Poem

Leaving in Four Parts

Brandon Hamber
2 min readJan 5, 2023

Part I

In a thousand invisible places
A charcoal sketch follows me
I am welded onto
A black and white
Willow tree
Molten
Raw
And obvious
I see me
Through the eyes of a black woman
Ambling a Joburg street
A white child on her back
Passing electric fences
Caring for them all
She collects the Indian Ocean
In a Coke bottle
It wakes me
Splashes over me
Squeezes me into glass

Part II

In a thousand invisible places
The streets preoccupy me
Jacaranda trees are me
Expanding with me
From the top outwards
The purple shade is me
A beast beats
Inside me
Jests with me
Taunts me
I’m not a Gnu
I’m a fucking Wildebeest
You tell me
Powerful on the plains
But with puny legs
Prancing on powder
Vanishing into a mineshaft
With the speed of a mamba

Part III

In a thousand invisible places
The Durban whaling station follows me
The blubber is me
Moving through me
Pink foam echoing secrets about me
Silencing the beeps
An electronic fish-finder
Radiates me
The lines of Indian fisherman
Ensnare me
Humour me
Undercurrents are me
Knots and spark plugs
Weigh down on me
Nothing will bite
Drifting bait
A powerboat is needed these days
Time won’t wait

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Brandon Hamber

Hume O'Neill Professor of Peace at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Medium is my popular writing space. Academic publications at brandonhamber.com