Tag Archive: apathy

on apathy: “I don’t Care”

I Don’t Care


I don’t care,
if you’re battered black and blue,

I don’t care,
just as long as I can drink and screw.

I don’t care,
if you’ve lost your damn job,

I don’t care,
you’re just a kernel off the cob.

I don’t care,
when I see you begging in the street,

I don’t care,
I get to suckle on capitalism’s raw teat.

I don’t care,
about the elderly, the poor, or the weak,

I don’t care,
if the earth will be inherited by the meek.

I don’t care,
if the climate is warming, I’m so much cooler,

I don’t care,
in my penthouse I’m the boss, the only ruler.

I don’t care,
for those rolling for scraps in the muck,

I don’t care,

I really don’t care, cos’ I don’t give a fuck.


inspired by Bob Geldof’s “The Great Song of Indifference”

more nonsense …

nonsensical lines of a scribble …

unknotting, woven words,
stitched between folds of unseeing eyes,

glimpses, here and there,

stranded on islands of desolation,
stung by panic,

gasping for breath,
marooned on a sliver,
razored, sharp,

tearing you from the inside out,
and it won’t matter how loudly you holler,

cry, wail,

slipping into worn shades,
of yesterdays souls, worn thin and weary,

these enslaved moments,
of claustrophobic pain,

real sorrow,
today, real,
really now,
not some faroff morrow,

of having worn too many masks,
with nowhere left to hide,

except between the lines of a scribble

the cycle of hate …

the cycle of hate …

reeking of venom,
soaked in the stench of rage,

still, silent, prowling,

lying in wait, to pounce,
maul, go for the jugular,
snap, sink teeth into,

then, of course,

allow the hapless prey to bleed out, then consume,

and naturally,
expel …

to be continued … … …

Humanity ?

Us men,
almost always,

myopic, impotent men,

our manliness oozing, seeping,

in swathes of red,
scarlet blood on infant skin,

dried on cold, dead flesh.

Who am i,
a man,

myopic, impotent,

my swagger puffed on conceit,

my country right or wrong,
my god not yours,
my culture your caste,
tribe, sect, ideology … … …

Who am i ?

a man ?
knitted into,
shared humanity ?

Perhaps ’tis time,
to let this rotten, festering,
glossy, botoxed, tucked, trimmed, diseased skin,


laying stark this sham,
this theatre,

these lies, the maggots burrowing deep,

into man,

chiselling, smashing,
beheading, hanging,
shooting, bombing, drone-ing, killing, raping, torturing, killing, killing, killing,

excising man,
ripping man out of humanity.

i am man.

memories: Exile & Home

Mrs. Agnes Msimang,
ANC Stalwart and mother to countless South African exiles, during the struggle against Apartheid tyranny.

Long Live the Spirit of The Women!

Now that You have touched a Woman, You have struck a Rock!

All Power to the People!

( the photograph below was taken at Luthuli House, Johannesburg recently )


the photograph below was taken in Delhi, India, sometime in the mid 1970s


The 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, 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 happened to be lighter,

and white was right in South Africa back then,

but, 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 Tasneem and your beloved Azad,

my elder sister and brother, whom I could not grow
up with, your beloved children separated by time, by place,

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 for taking a moral 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!

(for the brave women of South Africa, of all colours,
who fought against racial discrimination and Apartheid)

meagre scribbles

broken wings, shattered,
hugging the frigid ground,

emotions scampering,
flitting between smiles and tears,

peaking crests, plunging into valleys,

of loss, of fear,
of future unclear,

of that,
of this,

often pain,


a shard of,

there shall not be peace …

as hunger rumbles,
desolation stalks,

poverty numbs,
apathy dumbs,

there shall be no peace,

until hungry mouths are fed,
till poverty slithers away,

back into the coffers that prey,

the greedy upon the needy,

this is how it has always been,
is this how it shall always be …

capitalism 101

capitalism 101

when it breaks,

rendering souls mute,
hearts in tatters,

does it bother you at all,
that for you to rise,

so many must fall.

the glitterati

the glitterati feast,

dismembered spirits,

salving consciences,
bidding to
purchase redemption,

for continuing crimes,
that don’t make the headlines,

business as usual,

the glitterati,
lost in a fine-wine haze,

sparkling carats dazzling,

leaving the dregs behind,

as the
blindness slowly slithers,
sinking talons,
gnawing at the bone,

while the sweaty, bloody,
the pained,
the far, far too many

batter and shatter,
hacking away,

deep beneath our gleaming golden city

for pieces of glittering stone

broken verse

metallic tastes burrow deeper into me,

‘i am lost’, i say,

as leaden weight blankets my vision,

and emptiness looms with frantic precision,

‘i am lost’, i say,
once more,

driving the stake deeper and deeper,

into my innermost core,

leaving me


a shade,
of all i thought i was before,

lost amidst the myriad strands,

of tomorrows yet to dawn,


in the vice grip of yesterdays pain,


against the grain,

of cultured norms,
and polished forms,


skewering those moments,
lost forever,

in a paradise of thorns,
where carcasses are mounted onto silken sheets,


by mere men,
monsters sans horns,

where desolation stalks the empty spaces,

etched on numberless faces,

battered and beaten down,


snatching odd breaths,

as the edifice itself,

tugged below,

ever so slow,
into the quicksand of oblivion,

where suns dipped,
and souls tripped,

onto the final barge,
stammering on our river,

cut to pieces,

diced and sliced,
sliver by agonising sliver

The Cashmere Shawl of Oblivious Hypocrisy.

offering safe haven to us all,

The fabric soft,
as we righteously strut around so proud and tall

Wearing our hearts on our sleeves,
indignation gushing through our veins,

tucked warmly away,
in our warmed beds,
sparing not a thought for those left out naked in the icy rains

I’m so self-assured,
knowing I am unlike the rest of the sheep,

I give to charity,
I toss out a few coins to those in the cold,
as I lower the window just a bit,
so long as they don’t smudge the windows of my newly acquired Jeep.

I sit,
I drink tea,
biting down on fresh Croissants,
so as not to get the crumbs on my face,

as I rail,
against the ills of the world,

the greedy corporations,
the imperialist forces,
the religious fanatics,
the corrupt,
almost everyone but I,

as I wrap my shawl of hypocrisy tighter still,

anaesthetised in my own headspace.

My hypocrisy stuns me,
renders me mute,

as I pick out new clothes for the very well-clothed,

agonising over just what will look oh-so cute.

My arrogance of plenty sickens me,

deep in my soul,

even as I pull my Cashmere Shawl of oblivious hypocrisy closer still,

feeling I need,

so much more,

before I can ever feel whole.

I rant and I rave,

I spout platitudes,

I pick and choose my causes so very well,


my causes must feed into my imprisoned conscience,

locked away in my mind’s damp cell.

I tire fast of those,

who not unlike myself,

have so much to say about all that they perceive to be wrong,

and still I hug my shawl of hypocrisy,

while I order my double-espresso,


I enjoy my Italian coffee strong.

I roam this world feeling self-righteous and pure,

I’m not like the others,

I have a heart,
a social conscience,

and I offer alms to the poor.

The Cashmere Shawl of my not-so oblivious hypocrisy remains my shield,

and I will argue vociferously against governments and business,

and the brute power they wield.

I’m just like you, my brother,

and I’m no different from you, my sister,

we are all alike,

my dearest friends,

you and I,

we’ve perfected the art,
of turning a blind eye,

when in suits us,
we utter not a whimper of protest,

we demonstrate and intellectualise,

and holler and yell,

always brimming over with pious zest.

Don’t you tire?

fellow people of good conscience,

because I know I do,

feeding our smug self-righteousness,

while we drink fine whiskey,

eat finer lobster,

as we buy and buy and buy and buy,

and date,
and marry,
and screw.

Retail-therapy is good,

I hear myself say,

as I try on the fit,

of my brand-new hand-stitched thousand dollar shoe,

all the while I’m tweeting,

signing petitions,

surfing the social waves,

for someone else I can moan and groan to.

Well, today I’m shedding this warm shawl of cashmere,

while I drag on my cigarette,

and guzzle my cheap beer,

for I’m sick of this cocoon that I’ve so carefully built,

if only I knew,
that the foundation is sitting on silt,

so I beg your pardon,

as I take leave of you fine people today,

because truth be told,


It all makes me sick,

so allow me to cease being offensive,

as I hypocritically (but quick),

slither obliviously away….

A Grand Unified Theory…

… Scraping our knees,
as fluid time flows,

months and years and days and weeks,

loving, living, cooking, caring,

our pain, our desires, our simple wishes,

lie neatly tucked away,

behind the clean linen in the guest-bedroom cupboard.

Whispering to ourselves, bleeding to feel alive, feeling a cold, distant cloak of invisibility shrouding our screaming silences.

A tender glance, a few comforting words,
remind us that we are still human,

picking away at still-raw sores, pacing around in our minds, searching for yet to be opened doors,

craving simple warmth, a kind word, a knowing nod, a shared tear,

holding each other, close by, yet not near,

grappling within, without,

at the gnawing fear,

I may have loved you too much,

my phantom love,

always present,

still you always, always, always,

manage to disappear…

Realpolitik in the Bullet Riddled-East

Trembling, the child weeps,
silently sobbing, tears rolling down,
moist cheeks speckled with dried blood.

Shivering, the child seeks warmth,
huddling close to the stiff corpses,
with faces blown off, limbs crushed,
not looking like mum and dad at all.

[ complicit, I sit back, hurling invective,
at the inaction, or the lack of reaction,
assigning blame, here, there, everywhere,
sipping my cappuccino safely in my cocoon ]

Famished, the child shivers in the night,
ear-drums blown out, senses heavy as lead,

as the dogs of war circle nearby, bellowing,
spewing diseased words from severed tongues,

waiting for the bleeding child to have fully bled.

I Don’t Care

I Don’t Care

I don’t care,
if you’re battered black and blue,

I don’t care,
just as long as I can drink and screw.

I don’t care,
if you’ve lost your damn job,

I don’t care,
you’re just a kernel off the cob.

I don’t care,
when I see you begging in the street,

I don’t care,
I get to suckle on capitalism’s raw teat.

I don’t care,
about the elderly, the poor, or the weak,

I don’t care,
if the earth will be inherited by the meek.

I don’t care,
if the climate is warming, I’m so much cooler,

I don’t care,
in my penthouse I’m the boss, the only ruler.

I don’t care,
for those rolling for scraps in the muck,

I don’t care,

I really don’t care, cos’ I don’t give a fuck.


inspired by Bob Geldof’s “The Great Song of Indifference”


Parched and thirsty

trudging through

soul-less alleys

of want and hunger


empty and barren

coarsing through

heartless streets

of need and despair


change will come

said the promise

change in time

will come


what remains of the promise

but the scratching through

of bulging pockets


for a little change

Assaulted on all sides,
by the promise of faux-bliss,
etched on designer labels.

Dutifully acquiescing,
as we gleefully get herded,
into styrofoam stables.

Humanity traded at bargain prices,
carefully julienned into bite-sized slices.

There has to be another way,
where dreams and truths aren’t brittle as clay.

I have to believe in that less harsh, more just way,
where wanton greed is kept at bay..

I do believe in that better way,
when people see people again.

I do believe in the promise of that day,

when hunger and despair,
when anguish and pain,
when injustice and tyranny,

is finally,

and at long last,

swept away


the hushed rage of prejudice rejoices in triumphant pomp and hateful ceremony


the silent dagger of fascism plunges deep into the soul of a world bereft of hope


the long knife of embraced apathy twists and turns in the backs of the weakened ones


maybe we’ll open our eyes

and perhaps then we’ll open our sewed-up mouths

and maybe only then will we whimper in mock shock and oblivious surprise


the festering hate that spirals around us

in the fertile minds of quasi-intellectual bigotry

is unafraid and speaks in the loudest baritone


we accept

we acquiesce

we wish it all away


there will come that time when the lines are drawn

when the purest hearts of silently smiling bigotry will hold the world in their sway

with their cherubic, agreeable arguments sprinkled with pieces of fact that will kill, rape and slay

what then,

I ask, will we do that day?

Vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

though eyes aren’t needed to behold

the flowing tears of those of us, left out in the cold


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

the time to turn your back is long gone

no time now to pander and no time now to fawn


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we the people are hungry, angry, and our skin is torn

though we say it loudly, unbowed we are, and not forlorn


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we may be invisible and tucked away far from you

but we are here, still, waiting for the promise of freedom to come true


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

you see us sometimes, though you avert your gaze

come on now, compatriots, awaken from your complacent daze


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

we are the open wound that festers on your ostentatious display

band-aids won’t do anymore, we are here, and we are here to stay


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

as you roll down your windows and toss us some coins, look in our eyes

we are your slumbering consciences, we are the famished proof of your lies


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

forget us not as you tuck your pretty children in, and turn off the lights

we too are the children whose mothers, fathers fought for all our peoples’ rights


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

don’t think that we are bitter and livid for no reason or cause

we have been waiting and waiting, for days and a decade, without any pause


vula amehlo

sisters and brothers

vula amehlo

mothers and fathers

vula amehlo

brown and white and all shades of this rainbow so bright

we repeat what we said, we are not going to melt away into the night

vula amehlo

one and all

our patience is being tested from day to day, year to year

we have listened to your promises and we now demand that you hear

vula amehlo

open your eyes

and see us, and hear us clearly, and hear us today

band-aids won’t do anymore, we are here, and we are here to stay


vula amehlo

open your eyes


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