Remembering Egypt

“Egypt is playing a tawdry role in the current agony of the Palestinians; but it is not new, sadly.” — Dennis Brutus

Remembering Egypt 

Solitary I walked the sands

beside the Pyramids

hot soil beneath my feet:

ageless the cloudless skies

aeons above invisible stars:

men laboured in dusty rags

parched reeds wilted in shallows

children with dark hungry eyes

gazed, curious, at alien intruders

while power games unwound

dynastic narratives unscrolled;

sorrowing, we braced for tawdry tales

14 January 2009

Dennis Brutus is a South African poet.  Active against Apartheid, he was arrested in 1963 and imprisoned for 18 months on Robben Island.  After his release, he became a political refugee in the United States.  Today he is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, engaged in poetry and activism against all forms of oppression and exploitation.  The Centre for Civil Society circulates a Dennis Brutus poem every day.  If you want to get a Brutus poem a day, subscribe to the Debate list at