Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Poetry, South Africa, Xenophobia

(by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers)

People ask me:
where is home?

Last time I saw my village
it was burning
in the night.

My house, a screaming
of firehot fear
in the mask of darkness.

My only thought was flight.

Nobody here understands my language, so
I speak the tongue of compromise.
The grateful grammar
of being alive.

This is my certainty, my identity.

People ask me, where is home?
I say
home is where the heart is.

At night I watch the stars:
distant villages, all aflame,
terrified angels, running away.
© Phillippa Yaa de Villiers


  1. People ask me, where is home? I say home is where the heart is.

    Words that melt your soul from Phillippa, a transracial adoptee.

    Beautys last blog post..The Greed Game? The smart game!

  2. Sokari

    I agree- I gave up a long time ago of thinking about “a home” as a geographical or cultural space. My home is in me – its a small place, and I like to think the doors are open to those who walk with respect and humanity. And I peep carefully at those who dont hoping they may change so I can open the door wider, whilst at the same time protecting myself should they wish to harm me.

  3. Sokari

    Rethablile @ thanks for this and the poem by John Agard. These are important discussions most often ignored or pushed under the carpet – there is a lot of pain behind the words of the poem and the interview.

  4. Yesterday and today belonged to the masters of the universe. The future belongs to poets and story tellers for today is done. The message is in the story and that is the power of our salvation (no offence meant to the religious sensitive) but no god is going to look into your mirror. That is the job for friends and kin.

    Sokari, you seem weary of some people, please don’t be, embrace potential useful strangers. They may yet take you to tomorrowland. Oprah Winfrey said about friends

    Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

    I’m here.

    Beautys last blog post..The Greed Game? The smart game!

  5. Sokari

    Beauty @ Thanks!

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