Bright Sparks and Bush Fires

A Poem

By Owam Ntlemeza

I am who I am
because you are
who you are.

Stern voice scolds like hot oil,
burns, bruises, rings true as a flame
piercing the night

after misdeeds have wrung
the last shards of sunlight
from my body.

That’s when the world induces something
I despise. I find
that all I know is wrong.

A bush bursts with orange flames
because it has tasted
careless sparks.

From gnarled roots
a wild world is founded.
The hypnotizing full moon is reduced

to a white shadow. Under
the cold moonlight
sparks burn in my mother’s eyes.

And then she laughs away the pain
with love that transcends me.
Another token of forever.


Owam Ntlemeza is a 17 year old poet from Uitenhage, South Africa, where he attends Daniel Pienaar Technical High School.