The Dotted Line
The very concepts of homogeneous national cultures, the consensual or contiguous transmission of historical traditions or ‘organic’ ethnic communities…are in a profound process of redefinition – Homi Bhabha
If cut, a chef will wear a bright blue plaster
for in nature there is no blue food,
so if the plaster falls down in the stewpot
it is easily retrieved.
There’s nothing natural to some in this,
this kiosk’s glossy, gaudy Royal Blue.
It is, some say, a sort of
cancer in this scene, upon the eye;
like God’s or Angels’ foreign whiteness,
Oddly, it’s the selfsame folk
who won’t concede the jetblack on our flag is
too, exaggerated, flapping its unwelcoming hyperbole
from flagpole after flagpole.
They prefer the right, such people,
where the earth-tones of a rural world
seem gentler on the eye,
where local poles that form this market stall
are tightly lashed with sisal
not machine-hewn planks, steel nails,
that gaudy paint.
These types would cut along the dotted line,
what the left might offer.
Imagine if, instead, we made
a fold along that dotted line
so both sides of this picture touched,
two palms inside a handshake
or two mouths from Lake-and-Mountain,
or any other shocking This-and-That.
©Stephen Derwent Partington
Photography: Wambui Mwangi