Tag Archive: equality


farewell to Nelson Mandela

Today, as our thoughts and tears and love flow to our beloved President Nelson Mandela,

We, human-beings the world over,

say thank you, Madiba!

Thank you for your life, a life of principle,
a life of struggle,
of torture, of pain, of loss,

of a selflessness that you have embodied so completely.

In this often cold and callous world,

where we have been jaded by war, by intolerance, by racism, prejudice, and so so much economic and social injustice,

your living spirit shall live on!

your body, that has endured so so much,

your heart, your mind, your very self, which injustice and tyranny tried so hard to break,

shines on!

Your spirit shines and shall be the torch that we, your children the world over,
shall carry forward…

you may be struggling for life today,

but you have breathed life,

into the hearts of countless downtrodden people this world over.

I don’t know what to say,

my heart breaks today,

I want to cry, and I am crying now,

with a sense of loss and of sadness that I have felt when my mother passed away,

I cry for my loss, selfishly,

but I know you have walked the long walk to freedom,

the long and arduous walk from struggle and sacrifice to healer and peacemaker and statesman and father, yes,

father to us all…

I will miss you, My father,

I will miss your comforting presence,

I shall miss your smile,

and mostly I shall miss the gentle solace that you imbibed in us all,

your children the world over…

Live on, you shall, Madiba!

in the shacks of the Sowetos of the world, you shall live on in that eternal quest for economic freedom,

in the eyes of the pained and tortured,

you shall live on!

in the whispered prayers,

the silent thoughts,

of the dispossessed of this world who still continue to be left behind in this cruel world,

you shall live on!

Thank you, Nelson Mandela, as you make your way to join the ancestors,

Hamba Kahle Comrade President Nelson Rolihlahla “Madiba” Mandela!

Travel well, and go peacefully … … …

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Papa Francisco

✌👍✊🌻🐹

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” … I don’t think you and I are very closely related, but if you are capable of trembling with indignation each time that an injustice is committed in the world, we are comrades, and that is more important … ”

Ernesto Ché Guevara

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The African Rains

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uBuntu - the philosophy of the interconnectedness of humanity

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.

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Remember Us

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“Remember Us” at the historic Lileasleaf Farm Museum in Rivonia, Johannesburg. Please visit:
http://www.liliesleaf.co.za/

(Dedicated to the countless South Africans who gave their lives for freedom and democracy)

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell,

Who bled,

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell so that countless others may stand,

We who bore the brunt of the oppressor’s hand.

Remember us when you pass this way,

Leave a flower or two as you pass along,

Sing! Sing for us a joyous & spirited song.

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell,

Who bled,

Remember us when you pass this way.

Remember us in your tomorrows,

As you remember us today

Amandla! The Struggle Continues…

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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 …

on apathy: “I don’t Care”

I Don’t Care

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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.

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

common fountain

in a world tugging,
pulling, drawing & quartering,

each soul apart,

and as mercy, humanity, love,

effortlessly, and resistance-free,

departs,

embracing ignorance, hugging credulous unreason,

fracturing the 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 fear only then,
may we truly, as one,

from our common fountain feed … …

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walking through the crowd …

walking through the crowd …

alone
not lonely

traversing oceans
skipping mountains

tugged by beckoning smiles

absorbed along
endless miles

seeking strands of hope
loosely strung

untying the noose
where desolation once hung

while
scribbling verses unfathomably obtuse

discarding meter and rhyme

frantically
chasing ever-fleeing time

knowing
my moulting skin
is all that i have to lose

while still
walking through the crowd

alone
not lonely

an outsider

always
seeking peace
within

ever hopeful
of gentler days

when
healing may begin

soothing the soul

casting off leaden  weight

of so much that has in tne past,

past

The African Rains …

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 shared mosaic

a shared mosaic.

threads
intertwined
bind

him
her
you

&

i

together.

earthy
shades
colours

hues
fuse

him
her
you

&

i

together.

one mosaic

one world
one race

human …

him
her
you

&

i

together …

an immigrants lament

an immigrants lament

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!

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 …

forgotten decades

yesterday reaches
straining to hear

cries of decades lost

half-forgotten
inaudible

ancient history

now
barely a strand

and that too
adrift

alone

but

but

still
etched

if
for an instant

across endless nights
yet to dawn

Solidarity with Greece

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We Shall Always be Many More

(For the dispossessed of this world)

we shall always be many more
we who roast in your designer factories
our brows dripping with our salty sweat
we who may forgive but shall never forget

we shall always be many more
we who reek of cheap moonshine
we who stagger and often stumble
we whose stomachs never cease to rumble

we shall always be many more
we who polish your fine bone china
we whose pay gets docked if one cup is chipped
we who fight your wars, and off to battle get shipped

we shall always be many more
we who clean up after your pretty children
we whose kids are hungry, naked and get swept
into the bowels of desolation, as mothers’ tears are wept

we shall always be many more
we who do your dirty work each day
we who you treat like vermin, foul and rotten
we whose trampled dignity is always forgotten

we shall always be many more
we who will rise up and seize the light of hope
and reclaim what is ours for our daughters and sons
though we will always be in the cross-hairs of your guns

we shall always be many more
and there shall be many more of us still to come
to rid you of your smug arrogance and endless greed
for we too have children whom we have to feed

we shall always be many more
‘and the meek shall inherit the earth’
or something like that though we no longer care
for we shall rise up one day to demand our rightful share

we shall always be many more…

(With thanks to Ken Loach’s movie ‘Land & Freedom’)

dawn breaking …

dawn breaking.

1.

willowy brushstrokes
conjured sketches

painted
etched
embossed

hewn between forgotten morns

waking
splintering
straining

against another

ceaseless
relentless
endless

empty
vacuumed
abyss
of
night.

2.

and
still

still
hope blazes

bright
radiant
smiling

though
measured
disciplined

while
embracing
enveloping

and always
always
surrendering to the eternal promise

raging
hungering
aching

that promise of a new dawn breaking …

talkin’ double-standerds blues

i am bewildered,

the hypocrisy wrapped up and glistening,

plastic foil skin deep,

disregardin’ the ‘others’,

yet we feel pain,

&

yes we weep,

for ‘our own’,

cos’ ‘our’ pain is true,

and,

‘they’ after all,

are savages,

&

ingrates too,

they bite the very paws of those who kindly let them out of the zoo,

so don’t stand there so smug & fuelled by righteous passion,

’cause you and i know that soon we’ll be last decades’ spent fashion,

i don’t know if you’re catching my drift,

or am i being simple,

nuanced subtleties being in short-shrift,

i don’t even know if that sentence makes any sense,

or any of the yakkitty yak yak i scribble,

but i swear i can feel it,

machete-like in my bones,

my own hypocrisy slithering within,

as i you him her we she he & coming back to i again,

wrapping ourselves in that awful plastic foil,

skin-deep,

all as we drizzle lemonsalt on long open wounds,

rubbing some depleted uranium in there so it really stings,

while we shop till we drop,

&

while we pray for the glorious bounties the next shopping-mall brings

ps: rest in peace, empathy & compassion

peace | love | uBuntu

Selma: March On!

you marched your dream

in Selma Birmingham
Soweto Khayelitsha

and they shot you down.

you marched your dream

for dignity respect freedom equality

and they shot you down.

today
now
still

you march on!

from Mamelodi Harlem
KwaMashu Atteridgeville

Jozi London Washington Cape Town

for

though they killed you

you live

&

you breathe

&

you march on

for

your dream breathes
thrives
lives

as our common dream

&

that

that

that
is a truth they can never shoot down.

Amandla!
The Struggles Continue …

peace | love | uBuntu

For Pete Seeger, Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter and Woody Guthrie…

It was a long time ago
when you put your words into song.

‘This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender’ you scribbled on your old guitar.

You wielded that banjo and guitar as weapons,

fiddling out a hail of truth.

Of solidarity.

Of immediate calls for peace.

You said of Leadbelly, that ‘Huddie Ledbetter was a helluva man’.

You sang and spoke through dust clouds and relief lines.

You taught us all, to seek out hope wherever we can.

And when they tried to call all of you ‘goddamned reds’,

you sang on ever louder and louder, rattlin’ their prejudices as they slept in their plush beds.

You rode and you rambled and thumbed your way around,

this land that is my land and your land too.

For you believed all this earth was shared common ground.

And when you sang of overcoming one day,

the injustice and the pain that you witnessed along the way,

they branded you a commie,
a pinko,
a nigger and a Jew-lover.

An enemy of the state.

While your banjo and your guitars wrestled their blind hate.

‘This machine kills fascists’ you etched on that guitar as well
but they were all deaf,

for they could not hear the tolling of the bell,

‘the bell of freedom,
the hammer of justice,
the song of love between your brothers and your sisters’.

And they knew not that they were the ones who would sizzle in their own bigoted hell.

And then came the marches.

You were there too.

Marching and singing with Dr. King in Birmingham and Selma.

And you faced their ugly spit,

their venomous rage,

their clubs and sticks and knives,
but you always knew,

that your cause was just and that the truth would one day prevail.

However long it may take, you would never give up.

You sang and you marched and you strummed yourselves,

victoriously into their jail.

Then they shot him down,

they shot Dr. King dead,

as they burnt and lynched many, many more.

Yet you stood firm,

you never wavered,

your blood was red after all,

and they could not tarnish the truth’s core.

And so it came to pass,

that Woody went on his way.

To his pastures of plenty up in the sky.

And Huddie too,

said his last goodbye.

And you were then one,

and you may have felt alone and overwhelmed by the battles and with all that was wrong.

But you saw that the people were with you.

As they had been, all along.

So you fiddled that old banjo,

dragging it through Newport and Calcutta and Dar-es-Salaam.

Through countless unknown halls in numberless unknown towns,

across this earth,
turning,
slowly,

putting smiles of amity on faces that were once pock-marked with disillusioned frowns.

Today as I pen these poorly scribbled words for all of you,

for Woody, Huddie, and Pete,

I do so in gratitude,

for after all the travails that you’ve been through,

I know that you know that this world still has its fair share of hate,

and of loss and of injustice and of gloom,

but I also know that you know that though all the old flowers may have gone,

there always will be,

as there always must be,

fresh flowers,

that will be ablaze somewhere,

driving away the apathy and reminding us all,

that this world has for all of us,

plenty of room.

scribblerofverses@gmail.com

For Tony Benn (1925 – 2014)

For Tony Benn
( 1925 – 2014 )

You have not passed silently into the coming night,

your conscience towers above the brittle edifice of capital and of greed,

for as long as there remain hungry mouths to feed,

your soul is enmeshed within our collective whole.

You have not passed silently into the coming night.

Your battle is done,

the war!

the war is far from won!

So we pick up your scarlet standard,

and we continue to rattle the foundations at No. 10,

though today,

today,

we pause,

today we say,

‘Hamba Kahle’*,

to you,

our comrade,

our leader,

our towering ‘Big Benn’.

for Anthony Neil Wedgwood “Tony” Benn.

(3 April 1925 – 14 March 2014)

* – ‘Hamba Kahle’ means ‘go well’ in isiXhosa/isiZulu

Hamba Kahle, Commander-in-Chief!

1.

Travel well, Commander, your long march is over,

Rest now, Commissar, you are with our departed comrades-in-arms.

2.

We shall not rest, Nelson Mandela!

We dare not rest,

we cannot rest,

we will not rest,

the struggle continues,

now,

today!

3.

Hamba Kahle, Commander-in-Chief,

your long walk is over,

rest now, Commissar, you are with our departed comrades-in-arms,

you are with us,

now,

today!

Hamba Kahle, Commander-in-Chief!

Hamba Kahle, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela!

Amandla!

Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

The People Shall Govern!

All National Groups Shall have Equal Rights!

The People Shall Share in the Country`s Wealth!

The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It!

All Shall be Equal Before the Law!

All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!

There Shall be Work and Security!

The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!

There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort!

There Shall be Peace and Friendship!

Viva the revolutionary spirit of Nelson Mandela!

South Africa salutes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr!

They gunned you down,
on this April day,
all those years ago,

yet you live, you breathe!

They gunned you down,
just as they did Chris Hani and M.K. Gandhi,

and they failed, as they always will,

for they can never kill,

your dream, your ideals.

Your dream, your ideals,

live, and breathe,

still!

 

I remember the tears she shed,

as she longed for her distant abode,

she wept often then, as she pined for her children, Tasneem & Azad,

 

and felt the future looked bleak, on that dim, lonely road.

 

I remember the tears she shed,

when that telegram came one afternoon,

‘regret to inform you stop father passed away stop’,

 

She wept often after that, for their last goodbye had been said too soon.

 

I remember the tears she shed,

on that glorious day in a February not that long ago,

when the prisoner finally walked out, breathing the free air,

 

she wept less after that, for then she knew where they were to go.

 

I remember the tears she shed,

soaring high above the clouds heading back to her land,

those tears came out in soft sobs, but her eyes were smiling,

 

defiant and full of new hope, as she held tightly on to his wrinkled hand.

 

I remember the tears she shed,

some years later, on that peaceful late April morning,

when she stood and proudly bore the ink on her aging thumb,

 

she wept a lot that April evening, knowing that a new day was dawning.

 

I also remember that on a Thursday not long ago,

as she was slipping away slowly, she seemed not to weep,

after all the miles and places, and after all the tears that she had cried,

 

I remember that she wept little then, as she drifted off into an eternal sleep.

 

(for my mother, Zubeida Moolla 1934 – 2008)

 

 

Remember us…

(Dedicated to the countless South Africans who gave their lives for freedom and democracy)

 

Remember us when you pass this way,

 

We who fell,

Who bled,

 

Remember us when you pass this way,

We who fell so that countless others may stand,

We who bore the brunt of the oppressor’s hand.

 

Remember us when you pass this way,

Leave a flower or two as you pass along,

Sing! Sing for us a joyous & spirited song.

 

Remember us when you pass this way,

 

We who fell,

Who bled,

 

Remember us when you pass this way.

 

Remember us in your tomorrows,

As you remember us today

 

Amandla! The Struggle Continues…

For Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Colours,
hues,
shades,
of difference,

mingling on a canvas.

Your dream became,

our shared vision,
our collective hope,

of black, and of white,
and of rainbows,

that merge,

flowing,
to a confluence,

of harmony,

within sight,
without despair,

within beating hearts,
without invisible walls,

as we pledge,
today,
and forever more,

to honour your dream,
and build on your sacrifice,

to shun narrow visions,
of divisive gloom.

Today,
we embrace,

all colours,
every hue,
and the countless shades,

of difference,

as we,

your torch-bearers,

plant the seeds,
of the flowers of peace,
of tolerance,
of justice.

And as we nourish,
those flowers,

we know,
we know,
we know,

that the flowers of peace,
of tolerance,
of equality,
of justice,

will, and must,

inevitability bloom

And When the People Rise!

and when the people rise

exhausted

of being bludgeoned

by the jackboot of suppression

 

the demand is simple

 

change

 

for the better

 

not the hollow, empty rhetoric of ‘freedom’

heard in the corridors of power

 

the demand is simple

 

change

 

for the better

 

a better life

devoid of the tyranny of rampant power

without the imposition of mores and norms

free of the shackles of the party-line

the religious diktat

the militaristic hammer

 

and when the people rise

inflamed

by the ceaseless abuse of power

as the old-guard refuses to see the writing scrawled across the wall

 

‘change’

 

a simple demand

 

for the better

 

a better life

for the living and for the ones still to be born

 

the writing scrawled across the wall, and walls across the world

 

is simple

 

‘change’

 

for the better

a new way to forge the future

with fresh ideas and the opening up of the boulevards

of opportunity for those who have remained outside for too long

 

and when the people rise

hopeful

of the promise of a new dawn

the future is a blank-slate lying amidst the debris

 

for if the rising of the people

prevails

a beginning may be written anew

out of the seed of change which into a tree of promise grew

 

a new beginning may be written afresh

with the values of simple humanity and gentle tolerance

so that what has passed and what has been endured may never

be visited again on those to come, and on those who bear the wounds on their flesh

 

for when the rising of the people

prevails

the road ahead may be fraught with thorns and more pain

for change is pock-marked with the scars of the past, and the memories do indeed remain

 

so when the rising of the people

prevails

the hope is for the common good, for the tolerance of the one and of all

 

the hope is for a better, more just today, and a tomorrow where the ideals of justice and of truth are firmly rooted, never to be shaken

 

the hope is that in the name of peace and humanity, may the new oath be taken

 

Talkin’ Death in Gaza Blues

So, if you want to really know,
what a mother’s agonised scream sounds like,

take a walk in Gaza today,

she will bear her broken heart,
as she bore the coffin that held her 11 month old child’s body,
as it lay lifelessly broken and torn apart.

The mother screams in anger and in pain,
her howls and shrieks echo on the bloodied plain,

so take a walk in Gaza today,

and feel the rage that a mother nurses,
and bear the brunt of a mother’s curses.

You see, she laid her little baby in the cold, blood-soaked ground,

while you diplomats and peacemakers and politicians were buzzing around,

so stop buzzing,

and take a walk in Gaza today,

and for once,

for once,
listen to what a mother has to say,

“they’ve rained down death on us for years,
they’ve torched our olive groves while you have shut your collective ears,

they’ve killed our children over and over and over again,
and we’ve cried oceans of tears that have disappeared down the drain,

so tell me as I cradle my dead baby in my hand,

who gives a damn?”.

This is what you will hear when you walk in Gaza today.

It is what you have heard for years and years now,

and all I can think as I write these words is ‘how?’,

how could you fail,
you peacemakers and diplomats and politicians,

how could you fail the mothers of Gaza,
over and over and over again,

is it because Gaza’s mothers’ tears are forgotten,

because they simply disappear down the drain.

And how can you not stem that ocean of tears,

cried by countless mothers,
and fathers,
and children whose eyes are blinded by inexpressible pain,
and whose days are haunted, not by phantoms,
but by living fears.

So can you take a walk in Gaza today?

and what possibly could you have to say?

to the numberless mothers who have cried oceans of tears,

again and again and again,

or are Gaza’s mothers’ tears forgotten,

because they simply disappear down the drain.


(for the people of Gaza and the Occupied Territories)

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