Gerard Sekoto, In Memorium: 1913 - 1993, Part Three

Written by: T Wignesan

                                   III

Long are the years you have lain your easel down
Longer still the sun at Botshebelo burnishing your skin

In the soft autumnal retreat of your heart
You could still hear children playing in the mission station
You saw with what glee they jigged in Sophiatown
And bled for your brothers enchained in District Six

Away in the quiet slumber of a land you loved
You wrought the blazing colours of a secret rage

        of man's will thriving in his limbs
            of an enduring passion for hope
in the dance of stoic joyousness
    in the embrace of a Mandela

Not a shaft of light escaped your hunt for
        traces of your childhood
                                             nor
were lost the spare airs that filtered through shanty-towns

Your world was a world of people
                                        simple people
going about their chores with premeditated caution
      oppressed people
endowed by need with the guile for survival

People for whom you lived
People who live on in your veins
      uninterred in your carved canvasses

(Poem read by the author at Sekoto's funeral in Neuilly-sur-Marne, France)

(c) T. Wignesan, Paris - 1993. (Pub. in the Journal of Comparative Poietics , Vol. 2 & 3 (Paris), 1993 & in Poietics: Disquisitions on the Art of Creation. Allahabad: Cyberwit.Net, 2008.)