The challenge this week at Poetry sketch, was to write in macaronic verse, a form which includes two or more languages.
I enjoyed doing this but I’m not sure it will make sense to anyone else. It includes two languages from South Africa, Zulu and Afrikaans, and the official language of Mozambique where I live, which is Portuguese. My English spelling is atrocious (I’m completely dependent on spell check, so I apologise up front for any misspelling of the other languages.)
VAMOS EMBORA PARA PRAIA
(Let’s hit the beach)
Hey man, let’s make like the swallows
who’ve vai-ed north for the spring,
and vamos embora para praia – Zalala!
Alas the Referba mense have hamba –ed off
So there’s no chance of a lekker prawn braai.
But it’s so hot the fish are jumping out the water
(Lakip enhlange amanzini)
and there’s no better place to go shoot the breeze.
We’ll take popcorn as padkos as we swerve potholes,
checking out the coconut machambas and spectral water buffalo.
Rapido, rapido, let’s go, let’s go, vamos embora para praia.
There used to be a group of people living here in Quelimane who gathered for sun downers every Friday evening at the Referba. Because we were all working in difficult situations and Quelimane is thin on light relief we would celebrate with gusto all birthdays. A ‘committee’ would even be formed to plan artwork and possible theatrical productions. Often these celebrations would take place at Zalala Beach, a 45 very bumpy drive from here, where the sea is brown. The Referba mense (people in Afrikaans) have long gone, but we are going to Zalala this weekend for the first time since October last year, and I will be remembering….
It’s so hot the fish are jumping out of the water is a Zulu saying.