Tag Archive: extremism


the stench of prejudice.



1.




when rancid prejudice strikes,

in cocooned fungal minds, narrow, superficially deep,


an insidious venom begins to seep,


into our consciousness as we sleep.



2.



bigoted beliefs held so true, so deep,

stripped of feeling,


empty, hollow, feigned, designed, branded as compassion,


feeds the conceit in chests swollen and rotten with self-righteous passion.



3.



the insidious extremism once firmly entrenched,


envelopes all, not unlike a comforting shawl,


needing more and more bluster to fester, and to mutate,


into doctrines of superiority, bigotry, and new fashioned, ‘palatable’ hate.



4.



are we guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?


sipping our cappuccinos, and shovelling more, always more onto our heaving plates,


falling, slipping into inebriated stasis, without care,


as the stench of hate, prejudice, gay-bashing, terrorism, racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, casteism, tribalism,


continues to belch into the polluted air.

the physics of love 

made of starstuff*, you and i, the random crossed paths of our orbits, reaching deeper into the quarks and gluons that bind us together, tiny strings, weaving a tapestry of oneness.

made of starstuff, you and i, intertwined synapses flowing through neural networks, somehow, in the ways of the cosmos, fusing these two beating hearts together.

made of starstuff, you and i, the unfathomable meeting of mind and soul, beyond the knowable, yet forging the knots, linking us in an unending entanglement of distilled love.

made of starstuff, you and i, the touch of our lips, the feel of our heartbeats, the brushing of our fingertips, remaining so inexplicably unquantifiable,
and felt,

so deeply immeasurable.

         _______________
( * inspired by Dr. Carl Sagan and by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson )

awfully soppy 😊



together, we have journeyed, through thickets of pain, under thrashing icy rain.


together, we have held on, to each other, believing in one another.


together, we walk on, our love the glue, binding us to that which is true:


without each other,

there is no me,

there is no you.

Comrade Chris Hani

( 28 June 1942 – assassinated 10 April 1993 )

Mowed down

by hot lead,

your blood flowed

into our African soil.
Murdered you, yes, they did.
Silence you, they never will,

for your voice,

your spirit,

speaks to us still!
          ______________

http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/thembisile-chris-hani

Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:

Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
Salute!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
            _______________
http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/solomon-kalushi-mahlangu

when we kissed

​when you kissed me, our tongues waltzed in symphonic harmony, teasing the crescendos as we sipped ambrosia in our tango of passion.


when we made love, our bodies fused, in singular unison, the sweat mingled with the desire to soak in as much of the nectar of love.


when we walked, hand in hand, the powdery beach beneath our feet, we became one with nature, our love a testament to the unison of complete surrender.


when we spoke of times past, and tomorrows yet to dawn, we felt the tug of kindred spirits, so elusive until now.


when we gazed into each others eyes, we felt ourselves drowning in a maelstrom of unquenchable togetherness.


when we kissed again, and again, as we do now, we bask in the sunlight, of a love impossible to explain,


a love that weathered the seasons, the coming of autumn, through life’s pain, and through the slicing barrage of fate’s icy rain.


 

you stood tall.

shoulder to shoulder with your oppressed compatriots bludgeoned by the jackboot of Apartheid South Africa.

you stood tall.

shoulder to shoulder with your fellow interned comrades on that desolate rock, Robben Island.

you stood tall.

shoulder to shoulder with those who yearned for freedom, for the common decency of being treated as human beings.

you stood tall.

your principles of non-racialism steadfast as your commitment to the freedom and democracy you and your comrades dedicated your entire lives to achieve.

you stood tall.

in the face of the brutality of the Apartheid state, as they tried to break spirits that could not be shaken.

you stood tall.

for 27 long years, alongside your comrades Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Denis Goldberg, and Elias Motsoaledi, Raymond Mhlaba.

you stood tall.

inspiring a generation to continue the struggle against Apartheid tyranny, your example burned bright in the hearts of those who yearned for, and fought for the freedom of South Africa.

you stood tall, comrade Ahmed Kathrada.
you stood tall, uncle Kathy.

you stood tall. and you shall stand tall.

you shall stand tall, for those of us you leave behind.

you shall always stand tall, for those yet to come.

you shall always stand tall.

Amandla!
The Struggle Continues!
Aluta Continua!

     _________

http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/ahmed-kathrada

repost: a child of war

​I am so pained to be reposting these poems. It seems like the so-called leaders and those who carry out wanton violence in the name of religion and caste, gender, land, wherever they may come from, are dragging our world further into the callous abyss of bloodletting. It cannot go on this way. It must not go on this way. It must not be allowed to go on this way. I am helplessly wishing for peace inspite of the orgy of violence and death that seems to have consumed this fragile planet we all call home.




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 father’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 father’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,

new york in ’01,

jenin in ‘02,

hanoi in ‘68,

beirut in ‘85,


raqqa, london,

basra, mosul,

yemen, paris,

now.


 


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 …

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 …”

image

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 )

image

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

image

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 …

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.

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