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poetry

Abdulmugheeth Petersen

Abdulmugheeth Petersen has a passion for anything that is related to language, literature and social justice and so, naturally, teaches High School English. Much of Abdulmugheeth’s writing portrays, and is inspired by, a world as seen through the overlapping lenses of life as an esoteric, a nonconformist, a muslim, a gay man, and a South African. He enjoys hiking and touring, but also snuggling up to movies or books with his partner and any cats they can find.

The Flavour of Boeber*

It is more than sweet milk

It is a pot of comfort
And little sips of Home.
A thin, bright layer of butter
Gilds the surface
To mark the care-free certainty
That calories aren’t counted
At least not tonight.

Because we only count
Borde toe gedraai in lappies
Sent to Aunty Shamiela
from
Aunty Faeeza and
Aunty Naas and
Aunty Rukeya and
Aunty Kaashiefa and
Aunty Yasmin and
Aunty Kieba and
Aunty Toegieda.

That Cinnamon and Karamonk scent
Of Ramadaan
Is what calls them over.
A scent that says, ‘there’s enough for everyone,
Even if you didn’t pwasa.’

And the gestrooide vermicelli at the bottom
That almost burnt
Takes you back to that last Gadat
Where you flirted a little too much
After an altercation about a samoosa.

Sometimes there are too many almonds
And as you chew through them
You are whisked away in memory
Across long gravel roads and longer conversations
Having caring suppers with the Moosas
And Kheer for dessert.

It is
Warm and velvety
Sweet and chunky
Rich and smooth
And rarely tastes like anything I know
It is made of cheap stuff
And it is a drink made for Emirs.

Does this help you?
Do you know the taste of Boeber?

*Boeber: A warm dessert drink native to Cape Town, traditionally drunk on the night following the 15th day of Ramadaan.

Lost and Found

What lies at the end of a circular road
May be found in no other way
When we’ve tried and tested what the world has to give,
That which we yearn for
That which we seek
We will find where we left at the break of day.

Could we have found it if we had just turned round?
If we had taken a few steps back to the start?
Would the young love be waiting,
Lost in its nest,
Have struck you with pain
or given you its heart?

Before we find our precious ones
We must know the pain of much less,
And the fatigue of having too much.
And though the tree has taken root,
Many winters must pass
Before blossoms may bloom.

But you will not find it in a far-off land
In a foreign city or distant field
It will be at some braai on some Friday night
In the city you have lived your whole life.

For it is only once we have found ourselves
That we can discover those who complete us.

Physical Theater

My body is a Temple
And everyday is Diwali.

I don’t need Christmas for trimmings
Or a new moon for Eid

For what is ‘Labarang’ but Festival?
And who needs a reason for that?

The only music I call for is Laughter
As my saints throw sweets to the crowd
So by the time the procession is over
The skeptics have followed my way.

My priests, they need no charisma
For the offerings speak for themselves
They tell of harvests abounding in plenty
From the Gods on the Mountain of Joy.

Because the temple is blessed with conviction,
Perrenial flowers from its orchard and garden
And the incense is always kept lit
By a monk in a rainbow robe.

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