Msholozi by Justin Fox

01 Nov 2016
Msholozi by Justin Fox

PEN South Africa called for creative responses to the state capture crisis in the form of short essays, fiction or poetry. This is one of the selected entries:

by Justin Fox

to PBS

I met a traveller from a Zulu land
who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
stand in the veld. Near them, on the sand,
half sunk, a shower-headed visage lies, whose grin,
and chortled lip, and giggle of jocular command,
tell that Brett Murray well those passions read
which yet survive, stamped in these lifeless things,
the hand that mocked them and the greed that bled.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Msholozi, chief of chiefs:
Look on my works, ye Righteous, and despair!’
Nothing uncorrupted remains. Round the decay
of that fallen president, boundless and bare,
a thousand rolling hills stretch far away.