from google






talkin’ 21st century walkin’ blues …



( inspired by Woody Guthrie, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela, The Amandla ‘ANC Freedom’ Choir, Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter, Pete Seeger, uMama Miriam Makeba, Vusi Mahlasela, Youssou N’Dour, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Christy Moore, and far too many more to mention )






walkin’ down these jo’burg streets, where glimmering chariots and hunger meets,


talkin’ about these jo’burg boulevards, where few sip whisky while the many are pierced by jagged shards,


yes, just walkin’ down these suburban roads, where high fences shield the 1%,


while the generous ones roll down their windows to fling out a 20 or so cent,


they said that ‘capitalism with a conscience’ would lead to more equality,


now we know that those words were empty and meaninglessly shitty,


there is no ‘capitalism with a conscience’ to be found,


the system itself is designed to keep the have-nots manacled and bound.




doesn’t all this sound like familiar talk, wherever in the world you live and walk,


doesn’t this happen in your city too, no matter what the stock exchange wants us to believe is true,


as you go walkin’ in your countries and cities the world around, doesn’t all this talk of the economy seem like hollow mishmash sound,


doesn’t the shimmering of gold and diamonds, of fillet mignon and blue label neat, sicken you as you emerge from your cocoons onto the raw festering street,


yes, it’s the same the whole wide world over, the grip of need that binds like a twisted  choker, while millions are wagered in casinos around the whole world on games of poker,


so yes we’re talkin’ 21st century blues, where crocodile skin footwear meet torn shoes.




johannesburg,

detroit,

lagos,

gaza,

delhi,

london,

freetown,

beijing,


soweto,

harlem,

the favelas,

the “squatter camps”,

the “inner cities”,


all these festering sores on all of our consciences, are just blabbered on about in countless conferences,


where the rich and powerful and the greedy, give not a hoot about the starving needy,


where men in suits sip wine and on fresh salmon dine, as the conveniently invisible ones magically appear for a quick shoeshine.




i’m talkin’ these blues not because i’m wise, or humane, or have something so different to say, no i talk these words because i know there is a better way,


a better path where hope lights the lamp of equality, where protest and songs and the fight continues for true liberty.




i’m walkin’ and talkin’ these 21st century blues, knowing injustice is unsustainable, where the 1% will and must pay their pitliless dues,


it is our common internationalism to fight and pull out the dagger of inequality, so all may share the bounties of this earth, with no need for flinging money at the odd charity,


it is a hope we must all carry deep inside us all, and yes they will call us impotent and naive, but these are the common principles and values in which we have no choice but to believe,


as we go walkin’ and talkin’ these 21st century blues, fighting the good and the right and the just fight, even as they call us naive, against the stilettos of greed that into humanity do cleave,


so that the dignity, the respect, the gender-rights, the stab of hunger, the being homeless in the sleet and the rain, is not taken for granted as the normality of this life, where bombs and hunger are no longer taken for granted as “theirs” and not “our” strife,


but where uBuntu* is practised from the cradle to the grave,


for that is the only way we can our beautiful planet, our sisters and brothers, our mothers and daughters and the women so very brave,


fight on, resisting the grotesque truths of our world and our realities from callous greed shake off these suffocating chains, the hideous materialism that we crave,




that are designed to perpetuate the tyranny of the master and of the slave …







* – uBuntu is a Southern African isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses the “belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”









from google

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