Archive for November, 2017


repost :  she





she comes to me, in moments desolate, the warmth of her balm a soothing pleasure under the swaying palm,


she comes to me in moments painful, her presence infusing my emptiness with sense,


she comes to me in minutes, hours, days,
and though she may be a million miles away,


it is her who quells my nights,


it is her who brings solace to my waking day.





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for my dear cat who is no more …





when sad and weary,


our friends who are so hairy,


pick us up, lifting our spirits high,


wiping away tears,


as our dreams soar through the sky,


these are our friends,


more loyal than homo-sapiens for sure,


that’s why she is so special,


because when my furry friend feels I am under the weather,


she’s got the touch,


and she’s got the cure …












The Tears of Mother Earth …




Mother Earth weeps, her cries silenced, by the clinking of champagne flutes, as yet again, men myopic with greed carve out plans to plunder her more.


how much more shall you take, she moans, while men with noxious lust whoop with joy, their greed tainted with blinkers, knowingly stripping her further, in a blinded frenzy of self-serving savagery.


Mother Earth is ill, diseased by the ceaseless pillaging, by us, her children, siphoning more and more, till heaven knows when, she shall be hollow to the core.


are we so blinded, are we so callous, are we so lost in our glazed orgy, to hack away her dignity, her bounteous nurturing spirit, her selfless giving of herself, to let her children, us all, to eat, to be healthy, to live, to breathe in the freshest air and to bathe in the most pristine rivulets, flowing through her very veins and arteries, those very arteries and veins which we slice and dice each day.


our Mother calls to us, beseeching us, asking only how much more can she be expected to give, how much more are we going to take.


her wheezing spasms are felt by us all, her pleading for help resounds, as we chip away at her lungs, poison her waters, belch bile into her air, continually desecrating our shared commons.


our Mother is as mortal as you and i, for she too bleeds, for she too chokes, for she too lies weakened, ill after being brutalised by her very own.


as we avert our unseeing eyes, our deafened ears to her simple needs, we turn our backs to her, refusing to acknowledge her consistent gifts to us all, epoch upon epoch, millennia upon millennia.


as we avert our complicit gaze, we stand indicted, we stand forewarned, that her bounty is finite, for if we plunder evermore, she too shall be forced onto her knees, exhausted by her persistent and consistent motherliness, for she too can give only so much, for she too is aging and in need of tending, for she too is mortal.


and when that time comes, as it does to all that is mortal, that she fades and slips away, it shall be us, her very children, consciously and with savage intent, who rained down suffering on her, our Mother, till she said in a hushed whisper:


I am famished.


I have nothing left to give.



farewell, my children.







The Moth







The Moth …





am i the moth, seduced by your flame, destined to burn out in a blaze,



am i the bee, drawn to your nectar, bound to lose you in the misty winter haze.



am i the ache, consumed by you, you who embody all that is true.



am i all of that and more, drawn inexorably to your core,


ignorant that a love such as this existed,


ever before …








the stream of life











the stream of life …




the meandering stream of our lives, hopping over smooth pebbles, jarred by jagged rocks, swirling down maelstroms, surfacing in placid waters, washing up all our carried detritus on tiny islands of hope, coursing through the rapids of fate, just as life races on, a perpetual journey wrestling the still waters where hope itself, seemingly lies in state.


our lives, the daily grind, the cacophony of the banal, remains afloat, seeking solace in between crevasses, welcoming the temporary respite from the incessantly onward flow, stripping our skin bare, raw wounds inflicted by the flotsam and jetsam of these travels, the travails of the many masks we wear, seeking respite in the promise of an endless sea, always just around the corner, where for once, we may moult our broken skin, and where for once, we may just be.


the rising and ebbing of the tides, leave us gasping for breath, a seemingly endless cycle of the distant beacon of joy, only to be blinded by the silt, as the stream rolls on obliviously, leaving us gasping for breath, a twig snapped in two, while destiny offers us the mirage of a peaceful shore, only to be struck by the truth, the tired realisation that the stream rolls on, evermore.


we are torn apart by the ceaseless wear and tear, the infinite tears lost in the deluge, our fleeting laughs, our vanishing smiles, being pounded against the silence of the shallows, with hope a seductive vision, prodding us to go on,

to not sink in the greying depths of despair,

while we continually fall for the falseness of the charade,

grasping for just another breath of life affirming air.









A Tribute to Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.





( Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (10 July 1956 – 6 April 1979) was a South African operative of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He was convicted of murder by the brutal Apartheid regime. He was executed by hanging in 1979 )






You were the tip of the spear, the pointed tip of Umkhonto-we-Sizwe,


“The Spear of the Nation”.


You held true to your principles,


your values in your struggle against Apartheid racial discrimination and savagery.


The state feared you, and so many like you.


They feared the blazing tip of the spear that would fracture their arrogant, hollow ideology.


You, Comrade Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, were 23 years of age,


yet decades ahead, a beacon to the indomitable spirit of the revolutionary that you were.


The grotesque Apartheid regime executed you, at 23 years of age.


They could not silence your final words –

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.

Tell my people that I love them.

They must continue the fight”.


Your paid the ultimate price.


You made the ultimate sacrifice,


so that we who breathe the air of freedom may today and always salute you,


a true martyr to the cause of humanity and dignity and free from the shackles of racism and racial supremacy.


You were a beacon of resistance.


You remain a shining light that shall forever guide us even in the deepest night.


They executed you,


yet they could not,


they cannot,


they will never quell the fire of revolution.


The fire that you held in your heart,


the fire that shall always shine true.


Hamba Kahle*, Comrade!


Amandla! ngAwethu*


Matla ke a Rona!*


The Struggles Continues!



          _________

* – “Hamba Kahle” is an isiZulu and isiXhosa saying that means “farewell”, and was rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid, when it was put to song and sung at funerals of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom, justice, equality, democracy, and dignity for all.




* – “Amandla Ngawethu” means power to the people, and was also a rallying cry in the struggle against Apartheid.




* – “Matla ke a Rona”  was a revolutionary slogan that means “Victory is Certain”




           _________



Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu (10 July 1956 – 6 April 1979) was a South African operative of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He was convicted of murder by the brutal Apartheid regime. He was executed by hanging in 1979




      ___________

http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/solomon-kalushi-mahlangu

 

            _______

https://youtu.be/UpKb9lVsmCE

                 

M A N D E L A










Mandela …



the great plains of Africa echo your name, you live in our souls, a radiant flame.



the notions of racial superiority quake in your shadow, in the teeming cities, in the rural meadow.



you had an ideal for which you were prepared to die, you banished the clouds of oppression, revealing freedom’s unfettered sky.



your courage as you spent twenty-seven years in Apartheid dungeons, was unshakeable, even as you bore the brutality of tyrannical truncheons.



your comrades and you turned Robben Island into a university of freedom, of hope, even as you were shackled by iron and rope.



your indomitable spirit reached far and wide, across the great lands and over the vast seas, infusing freedom-loving people with the strength to fight, against that festering sore, the scourge of Apartheid, with all their collective might.



and when that day came when you walked under the South African sun, tall, proud and free, we ululated, we danced, we cried tears of joy, for at long last the dawn of liberation we could finally see.



and still your battles were far from over, as you steered our teetering country away from the abyss, the violence of Apartheid so brutal in its death throes, your message of forgiveness, of reconciliation spread as far as the wind blows.



those were harsh times indeed, our beloved South Africa on the precipice of civil war, the stench of blood on the breeze, yet you remained firm, urging us to throw our weapons into the waters of our seas.



then dawned the 27th of April in1994, when all of our peoples queued to vote, democratically and peacefully, to realise the ideals and principles you and your comrades and countless, nameless others, fought, sacrificed, and died for.



and on the 10th day of May a couple of weeks later, you became our President, our Commander-in-Chief, as the yoke of hegemony was cast off, after all the pain, the suffering, the savagery, and the grief.



your principles never wavered, you did not to the powerful bow, you remained steadfast in your dream of a better society for all, you taught us to rise up again, to stand upright, after many a fall.



your humanity, your conscience became a part of the wind, your message, your dedication to the human cause, inspired numberless more, breaking the latches of racism on many a shut door.



you were our Madiba, our father, our beacon of truth, your message imbibed by so many, the aged and the youth.



then came that sorrowful day when you passed away, and to the welcoming arms of our ancestors you made your way.



we cried, we sobbed, our world convulsed, having lost you as you no longer walked amongst us in flesh and in bone, yet your example, your life entire, became a lesson set in stone.



today we fight newer battles, the enemy not so apparent, not so clear, corrupt in words and in deed, we see the scurrying for power and for greed.



we see our beloved rainbow nation fracturing, your dreams of economic and social justice diluted by avarice, and not by need.



but still we cherish and strive and fight on, todays battlefields less easily defined, the enemy often within us, and harder to find.



still your revolutionary spirit, your unwavering belief in equality for all, your principled struggle never expedient, but for what was, for all, true and right,


it is still that undying spirit of yours that compels us to never rest, to never give up the just fight.




Viva Nelson Mandela Viva!


Amandla! Ngawethu!


All Power to the People!


The Struggles Continue …















walking together …





1.



will you walk with me, my friend, my love?


our tattered shoes carrying us across our shared earth,


imbibing life from this, our common soil,


calloused hands testimony to the sweat, the pain, and our grinding toil.




will you share with me your abandoned hopes, your desolate fears,


sharing together simple joys, amidst falling tears.




we shall share a life together, not devoid of sorrow, loss, and not of hardships free,


but i shall always remain true to you, and you shall always remain true to me.




will you take my hand in yours, my love, my friend,


we have much to traverse still,


with many a worn-out shoe yet to mend.




2.




we shall walk hand in hand, vowing against injustice to always take a stand,


never to be a part of the soulless, numbed parade,


never to be seduced by the ostentatious, plastic charade.




we shall together, as one, carve our own road ahead,


walking on many a path yet to be tread.




3.




will you walk with me, my friend, my love,


as we lay together, your hand in mine,


gently kissed by the glorious sunsets, with you, my only love,


basking in radiant sunshine,


enveloping us from above?







a few reposts: dreams






dreams …




simple dreams of us, not of riches, gaudy and plush,



dreams of the exquisite tingle of our lips brushing – of being swept away, imbibing that intoxicating rush –

dreams of soaking up our shared copper sun,
your silky hair bathing my face,



through whispering rivulets of streams, our haven, our secret place –

dreams of souls knit together, of yours, and of mine,



extricated from the numbness of this plastic pantomime –

dreams afloat on streams, on the ripples of our murmuring desire,
alive, inflamed,



forged in our cauldron of love, sensuous, fiery, never tamed –

simple dreams …











The Scent of Earth.



1.



Rain on parched earth, the rejuvenation of life,
nature showering her realm with promise.

Rain falling, infusing the rebirth of dusty leaves,
nourishing the roots of thirsty trees.

The rains remind me of you, the earthy aroma replenishing the day,
your earthiness firmly rooted, revelling in the trees that in the rains sway.



2.



The rains are much akin to you, as I imbibe renewed hope from your cauldron of giving.

The rains are much akin to you, as I breathe again, for you make each day worth living …











the wanderers smile …




sidestepping shrapnelled

shards of jagged life
cauterising

wounds

deeply veiled

fleeing from salivating strife

sewing a tattered soul

        fragmented

        mishmashed

        

        into

        a

        rainbow

        mosaic

             

        haphazard

             

a patchwork of forgotten lies spoken
a wellspring of

dreams broken

flung to the winds

cast away

the wanderer …
committing the crime
around

every bend
attemped rhyme

to inure time

mile

upon endless

mile
prepped

to bury pain
on cue

to mask loss
anaesthetised

sterilised
prepped

on cue
mile

after

mile
to paint on

the wanderers smile …








Memories of 1994





Freedom!



The shackles have been cast off.



Chains broken.



People once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.



Free at last!



Freedom came on the 27th day in that April, 1994.



Freedom from prejudice.



From institutionalised racism.



From being relegated to second-class citizens.



Freedom came and we danced.



We cried.



We ululated as we elected our revered Madiba.



President Nelson Mandela.



Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.



Black and white and brown and those in-between,



All hues of this rainbow nation,



rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.



Today we pause.



We remember.



We salute.



The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

23 years ago.



Today we dance.



We sing.



We ululate.



We cry.



Tears of joy and tears of loss.



Of remembrance and of forgiveness.



Of harsh memories.



Today we pause.



We acknowledge the tasks ahead.



The hungry.



The naked.



The destitute.



Today we must reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.



From want.



From racism that thrives still.



From hunger.



From eyes without promise.



Today we also reflect on unfulfilled promises.



On the proliferation of greed.



On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.



Today we say
We will take back the dream.



We will renew the promise.



We will not turn away.



Today we pledge:



To stand firm.



To keep the pressure turned on.



To remind those in the corridors of power,


that we the people need to savour the fruits of the tree of freedom*



And till that time,


when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.



And we shall continue,

to struggle.



And to sing out loud:





“We shall overcome” …



THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES !


WE SHALL NOT REST !



* – last words of freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu  – executed by the Apartheid regime.

A M A N D L A !




N G A W E T H U !




ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE !





Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

a repost:





A Tribute.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(1929 – 1968)




    1.



    You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

    where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.



    2.




    They silenced you, yet your dream
    resounds louder still,

    in pastures not yet of peace,

    where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.



    3.





    You said that you had been to the mountain top,

    they tried to strangle your voice as you saw the promised land,

    those pastures of peace,

    where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.



    4.




    Today your dream is glimpsed in pastures,

    not yet of peace,

    for though they tried to silence your voice,

    your spirit in our collective hearts does rejoice.



    5.





    Your spirit, your dream,

    mingles in the winds of all those pastures,

    over the valleys, in the oceans, across the mountains,

    in every flowing stream.




    6.





    Today, your dream lives in the wind,

    seeding the prairies, the steppes, the savannahs, the pampas,

    pastures of peace,

    where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.




    7.





    We remember you today,

    with a shared pledge to nourish those pastures of peace,

    in each of us,

    where your dream may thrive,

    blossoming into our shared dream,

    bounteous, and alive.




    8.





    Your dream realised shall then seem,

    where children of all hues mingle like rainbows,

    when we give life to the promise of the radiance of your beautiful dream.
















    With apologies to W.H. Auden …





    ( for W.H. Auden )




    tomorrow for the grueling work to begin,


    the rebuilding of trust,


    the sweat and the toil.



    tomorrow for reflection,


    the search for a new beginning, the hard tasks that lie in wait.



    tomorrow for the farmers to till the land,


    for the teachers to share free knowledge to all.



    tomorrow for the effort,

    to strive to build a new nation, to shake off the weight and the burdens of the past.


    tomorrow for all of that …


    but today,


    today,


    the gleeful, joyous, teary-eyed celebration of freedom …





    when tyrants tremble : Zimbabwe








    When Tyrants Tremble …



    when tyrants tremble,

    at the fury of those who tremble no more,


    their veneer of stability seems rotten to the core.




    when the trembling ones shake off their long-hushed fear,


    the trembling ones,


    tremble now with a rage that injustice everyone can hear.




    when tyrants tremble,


    as the dispossessed shake their foundations of tyrannical conceit,


    tyrants tremble,


    when the common ones expose the phantoms of tyranny’s deceit.




    when the trembling ones

    refuse to be cowed and bowed and beaten down again,



    the trembling ones,


    scream their vehemence as they have little to lose and freedom and dignity to gain.




    when tyrants tremble,


    their trembling resounds and echoes around the world,


    tyrants tremble,

    in far-flung tyrannies,

    as the peoples’ flag is unfurled.




    and finally when the trembling ones,


    take back the citadels, the streets, the squares, and the parks,


    the trembling ones,


    send a message to power that revolutions may be triggered by the merest of livid sparks.




    and that tyranny may reign for a decade or a generation or even two,


    but tyranny must eventually succumb to the rage of the common ones,


    that seemingly appears suddenly out of the bright clear blue.




    this isn’t a warning or a threat or a declaration of ill intent,


    this is a sober lesson in history for the peoples’ history with oppressive stasis can never be content.




    when tyrants tremble,


    they should know that there will someday come a trembling surprise,



    for the garbage heap of history patiently awaits each tyrant’s wretched demise …






    Zimbabwe 21st November 2017








    Zimbabwe 21st November 2017 …






    And When the People Rise!





    and when the people rise

    exhausted

    of being bludgeoned

    by the jackboot of suppression

     

    the demand is simple

     

    change

     

    for the better

     

    not the hollow, empty rhetoric of ‘freedom’

    heard in the corridors of power

     

    the demand is simple

     

    change

     

    for the better

     

    a better life

    devoid of the tyranny of rampant power

    without the imposition of mores and norms

    free of the shackles of the party-line

    the religious diktat

    the militaristic hammer

     

    and when the people rise

    inflamed

    by the ceaseless abuse of power

    as the old-guard refuses to see the writing scrawled across the wall

     

    ‘change’

     

    a simple demand

     

    for the better

     

    a better life

    for the living and for the ones still to be born

     

    the writing scrawled across the wall, and walls across the world

     

    is simple

     

    ‘change’

     

    for the better

    a new way to forge the future

    with fresh ideas and the opening up of the boulevards

    of opportunity for those who have remained outside for too long

     

    and when the people rise

    hopeful

    of the promise of a new dawn

    the future is a blank-slate lying amidst the debris

     

    for if the rising of the people

    prevails

    a beginning may be written anew

    out of the seed of change which into a tree of promise grew

     

    a new beginning may be written afresh

    with the values of simple humanity and gentle tolerance

    so that what has passed and what has been endured may never

    be visited again on those to come, and on those who bear the wounds on their flesh

     

    for when the rising of the people

    prevails

    the road ahead may be fraught with thorns and more pain

    for change is pock-marked with the scars of the past, and the memories do indeed remain

     

    so when the rising of the people

    prevails

    the hope is for the common good, for the tolerance of the one and of all

     

    the hope is for a better, more just today, and a tomorrow where the ideals of justice and of truth are firmly rooted, never to be shaken

     

    the hope is that in the name of peace and humanity, may the new oath be taken …
















    freeversing the blues




    tears trickle down far too many a cheek,
    while bigotry and hate like raw sewage reek,


    down these cellophane faces in plastic towns,
    while hope in the well of misery drowns.



    the fractured spirits never seem to mend,
    even when swallowing the latest trend,


    gagging at the emptiness of last week’s buys,
    desperately polishing facades while the barren heart cries.



    we crawl as we trawl the roads for joy,
    spitting yesterdays away like some overused toy,


    fleeting moments never savoured whatever the ploy,
    we become the enemies we seek to destroy.



    why do we slam the doors shut on faces hungry and needy,
    don’t we already have it all for us to be so callously greedy,


    while we suck the blood and drink the tears of the ones we chase away,
    condemning them to ghettoes in which they absolutely must stay.



    when will we excise the demons on which apathy feeds,


    will we ever kill off sweatshops serving our wants and not our needs,

    will we ever stop putting guns in children’s hands,
    will we perpetuate the lie of where the tomahawk missile really lands.



    what grotesque metamorphosis have we been subjected to,
    where we whistle down corridors oblivious, blinded to all that is true,


    throttling the many for the benefit of the few,
    all the while supping on heaving tables as if we don’t have a clue.



    will we continue to feign ignorance of marital, partner, and child sexual abuse,
    discarding each fractured soul as if they were stale news,


    blindly turning our heads and thusly perpetuating male hetero-patriarchy,
    keeping the blinkers on, while banishing the sordid truth we pretend not to see.



    when will people of colour all around the world be seen, as human beings and not merely chattel,


    as people, as a part of humanity, and not as some half-bred form of vassal,


    to be used and discarded like stale garbage that needs to be trashed,


    while on single malt whisky we gleefully get smashed …



    … and when will all the world share in the bounties of this earth,


    so that we may truly bring a more equitable,


    a more fair, a more just world to birth  …













    choosing to love another, regardless of gender or colour,


    a revolutionary act in a time of hate.




    choosing to love another, beyond gender or creed,


    reveals humanity’s true face,


    beyond gender, religion, or race … …





    our dreams






    I looked down and saw her calloused hands, as we tried to make ends meet,


    we worked hard and lived frugally, feeling ourselves mired in the bog, barely having enough to eat.



    “these days must pass”, we whispered to each other,

    after yet another gruelling day,


    through night in and day out, the pain gnawed silently,

    as we saw our dreams receding,

    farther and farther away …





    a child of war and terror











    a child of war and terror







    as she lies bleeding,


    the girl who skipped, hopped to school,


    all of nine and a half years old,


    with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was her father’s pride.


     



    as she lies bleeding,


    shrapnel lodged in her torn stomach,


    she stares at her skipping rope,


    blood soaking it the colour of cherries her mother buys.


     



    as she lies bleeding,


    she sees human shapes all around, thick in the black smoke,


    blurred visions of scattering feet, 


    shoes left behind,

    hearing nothing but the pinging in her smashed eardrums.


     



    as she lies bleeding,


    she slips away and then she is dead,


    a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl,


    whose laugh was her father’s pride.


     


     


    as she lies bleeding,


    even in death she bleeds some more,


    shrapnel wedged in her torn stomach,


    stealing the light from her bright innocent eyes.




    as she lies bleeding …



    in jallianwala bagh in ‘19,

    johannesburg in ’93,

    leningrad in ‘42,

    freetown in ‘98,

    soweto in ‘76,

    beirut in ‘85,

    hanoi in ‘68,


    st. bernadino,

    manchester,

    baghdad,

    brussels,

    london,

    tripoli,

    miami,

    jenin,

    paris,

    kabul,

    raqqa,

    basra,

    mosul,

    gaza,



    aleppo still.


     


    as she lies bleeding,


    a little nine and a half year old girl,


    whose laugh was her parent’s pride,


    we know she’ll bleed more,


    tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn,


    with shrapnel in her stomach,

    ripped open and torn.


     


    as she lies bleeding,


    a child of war and terror.






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