matt's notebook

native

This is my native country, a forearm
of island where fishermen are painters,
and the bay sticks up a thumb for the church
and a knuckle for the sculptor's garden,
where I sit, and the sun rubs my arm
as it rubs the bronze skin of the artist's hands,
the same sun that rubs the palm of the veld,
with its farm calluses and river folds
and thumb of a cape. This is not my land,
this iodine and salt-scoured fist of a mountain,
but yours. I circumnavigate.
This Atlantic holds our hands together,
this light faces north and paints the fynbos,
this sea cuts your coast, this sun rubs your skin.

Matthew John Williams
2000