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
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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