Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

The rays of the sun
are like a pair of scissors
cutting the blanket
of the dawn from the sky.

The young shepherd
drives the master’s sheep
from the paddock
into the veld.

His bare feet
kick the grass
and spill the dew
like diamonds
on a cutter’s table
A lamb strays away
enchanted by the marvels
of summer morning
The ram
rebukes the ewe
“Woman! Woman!
Watch over the child!”

The sun wings up
on flaming petal
of a sunflower.

He perches on an ant heap
to play the reed flute
and to salute
the farmer’s children
going to school
and dreamily asks,
“O! Wise Sun above,
Will you ever guide
me into school?”

UMALASI NOMHLAMBI WAKHE

UMALASI NOMHLAMBI WAKHE

Imisebe yelanga
ifana nembaxambili yesikelo
sisika isibhalala
sentathakusa esibhakabhakeni.

Umalusi omncane
uqhuba izimvu zikabasi wakhe
ezikhipha esibayeni
ezelukela eqeleni.

Izinyawo zakhe ezingacathulelwanga
zikhahlela utshani
zichithe amazolo
njengamadayimani
esetafuleni lomsiki.
Izinyane lidukela kude
likhangwe ubukhazikhazi
basekuseni behlobo;
Inqama
ithethisa imvukasi
“Mfazi! Mfazi!
Qaphela ingane!”

Ilanga lishaya amaphiko
ezihlandla ezivutha salangabi
likajongilanga.

Uqhwakela esidulini sezintuthwane
ukushaya igekle lomhlanga,
ashayele indesheni
izingane zomlimi
ziya esikoleni
abuze sengathi uyaphupha,
“Maye! Wesihlakaniphi seLanga laphezulu,
Uyongiqhuba nini
nami ngiye esikolweni na?”
Close

THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

The rays of the sun
are like a pair of scissors
cutting the blanket
of the dawn from the sky.

The young shepherd
drives the master’s sheep
from the paddock
into the veld.

His bare feet
kick the grass
and spill the dew
like diamonds
on a cutter’s table
A lamb strays away
enchanted by the marvels
of summer morning
The ram
rebukes the ewe
“Woman! Woman!
Watch over the child!”

The sun wings up
on flaming petal
of a sunflower.

He perches on an ant heap
to play the reed flute
and to salute
the farmer’s children
going to school
and dreamily asks,
“O! Wise Sun above,
Will you ever guide
me into school?”

THE SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

The rays of the sun
are like a pair of scissors
cutting the blanket
of the dawn from the sky.

The young shepherd
drives the master’s sheep
from the paddock
into the veld.

His bare feet
kick the grass
and spill the dew
like diamonds
on a cutter’s table
A lamb strays away
enchanted by the marvels
of summer morning
The ram
rebukes the ewe
“Woman! Woman!
Watch over the child!”

The sun wings up
on flaming petal
of a sunflower.

He perches on an ant heap
to play the reed flute
and to salute
the farmer’s children
going to school
and dreamily asks,
“O! Wise Sun above,
Will you ever guide
me into school?”
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère