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Protest In Colombo

by Athol Williams
17 May 2019

‘Only men?’ she speaks into the mass

gathered at Satan’s gate to protest

hell’s conditions. ‘Where are the women?’


‘Back on the plantation,’ a young man spits,

‘picking the tea, keeping the moon in orbit,

the fires burning.’ Little does he know,

the flames are asleep among the trees,

the fields ripe with tongues of women’s voices.



Photograph courtesy of Janet Steel

About the Author

Athol Williams

Athol Williams is an award-winning South African poet and social philosopher. He has published four collections of poetry, had poems published in forty literary publications and received four poetry awards – Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award for 2015 & 2016, 2016 Parallel Universe Poetry Prize at Oxford University and the 2017 South African Independent Publishers […]