SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.40 issue1Africa in Brathwaite: The matrix of cultural quest, identity and history as poetic visionʼn Woordaangedrewe vaartuig: Susan Smith se eko-digkuns author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Literator (Potchefstroom. Online)

On-line version ISSN 2219-8237
Print version ISSN 0258-2279

Literator vol.40 n.1 Mafikeng  2019 






Chris M. Mann

Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA), Rhodes University, South Africa




a poem to Christ after an asthma attack

You came to me just after I'd run up from an underground carpark into a mall.
My lungs clenched tight, my body numbed as crowds of shoppers ambled by.
It must have been the tensions at the office, the hellish fumes of car exhausts,
Dust blowing from a heating plant. My eyesight dimmed, my mouth went dry.

Shop-front smudges of light, fairground-mirror people, shopping-bags, prams,
Tinsel music tinkling, far away. I was suffocating, speechless, desperate, alone.
Time's framework burst. Scraps of memory, thought-flits whirled out and then
The ragged shroud-print of a face with steady-gazing eyes I knew to be your own.

You looked at me, the image blurred, the flux rushed back - and you had gone,
Gone back into the neural mansions in my mind-brain, where I'll never know.
I felt consoled, not much, stuck in that empty cinema with a flickering screen,
And wished your gravitas would shape back into my space-time debris' show.

Eye-lids drooping, I slumped onto a bench and put my head between my knees.
Slurring spasms, I fought with panic, breathed in small gasps, struggled to pray.
Earth's air-sphere fed my blood again. Panting, wheezing, I felt a peace return.
The joy I felt when you got through to me came later on, just how I couldn't say.



Chris Mann

Received: 12 Aug. 2018
Accepted: 10 Oct. 2018
Published: 23 Jan. 2019

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License