Tag Archive: African Poetry


from google




The Sound of Distant Ankle Bells …



Memories of those delicate tinkling bells,

casually fastened around calloused feet,


take hold of my waking moments,


and fling my thoughts back to a distant time,

where folk-songs were heartily sung,

joyful, yet hopelessly out of rhyme.




I barely saw her, a construction labourer perhaps,

hauling bricks, cement, anything, on a scorching Delhi day,

while in the semi-shade of a Gulmohar tree, her infant silently lay.




A cacophony of thoughts such as these swirl around,

yanking me away from the now, to my cow-dung littered childhood playground.




Now, a lifetime of displacement has hushed the jangling chorus of the past,

to a faint trickle of sounds, as distant as an ocean heard inside tiny sea-shells,


and,


I know, that the orchestral nostalgic crescendo, rises, dips, and swells,

as tantalisingly near, yet a world of time away, as were the tinkling of her ankle-bells.




from google






P  A  S  S  I O N






a baobab tree – art from google




Passion …





undulating, lengthy, scorching kisses,

peppered with sensuous caresses,

with you, i am one,

a bouquet of feelings, infusing every pore,

our bodies in unison, fused at our passionate core.





scribbling verses on on your fiery skin,

dedicating odes to you, my love,

melting into a poem of desire,

burnished against our writhing bodies,

inflamed, on fire.



.

these nights of hungering need,

these days aching to upon each other ravishingly feed,

swept up by our orchestral crescendo,

the symphonies coursing through our veins with greed.




no scribbled verses may even begin, to convey the heat of our shared cauldron,

we become one, we are one, when the stars in the sultry nights disappear,

our sweat trickling off our flesh,

the sparkle in your eyes so crystalline, so clear.




though the years have vanished and slipped into cupboards to sleep,

though the wrinkles have imperceptibly on our brows begun to creep,


we have yet many moons to savour,

bathed in moonlight of our hearts beating as one,

within each other so immeasurably deep …


art from google


“Irises” by Vincent van Gogh



an unashamedly mushy lovey-dovey scribble …




I want you in my arms tonight, I crave your touch ever gentle, ever so feathery light,


I want you to kiss me hungrily beneath our African night, I want to sip the nectar glistening on your lips so bright,


I want all of you and more, I want to pick up seashells with you on our talcum shore,


I want you to clasp my hand, your fingers intertwined with mine, I want to be dazzled by the love we share, a flame that continues to brightly shine,


I want to escape this daily grind with you by my side, deep into the recesses of our souls, where there no longer is the need to scurry and to hide,


I want us to make love, our bodies and minds and hearts becoming one, I want to feel the heat between us like the blazing sun,


I want to promise you love forever more, a vow, an oath, kept safe deep within our core,


I want to grow old with you, my love, my light,


I want to savour every moment shared together,


forever and ever, with the knots of love binding us tight …



“Wheatfield with Crows” by Vincent van Gogh

.                 .             .               .

from google



Drowning in her Eyes …



Drowning in her eyes,

eyes chastising me for looking away,

till my gaze got caught, in her eyes’ captivating sway.



“I fear I would drown in your eyes”, I said in a whisper,


“drown”, she murmured.





from google

The Truest Beauty

from google



the truest beauty …





On that rainy windswept night, when we took shelter under a leaking bus stop,


shivering as invisibles, scratched out of this world’s pitiless sight.



We spoke at length, as the buses passed us by,


we bared our souls to each other, as strangers often do,


laughing about how we roamed these avenues without a clue.



We spoke of excruciating truths, of life’s random cruelty, of our hopes and of our dreams, of our small joys and of our fears,


as we stood under that leaking bus stop, the rain streaking down cheeks that were salty with tears.



I barely saw you, and you could hardly see me, in the rain and in the fog,


as we laughed and cried together, sharing feelings of being swamped in life’s quicksand tugging bog.



We spoke so much that rainy night, we shared what we could not share with anyone else, we spoke of love and the beauty of it all,


we stood in the rainy sleet, dwarfed by the grey buildings towering so impersonally tall.



The beauty that I felt in those moments spent with you, the truest beauty I have ever felt, far beyond the fakery of strutting it all on this daily, gaudy parade,


truer than it all, all of it, far beyond the hollow shells of the neverending charade.



That night passed, as all nights must, yet you remain with me, within me, the beautiful stranger I could hardly see.



Today, I look back through the wisps of time, failing to scribble even the simplest rhyme,


knowing not much, but this much I know to be true,

the truest beauty of all, caresses your soul, and envelopes your heart,


the truest beauty rests,

deep beneath the superficial you …




from google












from google




you are the physics of my world …


1.


the random sparks of infinitesimal neurons,

the random chaos of the vast cosmic beyond,

the random tugs of quantum strings,

have somehow,

incredibly swirled,

bringing your completeness into the vacuum of my world.


2.


these apparently random machinations, of this universe of possibilities,

has defied all permutations of chance,

to coalesce for us,

now,

today,

as we share our brightly blazing celestial dance.


3.


words escape me, there is no explanation,

to describe the meeting of our twin souls,

there is no hypothesis that I am able to construct,

that fuels these passions, these desires, these feelings that skywards into the heavens erupt.


4.


these atoms and quarks and gluons, bind us together in the most unscientific way,

they exude feelings impossible to explain,

love, for instance,

and a love as deep and abiding and true as ours,

is impossible to understand, even if we tried, spending years and countless hours.


5.


now my love of felines brings me to schrödinger and his deadalive cat,

for unlike dear schrödinger I can say with utmost certainty, that in that box my love for you,

is alive, and ever so true.


6.


all the dark matter, that is postulated to roam the entirety of space,

cannot dim the light of the stellar blaze of our star of love,

our sun that radiates gloriously, from the deepest recesses of our heart, from our magnetically interlinked place. 


7.


all the talk of black holes not allowing light to flee,


comes not closer to the raging cauldron of our shared togetherness,


as we lay blanketed by the heavens above that envelope you, and that cloak me.


8.


the distance of light years are bridged so effortlessly, so easily traversed between you and I,


merging our love, our own supernova lighting the unfolding years we have yet to face,


roaring like a furnace, hewn into the very fabric of our innerspace ..

 

from google




My Beach of Dreams …


1.


Turquoise waters tease your toes,


walking on our dreamy beach,


fingers entwined,


a sensuous breeze caressing your lavender hair,


the soft sand kneading your feet so delicately bare.



2.



The burnished sun swoons and dips,


my ravenous mouth hungers for your sweet lips,


our hearts beat as one to the rhythm of the waves,


scorched by the furnace of desire that our love so passionately craves.



3.



I wake up, with your head on my shoulder,


my soul, my being, my very self continues to smoulder,


I kiss you gently on your forehead,


my fingers tracing poetic verses down your cheek,


I am,

at long last,


at peace,

within,


I have found my home,


there is nothing more I care to seek.



from google

Bruce and Clarence

.

.

.

my Springsteen tribute through his songs

.

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 sarcastic 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 powerful and 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 ….

.

.

.

Clarence and Bruce

disjointed rhyme

art from google



disjointed rhyme …



holding hands, we traversed the chasms of life,

hand in hand, through bleak times and strife,

holding each other in rain and in sunshine,

never letting go of your hand in mine.


we scoured the earth for a peaceful place,

where bigotry didn’t present its grotesque face,

and after all the years spent seeking,

we found nooks and crannies where racism lay reeking.


all our desires, all of our dreams,

in a gilded cage lies trapped it seems,

still we scan these lands for respite,

beyond the hate, despite the spite. 


how long will we have to walk these pathways,

seeking simple gentleness along life’s alleyways,


or perhaps there exists no such place,

across the earth,

for tolerance long ago did depart,

and yet we cannot be from each other apart,


for what we have found in each other,

the simple love of two souls merging as one whole part,


those are the truths that we have embraced in our heart …



from google

from google




“why are you here, you filthy immigrant”





why are we broken by spoken barbs,


spewing out of sewers cloaked beneath acceptable garbs,


while the blades of splintered humanity are sharpened into lethal shards,


of ‘my country right or wrong’,


under the comfortable charade,


the vulgar parade,


of clinging onto feigned piety,


dragged pitilessly along,


weaving new lies, obfuscating what is right and what is wrong,


waving flags tainted with blood, on and on, as the pain never ceases to abate,


wielding blood-soaked swords to behead, to oppress, to subjugate,


the many who have forever been on the wrong side of the fence,


the other side of the tracks,


nakedly vulnerable outside the gate,


shut out of the dream,


pummelled by untruths of working hard, doing more, and shutting up,


carrying within, the ghastly pain, a mute scream,


stuck beneath merciless clouds,


because we need the money,


the greenback,


the notes,


the coins,


the oil,


the designer innerwear that barely shrouds,


the racist cacophony of the hate-filled crowds,


the stench of putrid opulence, of festering greed,


of capital and influence and power ripping out each humane seed,


by the by, shutting out the opportunities for a better life for all,


because when love,


life,


hope,


dreams,


aspirations,


the yearning for something better,


is a lament, a plea, a beseeching call,


for respect,


dignity,


for the numberless,


always shoved down, yet standing tall,


the banished, cast away into the currents of the seas,


as every war makes human beings as you and I, like insects scatter,


viewed live on tv screens, but that does no longer matter,


to be swept along islands of stillness,


young children lying dead on pristine shores,


while the picture goes viral, and the shares, the views and the likes soars,


a child not lucky to ride the waves of random happenstance,


when just “making it to safety” is a mere throw of the dice of chance.




“so yes”,


“yes”.



“that is how I got to be here”,


the immigrant says.




art by Banksy

from google





peace and equality?


when greed poisons our waters, tainting pristine nature,


when jingoism infects our minds, eroding our shared humanity,


when fanaticism corrodes our vision, seeds of division are sown,


when oppression lashes people, hate is nourished,


when prejudice spews vile invective, walls emerge between humanity,


when science is derided by obscurantism, we take a collective step backwards,


when love is bartered, emotions decay,


when flim-flam glitz is coveted, humane sentiments are sold into apathy,


when the pursuit of wealth at any cost is craved, far too many get left by the wayside,


when wars-for-profit are unleashed, killing innocents, the terror of makeshift bombs kill innocents,


when tolerance, not acceptance is preached, crevasses crisscross this common earth,


when far too many are left to scrounge for food, for dignity, the far too few are complicit,


when doctrines of us and them are promulgated, the body of the human race is splintered,


when poverty stalks the night, while slimey ostentation rules the day,


you and i,

him and her,

us all,

are dispassionately wrenched apart,


when clean drinking water is a luxury, while numberless golf courses are irrigated, the parched earth trembles,


when food is dumped to maintain profit margins, while countless stomachs never cease to rumble,



we have all failed each other.



period.




from google

from google




“Brother, can you spare me some change?”


The parched and thirsty,

still walk soul-less avenues,


and alleys of want and hunger.


Empty and barren,

coursing through heartless streets of need and despair.


“Change will come”,


said the promise of Freedom and Democracy and of Capitalism with a Conscience.

“change will come in time”.


Yes.

Change comes sometimes,


when scratching through pockets and purses,

for some loose change.




Nelson Mandela

baobab tree – art from google




talkin’ walkin’ with a friend unblues …



we shall walk this earth, along the rolling African plains, we shall dance with glee, in the cool gentle rains,


we shall wade through the wetlands, we shall sing in the streams, we shall live life as it should be lived, as we have lived it in our shared dreams,


we shall travel to far flung places filled with flavours spicy, and to ancient cities filled with wonder, we shall wear out our walking shoes, as through the miles we continue to wander,


we shall walk side by side, our journey taking us to places and to people unknown, we shall break bread with all, singing songs of different cultures, woefully out of rhythm and tone,


we shall walk hand in hand, two friends roaming so many a diverse land, feeling the powdery talcum sand under our feet, on so many a distant island,


we shall talk as we walk, of hopes and of fears, of broken souls whole again, of eyes no longer moist with tears,


we shall soak in the warmth of human contact, of languages seas apart, we shall learn to speak many tongues, bidding adieu to friends made along the way, for the memories within us will always stay,


so let us walk along these paths ahead, leaving it all behind, our tortured past to finally be shed, making the soft grasses our nightly bed,


sharing with all peoples of all races, all religions, all man-made divisions,


that the colour of the blood that pumps through all our veins,


is red.



a baobab tree – from google

from google



sidestepping shards of splintered glass, beyond the haze of billowing grass,


yesterday came, as today left, leaving me empty within, bereft,


so take my hand and walk with me awhile, beyond the tears, smuggling in a faint smile,


who knows the paths we’ll weave, as time trickles through its merciless sieve,


so take my hand and we’ll walk awhile,


a few steps today, and who knows,


tomorrow may be many a mile …



from google

The Immigrants Void – Sculpture by Bruno Catalano

http://brunocatalano.com/sculpture-bronze2/sculpture-en-bronze-bruno-catalano.php?galerie=1




migrant feet.




bleeding feet.

bare,
alien,
calloused feet,

that bleed,

trudging,
scraping souls,

seeking paths that lead,

somewhere,

anywhere from here,
from the horror of the now,

wiping bloody sweaty tears,
of grandmothers’ brow,

seeking refuge, sanctuary,

from bullets,

from epithets that wound,
that slay,

from men, always men,

puffed-up, inflated,
stuffed with raw venomous hate,

to be flotsam and jetsam,
adrift on the seas,

crammed into boxes,
clutching onto every choked breath,

seeking another fate,

not an asphyxiated blueish death,

tossed, seasick,
wracked and pained,

inside,
cattle-cars, slave-ships,

modernised mechanised terror,

the horror of self-righteous zeal,

nations, cultures,
tribes, traditions,
creed,

stoking the flames,
sectarian, communal,

the fuel on which bigotry must feed …


tiny feet, old and cracked,
all kinds of blistered twisted feet,

a death march along the treelined street,

seeking only alleyways of peace,

and,
perhaps,
perhaps, a bite to eat,

as gleaming chariots roll on by,

and if you’re thinking you’re safe,

if you’re thinking it isn’t us, its them,

him, her, they, those people,

for now,

think again,
and think how,

“… first they came for the communists … ” *



      
           _____________

* Pastor Martin Niemoller

http://tinyurl.com/oo45esm

from google

Hope always!

from google


deciphering silence …


you and i,

shielded by silence.


barred from ourselves at times.



exiled hearts,

building ramparts.



a wall that may fall.



so, my friend,

lay your head on my chest,


letting my fingers run through your hair,



lulling you gently to rest, as we share our silences,



for life is far too short anyway,


to squander even a day.



from google

the palette of colours

from google




the palette of colours …




earthy dust awash with rustic tinged passion,


vibrant hues of emotions sketched,


aflame with jasmine scented swirls,


each dawn breathing life,


as sublime flowers their petals unfurl.




our lips, tracing feelings


deeply etched,


coursing through autumn browns,


winter charcoals,


infusing each breath with smiles that banish doleful frowns.




teasing out love from nature’s palette of colours divine,


entwined by a bond felt deep, in your soul and mine.




a riotous desire imbibed not by neatly manicured gardens of blazing reds,


but far, far away from human eyes,


in places untamed,


in the forests of wild, pristine, untouched flower beds,


soothing the mind,


yawning across crystal streams,


in colours of exultant life,


painted in the palette of dreams …





from google

a wish for you

from google




a wish for you …



May your smile never fade,

may you always be as you are now,


warm and kind,


true and filled with the generosity of spirit that defines you,


may your dreams soar into the boundless open skies,


and may the benevolent fingertips of time and of fate,


brush away any tears that should fall from your gentlest eyes.





May you forever stand tall,

may your head always be held high,


with stoic dignity.


May your past experiences be the stepping-stones that mark your path ahead,


may your heart be your guide,


your blazing beacon of wildly enthusiastic hope,


may your wishes be simple,

and may they come to be,


filling your life and your moments,


with joyous bliss,


where you truly feel free.





Free of the weight of yesterday,

free of gnawing doubt,


and may your being be infused,

with the softest serendipity,


so that you may spread your arms,


and to the heavens shout,


I am free,


I am me,


at long last,

I am standing tall,

never again to bow,

or to fall on bended knee.





This is a wish both simple yet elusive,


a wish that only you can make true,


by simply being,


the kind,

warm,


gentle person,

that is you …




from google

i am he

from google




i am he …




he continues walking down the empty boulevards, the soft petals beneath his shambling feet, his head down, feeling the earth crunch and the flotsam scatter, as he reminisces of yesterdays bygone, and tomorrows yet to dawn. he speaks to no one, just the obligatory shake of the head in acknowledgement at another soul traipsing down the same cobblewebbed slippery slope, braving the sudden winds that lash his frigid hands as he turns up the collar of his coat, feelings swell and peak, the music of the banal soothing him somewhat.


he lets his mind wander too, mourning crushed flowers strewn like blood on the soft earth, and fears the onset of the years, slower and dimmer, yet racing past at breakneck speed, heading for a heavens knows where, but just content, content to be in motion, walking, walking down the rusty dusty alleyways of this life …




from google

from google



common fountain …


in a world tugging,

pulling, drawing and quartering,


each soul apart,


and as mercy, humanity, love,


effortlessly, and resistance-free,


depart,


embracing ignorance, hugging credulous unreason,


fracturing human bones,

cartilage, tendons ripped,


shattered hearts, broken minds,


there can be but one answer,

simplistic as it may sound,


teach respect, not creed,

worship shared humanity,

shun lecherous greed,


then, and I believe only then,

may we truly, as one,


from our common fountain feed …



from google

Nelson Mandela Foundation




Nelson Mandela Centenary (1918 – 2018)



Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of action forged in the crucible of resistance.


Resistance against racial discrimination.

Resistance against injustice.


Resistance against oppression.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man burnished in the furnace of struggle.

Struggle to defeat the crime against humanity that was Apartheid.

Struggle against the obscene notions of racial superiority.

Struggle against the scourge of hate.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A human being who personified kindness.

A human being who embodied humility.

A human being who exemplified the unity of our human race.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of peace, and a man who fought the just fight.

A man of forgiveness, and a man who battled the Apartheid regime for the need of taking responsibility for the heinous crimes of the past.

A man of truth, and a man of humane love.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he shed his blood as he endured the lashes of the whip on his flesh.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he fought ferociously against the suppression of his fellow human beings.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he emerged with dignity from the hell of twenty-seven years of imprisonment on an island of tyranny.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was a man of a steely will in the long cause to rid all oppressed people from the yoke of colonialism, he picked up arms and fought the honourable fight.

He was a man of fiery resolve against the scourge of divisiveness, he was at the forefront in the battles against human subjugation and indignity.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Madiba was a revolutionary, in the trenches against the obscenity of poverty and deprivation.

Madiba was a soldier, on the ground in the service of the most vulnerable, the children of this world.

Madiba was unshakeable, and he lived the example of the committed revolutionary and the dignified statesman.

 

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

 

Our beloved Madiba does not walk amongst us anymore.

And yet, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela lives within us.

Madiba lives in the streams that flow into the rivers that flow into the oceans.

Madiba lives in the winds that blow across the vast lands of Africa and beyond.

Madiba lives in the thud-thudding of heartbeats around our world.

Madiba lives in the veins where the blood flows through our common human form.


Madiba lives!


Madiba will always live!




Nelson Mandela casting his ballot for the first time as a non-white South African – 27th April 1994

what are we if not just human?

from google




what are we if not just human?




Beings flailing through the quagmire of life,

embroiled in emptiness so stark,

hoping to find some solace, some peace,,

stumbling along in the dark.




What are we if not just human,

grappling the torturous grind,

stabs of reality wounding us each day,

enduring hollow platitudes,

cloaked in the veneer of strength we portray.




What are we if not just human,

filling the void with trappings of convenience,

deluded that it will dull the pain,

buffering us from truths that surround us,

losing ourselves within our selves,

celebrating the meaningless ornaments that we attain.




What are we if not just human,

no more and no less,

praying for a salvation beyond this realm,

buying redemption with lofty intent,

crawling in apathetic inebriation,

always on our knees, our backs forever bent.




What are we if not just human,

trying to make sense of all we feel inside,

while in truth the masks we wear,

shrouds ourselves in cocoons to hide.




What are we if not just human,

clinging to scraps we find here and there,

what are we if not just human,

jarring ourselves to care.




What are we if not just human,

rekindling the humanity that resides in us all,

refusing to look away while those around us slip and fall.



What are we if not just human,

striving for a world less harsh, more true,

what are we if not just human,

never forgetting that we all bleed red,

him, her, us, and me and you.



from google

from google




Not quite a Refugee …



In all my life, I have waited, searched, stealing glances behind every closed door,


peering into teacups, my feeble attempts at divining what tomorrow may have in store.



In all my life, I have kissed the soft lips of joy, murmuring words of love, always trying to find a soul,


a soul perhaps far, far away, or around the corner, looking for that one who would make me whole.



I have found love, here and there, deep and true, as I have faced the gale, a hurricane that never ends, always on the lookout, for the poisoned arrows that fate sends.


I have found desolation, tossing me about, lost in the crowd, never fitting in, never wanting to fit in, to finally flee this city’s cacophonous din.



I have found pain, slicing me into bits , the offensive comment here, the hateful look there, the laughter of them all that echoes in my heart, barren and bare.



I have found anger, within myself, at my being the way I am, having to cross oceans, to walk amongst people who do not give a damn.



I am lost, an exile amongst my own people, where you either join the fake charade, or get dumped broken and bruised, trampled by the hollow parade.



I am lost, a refugee who will never be a part of the pack, for I know they will always snigger at me, behind my bent back.



What do they know of loss and of pain, what do they know of packing up a few belongings, fleeing cities, over and over and over again.



What do they think when they see me, a party trick who does the rounds, breaking little by little inside, while all around me their laughter abounds.



Where can I flee, where is my place of peace, while the jabs and the snide quips never cease.



Where is that promise of home that once burned bright, while now I am in the dark, bereft of hope and blinded without light.



How do I pick up these pieces, scattered fragments of my being, strewn across the world where I have always lost, a part of me staying behind, at an immeasurable cost.



How will I ever shed this skin of the clown, this fakeness I have wrapped around me, how will I ever be me, ridding myself of this plastic smile, to just be free.



This world, these places, offer me no hope at all, for they have thrashed me to the ground to mercilessly crawl.



This world, these crocodile smiles, these clinking champagne flutes, can never compare to the dung-caked soles of my roots.



This place, and countless others through which I have roamed, are razors which dealt death to me by a thousand and one cuts, where you must conform, without any ifs, and certainly without any buts.



I find my solace in my scribbles, in my blood dripping on each page, where I pour out my pain, my loss, my deadened spirit, my brimming rage.



I find solace in the moments when the rain washes these avenues, a rushing past of detritus in a cleansing stream,


I find solace walking through the icy rain, in my eternal quest to not reek of foreignness, for just a moment or two, to be pure and clean,


I find solace, fleeting at best, to moult this skin, of every pain felt,


and of every horror seen.





from google

a traditional Ndebele design




The African Rains.



Soaking,
the rains settle,
meandering over jagged faultlines of our memory.



Drenching,
the rains settle,
streaming through veins,

the thud-thudding of the heartbeat of Africa.



Absorbing,
the rains that settle,
within each of us,

herald rebirth.


And,
if you listen,

if you strain to hear,

while shedding the raucous noise of your inner turmoil.


If you listen,

the whispers of the ancestors,

speak to us all,
lending us warmth,

urging us to stand,
even though we may stumble,

even though we may fall.



a baobab tree – image from google

double-helixed uBuntu*

from google



double-helixed uBuntu* …



these interwoven veins

dna
double-helixed

microscopically
binding

me
you

us
all

through
this common
shared
truth:

‘I am because you are’*

all of us
together
as one

me
you,

… uBuntu*

 

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



from google

from google




South Africa: Heritage Day 2018



Today we celebrate our shared heritage,

through smiles and tears, the ache of the past and the hopes of today and tomorrows yet unborn.

Today we share our Africanness, our blood enmeshed within each other – bright red thumping through countless veins, reminding us of the spirit of uBuntu – I am because we are,

we are because of each other, fellow travellers through the travails of life, seeking not riches nor title, seeking the bright sunshine of peace banishing the darkness of strife.

We are one people, myriad hues of the rainbow enveloping us all,

lending a hand to each other,

every time we stumble, each time we fall. 



from google



from google



Life, delusions, and Scribbled Verse …



I remain alone, never letting anyone in, my ramparts solid, my walls tall and impregnable,

I remain alone, always dousing the hope, my words of departure articulate and allowing me to unashamedly mope,

I choose this lonesome way, having tasted the nectar of love, and punishing it to always slip away,

I have chosen this path of quiet solitude, the cowardly one, shrouding my heart with armour, knowing I lack the fortitude.




Love has touched me deeply, I have loved with all my might, I have immersed myself in the cauldron of desire, yet I always seem to deliberately douse the fire,

these are not easy confessions to make, to share my inability to walk the long path of love, to always look for that escape, leaving good pure hearts scattered, as I search for the window where I can my slipping away make,

these scribbled words tear into my heart, puncturing my soul, fracturing my mind, as I sit and wonder why it is that I choose to never be whole,

I make no excuses, I sputter no half-baked reasons for my fleeing from love, while I have hurt the gentlest souls, the ones who deserved so much more, not the cowardice of a man, who always seems to find the exit door.




These words sound to me like comfortable self-pity, so easy for me to accept no blame, laying it all out, yet still brimming with the moping of the lying man, who feels no remorse, who will not accept the shame,

these hollow words as empty as the “it is not you, it is me” cop-out refrain, so easily blabbered forth, so conveniently absolving me of the cause of any pain,

how many times have these callous words been spoken, how they have fractured loves that were real, how many times have they left good souls broken,

and still my conceit above says it all, my belief that I have the power to cause fractured hearts and injured souls, the hubris of man who believes himself able, to injure the ‘weaker sex’, for ‘man is so much more capable’.




I rail against misogyny in my scribbled verse, I damn the narrow mindedness of male chauvinism, it is I who so effortlessly dons the mask of the ‘liberated man’, all the while it is I who am a part of my genders’ ‘entitled’ clan,

oh yes, I scribble against this evil and that injustice, I speak the loudest, claiming to be progressive in thought and in mind, but it is I who refuses to see, the vestiges of male superiority, which tightly do me bind,

what becomes of this world when so-called ‘unchained’ men like myself live in our cocoons of self-righteous comfort, what becomes of the struggle for gender equality, what is the future when I spout my egalitarian beliefs, so hypocritically solemn, while I am blinded by the fact, that I am part of the festering problem,

yes, I wave the rainbow flag and I shriek out the necessary slogans, I march alongside my ‘sisters’, I pour my drivel scribbled on pages as I delude myself that I really do give a damn,

what happens next for this world of inequity, this world of abuse, this world of gender-based violence, this world of female genital mutilation, this world of women enslaved by man’s convenient norms of male-centred religion, this world of the shackles of oh-so convenient culture and tradition,

what happens to this world when those empty like me beat the drum of giving a damn,

when all in all, when it is boiled down to the harshest truth,


I remain the ever hypocritical man?





from google

image

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The girl with the beret at the Bus Stop …

.

.

I saw her at the bus stop, on a bitterly cold winter morning, her beret tilted to the side.

We exchanged polite smiles and furtive glances, till along came our ride.

We sat across each other and soon we spoke, breaking the ice, with talk of the chills battering our bones, as we shared sandwiches, for each other just a slice.

We spoke of the coldness around us, the frigid souls we encountered, we spoke of life’s pathways and where we hoped we were headed, as we confessed, what we feared most, was the banality of a life we so fiercely dreaded.

Thus began our short morning ritual, a bus ride with a stranger, not knowing anything except our names, our conversations so true they scorched like roaring flames.

We often laughed about the funny stuff we experienced, about the weight we felt we had to carry, the seemingly heavy burdens wracking us, all these chats, drowned out at times, to the soundtrack of the squealing brakes of our bus.

Our talks were blisteringly true, as happens at times with strangers, yet we opened ourselves up to each other, trusting the depths in our eyes, feeling a kinship, that logic defies.

We spoke of earning a wage, paying the bills, discarding the frills, we spent what felt like hours in those short-haul trips, baring our truths honest and deep, feeling for once, the harsh shadows of daily life retreat.

She was to me the girl with the beret, fierce yet gentle, knowing so much and still wanting to know, as was I on those mornings so long ago.

We spoke of lovers lost, of lost loves, of our ache for something tangible, something less gaudy, something more true, a mirage always just out of view.

I showed her my scars, she showed me hers, a lifetime of half-promises built on mounds of dust, we spoke of escape, into each others dreamscapes, even as all around us our world was covered in rust.

There was nothing about us but truth, nothing but a truth distilled, an understanding that someone out there in this cold world understood, far from the slicing of all the threatening grudges, we knew, our sharing was beyond all that, as we often in complete silence sat.

Our conversations churned into the butter of each morning, easing the coming day, and we smiled knowing that one else knew us, no one could ever relate, even as we were innocently oblivious of the often cruel hands of fate.

Her eyes danced with a fire, when sharing her insanity, and she said my eyes raged as well, embracing the craziness of it all, the two of us ever mindful, of the ache that did in each other dwell.

Then came that fateful day when she was there no more, and I felt the icy chills deep in my bare bones, feeling a vacuum I did not know my life could ever fill, a random friendship so tightly bound, that decades would pass till a friendship as profound as that was found.

I often thought of her, at another bus-stop, her beret tilted just slight, waiting for her ride in the morning air, feeling that we somehow remained connected, heart to heart, in a way impossible to articulate, for it was us, just us, with whom we felt we could only ever relate.

I think of her often, my friend on the bus all those years ago, sharing parts of our life, profound and without judgemental fears, through moments of agony, and through the smiles and the tears.

I must confess that to this day, whenever I pass a bus stop, I glance at it even as I know,

I shall not see that girl in the beret,

from so many years and lives ago …

.

.

(inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Bobby Jean” from the album ‘Born in the USA)

(also inspired by “Raspberry Beret” by Prince)


image


ps: happy birthday to “The Boss”

An amazing piece by a new friend … Please do visit the blog – it is breathtaking.

A South African blog and a French one – ONE world always

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https://wp.me/p1ZuaM-1qQ
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an old piece from a while back …

Vincent and Ludwig.



“we are mere vagabonds, scraping here and there, never belonging anywhere, and never wanting to belong somewhere” said Vincent to Ludwig.


“yes my dear Vincent, we walk this earth with tattered shoes, our madness binding us in friendship, feted now and then, yet mostly left to ramble through our lonesome lives” Ludwig says, looking down at his weather-beaten boots.


Vincent and Ludwig share a smile, each knowing the feelings felt when sinking deeper into the depths of despair.


“your ‘sunflowers’ always bores a hole into my heart, my dear Vincent, your flourishes live in the swirls and your warmth and love for humanity shines through, tearing at my insides” Ludwig murmurs to Vincent.


“just as your ‘ode to joy’ bores a hole into my soul, with your unselfish, transcendent love for all living beings, alive and resounding in every note” Vincent says, looking into the distance.


“what are we, my dear friend, tortured by our inner demons, left to rot by the wayside, torn and broken by this harsh world all around us” Ludwig asks Vincent.


“we may be mad, and maddeningly so, my friend, but why do we see the smiles washed off the faces of the sane, why do we we tears trickling down from far too many eyes” Vincent says with a rueful smile.


“yes, my dearest Vincent, it often appears that this whole world, this whole veneer of civility, these people who have enough yet always clamouring for more, while those who have nothing hunger for just scraps” Ludwig says, almost to himself.


“and we see it every day, in their greed glazed eyes, their grubby grabbing hands, their world they call sane” Vincent mumbles.


“what are we then, Vincent, in this world of naked oppression, in these places of vulgar ostentation, in the midst of all this madness” Ludwig asks, looking to his friend.


“we are sane, my friend” Vincent says tugging at his phantom ear.


“sane, yes Vincent. sane” Ludwig says with a smile, his fingers feeling his ear that once could hear.


“sane”

blabbering quasi-philosophical bs 

from google



blabbering quasi-philosophical bs …




memories persist, at times flitting in and out of view, as the continuum of time edges ever ahead,


we look ahead into the future, we turn our heads and the past lies strewn with fractured dreams, with splintered promises.


we plod on, ever mindful of the now, today, this moment, at once, right now, teasing out a life from second to second,


a life of desires merged with the ether, disappearing in the wind,


a life of vows, and of oaths taken, ridiculed by the corrosion of feelings,


a life yearned for, the neediness for love’s light, the light that will surely cast aside the desolation of this black hole, these infinite steps of day to day repetition,


a life embellished, with the sprayed on veneer of sophistication, of making it big, of being with it, of wanting it all now,


a life of the ticking down of the clocks,


as they urge us – just do it,


carpe diem,


a life of salivating in the now, the need to shuck oysters, the need for the clunky obscene timepieces, the need for the bubbly to be guzzled, the need for every desire, each want sated, yet always and ever clamouring for more,


and more,


while hearts bleed out,

out of sight,

while tears are rendered invisible, while the wailing cacophony of basic needs gets drowned, suffocated, deemed far to far from us to spare a thought,


even as the avalanche of greed, of bartering money for joy, of ensconcing oneself in towers of gold,


even as all that whips souls to the very core, as long we remain safe from the marauding horde, banging against our iron-clad door.


the void that yawns before us, a gaping hole we wish to fill till it is whole, flinging trinkets of silver and sparkling stones, into the ever widening yawn that from apathy is born,


meanwhile,


the continuum of ever inching time exacts its price, turning hearts of empathy into blocks of ice,


tearing the fabric of one human family, barked out from loudspeakers at every charity ball, inured by the convenient shawl of giving back to the dregs who always by the wayside fall,


this life, these desires, these wants, these needs, these countless vulgarities of the 1% who rule everything, who control it all,


heartwarmed by the sound of tossing a few coins into a begging bowl,


all the while, the corrosive acid of financial success, erodes, bludgeons, sets ablaze,


the one thing that knows no boundaries, that breaks all barriers,


the promise of the possibility, of regaining within each of us,


the purity of our shared human soul




from google

The Torture of Love

from google




the torture of love …


slicing through memories, each bite of the scalpel tearing the heart apart,


every thorny rose digging deep, drawing blood, even as the barren soul lies trapped in the mud,


you loved me once, you promised me forever more, yet I now stand alone, locked outside your love’s door,


we shared champagne kisses, we walked into sunsets, we lay beneath the autumn trees, was that all for nought, as today I see love being bartered, sold and bought.




you threw me aside, by the gutters filling with sewage, your love had moved on you said, you had handsomer, sexier, cleverer men clinging to you, so I ended up a cast-away memory …



“do you know afzal?”.


“who?”.




your love was simple back then, when we shared stale bread and jam, tepid tea and broken biscuits, when we found solace in each others arms, but the tugging of this glittering world, left me on pavement, as you giddily swirled and twirled.




the years have passed, the wrinkles deep, the tears have dried up, the memories though, the memories still cut deep,


so enjoy your fillet mignon and your fine bubbly,


and forget about me, as I search for another underpass beneath which to sleep …



from google



I found You

“I have lost my way”, i said.

She smiled, taking my hand,

“I have too”.

“I have found you”, said I.

“and I, you”, she breathed.

. . .

from google




a blabbering rhyme …




as i walk these splintered streets, whipped by icy rain pelting down in sheets,


my existence seemingly futile, my journey exhausting me mile after desolate mile,


seeking respite from the frigid winter frosting my soul, looking for that elusive place that may make me feel whole,


beyond these tears, banishing these fears,


no longer sleeping on this bed of nails, desperate for your love to boost my sails,


for us to travel hither and thither, even as the spring roses wilt and wither,


teasing out moments spent together with aching hope, yet still knotted in this life’s cruel tight rope,


i saw you standing at the bus stop, and i felt all the weight of emptiness deep inside me drop,


and when you smiled at me with your beret tilted to the side, i knew then that love could never again hide,


as we talked of dreams and hopes and of far off places, your love filled my soul’s barren spaces.



until i saw you no more waiting for me at the bus stop each morning,


i felt the desolation once again within me dawning.



i often wonder where you are,


after all these decades that have passed,


are you nearby or in some land so very far.



i do know that this is what i hope for you,


that wherever you are,


may you still be,

to yourself,


honest,

valiant,


and as ever,


eternally true …




from google

meagre rhymes of love.

from google





meagre rhymes of love.





This love that has cocooned us, enveloped us,


in the warmth of its comfort,


is a love so rare,

truly a love beyond compare.




The middling years of our lives,


when this world has us jaded,


our love melts away the despair,


banishing the pain, distant and faded.




The feelings I feel for you can never be scribbled on paper with ink,


the sentiments swim free under the placid stillness of the seas,


my heart beating in rhythm with yours,


in orchestral harmony,

our symphony soaring with inexpressible desire,


as I find myself forever drawn to the blazing heat of your inextinguishable fire.




Through desolate moments that morphed into years, tears streaming down the  deserts of lonesome cheeks,


we had given up on love, accepting that it may never glide on the wings of the breeze,


we felt ourselves sinking, thrashed around as we drowned in the maelstrom of emptiness,


crashing, slipping, weighed down into the  crevasses, as we trod on, mile after barren mile,


at times gutted as we plumbed the depths of our souls, facing the horror of forgetting the ability to smile a simple smile.




It was then that we met, as our years began to pall, the wrinkles pronounced, the grey hair starting to fall,


it was then, when we met, that we began to live a little each day,


no longer merely existing, ensconced in our catatonic state,


it was then, when we met, when the confluence of our lives were tugged together by fate,


it was then, when our footsteps were slowly merging, ever gently forming a shared road,


it was then, so dazzlingly bright, I saw in you my my shelter, my much sought after abode.




The years we have lived, so alone for most of our lives, have exacted their toll,


even as we did not seek to mutter oaths, to sign vows of undying love on a paper scroll,


for no parchent signed and tucked away in an attic somewhere, or framed for all to see can ever be so bold,


as is our unspoken love, where there is no bartering for love, no settling for less, no going through the daily grind,


for the years have sprinkled starstuff on us, the starstuff of deep abiding love, almost impossible to find.




I am now old and grey, my wrinkles deep, my gait bent,


and I treasure every moment with you I have spent.




‘Tis true that you now lie beneath the ground, but still your laughter I hear every day,


your smile, your fragrant hair, your soft body are alive within me,


no advancing years can ever take that away,


and as memories of you are a soothing balm, you live in my thoughts, you are my constant, you can never truly go away


as I remember our gentle tender kiss, on our beach of promise, under the palm that sashayed,


under our palm, that will perennially sway …











.                         .                   .

Memories of a Mother

letter of condolence from Comrade Nelson Mandela to my father when my mother passed away on April 4th 2008


reuniting with Nelson Mandela after 27 years – photo by me in Sweden 1990



The Valiant Women.





(for the countless women, names unknown, who bore the brunt of Apartheid, and who fought the racist system at great cost to themselves and their families, and for my mother, Zubeida Moolla)







Pregnant, your husband on the run,

your daughter just a child, a few years old,


they hauled you in, these brutish men,

into the bowels of Apartheid’s racist hell.




They wanted information, you gave them nothing,

these savage men, who skin just happened to be lighter,


and White was right in South Africa back then.




You did not cower, you stood resolute,


you, my mother, faced them down, their power,

their ‘racial superiority’, their taunts, their threats.




You, my mother, would not, could not break,


You stood firm, you stood tall.




You, like the countless mothers did not break, did not fall.




You told me many things, of the pains, the struggles,


the scraping for scraps,


the desolation of separation

from your beloved children, 


by monstrous Apartheid, by brutish men,

whose skin just happened to be lighter.




You told me many things, as I grew older,

of the years in exile, of the winters that grew ever colder.




You were a fighter, for a just cause,

like countless other South African women,


you sacrificed much, you suffered the pangs,

of memories that cut into your bone, your marrow,


you resisted a system, an ideology, brutal and callous and narrow.




Yes, you lived to see freedom arrive, yet you suffered still,

a family torn apart, and struggling to rebuild a life,


all the while, nursing a void, that nothing could ever fill.




I salute you, mother, as I salute the nameless mothers,


the countless sisters, daughters, women of this land, who fought, sacrificing it all by taking a moral and principled and valiant stand.




I salute you, my mother, and though you have passed, your body interred in your beloved South African soil,


you shall remain, within me, an ever-present reminder,


of the cost of freedom, the struggles, the hunger, the toil.




I salute you!




Viva the undying spirit of the women Viva!






(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,

who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)







Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother and my mother protesting the arrest of political prisoners

with Comrade Winnie Mandela, an old friend and comrade of my parents

my mother reunited with Comrade Nelson Mandela after 27 years

Anti-Apartheid slogan and poster from the 1980s


from google



The Demonisation of Mahatma Gandhi.




Insidious.

Persistent.

Revisionist.




The gradual chiselling away of what they call the facade of the great soul.



The thin man in homespun loincloth who galvanised a nation to take on the might of the British Empire stands alone today.



The man who spawned a revolution of thought and action the world had never seen before, the concept of struggling against evil through non-violence is being corroded by forces narrow and machiavellian.



Today, the life and times of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi are being picked at slowly and at times savagely, in attempt after attempt to sully the actions of a man of flesh and bone called the Apostle of Peace. 



The Mahatma Gandhi of today’s revisionist historians and social and political activists is a feeble, racist, casteist, sexual deviant, among also being a toothless panderer to minorities during some of the most horrific times that the peoples of the Indian subcontinent had ever experienced.



We stand today overlooking a dangerous precipice, as the forces of reaction and naked racism and fascism are on the ascendancy.



These forces have been biding their time for a while now, quietly infecting the undercurrents of different societies with their narrow sectarian and fascist notions of religious and racial superiority.



The perfect storm that has been brewing for decades now is coming to pass, as the forces of reaction and the so-called “noveau-activists”, often called “peacetime revolutionaries” by Nelson Mandela” comrade Ahmed Kathrada who spent 27 years on Robben Island during the harshest years of Apartheid tyranny and hegemony.



Was Gandhi all the negative things said about him today?



Quite possibly so when as a newly minted barrister from England he traveled to South Africa to take on his first case. Dressed in his very English suit and tie and still steeped in his Brahmin upbringing, Gandhi may well have been many of the things his detractors accuse him of being.



But history has shown us repeatedly how human beings evolve and how their political and social and personal attitudes and principles and values morph over time.



The Nelson Mandela revered today as a man of peace and non-racialism was a young man once, who political thought evolved from being a fiery young man who did not approve of other racial groups from being a part of the struggle against the Apartheid regime, but thanks to giants of the South African liberation movement like Walter Sisulu and others, it is all the more admirable when history shows the transformation of Nelson Mandela into a man of inclusivity and a fierce believer in the equality of all races.



The Nelson Mandela acknowledged by history as being a man of peace was instrumental in the formation of the African National Congress’ armed wing – Umkhonto-we-Sizwe or the Spear of the Nation. This man of peace understood and accepted the needs of the moment to change the course of the liberation movement in South Africa from one of non-violence to one that understood that the Apartheid regime was not going to be defeated by Gandhian principles of non-violent struggle.


In Nelson Mandela’s own words – “There are many people who feel that the reaction of the government to our strike – a general mobilisation, arming the white community, arresting tens of thousands of Africans, the show of force throughout the country, notwithstanding our clear declaration that our campaign is being run on peaceful and non-violent lines – closes a chapter on our method of political struggle. There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile to continue talking about peace and non-violence against a government whose only reply is savage attacks on an unarmed and defenceless people.”


The Nelson Mandela who struggled and campaigned in peaceful manner came to the historical realisation that armed action against the Apartheid regime had to be a part of the struggle for racial equality and freedom. 



So too with Mahatma Gandhi, whose views from a narrow sectarian and racially biased position, given his being raised in a ‘high-caste’ Brahmin family, which also mirrored Nelson Mandela’s being born into a royal household, were shaped over the years to the Mahatma Gandhi whom Albert Einstein said of “that generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as he, walked this earth”. No small praise from a fellow individual who’s works led to the invention of nuclear weapons even as he remained a campaigner for peace his whole life.



So too with many of the great figures we hold in high-esteem today, it is often the case that over a period of time and of political and social development of thoughts and of ideologies, there can be not one individual who can be singled out as being a born progressive and revolutionary thinker and activist.



Ernesto ‘Ché’ Guevara, Amilcar Cabral, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Jomo Kenyatta, Fidel Castro, Karl Marx, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and many others were all flawed human beings, many being sexually and personally unfaithful to their partners.



To judge these men by the standards of today is a legitimate historical endeavour.



But to demonise them as being “sell-outs” and “sexual deviants” and “having been co-opted by the enemy” and of being “racist” and “tribalist” and “casteist” and “sectarian” by today’s standards of moral compasses is to ignore the revolutionary leaps they played in the struggles for universal dignity and freedom from want and grinding poverty and the countless horrors faced by the 99% of the world’s population today in 2018.



The most startling aspect of this revisionist history is that the almost seamless confluence of the forces of fascism and reaction with the forces of “progressive thought” and activism for meaningful political and social change seem to agree upon. 



To the resurgent right-wing these individuals are regarded as traitors to their “own kind” and are actively and concertedly being demonised, and the word demonise is not an exaggeration.



To the many progressive forces of social and political activism for true and meaningful and humane change, these individuals are singled out as being “racist” and “tribalist” and “casteist” and “sectarian” whose place in historical context must be viewed by the yardsticks of 21st century beliefs and societal and political norms. 



This is the most dangerous aspect – the confluence of thought between fascists and progressives on their iconoclastic quest to gradually, and often times not that gradually, demonisation of these figures of history.



It is very easy to vilify our grandparents for the views they held, as repellant as they are to us today, and similarly it is convenient to vilify countless figures in history as being “backward” and “anachronistic”, and rightfully so – but to simply dismiss those who came before us by simply painting them with the same brush is to do a disservice to history itself.



Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a right-wing Hindu extremist who believed that Gandhi was a “sell-out” to his “own” people – the very same ideological thoughts that are being actively espoused by the successors to those very same notions of “our own pride” and “total and complete adherence to our religion”.



Yes, Mahatma Gandhi was a deeply flawed human being, yet his contribution to the Indian freedom struggle cannot be simply cast aside, as with Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, amongst so many leaders amd activists of movements the world over who dedicated their lives and many of whom were killed by the forces of imperialism and colonialism.



The shared demonisation by both right-wing and left-wing activists who are agreed about the legacy of these figures of history, is a dangerous nexus of convenience – especially in a time when the world is swinging dangerously towards the narrow populism of jingoistic and racist thought.



This is a time for all progressive and like-minded people to concentrate their efforts in order to be the vanguard against the obscenity of right-wing governments popping up in so many places I’m the world.



The virtual “acceptance” of raw and crude and vile capitalism needs to have the barricades set up once more as we witness the daily horrors of deprivation and grotesque wealth on the other side.



The spectre of the damning of historical figures, as flawed as they may have been, plays directly into the hands of the forces who wish to sow division among the peoples of the world.



This is a dangerous road that is being chartered, once again, especially when the world is in a dangerous place where racism and the hatred of the “other” is being preached from the pulpits of power.



It is especially corrosive at a time when wars of blatant aggression in the pursuit of plundering the countries invaded in the most overt adoption of neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism.



The simplistic interpretation of the history and historical contributions of the individuals being vilified, dove-tail chillingly as both right-wing and many left-wing activists are agreed about one thing and that is their reading and conclusions reached about the legacy of these and many more figures of history.



Zhou Enlai, the first leader of post-revolutionary China was once asked what he thought about the French Revolution, he responded with the following:


“It’s too soon to tell.”





from google

 

2018 copyleft afzal moolla





.                    .                  .

http://m.polity.org.za/article/the-judging-of-nelson-mandela-2018-09-12

from google



The Judging of Nelson Mandela.




1.




It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die“, said the resolute prisoner in the dock.


He stood firm in his revolutionary convictions, potentially facing the gallows of Apartheid tyranny.


The prisoner and his comrades were sentenced to life imprisonment on an island of shame with Robben Island its name.


They endured the hell of Apartheid’s abyss for 27 long years.




2.




Nelson Mandela walked free on that early February day in 1990.


His years of incarceration did not dilute his revolutionary ideals.


His beloved organisation, the African National Congress with him at the helm now dealt with an enemy hell-bent of sowing the seeds of mayhem.


He stood resolute.

He stood principled.


Nelson Mandela and his comrades negotiated the path which realised the objectives of a free and non-racial and democratic South Africa.


Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress had to make many compromises, in the quid pro quo of negotiating with an enemy busy in the process of fomenting a civil war.


This did not make him a sell-out.


This did not render him toothless.


This did not mean he had capitulated on his revolutionary ideals.


Nelson Mandela and his comrades faced a stark reality – a negotiated peaceful settlement with the Apartheid state or the prospect of further bloodshed and the implosion of South Africa.


This did not render him impotent. 


This did not temper his revolutionary fire.




3.




Nelson Mandela and his comrades realised that the white minority regime would not simply relinquish power.


The Apartheid state was already actively engaged in the stoking of wanton acts of violence in order to derail the process of transforming South Africa into a democratic country where all human beings regardless of race would be granted the right to vote and to be no longer being relegated to second class citizens in the land of their ancestors.


There were difficult compromises to be made, there were bitter pills that had to be swallowed.


The enemy would not simply give up the privileges of the white minority without a fight.


Nelson Mandela and his comrades understood that reality. 


The cold harsh reality of facing a protracted war of attrition or the birth of a new democratic South Africa from the clutches of Apartheid hegemony. 




4.




Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the African National Congress made the hard choices.


They laid to rest the prospect of a civil war, while making gut-wrenching decisions in order to achieve the first goal of bringing to fruition a free and democratic South Africa.


Many were displeased. 


Many were embittered. 


Many thought this the abandoning of the true principles of the struggle.


They were not wrong. 


They had good reason to believe that far too many concessions were made.


They who fought on the frontlines were not being unreasonable.


They faced Apartheid’s bullets and truncheons and torture for years.


Yet Nelson Mandela did not shut them out, but brought them in and invited them to be a part of the hard work that lay ahead in the creation of a new democratic country.




5.




Today, we look back.


Today, we judge Nelson Mandela and his comrades for a revolution denied.


Today, with the hindsight of history, we damn the negotiated settlement.


Today, the failures of the democratic governments that have followed Nelson Mandela’s one term as President, are coldly and conveniently laid at the feet of Nelson Mandela.


Nelson Mandela did not crave power nor status. President Nelson Mandela was a human being, a man of flesh and blood, with his share of faults.


Nelson Mandela never shied away from acknowledging his faults.




6.




Today we dismiss Nelson Mandela as one who sold out the revolution.


Today we condemn Nelson Mandela for the greed and corruption that keeps millions in poverty and the majority of the population who have no access to dignified health care and education and housing and employment.


Today we judge Nelson Mandela as the one who watered down every ideal and principle of the struggle for freedom and for human emancipation.




7.



Nelson Mandela stepped down as President in 1999 after serving one term in office.


Today we are in 2018.


How convenient to subtly paint Nelson Mandela as the one who sowed the seeds of all that is wrong in our country today.




8.




How very convenient.




9.




Nelson Mandela was not the prisoner-set-free to to assume the Presidency of the African National Congress and rule by dictatorial edicts and by personal decree. 


The African National Congress and its National Executive Committee (NEC), the ANC’s Armed Wing Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK), as well the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) played an integral part in the negotiated settlement that resulted from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).


Leaders and political activists like Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and many other individuals who spent years in Apartheid prisons and in exile were part of the decision making process. 


To hold Nelson Mandela solely responsible for the negotiated settlement that led to the creation of a democratic South Africa in 1994 is both disingenuous and ignores historical facts. 


The African National Congress structures on the ground were part of often heated debates as Nelson Mandela and his comrades navigated the treacherous waters of negotiating with a government that was in power and had the army at its disposal and was conducting bloody covert operations in order to derail the efforts to reach a peaceful solution for the dissolution of Apartheid and the birth of a new South African nation.


If Nelson Mandela is to be regarded as a ‘sell-out’, then he cannot be honestly judged alone for the failures of successive ANC governments from 1999 to 2018.


It is a simplistic reading of history to come to the conclusion that Nelson Mandela stood alone as a “sell-out” while once again conveniently ignoring the many other factors that played a part in the transition of South Africa from a racist, tyrannical state to a free and democratic new nation.




10.




Once again, how very convenient.







with thanks to the Nelson Mandela Foundation


https://www.nelsonmandela.org


from google


from google




https://www.nelsonmandela.org

my tribute to Steve Biko published:



http://www.polity.org.za/article/for-bantu-stephen-biko-2018-09-13



from google



For Bantu Stephen Biko.



Born: 18 December 1946

Murdered: 12 September 1977.





You fanned the fires of black pride,


facing down the racists trapped in their hollow white hide.




You breathed inspiration, infusing the many with renewed vigour,


though always knowing you were in the crosshairs of Apartheid’s trigger.




You never wavered, you stood tall and strong,


your words decimating the paltry platitudes of the fascist throng.


Your spirit, your courage, your words fanned the embers of resistance, with unshakeable determination,


you stood firm, always upright as you battled the scourge of racial discrimination,


and today, we as a people owe you the grateful tributes of a democratic nation.








They tortured you, they killed you, they murdered you, but they could never quell,


the conviction you instilled in a generation, the thirst for freedom and for dignity, and the tolling of the bell.


We salute you, fearless son of Africa, we remember you today, as we shall in all the tomorrows yet to come,


we shall never rest until the principled ideals for which you were killed are through our collective struggles won.


Only then shall we honour your selfless sacrifice, your dream of an equal society for all,


Only then shall we have truly honoured your eternally defiant, your ever valiant,


your forever truthful revolutionary call.





Viva the undying spirit of Steve Biko!


The struggles continue!



from google


turquoise turret

from google




turquoise turret … … …




bubblegum clouds drizzle cotton-candy floss, blurring my view,

liquorice asphalt twists, a slow burn, igniting memories of she, ashenly charred, akin to her tresses auburn,

as i peer from atop my turquoise turret, all that lies between i and she,

are walls well secured,

surreptitious defences obscured …




from google

I am African


Madiba Lives!




uBuntu – Southern African Philosophy that espouses the belief that all living beings are connected





I am African …




Africa, my Africa,

coursing through my veins,

the tributaries of all the rivers, all the streams,


infusing my nights with hope imbibed dreams.



Traversing the open savannah, walking alongside brother and sister, mother and father,


my city alive with promise, my continent throbbing with life,


my skies free to soar, my potential a purposeful roar.



Africa, my Africa,

you are the tears I have cried, my joyous dances in the rain, the balm that cures me from my sorrows and my pain.



Africa, my Africa,

you are me and I am you, I am not, but you remain perennially true, your soul intertwined with mine, your light never ceasing to shine,


Africa, my Africa,

I am not, but you remain everlasting and true,


Africa, my Africa,

you live within me,


Africa, my Africa,

I live within you …



poster from the days of the struggle against Apartheid tyranny

Nelson Mandela Lives!

n o s t a l g I a

nostalgia ..


Bicycle rides in the deluge of the monsoon, soaked sneakers squealing underfoot, mum’s voice calling us home, sipping cardamom tea, as the streets became a torrential sea.


stealing kisses on the school bus, furtively holding hands, innocence of young love thud-thudding in our hearts, surreptitiously catching a smoke, all trying to look like young humphrey bogarts.


cricket bats oiled with linseed, all patched and chipped, the field across the suburb our home ground, recreating matches heard on the radio, always on the lookout if any girls were around.


youthful joys, young heartbreaking moments, of having to repeat a grade at school, losing the carefully crafted image, of being just so cool.


days of scribbling notes in class, school a world in itself, ties undone in an effort to look tough, ears twisted by our teachers, the principal hauling us off by our necks’ scruff.


those days now a lifetime away, yet persistently and stubbornly etched in our minds, all grown up now with realities harsh, a long way away from looking for that lost cricket ball in the marsh.


old friends lost, not forgotten though, as the decades roll past, finally realising that nothing is meant ever to last.


what would we give to smell the monsoon rains once more, miles and miles away on a distant shore, ah but the memories remain, in the deepest recesses of our hearts’ core …


bruce and little steven


( inspired by Bruce Springsteen 🤔 )

from google




A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen … …


it was a rain-swept monsoon day,

way back then, so many moons away


when i felt the music strumming in my veins,

setting me free like a runaway horse without any reins


you sang of simple truths,

your verse spoke to people just like me,

in my lonely, wasted, and desolately quiet night,

as you screamed out tragic human wrongs, and of everyone’s plight,


‘bobby jean’ spoke to me,

of that girl down the street,

glimpses of whom, we as innocents would furtively meet,


and ‘the river’ that flowed through my ever-barren heart,

led me down further roads of thunder,

when slowly i finally learnt that the hardest part was fighting on,


and never to surrender,

to the hard-luck dreams that were born to run,

while i danced in the dark,

with memories vivid and stark,


even as i whined like that dog who for forever lost his howling bark,

and then a ‘human touch’ came along,

and ‘better days’ seemed real, not just words in a song,


and still you sang and swayed and spoke straight into my unseeing eyes,


as gardens of secrets were opened, and as your fist punched the skies,


in an anger that i too felt and in whose cauldron i too burned,

as we saw murder get incorporated, while on its wobbly axis, our fragile world apathetically turned,


and then suddenly i was told that i was all grown up,

working on a highway of scattered ideals,

and absolving myself by sprinkling some coins in a waiting cup,


well, after all these years of walking along so many a thorny road,


with an armour of your verse covering me, even as i hear them taunt me and even as they continue to goad,


but now i can feel myself fading away, into the bleakness of this coming night,


just like the ghost of that old tom joad.



FOR BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

from google

from google

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.

.

song for bruce springsteen …

.

.

” … so you’ve been broke, and you’ve been hurt, show me somebody who ain’t … I know I ain’t nobody’s bargain, but hell a little touch-up and a little paint, I ain’t lookin’ for praise or pity, I ain’t searching for a crutch, I just want someone to talk to, and a little of that human touch, just a lil’ of that human touch …” – Bruce Springsteen, ‘Human Touch’

.

.

_________

.

.

do you revisit those sultry summer nights,

sweet sweat pouring off your skin,

your hair fanning an eternal fire,

toasting deep within,

ever since I saw you,

standing at our old train station,

wearing your red beret,

and paging through a book by Emma Goldman,

somethin’ ’bout the tragedy of women’s emancipation,

we stood there in the pouring rain,

wishing we could race down the cobblestones on a renegade lane,

to take us away, from the stasis, the bruises, and the pain,

we laughed, we cried,
we held onto each other,

yearning for freedom,

from the straightjackets they tried to wrap around everyone’s brain …

Well, that was all those years ago,

when love meant something more than a ten buck stage show,

now the guys at the watering-hole tell me that you’re a big deal today,

it looks like you’ve packed Emma Goldman, and all your other books away,

perhaps they remind you of our younger selves,

it’s a pity that you’ve grown so large that there’s no room left for me on your neatly lined shelves,

ah but I still remember the woman that you once were,

but now you’re weighed down by your pearls and your faux-fur …

I wonder if you even think of me at all,

the boy who promised to be beside you,

always,

if you ever were to stumble, or to fall,

or has your new gucci-clad crew,

stripped you of your soul,

as you laugh and drink and screw,

I wonder if you even remember my name,

or have you buried me along with all that you once were,

out of sanctimonious shame …

… I’m still here, where you left me, festering in this rotting old town,

unemployed since the years when those stock-tickers went plummeting down,

today as I stand in line for my warm bowl of soup,

the TV on the homeless shelter wall says it’s going to get worse,

cos’ even the banks have flown the coop,

well, I think of you often, as I lay my head on the cold ground,

tasting your soft lips as our tongues waltzed around,

but tonight I kiss my bottle of moonshine,

that keeps me company while the sophisticates wine and dine …

I know you’ve forgotten all about me,

cos’ you’ve got futures to trade,

blue-chip stocks to sell,

so sleep tight tonight, my darling, in that penthouse where you dwell,

I’m used-up now, there ain’t nothing more I can say or do,

I’ve run out of yarns to spin, I’ve exhausted all the stories I once could tell,
so all that I can offer,

is a silent fare-thee-well

.

.

from google

.

.

.

from google

.

.

.

talkin’ springsteenesque introspection blues …

.

.

i have lost myself,
so often,
tripping over the tangled barbs,
here and there and everywhere i have been,

splintering me more,
each time we hauled ass,

and where once i tried to sew myself whole,

now i know,
sure,

all the random trivia,
a bit of this

but not much of much at all,

that’s the truth,
and i’ll stick to it,
go ahead,
haul me up against the wall,

but now, you see,
that now i see a little more,
cutting deep to the core,

i’ve been putting on a show,
playing the part,
cowardly,
callow,

hollow,
empty,
blind-mans bowl,

and chillingly,
effortlessly,
almost now,

clanging on,
the same old song,
the tired old dance,

but then again having strutted once,
puffy,
conceited ego,
once,

and since i have been humbled,

many times since,
this old shell has had some touch-up, and some paint,

but still,
typecast,
twisted,
playing the sad old role,

vagabond castaway,
misfit whatever,
neither here nor there,

and not that i don’t,
(pretend, at leas) to care,

i am tired of the perennial fare,

this endless fair,

playing the skin i shed yesterday,

slipping into my new skin today,

vaulting myself high,
perched up,
on the mantle,

tucked away,
between suburban pomposity,
and expected holier-than-thouness,

but now after all these years,
and after all these miles and after all these tears,

i think i am able to get through the times,
when my burden of sins,

keeps kicking me in the shins,

because one thing i know is what you said,

what you said, man, was true,

i remember it was during one of your pre-song talk-in/intro/philosophical detours on that never-ending highway,

i remember it time and time,
i’ll remember it always,
again and again,

each time i’m kicked in the shins,

remember, you said,

“… remember, in the end, no one wins unless everyone wins.”

_______________

for Bruce Springsteen

from google

plucking thorns

.

.

plucking thorns, scars skin adorns, piece by splintered piece, oblivious of fate, machinations that do not cease,

extracting shrapnel, embedded in my soul, heart, lives, cauterising stemming of blood, red scarlet drops on floors no one mops,

lobotomising consciences, inured principles, devoid of heart and soul, trudging along, hapless,

the journey ebbs on, the ache to feel, once again, whole …

.

.

sentinels

from google

.

.

sentinels …

.

.

thoughts whizz past, embers meant never to last,

leaving memories behind, grappling fears in spaces of the blind,

memories, with all their nostalgic tugging,

stand blurred, hazy sentinels against excessive lugging,

sentinels, silently harbouring, threads of you, and of me,

sentinels, hewn into our being, protecting the persistence of memory …

.

.

from google

talkin’ why hope is important bluesy-blues … … …

… … … this scribble is about hope, that unweighable weighty word, often bandied about ritually, and thus its message, its voice, may be blunted by repetitive bluster, so i’ll be a-scribblin’ along, with all the gusto i may muster, since we’re talking about hope, without which the human race, us all, all of us, i dare say, would not cope, ’cause imagine an absence of something, can’t put your finger on that feeling feeling, that oftentimes rocks at our souls, leavin’ our minds reelin’, yeah that’s right, but no propagandising today, though with me, at least, i can truly say, were it not for hope, that figment, blister on indifferent fates’ machinations, that belief, that burning in the pit of ones core, gnawing, gnashed teeth muttering, that all this pain too must eventually, pale, and that’s whats a-sometime the reason for us being heartful, and or hale, its hope, raw, deceptive, lyin’, corrosive, rusted but a-shineyed up, yeah that hope that keeps my heart pumping, its that hope that keeps me alive, and its that hope upon which, may all new flowers thrive …

Art by Picasso

my mother meeting her old comrade Nelson Mandela after 27 years of him being in jail and my parents working for the African National Congress (ANC) in exile since the 1960s. Photograph taken by me in Sweden 1990

.

.

.

my mother’s story – a true story …

.

.

my mother used tell me this with tears in her eyes.

my mother left South Africa in the 1960’s to join my father who was in political exile at the time in Tanzania.

in 1970 my father was deployed by the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) to India to be its Chief-Representative there.

I was born in New Delhi a couple of years later in 1972.

my mother and father spent two years in Mumbai (then Bombay).

one afternoon my father fell and broke his leg.

my mother knocked on their neighbour’s door of the apartment complex where they lived.

the neighbour was an elderly Punjabi lady.

my mother asked the elderly lady for assistance in calling a doctor to see to my injured father.

a Zoroastrian (Parsi) ‘bone-setter’ was promptly summoned.

my mother and the elderly neighbour got to talking and the lady asked my mother where they were from, as their accents were clearly not local.

my mother told the elderly Punjabi lady that my father worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had been forced into exile to continue to struggle to raise awareness internationally about the appalling situation in Apartheid South Africa.

my mother also mentioned that they had to leave their two young children (my siblings, whom I met only later in life) behind in South Africa, in the care of grandparents, and that they were now essentially political refugees.

the elderly lady broke down and wept uncontrollably.

she told my mother that she too had to leave their home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on their back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and when Pakistan was torn from India and formed, due to narrow religious and sectarian reasons, whose repercussions are felt to this day.

this was also a time when religious violence wreaked havoc, and untold suffering and death for millions of human beings.

the elderly lady then asked my mother what her name was.

‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’.

the Punjabi woman hugged Zubeida some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, by religion and all the things that seek to divide humanity, wept, for they could understand the pain and trauma of a shared experience.

the elderly Punjabi lady told my mother that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she too felt the pain of exile after being forced to become refugees, and what being a refugee felt like.

Zubie and her husband Mosie (my father) and the family next door became the closest of friends.

then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress (ANC) office was to be officially opened.

the elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes.

a year or two later, the elderly lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi.

the elderly lady telephoned Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live there, and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi, and that she should not feel alone.

Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi in the mid-1970’s.

Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, till the both my mother passed away in 2008.

my father and I still feel a close bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi, and vice versa.

a bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two countries of South Africa and of India, shattering the barriers of creed and of time.

a bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience.

that is why I shall never stop believing that hope shines still, for with so much religious bigotry almost consuming our world today, there will always be a woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, and as a fellow human being.

and that is why, I believe, that there will always be hope.

hope in the midst of unbearable pain and hope in the midst of loss and of unspeakable suffering.

hope.

for we can never give up hope for a better world.

never.

.

.

.

(for aunty Lata’s late-mother, my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi, India)

.

.

old anti-apartheid poster

senzenina*

from google

.

.

Senzenina*

There was a glorious moment, in the autumn of 1994, when a nation broke free of the shackles of Apartheid.

There was a hope that burned bright, there were people ululating and dancing in the streets, there was a palpable feeling that we were on the cusp of achieving something that so many had sacrificed and died to accomplish.

The fetters of political and social and economic and racial tyranny were to be cast off, with the indescribable hope of a newer tomorrow, a better more equitable future, to be built on the foundation so many South Africans gave their lives to realise.

But it was not to be. The burning conviction of so so many was diluted, and then further diluted, till the very flames of revolution were hastily doused, with all that remained being the smouldering embers of hopes and dreams banished to the marketplace of deprivation.

In the Freedom Charter, there were the humane ideals of housing and health for all, of education and economic justice for all, of work for decent pay for all, for freedom from wage-slavery for all.

How hurriedly were these ideals buried.

The dreams and hopes and aspirations of generations seemed to have been consigned to the dust heap of history, as someone once said.

The South Africa of 1994 was not a country with a failing economy, and was in fact a wealthy country blessed with precious metals that had the potential for so many of the ideals of the Freedom Charter to be finally realised where the obscene wealth of the few would be more equitably shared by the overwhelmingly masses of the country.

It is was not long after the advent of democracy when the warning flags started popping up. The mad dash for power and influence and the feeding of greed began rapidly eroding the ideals that our leaders spent decades in prison dedicated their lives to achieve, the far far too many who were tortured and killed, who were forced into political exile, and the vast majority of people who bore the scars that the jagged edge of tyranny inflicted upon them.

The warning signs were there for all of us to see. The graft, the tenders for pals, the insatiable acquisition of personal wealth by a fraction of a fraction of the people of the country, exposed ominous signs that the noble ideals so many sacrificed for were being gradually consigned to oblivion.

Today, twenty seven years since freedom dawned, we have little to be proud about.

We have not alleviated poverty adequately so that the poorest of the poor citizens of South Africa still go to bed hungry, and often sleeping on newspaper sheets under gleaming highway underpasses. The scourge of unemployment means that those seeking to find work cannot do so, at least not for a liveable wage. The vast majority of the children of freedom still commute great distances and bear long hours in order to access a meaningful education. The “there shall be housing for all” words contained in the Freedom Charter has become a cesspool of substandard tiny homes being built, mostly even without doors or windows.

The elderly who are sickly have to endure hours of waiting in gradually decaying hospitals with more often their dignity being trampled upon by underpaid and understaffed nurses and doctors.

There is much much more to mention.

The saddest thing of all is the crushing of the hopes of the many, more often than not, by the few.

This is not the country leaders such as Madiba and Tambo and Hani and Biko and Sisulu amongst countless more had envisaged.

We have failed our selfless freedom fighters.

We have and continue to fail the vast majority of our fellow citizens.

This is now.

This is today.

Could there still be hope for tomorrow and the tomorrows yet to come.

It is up to all of us.

________

* “Senzenina” is an anti-Apartheid song which means “What have we done” with the implication “what did we do to deserve this?”

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.

from google

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.

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your name

from google

hewn into my being,

carved across my heart,

weaving through my mind,

embossed in my soul,

it remains –

a persistent reminder:

your name

from google

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