Pincer semi-circles stand shielded

Behind cow hide for full-blown frontals

Driving laagered trekkers onto one knee

In retaliating fire-power

As a five pound cannon ball

Turns to stone for the cairn. [1]


Another vow supersedes the first [2]

To unite those divided

By a river through red grass, [3]

A ring of truth distorted [4] by faith

That God took sides around a pyramid [5]

Of theological mythology.


Drop the stone which can roll

Down a donga into the stream

That flows from another hill [6]

Shaping us together in the tinted mud

Of a people's remaking

In the promises of Soweto stone. [7]


Blood River/Ncome

12 July 2006


[1]  The isivivani (contemplative space) at Ncome

[2] Visitors to Ncome are invited to place a stone on the isivivani, a symbol of commitment to reconciliation, complementing the trekker vow before the battle of Blood River

[3] Red grass (Themeda triandra) 

[4] The trekker laager in not perfectly round

[5] A pyamid near the laager enshrines the original vow.

[6] An allusion to 'a healing steam flows from Calvary's mountain'  from Fanny Crosby song: Jesus keep me near the cross.

[7] The Salvation Army cairn of reconciliation in Soweto.