He threw words
Chris van Wyk did
(he who police beat
with his non-too-sober friends)

He didn’t throw stones
or burn cars (or libraries
as we do today despite
of our levels of literacy
and everything else)

He threw words
He hurled them
against apartheid
with his pen

With his pen
he prepared children
for freedom
(a gifted storyteller
and faithful chronicler)

(was he told this
whilst in the living)

They seem to go first
the worthy examples
leaving no Chés or Bikos
or Harons to honour
in the living space

(these three slayed
their lives recently

They go first unheralded
oft unbeknown even
to those who benefitted
(from their labours)

Even though
the Shirley author
only threw words

Shamelessly I pillage from the morning tributes (from Tyrone August’s The T-Spot column – “Chris van Wyk a gifted storyteller and faithful chronicler”, and Jay Heale’s “With his pen Chris van Wyk prepared children for freedom” (Cape Times, October 10 2014). Cribbed did I, too, from a tribute penned for Dr Ivan Toms.