Today the olive leaves fly at half-mast

Today we bicycled to Cervantes park
Far away
but my head turns to Jozi,
where our cycle lanes were closed off after being built

We stopped
Cycles locked
I wander about amongst the fragrances of rosemary and roses
After a while I take some shade under a tree

Far away
but my heart turns to home
Bishop Tutu is no more
The news struck deep as we are fast running out of the wise ones

You have to be partisan to take shade under an olive tree
This one,
is part of a family of six
lined in graceful salute to the man who has just passed

Under the olive tree
I think of Tutu and
I think of Palestine

And of those men
who are trying to kill the olive trees in the holy land
As they do, those who give them love and water

Arch
You spoke for all who face the jackboots of tyranny
And you refused to be silenced

Today as the olive leaves fly in half-mast
your words turn into poetry
That we will sip on
“It’s God catching me by my neck.
I wish I could keep quiet about the plight of the Palestinians.
I can’t!

Author: Hassen LorgatHassen Lorgat, has worked in the trade unions, civic associations as well as NGOs for the past while. He is currently the manager of Policy and Advocacy for the Bench Marks Foundation, and here he writes in his personal capacity.