Tag Archive: creed


I am Man







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.

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wrote this a while ago.

Sadly true today.

It ain’t Xenophobia? Really?

it’s not xenophobia,
the refrain is the same,

it’s the criminals to blame,

we still won’t be calling the attacks by their stinking name,

‘xenophobia’

yes,

that’s what it is,

but,

let us not be simplistic,

we have to face the ugliness of our collective shame,

because when mostly ‘foreigners’ get put to the flame,

how can we ignorance feign?

it’s xenophobia,
simple & plain,

with poverty & unemployment barrelling on a runaway train,

and it won’t just ‘go away’,

for as long as ignorant complicity continues to reign …

       _____________________

‘Xenophobia’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as:

” noun:

intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries  “

The synonyms for xenophobia are:

chauvinism, racial intolerance, racism, dislike of foreigners, nationalism, prejudice.

     _____________

As a citizen of South Africa, I am acutely aware of the many challenges that our young country faces.

The iniquities of our tortured past, the legacy of Apartheid, socio-economic issues etc. are just a few of the many problems that South Africa is grappling with.

What is extremely disturbing for me is something that I have personally encountered, in conversations with friends, family, and fellow citizens from all walks of life.

That something is how rife ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment is within our various, and still divided communities.

I have heard the most atrocious, insensitive, hate-filled utterances regarding the ‘foreigners’ who ‘take our jobs’, and ‘take our women’, and ‘are the cause of all the crime’, and ‘they must go back to their countries’, and most chillingly ‘we will kill these foreigners’.

I am also aware that many intellectuals, think-tanks, NGO’s, and sociologists etc. have written and spoken volumes about how the failure of proper service delivery by the government and local municipalities, and the myriad other shortcomings that plague our country have played a part in the emergence of this abhorrent xenophobic sentiments that are being spouted almost as if one was talking about culling animals in the Kruger National Park.

We have already witnessed the scourge of xenophobia, and not long ago, when organised bands of people marked, attacked and killed ‘foreigners’ in a frenzy of blood-letting and looting.

This was in 2008.

And today, as the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela lies ill in a hospital bed in Pretoria, I hear similar disturbing and blood-curdling hate-speech directed against ‘the foreigners’.

What is going on?

Where and how have we, as a country, failed, or more worryingly, chose to ignore the signs of this cancer that has to be dealt with, and dealt with as a matter of national priority.

The synonyms for xenophobia include racism, racial intolerance, and prejudice.

The neo-Nazis in Europe and elsewhere are xenophobes.

No one disputes that.

The neo-Nazis in Europe and elsewhere talk in almost exactly the same terms when they spout their rhetoric, when they go on ‘Paki-bashing’ sprees in England, when they deface Synagogues and Mosques and Temples, or when they beat up and kill ‘foreigners’ who ‘take our jobs’, and ‘take our women’, and ‘are the cause of all the crime’, and ‘they must go back to their countries’.

What is particularly disturbing about the rise of xenophobia, especially in the South African context is the complicity of silence, and by extension, a shocking acceptance of these racist and murderously dangerous views, by ‘normal’ citizens.

We are Africans.

And above all, we are all human.

This may seem like an obvious and unnecessary fact to point out, but when certain friends, family members, and people one interacts with daily, spew such xenophobic drivel, it needs to be taken seriously.

Pogroms, xenophobic attacks, racism, intolerance, prejudice, casteism, religious bigotry, sexism, and homophobia, do not simply arise out of nothing.

There are societal, religious, traditional, cultural and other factors that do indeed create fertile ground for some of these noxious sentiments to germinate.

It is incumbent on us all, people, just people, to engage with people, however close they may be to us, and challenge and make our voices heard that we will not stand mutely by, as such hate-filled venom is flung around nonchalantly.

We cannot be conspicuous by our silence and inaction when a large segment of our society, those who have chosen our country to be their home, often fleeing economic hardship, political and social violence, and numberless other factors that force, and this is important, people are forced into leaving their countries, often making hazardous and painful journeys in order to find safe-haven amongst fellow human-beings.

As South Africans, we know just how friendly countries welcomed us during the darkest days of Apartheid repression and tyranny.

Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, and the other ‘front-line’ states paid dearly for offering South Africans fleeing Apartheid a place of refuge as well as a base of operations against the oppressive Apartheid system.

Apartheid agents and security forces attacked, fomented insurrections against the governments in the front-line states, and still South Africans of all races, creeds etc. found a welcome home in these comradely countries.

We should never forget this.

Ever.

Our government needs to be more vocal about its stance on xenophobia, and by doing so it will send a message that it will not stand by idly while people from other parts of the continent are constantly under the threat of being attacked.

That said, we as citizens have a voice, and it is morally incumbent on all of us to do our bit so that the scourge of xenophobia is excised from this land.

There is a simmering undercurrent of the possibility of attacks on foreigners as I type these words.

If this is not taken seriously and dealt with, sadly we may see scenes similar to those we witnessed in 2008.

Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

The Struggles Continue!

talkin’ self-loathing blues …

I’ve been walking,
and a-talkin’

ramblin’ & rollin’

through deserted streets flowing with tears

down cobwebbed alleyways reeking of fears

just a-yakkin’ and a-scribblin’ these paltry rhymes

no absolution on sale at this carousel of blood-soaked crimes

just a-screamin’ that my tongue is fractured, broken

penitence perhaps for splintered words spoken

yes just ramblin’ along,

at ease at last

free of the shackles that bind my heart

crawlin’ on stage,
fatigued by this, my well-rehearsed part

dismissing clouds of promise

shredding whispered iloveyous

burning yesteryears struggles

denying my past as nonsensical farce

caught in a rat-trap
the walls closin’ in

tossin’ what’s left of me into fates’ dustbin

talkin’ too much as ever,

scribbling meagre rhymes to quell the mania

flowin’ in my veins like noxious poison

ramblin’ & a-rollin’ along

a doleful dirge for the paths I have chosen

shattering to pieces emotions frigid and a-frozen

just a-trippin’ through this circus parade,

seeking nothing much

‘cept the shelter of the shade

yet the paths wind
casting me adrift

on an ocean of tears
alone and at sea

squinting through blinded eyes that no longer can see

the pain etched on my own face

a wretched immigrant never knowing its place

so I keep ramblin’ and a-rollin’ along

bleeding out from a million cuts

always on the outside lookin’ in

while they dance and drink and cackle and fuck

leaving me to wallow

mired in the muck

so I ramble and roll and stagger through

discarding sentiments that once burned so true

suckling on apathy under skies of plastic blue

squinting through a foggy blur

life sprints past jabbing and a-pokin’

its parting words a venomous slur

whispered in a  sickly sweet cacophonous murmur

I stand alone

a vacuum now fickle
and
hollow

yet

I ramble and roll

searching for a sliver of a moment without desolation

without sorrow

and

as I stagger along as I ramble and follow

the one constant

hope

hope

H O P E

hope for a less savage tomorrow …

(for Pete, Huddie, Woody)

peace | love | uBuntu

The Infidel

The infidel writes,

blasphemes,

rejecting cellophane sermons.

 

The infidel whispers,

cursing,

the benevolence of the higher power.

 

The infidel chokes,

gagging,

on the odour that emanates,

from self-righteous mouths.

 

The infidel waits,

patiently,

for the retribution that must arrive.

 

The infidel casts off,

the labels of faith,

of belonging,

of sanctimonious snobbery.

 

The infidel refuses,

To beseech the merciful god,

And to cower,

And to kneel.

 

The infidel stands,

At times alone.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

 

When silent prejudice strikes

in living rooms with plumped-up sofas

a quietly insidious venom begins to seep

into the consciousness of the chattering ones as they sleep

 

The beliefs held so true and so deep

appear stripped of all feeling

empty and hollow and without compassion

as the conceit grows in the chests of those with righteous passion

 

the prejudice once firmly entrenched

is worn like a warm and comforting shawl

needing precious little to compound and to mutate

into the doctrines of superiority and of aloofness and of hushed hate

we are all guilty of succumbing to this silent pervasive plague

as we sip martinis and laugh and shovel more food on our heaving plates

and as we slip into pleasantly inebriated moments we dare not care

to smell the stench of hate & prejudice & greed wafting in the cool evening air.

Between the folds of faith and belief,

tucked neatly in cushioned corners,

lie the seeds of acceptable hate.

Through quaint pleasant rituals,

and joyously hummed words,

dumbed down thoughts

and dazed faces exude,

righteous sweetness.

Belief wrapped in glistening foil,

faith painted in gaudy colours,

concealing the murmurs of hate,

of embraced intolerance,

and welcomed bigotry.

The seeds of acceptable hate flourish in damp fungal minds,

as indifference flowers into the silence of frozen apathy,

with blooming petals of finely measured howls of rage.

All the while the ever smiling faces beam with deep pride,

drenched in all the pious tears they’ve cried.

And so it is that the viral seeds of acceptable hate

thrive among the genteel folk that quietly gaze,

in silence at the slow creeping of the horror.

As more seeds of hate are sown with manic zeal,

and in the shrieking of this cowardly silence,

the seeds of acceptable hate,

continue to thrive,

and to germinate.

I want to walk with you with our heads held high

Never cowering, never with heads bowed

With our feet on this blessed soil, and our dreams reaching for the sky

 

Dreams of simple joys and of peace and of mirth

For all our fellow travelers on this delightful earth

 

Dreams not of wealth or of positions of high standing or of mighty power

Simple dreams of a walk in the aftermath of a Johannesburg evening rain-shower

 

Dreams of bread and water and dignity and shelter and clothes for all

Dreams where all fellow travelers may together walk this earth proud and tall

 

I want to walk with you, my fellow traveler, with our heads held high

Never pandering to power, never silent in the face of its abuse

Always firm in our convictions that we can all make peace if we only try

 

If we try to stop and think and sometimes not to look the other way

If we practice what our different creeds really teach, we will surely see that day

 

When we all, fellow travelers may walk with our heads held high

Never cowering, never with our heads bowed

With our feet on this blessed soil, and our collective dreams reaching for the sky

 

Call me silly, call me naive, call me hopeless, and if you must, call me weak

But is this not the common good that our different creeds and cultures all seek?

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