The rain that is male

The sun dies a fiery death.

The sun dies a fiery death.

The rain that is male

N14, between Ventersdorp and Lichtenburg, Friday, 12 April 2013, around 17:30 in the Afternoon.

San Poem: The Rain that is Male

The Rain that is male is an angry rain.

It brings with it lightning loud like or fear.

It brings with it water storming, making smoke

out of dust

And we, we beat our navels with our rigid fists.

We, we press a hand, flat to the navel.

We snap our fingers at the angry male rain.

And we stand out in the open, close to its thunder,

We snap our fingers and chant while it falls:

‘Rain be gone quickly! Fall but be gone!

Rain, turn away! Turn back from this place!

Rain, take your anger, be gone from our place!’

For we want the other rain, the rain that is female,

The one that falls softly, soaking into the ground,

The one we can welcome,

Feeding the plains

So bushes sprout green, springbok come galloping.

Version translated from the /xam by Stephen Watson, Return of the Moon, Cape Town, 1991.



  1. springbok not sprinbok

  2. Thank you Arif

  3. We want rain that is female… that will fall softly upon us, that will love us, and wash us and cleanse us. Sheesh. What an unbelievably beautiful image. Thank you for this David.

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