darrump darrump

darrump darrump

as the almost melting

black rubber of the tyres

meet the catseye encrusted

baking asphalt.

Smells of carbon monoxide mix

with chicken feet stew and

too many hot people

wedged; thighs sticking

to sweaty red

vinyl seats.

It’s loud inside with skwatta kamp

umoya and sis khuthala telling

ekasi skinner.  I close my eyes

and remember me;

that naked little boy,

racing, happy

through swaying green fields

and my grandmother’s voice;

Heyi kwedini, wenzantoni?


©Cindy Taylor 2008



Skwatta Kamp (pronounced Skwa-tah Camp) the group’s name is derived from the word Squatter Camp which are shantytowns littered around South Africa’s open landscapes. The people who live in these settlements are seen as outcasts and a nuisance. This was the situation in the music industry that Skwatta Kamp found themselves in a few years back, where their form of music was not seen as an art form but a passing fad not worth mentioning in high regard.


The Zulu word ‘umoja’, meaning soul, spirit and breath, is also the title of a Skwatta Kamp hit song.

Heyi kwedini, wenzantoni? = Hey boy, what are you doing?

Ekasi = Literally used as ‘neighbourhood’ ; the likely derivative of “ Lokasie”, which were the notorious ghettos of the apartheid era.

Skinner = from the Afrikaans word for gossip.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Cin
    Ah, well. You got me with this one. I can see a need for explanation, but frankly I could also see you NOT explaining.

    I could see, for example, a collection of these pieces with a glossary at the end for any who cares to use it.

    Your work is rhythmic, and I wonder if it perhaps takes from the flow of it to find a reason to “translate” on the same page as the poem itself.

    I am not a poet, so I’m probably not too helpful with this.

  2. cindy says:

    Fair comment Richard, I like the idea of a glossary at the end of a collection. I will keep this in mind.

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