They came from the south
holding the sun in their right hand
like an object of worship,
crossed the Mohokare into the mountains,
leather bags full of ochre
and painting sticks, venom in small phials,
dried meat conserved in leaves. They stayed
long enough to paint the fat of the land:
hunt scenes, children hopping in playful circles
round a fire. An ostrich egg and roots
dug up from the desert’s giving sand,
hand prints lit like sepals
exploding on grotto walls.
About this poem
This poem, representing Lesotho, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.