Athol Williams

Walking with Bheki Mseleku

He was not taught to walk.

He received no lessons

in the mechanics of motion,
or the intricacies of balance
and its complex feedback algorithms

to correct, self-correct, or auto-correct
the way our spinning planet does
in our tumbling universe.

Yet he walks.

He walks

with the rhythm of the oceans,

he walks

to the melody of the wind,

he walks

with the beat

of his mother’s heart in his chest,
and the song of his father’s tongue
in his fingers.

He walks.

And as he walks,
music comes.

“Walking with Bheki Mseleku” appears in Best New African Poets

Athol Williams is a South African poet and social philosopher who has published 4 collections of poems, an autobiography ‘Pushing Boulders’ and 4 children’s books.  His poetry awards include the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award (which he won twice), the Parallel Universe Poetry Competition (Oxford University) and runner-up for the South African Literary Award for Poetry.  He holds degrees from Harvard, MIT, LSE, London Business School, Wits and is currently a student of political philosophy at Oxford University.