Tag Archive: bigotry


International Womens Day

She Walks Alone …

she walks alone,
barefoot in the paddies of rice,

breaking her back for some precious grains.

she walks alone,

in jo’burg town, with a black eye,

smacked around by him the previous painful night.

she walks alone,

in the streets of neon hazed manila,

along the pristine hedges of rotten london,

on the crowded pavements of lonesome new delhi,

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas,

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas,

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented jeddah,

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad los angeles town.

she walks alone,

bearing the burden of mother and daughter
of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag,

she walks alone,

through your streets and mine,

standing up as she is beaten more down,

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple,

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans.

she walks alone,

in factories and in mills and in buses,

in schools and in brothels and in places in-between.

she walks alone,

staying alive on the alms of the ‘charitable’,

violated by those who from the pulpit preach.

she walks alone,

my sister and yours,

my mother and yours too,

my lover and your beloved as well.

she walks alone,

caged by society in its invisible prison,

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste,

she walks alone,

but she is the conscience of me and you,

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair,

she walks alone,

and though fearful of you men she may seem,

be warned that she may not forever be this alone,

for she too dreams and thinks and believes,

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps,

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps,

and she too will rise and in rising slay,

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay,

and she too will demand her rightful place,

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real, human face …

i d e n t i t y ?

rootless,
scattered beings,

unlike trees,
tentacled roots,
firmly entrenched,
in this earth,

we walk alongside trees,

embroiled in turmoil,
we hate, waging wars,
we discriminate:

tradition,
race,
culture,
patriarchy,
religion,
ideology,

rootless, we flounder,

racing through lives,
rootless, unencumbered,

seeking a home,
eternal exiles, uprooted,

complacent,
skidding, smiling,
killing, proselytising,

inured by dogma,
anaesthetised with learned prejudice,

basking in the illusion, that we, us, i am surefooted,

yet remaining exiles,
all, together,
bound together by gravity, unable to soar into boundless skies,

tearing each other apart,
unafraid, surefooted,

my country right or wrong,
my religion the only one,
my culture the best,
my tradition superior to all the rest,

my book the word of god,

smugly uprooted,

unlike trees,
deeply rooted,
fanning out like banyans, free,

not us,
paying dues, settling scores, doling out fees,

rootless,
floundering,
meandering through bylanes of isolation,

smug, arrogant,
assuredly surefooted,

in the only truth of my culture, my tradition, my race, my people, my religion,

my god,

have we forgotten the trees,

chopped down,
without sorrow,
desecrated,

once firmly rooted,
now flotsam, jetsam,

like i, you, him, her, us and them,

uprooted, snuffed out,

dragging along dead wood,

pompously preaching the rootedness,

of culture,
of tradition,
of race and of religion,

while we remain,

exiles all, blasé and smugly surefooted,

sowing division,
waving flags,
sermonising,

my country right or wrong,

ignoring the lesson of the trees,

of what it really means to be firmly rooted,

posturing instead, ideological fantasies, religious fancies:

i am right,

and thusly so,

you are all very wrong …
… …

Buchenwald – 1979

walking towards horror,
my seven year old eyes,

were sewn open on that day at Buchenwald.

the reeking stench of death
was by now,
lost to the winds,

and ahead,

stood Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Never Again!

we have said,
over and over,

and over and over,
but, but,

as Erich Fried* wrote,

it happened,

it is happening now,

and it will go on happening if nothing is done to stop it from ever happening again** …

    ____________________

* Erich Fried 1921 – 1988.

http://allpoetry.com/Erich-Fried

** taken from and inspired by Erich Fried’s poem “What Happens”

http://poetrypill.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-happens.html?m=1

afzaljhb@gmail.com

“first they came for the _____” ( Mr. Trump, fill in the blanks )

_______________

then they came for the. ______________

( fill in the blanks, Mr. Trump )

be careful,
the extremists appear to be on the ascendancy,

the brutal murderers of daesh and the neonazi drivel of trump,

so be careful: guard your mind,

never forget,
remember,

always,
always remember:

“first they came for the Communists …”*

* – Pastor Martin Niemoller

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Pete's Banjo

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Woody

bigotry is binary – a rant

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Niemoller

instilling fear,
sowing terror,
masked bigots seeking to silence us all.

instilling fear,
sowing discord,
blustery politicians seeking to terrify us all.

instilling bigotry,
entrenching hate,

schizophrenic fascism gestates,
                sinking fanatical talons into the corpse of humanity,

feeding hate,
sowing racism,

doctrines of superiority mutates.

bigotry is binary,

there are no shades of grey,
no colours of the rainbow today,

bigotry is binary,

we’re either white or wrong,
my religion right or wrong,
my country right or wrong,

many heads of the hydra,
monsters reared to prey,

while bigots of all shades,
spew hate as they pray …

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Madiba

a child of war

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a child of war.

as she lies bleeding,
the girl who skipped, hopped to school,
all of nine and a half years old,
with ribbons in her hair and a laugh that was her parent’s pride.

as she lies bleeding,
shrapnel lodged in her torn stomach,
she stares at her skipping rope,
as her blood soaks it the colour of cherries her mummy buys.

as she lies bleeding,
she sees people all around thick black smoke,
blurred visions of scattering feet, shoes left behind,
hearing nothing but the pinging in her smashed eardrums.

as she lies bleeding,
she slips away and then she is dead,
a mangled heap of a nine and a half year old girl,
whose laugh was her mother’s pride.

as she lies bleeding,
for even in death she bleeds some more,
shrapnel wedged in her torn stomach,
stealing the light from her bright little eyes.

as she lies bleeding …

in jallianwala bagh in ‘19,
leningrad in ‘42,
freetown in ‘98,
soweto in ‘76,
jenin in ‘02,
hanoi in ‘68,
beirut in ‘85,

raqqa now,
basra still,
gaza too.

as she lies bleeding,
a little nine and a half year old girl,
whose laugh was her parent’s pride,
we know she’ll bleed more,

tomorrow and in many tomorrows yet unborn,

with shrapnel in her stomach,
ripped open and torn.

as she lies bleeding.

N O T
          I N
                M Y
                       N A M E …

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the stench of racism … … …

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1.

when rancid racism strikes,
in cocooned fungal minds, narrow, superficially deep,

an insidious venom begins to seep,

into the consciousness of the chattering ones as they sleep.

2.

beliefs held so true, so deep,
stripped of feeling,

empty, hollow, feigned, designed, branded compassion,

feeds conceit in chests swollen with righteous passion.

3.

the racism once firmly entrenched,

enveloping all, a comforting shawl,

needs little to fester, to mutate,

into doctrines of superiority, bigotry, hate.

4.

are we guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?

sipping martinis, shovelling more, always more onto heaving plates,

falling, slipping into inebriated moments, without care,

as the stench of hate, prejudice, racism,

floats in the evening air.

                _______

Amandla!

The Struggles Continue … … …

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Comrade Chris Hani

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embroidered on tshirts,
emblazoned across charitable institutions,

emblematic of today,

where capital mows down our collective past,

rendering wethepeople impotent, flaccid, limp,

mere buyers & consumers,
expanding market-reach,

our giddiness palpable,
waistlines expanding like the goodyear blimp,

our struggles on sale,
republished, hardbound,
cashing in,
on display,
buy the book, read the tale,

acceptable, sterile,
aromatically stale,

the revolutionary rebranded,

silver-haired & grandfatherly,
the grandad we all wished we had,

canonising nonviolence,
trumpeting the eternal rebel,
with cigar and beret,

photoshopping our ancestors,
diluting their struggles,

repackaged & consumer-friendly,
end-user accessibility,

simple, plug & play,

hard-work, initiative,
entrepreneurial-spirit,

experts spluttering on,
about how to make-it and make it big today,

welcome to the new theme park, they say,

rugby + mandela,
or baartman by beyoncé,

& oh yes, bring your family too,

cos’ some of our best friends/clients/employees etc. are _______________

( fill in where appropriate ),

there’s room for all to eat and drink and in the shade lay,

sipping cappuccinos under automated palms that oh-so-cutely sway,

fleeing kaffirs, hotnots, gardenboys, maidgirls, coolies, bushies, coloureds, darkies,

escaping monkeys on beaches far, far away,

that’s right,

buy one & get two for freemium today,

under the benevolent gaze of Madiba & MLK,

Biko & Tambo & Sisulu,

Fidel & Hani & Ché.

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Woody’s New Years Rulin’s

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in memory of woody and huddie and pete,

and long may the jazz and blues and folk ring loud …

double-helixed uBuntu

double-helixed uBuntu.

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these interwoven veins,
dna,
double-helixed,

microscopic,
binding us, all of us,
together, as one,

species, one race,
human,

me & you

us,
all,

through
this common
shared
truth:

‘I am because you are’*

all of us
together
as one

me & you = uBuntu*

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

Yoda’s advice to Trump et al

Yoda’s unsolicited advice to the Trump and the Republicans:

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“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
  
       ______________

may the ‘leaders’ heed the little green Jedi’s words.

Never Again

one century ago,

the 30s and 40s,
the world convulsed,

the odour of colonialism,
imperialism, fascism, nazism, genocide, ethnic cleansing,

hung in the air,

an ideology + one name:

nazism, hitler,

moved the world to pledge to us, the succeeding generations:

” N E V E R   A G A I N ”

a hundred years on,

may our silence not condemn,
succeeding generations,

so may this name not be associated with these times:

Donald Trump

the extremists VS us, the people

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the following was written within a South African context, but sadly i feel similar emotions when hearing Mr. Trump, a person who may one day have the authority to use nuclear weapons, repeatedly make blatantly xenophobic and racist utterances.

Mr. Trump perhaps should be made aware of the ancient African concept of ‘uBuntu’ – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”

“I am because we are”

              _________

in the belly of xenophobia.

when you see them,
passing by your pretty green avenues,

grab your garden rake,
stone the encroaching horde,

they take our jobs,
they marry our women,

put them all
to the sword,

“bloody foreigners”

“wetbacks”

“nigger”

leeching off our taxes,
stinking up the neighborhood,

send them all home,
or better still,
build walls,

seal the borders,
and don’t allow “them” into our fair country,

seek them out in every street,

in every bar,
and finish them off,
one by one,

finish and klaar,

and rest assured,

if not that,
then atleast fuhrer trump and all his cash,

will find you as many  scapegoats you wish to gleefully bash.

                  ______

* – ‘klaar’ is Afrikaans for ‘finished’

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then they came for the ______________

( fill in the blanks, Mr. Trump )

be careful,
the extremists appear to be on the ascendancy,

the brutal murderers of daesh and the neonazi drivel of trump,

so be careful: guard your mind,

never forget,
remember,

always,
always remember:

“first they came for the Communists …”

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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,
men,

myopic, impotent men,

our manliness oozing, seeping,
dripping,
soaking,

in swathes of red,
scarlet blood on infant skin,

hardened,
caked,
dried on cold, dead flesh.

Who am i,
a man,

myopic, impotent,

my swagger puffed on conceit,

my country right or wrong,
my god not yours,
my culture your 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,

moult,

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.

Yes,
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!

Amandla!
All Power to the People!

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

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

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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,

and,
sometimes,
sometimes,

a shard of,
bliss.

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 …

A Poem for Jawaharlal Nehru

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Pandit-Ji*

1.

The moon cast an enveloping shadow over the teeming multitudes,

as they made their tryst with destiny**,

with you as the bearer of the light,

and at the stroke of the midnight hour,

you emerged an icon, from the long and desolate night.

Long years had passed,
since those humid evenings spent,
languishing in jail,

yet your mind remained unshackled,
putting words on paper in the dim candlelight,

as the gaudy glare of empire began to pale.

2.

Today,
you live,

within us,
though not amongst us,

and,

your discovery,
your glimpses,

smoulder within me,

your immortal words,
my compass.

I am now,
the soul of nations,
once suppressed,

that have,
found utterance.

I am now,
me.

I am now,
finally,

free.

       _________________

* – ‘Pandit-Ji’ was the name that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was respectfully called.

** – excerpts from Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech on 15th August 1947

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untitled

and when this shroud,
the skin we moult,

traversing eons, sipping kisses, lapping tongues,
mingled meadows of scarlet red,

the standard waves amidst,

the smoke, the swollen pollen, detritus of ills-scarcely-forgotten,

to flutter on the ramparts,
aloft, again,

for the pot simmers,
and the light of hope glimmers.

capitalism 101

capitalism 101

when it breaks,
shatters,

rendering souls mute,
hearts in tatters,

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

so many must fall.

scabbards

scabbards.

1.

aren’t we all,
at the heart of it all,

just scabbards.

mere,
just,

vessels,
into which,

we pour
our hope, love, fear,
desire, prejudice, anger,

scabbards all,
right at the heart of it all,

filled to the hilt,

brimming with jingoistic murderousness,

bloated on bigoted hair-trigger rage,

primed,
ready to slay,

in the name of something someone,

some entity deity belief oldage, newagey, or thought-up yesterday,

sounding needlingly familiar,

a few words,
names,
hearsay,

primed,
coded,

prepped to slay,
itching to strike,

that
first blow,

shock & awe!

drawing first blood,

drop by drop,
bleeding out,

blood spilled,
again, and again.

2.

the colour of the bloody rivers in flood:

red.

red to the hilt,
brimming the scabbards,

scabbards,

mere,

and finally,
just maybe,

perhaps,

just.

the glitterati

the glitterati feast,

neatly,
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,
lost,
the far, far too many

batter and shatter,
hacking away,

deep beneath our gleaming golden city

for pieces of glittering stone

lost, i am …

lost, i am …

i am lost,
have been for quite a while,

cast aside,
tossed,
amongst the rubble,
of those of us who didn’t work hard enough,

study as much,

slog and strain like the good people i see,

walking past me,
everyday,

thinking to myself,
where did i go wrong,

was i not as strong,
as the good people i see,

who walk past me,

feigning ignorance,
or maybe not,

perhaps just not being able to see,

my tattered rags,
my blistered mouth,
my feet, bruised and scabbed,

my soul, my dignity,
savaged, and stabbed,

so i am lost,
in this ocean of humanity,

that walks past me,
everyday,

and it still gnaws, i have to say,

after all these years,
having shed my quota of tears,

it is i,
who embodies these good peoples fears,

why,
i still ask,

why don’t you see me?

the other half

the other half.

dregs, urchins,
the unwashed,

people,
almost, though not quite …

epithets pummel the pummelled,

elements torment the tormented,

hate, mistrust,
conceit, greed,

yours and mine,

fuels:

the diesel of hate,
the anthracite of apathy,
the hybrid greed:

as the beast of indifference gouges,

for the beast has needs,

it hungers,
it scavenges,

it continues,
evermore,

to feed.

fleas

sweltering,
trapped,

saltwater all around,
fleeing death,

surviving death on the seas,

to be greeted,

as fleas.

tripped

tripped,
brought to ones knees,

fleeing beds of nails,
shrapnel pockmarked dreams,

crossing deserted seas,
swallowed up,
regurgitated by merciless elements,

to be washed ashore,
dead,
cold,

broken,
lifeless,

on countless,
pristine tan-soaked beaches,

invisible,
unseen,
hidden in plain sight,

mute,
hushed,
silent,

as the soul of dumbed down,
traded,
inebriated humanity,

bellows,
howls,

and screeches.

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The Immigrants Void – Sculpture by Bruno Catalano

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

young refugee

an immigrants lament …

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gazing at the sky
i often wonder why,

birds soaring,
high in the open sky,

are free to fly ?

is it that they have wings,
for i too have wings, friend,

so,
i often wonder why,
huddled against desolate sleet,

and,
i often wonder why,
buried under flimsy newspapersheet,

that i too have wings, friend,

i too have wings!

it is just that
my little wings,

are my tired
little feet …

        _____________

(photograph of a Danish border guard playing with a Syrian girl)

seeds

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seeds …

swept up
by the dust

scattered remnants
of lives once whole

now
buried
interred

in cold dead dry ground.

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seeds
swept up
by the dust

seeking a glimmer

of hope
of the promise

of
a better tomorrow.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

sinking roots
hoping to belong

somewhere
anywhere

fatigued
spent

waiting
hoping

for days
moments
tomorrows

a
time
&
a
place

where one
need not

be
ever smiling

and to be
always strong

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“am i buggin’ ya, don’t mean to bug ya” *

isn’t it tiresome
exhausting

to keep on
keepin’ on
hearing
seeing

bad news

all day
all night

must become irksome
to say the least …

(pure horror) not another mass ISIS execution

(pity) not another image of death on a beach

(apartheitude) not another african-american killed by the police

(pure unadulterated pity/well-meaning) not another endangered animal killed by trophy hunters in the savannah …

ad nauseum
ad infinitum

( clicks ‘like’👍 on a friend’s post

a cutesie pic of a couple walking on a beautiful beach, on a perfect summer day

somewhere in the mediterranean )

     _______

* from ‘silver and gold’ off u2 album ‘rattle & hum’

the immigrant at home …

the immigrant at home

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fatigued
pained

cast adrift
shunned aside

living
existing
on
islands of despair

deprivation
death

human beings
you and i

who just yesterday
or perhaps many lives ago

were
hounded
persecuted
jailed

cursed
spat on

rendered
alien at home

and
then

lost at sea

mere cattle
to be hauled

onto desolate cages

mere cargo
in the
economics of flesh

and
who
now

are
everywhere

cursed
spat on

and
told

to go home

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silence swells
drowning out the ceaseless chitter-chatter of days

innumerable
lost somewhere along these pathways

and having walked upon a few

and
crawled many more

i too
feel

that feeling

of feeling
bereft of hope

ah but

sprinkle some dreams coated with lies

glazed over
empty hollowed eyes

avert your sight
when they
stare at you

all cold
and
washed-up
and
dead

their
cold gaze

questioning
perhaps?

… questioning
us who feign death

on many a similar sun-drenched beach

while still squeezing in

4 hours a week
of community outreach?

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lost in this ocean
of complicit howls

wails
hollow words
crocodile tears

it has no meaning
this life

these breaths we consume

nothingness
it is

just
half-muttered realpolitik …

one dead kid on a beach

… so that’s what it takes

more effigies
paraded on 24/7 TV

go look up the word ‘blowback’

and perhaps

unlike aylan
who was fed to the sea

you atleast

may
finally be
able to see

what really is
and not simply what you want it to be …

when tides of innocence wash up

dead
cold

empty on terra firma

why don’t i shudder
why don’t i care

‘cept for churning out some paltry scribbles

as the charade continues

as the world

salivates
& dribbles …

image

maropeng & the cradle of humankind* …

shared hopes
on
bloodied earth
of
common dreams

winding along myriad streams
whose
source is here
beneath our multi-hued feet

flowing
into a shared humanity
this shawl that should encompass us all
by
binding us together
a species with blood that is red
always red

for
we are all

the children of Africa

branched off
spread wide

but
of this soil
and
of this earth

foreign to none
hewn as one

so tell me again
what was it that
you were saying about “the bloody foreigners”

        ___________

*

Maropeng is a Setswana word meaning ‘returning to the place of our origins’

https://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.southafrica.net/articles/entry/article-the-cradle-of-humankind-gauteng1&ved=0CLMBEBYwH2oVChMI9rmAuazexwIVR4kaCh2uWQuy&usg=AFQjCNHs2O4mPw5TG94YGxFA4EBjPJlnPA

bloody foreigners …

bloody foreigners …

these bloody foreigners

zimbabweans
somalis
angolans mozambicans syrians
pakistanis
turks
congolese
rwandans
indians

etc etc etc et al.

these bloody foreigners
flooding our clean streets

taking jobs away
from me and from you

ps: aylan kurdi was a bloody foreigner too

the migrant …

image

i couldn’t bid my beloved farewell

i didn’t hug my mother

i had argued with my father that morning

then

i left
fled
crouched
starved

and
died

in a lorry in austria

a boat off the coast of libya

washed ashore
cold and dead

i am that migrant

image

an immigrants lament …

image

gazing at the sky
i often wonder why,

birds soaring,
high in the open sky,

are free to fly?

is it that they have wings,

for i too have wings, friend,

so,
i often wonder why,

huddled against desolate sleet,

and,
i often wonder why,

buried under flimsy newspapersheet,

that i too have wings, friend,

i too have wings!

and my wings,

are my feet …

image

The Immigrant …

Seeking solace.
Seeking a home.

The immigrant finds,

rotten prejudice.
Fungal anger.

The immigrant,

alone, hoping for,

A solitary chance.

To belong.

The immigrant,
alone, always,

an outside entity.
Eternal outcast.

A viral threat.
A reeking odour.

The immigrant,

ever alone,
and alone knowing,
that no place exists,
but that lost home.

immigrant song

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 of clinging onto feigned piety dragged along weaving new lies obfuscating what’s right and what’s wrong waving flags like swords wielding swords to behead and to subjugate the many who’ve forever been on the wrong side of the gate shut out of the dream pummelled by untruths of working hard and doing more and shutting up because we need the money the greenback the notes the coins the oil the designer innerwear that barely shrouds the stench of putrid opulence of festering greed of capital and influence and power ripping out each seed by the by wishing a better life for all a hasty goodbye because when love and life and hopes and dreams and aspirations and desires and aches and yearning for something better just a bit better not much not much at all except for some grain for the famished and respite for the numberless banished cast away into the currents of the seas swept along islands of stillness breaking ashore with the waves of happenstance.

so yes
yes

“that’s how i got to be here”, the immigrant says …

flickering moonbeams …

flickering moonbeams …

on ancient shores
retracing steps

wet sand beneath bare feet

sipping kisses
hungry

sweet.

in distant streams

soul heart body mind
bathed as one

in sundrenched streams

flowing
ebbing
teasing
tugging

tasting
lapping
meandering

breathing caresses

wildly flickering
like
giddy moonbeams

on the cool wet sands

of
our beach of dreams

that gentler way …

that gentler way …

sometimes in dreams
this world feels a much gentler place

where hunger stalks nights and days no more

where we share this earths gifts

more equally
less greedually

a gentler place

where we’ve bade farewell to war …

sometimes in dreams
i taste the hope

of a gentler world

where songs of joy may be heard each day

a gentler world
where we all

all of us
together

as one

always
always

always
strive to find

that gentler way …

( inspired by Pete Seeger’s “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream” )

http://stopwar.org.uk/music/pete-seeger-last-night-i-had-the-strangest-dream

the immigrant at home

the immigrant at home

fatigued
pained

cast adrift
shunned aside

living
existing
on
islands of despair

deprivation
death

human beings
you and i

who just yesterday
or perhaps many lives ago

were
hounded
persecuted
jailed

cursed
spat on

rendered
alien at home

and
then

lost at sea

mere cattle
to be hauled

onto desolate cages

mere cargo
in the
economics of flesh

and
who
now

are
everywhere

cursed
spat on

and
told

to go home

just chasing the dream, man …

searching for better days …

seizing breaths
frantic

breaths ever fleeing

grasping
holding on

fingers raw
mind a sprawl

while below

the cackling sniggering chasm

hungers
for
marinade
in
the
grinder

souls numb absolved as dumb
hearts hard admiringly referred to as being hardy

fester
ever on
and on

rotting
making a stink

slipping
deeper into

inviting arms
plush sofas
leather chairs

plastic smiles
promises of far too many miles

all yet to be trodden upon

many yet to be trampled on

but all that too shall be all lost in the haze

while scavenging
ravenous
covetous

looking
searching

trampling onwards
trodding

ever on
and upon

anyone
anything

just chasing the dream, man …

in the belly of xenophobia …

in the belly of xenophobia …

when you see them
passing by your pretty green avenues

grab your garden rake
stone the encroaching horde

they take our jobs
they marry our women

put them all
to the sword

bloody foreigners

leeching off our taxes
stinking up the neighborhood

send them all home

seek them out in every street

in every bar

and finish them off
one by one

finish and klaar

losing my innocence

i lost some of my innocence that day

an odd day all those years ago

when papa asked me to take some tourists to a few sights around town

so i did

we went there
and here
and back

and then something inexplicable occurred

inexplicable to me at least

( naive teenager that i was )

when finally reaching the lotus temple

the four men refused to join me as i led them to this scintillating jewel of architecture right in the middle of my beloved delhi

i couldn’t understand why you see

till we dropped the tourists off at their swanky hotel

and later i told papa what had happened at the lotus temple

and

he said

‘they must have been the religious kind’

which in itself meant nothing to me

and he elaborated

and another petal of innocence fell to the winter floor

Charleston, South Carolina, June 17th 2015

21st Century Lynching

Gone are the white masks and sheets,

today the KKK struts in plain sight,

on nameless blood-soaked streets.

The past still lives,
breathes,

spewing hate,

stereotyping and profiling and generalising,

‘the Nigger deserved it’,

they still say,

as they continue to hate,

and to slay.

Justice is blind,
we are so often told,

but it’s deaf,
and mute,

and can be,
and is,
bought and sold,

just as they once,

traded,
bought,
sold,
flogged,
whipped,
lynched,

and raped human-beings,

and just as each of those human-beings of colour was called a slave,

today, in the 21st century,

a person of colour,

still better ‘know’ his or her ‘place’,

or face the racist murderers’ hate,

and be shot down,
and be clubbed
and be beaten,

to an early, shallow grave

_____________________

peace | love | uBuntu

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