne glasses

And sipped slowly

By thieves dressed in 

The discarded snakeskin 

Of that which made them possible

That revolution 

That is lonely now

It needs us 

And the rainbow snake 

That has for generations 

Wept martyr’s blood from rainbow irises

That has not seen any evil 

Greater than the closing of eyes 

Against the glare of 

The screams of

Innocence burning, 

Is hungry now

Feed it.

Here it comes.

Slowly, deliberately 


it will find us 

Or we will lose 


So why struggle?

Give yourself lovingly

As it has given lovingly of themselves 

As it has breathed riots into campuses

As it has roared through teargas 

As it has wept over vlakplaas 

And carried our fallen 

Into the dreams of the those who caught 

The spears of retribution 

As they slipped from the limp dead hands 

Of heroes born as we were 

To be remembered 

And we will be 

When the revolution and the rainbow snake 

Are done with you 

You will be but bones 

Thrown by the hands 

Of the twin witches 

Fate, and hope 

Each as cruel as the last

And where you land 

We will read 

The fortunes of this nation 

That was built on raised fists 

Those fists that beneath the concrete ambivalence 

If you put your ear to the ground

You can hear pounding still 

Raised in protest at a sky that dare not forget them 

Them the voices of the people 

That split the air 

And hoped freedom would pour from the rifts 

Be strong 

And face them with courage 

They walk with you

As the rainbow snake rears above 

The rivers of blood and gold 

That we have suckled on 

We the ungrateful children 

Of a world whose teeth we had thought blunted

And now find as close to calamity 

As we have always been 

We sandcastle architects

Cursing the tide 

As if it were not of us too 

All that is will crumble 

To choose where the rubble will fall

You must step forward 

And reach in 

As we both must now,


They are ready for us

Do not be ashamed 

It is normal to tremble 

To fall to your knees

To scream if there is strength in your lungs 

I certainly intend to 

But remember 

You were born 

To feed them, 


Listen to me or don’t

Doesn’t really matter 

I’m speaking to myself really

Don’t look shocked.

Did you think I was different to you?


Already resolved?

I am not.

I am as scared as you are,

And as lost 

As lost perhaps as you need to be

To find yourself, 

Certainly lost enough to find myself here 

But not so lost I don’t regret 

What I’ll lose I can’t forget 

Please forgive me as I take this step 

And join me,

I don’t want to do this alone  

Felix Kobina Venter's Profile 

Felix Kobina Venter is an aspiring poet, writer and lyricist. He is currently studying at the Wits School of Film and Television. He has showcased with W.O.W, slammed on the Word n Sound stage and taken part in streaming events for Pick Me Up Poetry. He is just getting started.

Go to viewing room