through the tunnel of solitude
winding in the mountain of fear
speech is the draft of multitudes
murmuring constantly in the ears

fingers bent sharply
nails until they broke
toes frozen in the ice
limbs lost when they woke

illuminating at the end
only where the tunnel bends
where beyond the mountain
stirs just the sea
waving for conversation
with me.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..