Bang bang

Banging at the door

In the dead of night

The dark illuminates your fright

As I'm pulled from your bed

Dragged across the floor.


Bang bang

Banging inside your head

Festering wounds inflicted by structural

But the pain illuminates your silence

As you escape into ignorance

Safe in the sewer with the rest of the


Bang bang

Bullets rip through flesh

Blood stains the road

Bomb blast craters disfigure the

As we turn our attention elsewhere

Crippled and blinded by fear.


Bang bang

Blatant lies disguise the face of decay

That feeds on complacency

And breeds on greed and callousness

As we bend down and pray

Broken beings lapping up all the shit
that we're fed.


Bang bang

Buildings burn and towers crumble

While our kin continue to die everyday

And not just from guns but from a lack of

As progress wears another mask

Bowed and bent we play our complicit


Bang bang

Ons lewe in dread

Gebuig en gedruig tot die mens verdwyn

En al wat oorbly is net vlees en been

As our faces contort around capped smiles

Grimacing as we look but fail to


Bang bang

We go through life like phantom players

Trying so hard to ignore the facts:

We need to contain this manic psychosis

As we hustle and strive just to survive

Brow beaten and bowed, chattering too


Bang bang

There are no more excuses

All of the rhetoric and skirting are

Sharpen the pencils and brushes and

As we try to dissect and express what we

Within this tragedy
of impotent revolution.

'A Love Letter for the Epoch' published by khoi gxam, South Africa

Mikey D Wentworth's picture

I am Michael Wentworth, a South African writer and cultural activist. ‘A Love Letter for the Epoch’ is a new collection of my poems written over the past two decades., In primary school in the 1970’s I wrote a composition for the June examination that was read to the assembled school by the principal on the day that we returned after the holidays. As I listened I realised that I had written it and I began to notice the reactions of my peers. At that moment I knew that this was what I was meant to do., Since then I have honed my craft on the streets and in the gutters; in the ghetto and the ghetto hotels; with passion and certifiable insanity. One of my first short stories won a competition in a daily newspaper while I was still at school and my poetry has been published in various compilations and anthologies as well as the African arts and culture magazine Rootz., I have been writing professionally for theatre since 1996 when I was commissioned to write a children’s play for the North West Cultural Calabash Festival. My first feature play was the only South African entrant to be short-listed for the 1997 British Council International New Playwright Competition. I have since worked as a writer on various documentaries and stage productions including an original adaptation of Can Themba’s short story ‘The Suit’, as well as the pop-opera ‘Torong – A place to dream’ which I wrote, composed and directed. My theatre credits include writing and co-directing the musical ‘Maloba – Memoirs of a Nation’, ‘Waiting’ which I also produced and which premiered at the National Arts Festival in 2008, ‘Live rAGE’ which was a birthday tribute to the poet and writer James Matthews and ‘Progres’ inspired by the life and work of Ken Saro-Wiwa., Most recently my play Just Another Friday Night which was first performed at the Volksblad Kunstevees in 2009 was performed in May this year at the Windybrow Community Festival. The play was directed by Danny Moleko., I have written for television and radio as well as various South African newspapers and magazines and I am currently working on my debut novel entitled ‘A Tale of Extra-Ordinary Madness’ while co-ordinating an arts project at an underprivileged primary school in the Eastern Cape.

Last updated November 20, 2012