All For Orphans Blog

Knitting for Africa (part 19)

By Roger G McDonald

Holy Rosary

But not for us. A Phiri parish waits:
Holy Rosary, with its dusty streets.
Today, poverty waits outside its gates.
On a bare field, the congregation meets.
Empurpled women sing. The dust retreats.

The fewer, older men, all greying, walk
as guards to the procession. Palms held high
seem more than symbols leading to a talk
on life and death and resurrection. Why,

6 years 6 months ago

Knitting for Africa (part 18)

By Roger G McDonald

Hello Soweto

Former, from those days that bred apartheid;
when men weren’t men, but animals, for work;
it bred in them the making of a state
but drove Mandela quietly berserk.
It’s our turn for the task. We mustn’t shirk.

Nowadays, though, the tourist buses roam
with passengers on guided tours to see
its Freedom Square; and Desmond Tutu’s home;
the birthplace of Mandela’s legacy

6 years 6 months ago

Knitting for Africa (part 17)

By Roger G McDonald

Knitting Heroes

Six days. Our absence underlines a flow.
Knitting heroes shame us with their crop
of squares and hats and vests. They let us know
the orphans aren’t forgotten. Though a drop
in all the need, it simply cannot stop.

Palm Sunday. A volunteer’s invited
our family to her church in Soweto.
Our youngsters, at first, aren’t quite delighted.
We apply a firm but gentle veto,...

6 years 6 months ago

Knitting for Africa (part 16)

By Roger G McDonald

Back to knitting

Once more westward. Johannesburg returns.
There is where the real job must begin,
with no apparent end. My conscience burns.
Vacation first, then work? Is that a sin?
Is duty always pleasure’s doleful twin?

Still, Zan continues knitting. It’s her form
of meditative music, and we know
its pace informs a universal norm.
We leave behind our bush cathedral, slow

6 years 6 months ago

Knitting for Africa (part 15)

By Roger G McDonald

Courage Undressed

And then it comes; and though you’ve heard before,
the shock of nearness echoes in your chest—
the ultimate percussion. Lions roar,
of course they do, but not so they arrest
your heart. Courage is rapidly undressed.

‘A lone male. Pretty big. A hundred yards.’
Our Quatermain directs a knowing brow.
‘He won’t attack.’ Our faith lies round in shards.
Is this for real? ‘We...

6 years 7 months ago