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Onsin


Aai, aai, die Witborskraai!

Hiervandaan na Mosselbaai

Hoog gevlieg en laag geswaai

By die groot see omgedraai

--Afrikaans traditional*

Sick of sitting on this comfortable fence

I take refuge in poetic nonsense.

White-nose fungus is killing all the bats.

Antipodean kiddies take pot shots at cats.

Democracies are falling one by one.

My native land no longer boasts its sun.

You may call these frivolous excuses--

perhaps, but nonsense has its uses.

It spares me the painful job of either thinking

or drowning out the world by drinking.


*“Oh, oh, the pied crow! / All the way to Mossel Bay / Flying high and swinging low / At the big sea turns to go.” Onsin = "nonsense" in Afrikaans.

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