Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Poetry from Swaziland

I have never been to Swaziland, but it is a place dear to me because there were and are people living there that are also dear to me.  We met a family from there when the mom was doing her PhD here, and that relationship developed into one of mutual love. I was delighted to find the son on Facebook some years ago; we had lost touch when I moved to Mexico.  But his mom had continued to correspond with my mom after they moved back to Swaziland, and suddenly stopped at one point, and my mom had no idea why.  Then I learned the tragic news that his mom had passed away after re-connecting.  As if that weren't enough, his sister, who had remained in Swaziland but whom we got to visit with on her trips for Christmas to Canada, also passed away last fall from a health condition.  I had never got a chance to know her as well as I would have liked since she lived farther away, but I became curious to see the messages that might be posted to her Facebook wall after she passed away, and while there, I discovered that there was poetry deep inside her.  There were not many, but what was there I found to be very beautiful.  I share them on my travel blog because outside of the food, my main attraction to a country is its people.  Here was a beautiful person that is no more, but whose poetry I wanted to share in a more public venue to be a legacy of a sort. I will share them one by one within the next few days. I have copied and pasted them from her Notes on her Facebook account.

Gugu Mdluli
January 16, 2011 at 4:45am

Swirls of dreams curl through the cool air
Like fingertips,
Or the breathing of sleeping lovers.

High above the slow sway of trees
Quiet stars stare long into the night.

An entire universe ripples under my skin
Untucking an unthinking smile.
I lose my face to the sky

The huge, stark moon
Borne by nothing
Is yet placid and sure
Perched in the darkness

Moon and air,
Trees and stars
The warm earth beneath my back
All belong
As clothed in night, do I


  1. Swaziland is actually my favorite country to visit. The whole country is made of rolling hills, the people friendly, laid back, poor but content, the semi traditional lifestyle is refreshing.

    1. That sounds beautiful! I hope I get to go there some day myself!