Archive for February, 2018


My self-righteous Scribble





my self-righteous scribble.


1.


windswept winters, numbing the soul, walking through this life, sidestepping many a pothole,

dreams dreamt when innocent and young, now being  marched to the gallows, to be mutely hung,

remember those moments, freely soaring across the azure sky, to the now where the death march plods on, to be interred in the cold ground to lie,

all those sentiments, visions of joy and peace, now scarred by reality, shorn repeatedly off like used up fleece,

where did those noble aspirations scatter, idealistic principles that burned bright, now seem hardly at all to matter,

why did we end up the way we are, mere husks, bodies regurgitating the daily charade, silent amongst the hoopla of this deadened parade,

finding a job, then hanging onto it for dear life, attempts at paying the bills, settling the never ending rent, trampling over others, till consciences are dumbed down and irretrievably bent,

saving up for retirement, for those fortunate few who can, walking the streets of shame, flinging a few coins in someones hollow tin can,

time flies by, as we hop from work to home, surrendering the humanity once cherished, once felt so deep, only to collapse inebriated, into a dreamless sleep.


2.


can we ever recover that pristine innocence, that belief in a world less cruel, while over flutes of champagne, we guzzle and drool,

are we so lost within ourselves that we no longer give a damn, living in our cocoons, a sterile, frigid sham,

where have our consciences hurried away to, leaving us empty, devoid of the truths we once firmly held, while into the plastic world around us, we have begun to meld,

are we so far gone that we absolve our consciences once a month or two, scribbling cheques to greenpeace and amnesty international too,

both worthy causes if truth be told, who wouldn’t need our charity if weapons of war were not manufactured, bought and sold,

how have we come to this place, where the weak are belittled, while the greed of the 1% is coveted, while humane values lie in cupboards, empty and closeted,

this meagre verse could go on, spilling words onto paper, mere self-righteous rhymes,

soon to be forgotten, as i scurry on, for ever more dollars, nickels, and dimes.










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Why“, they ask her,

why him?”.


She tells them the day we met, when we laughed and we spoke for hours,

she felt the shackles disappear,

she felt unfettered,

she felt free.


She felt, for the first time, 

that all she needed to be,


was herself.


* – inspired by Pete Seeger’s ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone”



Where have all the leaders gone,

they’ve been numbed,

each and every one …


Where have all the leaders gone,

the Mandelas, MLKs, Tambos, Sisulus are long buried,

and there ain’t no one singing their song …


Where have all the leaders gone,

they’re all inebriated now,

as they dance and drink from the golden chalice,

cos’ its the pearly gates of Capital before which they now kowtow,

their crocodile smiles betraying not a hint of malice.


Where have all the leaders gone,

truth be told, they’re all just politicians now,

preened and tucked away,

each behind a gilded electrified fence,

popping out occasionally with pomposity,

and indignant irritation,

reminding us of the perils of ‘moral degeneration’ …


Yes, that’s where all the leaders have gone,

sipping from the peoples chalice,

comfortable each,

in an obscene palace.



       


* inspired by Pete Seeger’s ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone”

Moments before Rain




before the deluge,

greying clouds congregate,


rumble,

roll,

casual,

merciless,

oblivious,

self assured,

of sprinkling hope,


over us all

if we are willing,

to be able to endure,

though besieged by the torrents of fate,


assaulted as time idly shambles past,

skewering the memories,

once betrayed,

destined to eternally last,


while drowning,

sinking,

going under,

diving deep beneath,


the tides of mishmashed grumbles,

lost in a numbed haze,

of unfinished mumbles,


all promising cascades,

of dazzling hues,

amidst strawberry shades,

while wills crumble,

and all resolve fades …




capitalism 101 …



When it breaks, shatters,

rendering souls mute, with hearts in tatters.


Does it bother you at all?


that for you to rise,

so many must fall.





Choosing to love another, regardless of colour, of tribe, of caste,

without rushing to judgment with indignant hate,

regardless of where one was born,

mattering not how thin or how fat,

however our size or form,

is a revolutionary act in a time when the proliferation of hate seems to be the norm.


Choosing to love another, beyond beliefs, or creed,

reveals humanity’s truth,

across gender, religions,

reaffirming that we are all we are all of one species, that we all bleed red, 

mattering not the rainbow hues of our face,

knowing that we are all connected beings,

of this,

our human race …



You. Your Love


the rapids of life smashed me against the jagged rocks of fate and time,

I tried my best to cope with the day-to-dayness of a society mired in cruel slime,

I tried, I cried,
I felt so cold I thought that I may have died.



Shattered shards of glass littered my path ahead,

I faked smiles though within I was dead.



The promises of joy seemed a mirage untrue,

which is when I found solace when I met you.



You shush my hearts cries,

you take me on your unfettered wings, soaring across the bluest skies,

your love is simple, tender, shielding me from the unbearable crowd,

your love is a balm, soothing me with gentle light, banishing every dark cloud.



This is why you are my world, a universe in my heartbeat,

a love so pristine, so warm, holding onto me so I may never retreat,

to that frigid void, that unfeeling vacuum that shrouded me,

before you took my hand in yours,

before you became the eyes through which I see.



Your eyes sketch skies,

a silken canvas.


Your touch,

the smell of your hair,

seduces me,

in an avalanches of curls.


Our kisses like tributaries fanning out, eroding life’s cold hard stone.


In your arms,

in the shadows of your form,


I am whole,

I am never alone.


The Cost of Revolution


The Cost of Revolution …

(in memory of the June 16th 1976 student uprising in South Africa)



You hurled rocks, stones,
Molotov Cocktails,
Sling-shots against the brutality of racial oppression.

You fell on the streets of Soweto,
Thokoza,
Kagiso,
Sharpeville,
Tembisa,
So many more I cannot begin to mention.

Tasting the acrid stench of tear-gas,

Feeling the flesh ripped off your bones by their dogs,

Drenched by water-cannons,
Stung by rubber-bullets,
Whipped by sjamboks,
Shot in the head by bullets,
Paid for by your country’s gold.

You stood trial for Treason,
Facing the hangman’s noose,

You stood firm, you did not break,
Even though,
You had wives, sons, daughters, lovers, brothers, sisters, and friends to lose.

The revolutionary dream burned bright,
In all your hearts,

Even as the jackboot of Apartheid,

Fractured your bones and tore your families into broken and splintered parts.

You left your brothers,
Sisters,
Sons,
Daughters,
Lovers,
Wives,
Comrades and friends,

Seeking out foreign lands,
With only the ammunition that you held in your hearts, your minds and in your never-wavering hands.

The enemy did not waver either,

Tyranny didn’t cease.

2 AM knocks on doors around this land,
Meant to stifle, to intimidate,

Yet,
You took a stand.

Hungry,
lost far away from home, pining for freedom and your loved ones,

Still,
You stood firm,
You fought on,

“Release Mandela and all Political Prisoners” was your cry,
In capitals of far-off lands,

You feared not the bayonet in the enemy’s hands,

The revolution was burning bright,

Even as the dawn of Freedom was in sight.

Finally on a February day,
They released him and the joy was palpable, nothing stood now in the revolution’s way.

All the while,
The enemy consolidated its power,

Paying off traitors,

Seeding violence,

Orchestrating mayhem to taint the noble cause,

And still you took the tyrant’s rifles and clenched their muzzles in-between your brave jaws.

Never standing down,
Backing away,
Retreating to safe space,
The fire of revolution burned,
Spreading through the plateaus and valleys and townships and cities and villages in this pained land,

And still,

Still,
You held that Kalashnikov in your hand.

And when that day of freedom came,

You felt the stirrings of joy and pain and yes,
Of shame.

You felt the shame of leaving those you left behind,

You tasted again the pain,
Of economic hardships,
Of capitalism and its illusory promise,
Of a revolution left incomplete,

Till,
Every man, woman and child has enough to eat.

A revolution still incomplete,
Where hunger stalks the night,
Where mercy,
And comradely solidarity,
Left last night on a first-class flight.

You stand tall still,
Working as you always have,

Polishing the metal chariots of those you once bled for,

Still feeling the injustice,
Of not having the two cents more,

That deprives you of your daily bread,

And you try hard to remember,

Whether this is the revolution,

For which so many died,

The countless whose names remain unsaid,

The brothers and sister,
Mothers and fathers,
Lovers and friends,

Who lie cold and dead.



(dedicated to all South Africans who sacrificed their lives, their families, in pursuit of the revolutionary dream. A dream that remains a dream to many, and a dream that will continue to be dreamed)





before the deluge,

greying clouds congregate – rumble and roll,

casual, merciless, oblivious,

self assured of sprinkling hope,

over us all …

if we are willing,
to be able to endure,

though besieged by the torrents of fate,

assaulted as time idly shambles past,

skewering the memories once betrayed,

destined to eternally last,

while drowning,

sinking,

going under,

diving deep beneath,

the tides of mishmashed grumbles,

lost in a numbed haze,

of unfinished mumbles,

all promising cascades,

of dazzling hues,

amidst strawberry shades,


while wills crumble,

and all resolve fades …





there shall not be peace …


as hunger rumbles,

desolation stalks,

poverty numbs,

apathy dumbs,

there shall be no peace,

until hungry mouths are fed,

till poverty slithers away,

back into the coffers that prey,

the greedy upon the needy,


this is how it has always been.

is this how it shall always be?






sandpapered, raw emotions, 

sentiments, wounds cutting to the core,

afloat in cellophane dreams.


Fantastical flights, asphyxiating me in these hollow nights,

sealed on dotted lines,

signed away,

the simple freedom of hoping for a gentler way.


For now cellophane dreams are stacked with a shovel,

thrust down souls inured,

left emaciated in the dirt to grovel,

lost in the blur of today’s lies.


Tempus fugit, they say,

shedding some pain as time continually flies,

to a nearby space,

trapped within my bruised face,


so hear me when I say,

that i am also human.


I am also,

a part of your human race …





he searched in places damp and dreary, he sought the truth, or an idea, a concept, of the whys of this conscious life, the kernel of picking the lock, peering inside the anarchic infinity, finally understanding, the whys, strands filaments strings, binding us, you and i, us all, together, somehow, as he searched for meaning in pain, pings in the dark deep night, he searched for the whys, smashing into dead-end lies, finding alleyways webbing outwards in infinite embroidery.

the future:

alive with hope …


Our common Fountain


in a world tugging,

pulling,

drawing and quartering each soul apart.



Mercy,

humanity,

love,

effortlessly, resistance-free, perish, and

depart.



Embracing ignorance, hugging credulous unreason,

fracturing the human bones,

cartilage, tendons ripped,

shattered hearts, broken minds, pelted by apathetic stones.


There can be but one answer,

simplistic as it may sound:

teach respect, not creed,

worship shared humanity,

shun lecherous greed,

only then,

may we truly, as one,

from our common fountain peacefully feed …



In memory of “The Big Man” Clarence Anicholas Clemons Jr. (1942 – 2011)





Growin’ Up in Delhi town, far away from being Born in the USA,

your words rang true to me,

nothing more so than when you sang Cover Me,

as i ached for release from my urban Jungleland,

to the rock ‘n’ roll tunes of The E-Street Band.


You made me weep with your melancholic My Hometown, as i related so deeply to I’m goin’ Down,

cos’ when you sang, you sang from the depths of your Hungry Heart, all the way across the seas from Asbury Park.


Your lyrics sliced deep, scraping away the veneer of cellophane,

stuck inside the prison of my Downbound Train.


I remember the first girl i met, with Bobby Jean stuck in my lovestruck head,

and as we walked hand in hand through the city park, all i wanted was to be, with her, Dancing in the Dark.


I believed that we were Born to Run, far away from that Brilliant Disguise,

far beyond the Darkness on the edge of Town, escaping our fragile spaces, on our Rocky Ground.


When Little Steven sang Sun City, it gave me more of a Reason to Believe,

singing truth to power, raging against Apartheid’s vile hell, for all who from racial discrimination had no reprieve.


When you sang with Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, and Sting, all of you on stage for the Amnesty international concert, you carefully picked your principled fights, as we all sang Bob Marley’s Get up, Stand up, Stand for your Rights.


As i grew up, on that forked Thunder Road, you reminded me of The Ballad of Tom Joad,

your lyrics cut straight to the bone, when you belted out your classic We take care of our Own.


You made me cry some more on the Streets of Philadelphia, while so many sweated it out in many a Darlington County, while the wealthy smiled and grabbed at this earth’s common bounty.


Oh how we joined you in the chorus, when you sang Woody’s angry This Land is your Land, while you paid homage to the countless immigrants in your visceral American Land.


I imbibed your words, feeling them course through my veins when i was bruised and tender, because you spoke to me of holding on tight to hope, to the words of No Surrender.


We are Alive spoke of the many who died trying to reach The Promised Land, to give it a shot, of Working on a Dream, while crossing The River would impossible seem.


Today, as so many are still sweating it out Working on the Highway,

you never fail to infuse hope,

the eternal hope,


of Waitin’ on a Sunny Day


us men



Men,

almost always,

men.

Myopic, impotent men.


Our manliness oozing.

Our machismo seeping,


dripping,

soaking,

in swathes of red,

scarlet blood on innocent skin,

hardened,

caked,

dried on cold, dead flesh.


Who am I?

A man,


myopic, impotent.


my swagger puffed on conceit:


my country right or wrong,

my god not yours,

my culture your creed,

my tribe, sect, ideology,

my fists your body,

my words your dignity,

my violence your scars.
Who am i?


A man?


knitted into,

shared humanity?


It is time,

to let this rotten, festering,

glossy, tucked, trimmed, diseased skin of manliness, of ugly power, of twisted arrogance,

to moult,

to lay stark this sham,

this theatre,

these lies, these maggots burrowing deep,


into man,


chiselling, smashing,

beheading, hanging,

shooting, bombing, drone-ing, killing, raping, torturing,

killing, killing, killing,


excising man,

ripping man out of humanity.


Oh yes, I am proud.

I am man …


deciphering silence


you and i,

shielded by silence,

barred from ourselves,

inured against feelings,

exiled hearts,

building ramparts …


a berlin wall

that may fall,


so, my love,

lay your head

upon my chest,

and let my fingers

run through your hair,

lulling you gently

to rest,


life is far too short anyway,

to squander even a day,

so rest,

my loveliness,


rest,

and lay your head

upon my chest …




Neither wealth nor trinkets of gold, she shunned the two.


“I am whole, because you touch my soul, when I am with you”.


That was when we knew, this journey of ours,

this love,

was true …


a quarter scribble


nothing leaves a heart reeling more than the heart filled with an abundance of feeling.





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 immigrant’s smile …


art by banksy 

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