Poets on the London Underground: Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

South African poet Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

Inside My Zulu Hut

It is a hive

without any bees

to build the walls

with golden bricks of honey.

A cave cluttered

with a millstone,

calabashes of sour milk

claypots of foaming beer

sleeping grass mats


wooden head rests

tanned goat skins

tied with riempies

to wattle rafters

blackened by the smoke

of kneaded cow dung

burning under

the three-legged pot

on the earthen floor

to cook my porridge.


Oswald Mbuyesini Mtshali

From: www.poetrysociety.org.uk


This is a continuation of our celebration of poems on the London Underground, which is 150 years old this year.  The South African poet Oswald Mbuyesini Mtshali, who writes in both English and Zulu, remembers his traditional childhood.  He was born in Natal, South Africa, and he lived at one time in Soweto, Johannesburg.

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