Tag Archive: justice


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”

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!

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 …

business as usual?

business as usual?

the word itself reeks

“business”

it reeks of sweat

blood
tears
misery

“business”

haggling over souls

bargaining over consciences

selling buying

anything
anyone

“business”

the fangs of empire gnaw

the talons of capital lash

perennially

for that four-letter word

“cash”

Who Killed the Marikana Miners?*

who killed the miners at Marikana?

definitely not the executive

nor the executives
far removed from the grime
and the slime

Who killed the miners at Marikana?

not the Prez
and not even the Press for a change

strange

so who killed the miners at Marikana?

the unions perhaps
or the errant miner
led astray

in that obscene demand for better pay

who killed the miners at Marikana?

not armed cops,
firing bullets of lead into the back of the head

execution-style it’s been said

who killed the miners at Marikana?

it seems no one can be found

as bodies decompose deep under gold dust ground

while families grieve

there
ain’t no one around to take the fall

so
who killed the Marikana Miners?

no one

no one at all

* inspired by the protest song “Who Killed Davey Moore”, a topical song written in 1963 by American folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan.

kleptocratic ungovernance …

the 1%.

snouts deep,
buried alive,

all conscience excised,

seeking more,
always seeking more.

the 99%.

shrivelled shadows,
tucked away under underpasses,

seeking enough,
always seeking just enough.

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

“The Justice Boat”* – A Poem for Judge Sueli Pini …

sailing through Amazonia,

“The Justice Boat” traverses the archipelago,

bringing justice,

a measure of human dignity,

to those who are almost,
always,

the forgotten.

There is a Dentist on board,
extracting molars at midnight,

with the aid of a pocket torch,

and there’s Judge Sueli Pini,

tirelessly striving to bring justice to those most in need of justice,

from neighbourly disputes,

to child – support payments withheld by errant fathers,

the Judge brings the courts to the people,

“The Justice Boat” sails on,

and may the boat of justice,

sail ever on …

* – “The Justice Boat”

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/fightforamazonia/2012/02/201222713552170402.html

Alan Henning (Rest in Peace)

Alan Henning
(Rest in Peace)

A working – class man of conscience,

is dead.

Murdered by ISIS,

killed by hateful bigotry,

Alan Henning is dead.

Shame on you!

you who wield knives in the name of religion.

Shame on you!

you who take lives whilst chanting God’s name.

Shame on you!

you who rape,

pillage,

murder,

and murder.

Alan Henning is dead.

A working – class man,

a father,

a husband,

a friend,

a man of conscience.

Alan Henning is dead,

yes,

you killed him,

but,

but,

but,

you will not kill us all,

for we shall always,

always be,

many many more.

We SHALL always be many many more!

Rest in peace,  Alan Henning

afzaljhb@gmail.com

Spartaco Fontanot

D-Day June 6, 1944 …

Mowed down by lead spewing from Nazi machine guns,

Young men sliced on the the beaches of Normandy,

Blood stained the salty sea crimson,

Torn limbs and lifeless bodies scattered along Juno, Gold, and Omaha beach,

Young men, shredded by shrapnel,

Holding the line,

Inch by blood-soaked inch,

As the fascist juggernaut was brought down to its knees,

And still the fight raged on,

From the eastern front to the acts of valour,

Carried out by partisans in the name of freedom from the jackboot of Nazism,

There was a young man called Spartaco Fontanot and I end this poem with a letter he wrote to his mother :

Dear Mum*,

Of all people I know you are the one that will feel it most, so my very last thoughts go to you. Don’t blame anyone else for my death, because I myself chose fate.

I don’t know what to write to you, because, even though I have a clear head, I can’t find the right words.

I took my place in the Army of Liberation, and I die as the light of victory is already beginning to shine … I shall be shot very shortly with twenty three other comrades.

After the war you must claim your rights to a pension. They will let you have my things at the jail, only I am keeping Dad’s undervest, because I don’t want the cold to make me shiver…

Once again I say goodbye.

Courage!

Your son.
Spartaco

(Spartaco Fontanot, metalworker, twenty-two years old,member of the French Resistance group of ‘Misak Manouchian’, 1944)

* – from Eric Hobsbawn’s book ‘Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914 – 1991′

Walking in Gaza

Walking in Gaza …

Walking amidst the rubble,

a mother wails.

The bloodied rags that once clothed her six year old daughter reeks of caked blood,
stale urine,

death.

Walking amidst the rubble,

a father weeps.

The shelling reducing the home to bits of this and bits of that,
burnt flesh,
charred memories,

death.

Walking in Gaza,

amidst the smouldering school,

the bombed – out hospital,

the blood running into the sewers,

now clogged with emptiness.

Walking in Gaza,

amidst the savage fallout,

in – between the mangled homes,

the shuttered bazaars,

Hope lives.

Hope breathes.

Hope soars.

Walking in Gaza,

the resistance to tyranny holds firm,

as it has,

as it always will,

as it always must!

Amandla Intifada!

The struggles continue…

NOSTALGIA: My Family: A Historical Journey Through the Seasons – Part 2 by Afzal Moola, Johannesburg, South Africa.

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

Mandela in Kerala

Madiba in Kerala.

A comrade from the southern Indian state of Kerala shared the following anecdote with my father sometime in the mid-1980’s in New Delhi …

… On a trip to his home state of Kerala, the comrade said,

“…I was on a small fishing boat with some other comrades, we were going to an anti-Apartheid meeting that had been organised in a small town.

During the course of the boat ride, I kept hearing the boat-man’s voice, as he was singing, and quite loudly too, a song in Malayalam,

And I kept hearing what sounded like the name ‘Mandela’, over and over again,

So I asked the boat-man who or what this ‘Mandela’ was?

“You come from the city, and YOU don’t know who MANDELA is?

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!

Madiba (1918 – 2013)

Madiba.

( 1918 – 2013 )

Madiba, you are resting now.

Madiba, you have joined the ancestors.

Madiba, you are with your comrades.

Madiba, you are with us.

Madiba, you are within us.

Madiba, you live!

Madiba lives!

He lives!

He lives!

He lives…

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For. Our Father, Nelson Mandela

For Madiba
(1918 – 2013)

And Just When I Felt Lost…

,,,again,

when i feared that you were slipping away

i feared more for myself, in truth I say, than for you.

again…

you came back to us

again…

your light shone, ablaze

reaching inside of me with the warmth of your dignity

with your infinite gentleness

with your effortless peace

with all that made you, you

again…

soothing me as you soothed a nation

and a people, and people everywhere

of every hue

and of every creed

and of the human spirit itself

again…

you gave of yourself

again…

you breathed my fears away

you embraced me as you have always done

again…

you made me cry

weeping tears of joy for you

for your light to shine on through

again…

you shined so brightly

as I basked in your warmth of you being you

again…

you cradled my shaken being in your hands, lined with age and with wisdom and with a pureness so bright

that just knowing that you were finally home, smiling that fatherly smile of yours

was enough for me, to slip into the waiting arms of this warm and joyous night

and again…

you came back to me on this night

and just knowing that you are with me

is enough now, for within me, you will reside forever more

just knowing that you are resting, finally

fills me with the biting grief of parting

and with the peace and the joy that has been your gift to me, and to us, one and all

shaking me to my very core

as you have selflessly done

throughout all our lives, and on countless occasions before

He is home!

You are home!

and

i am home with you

as your light of life continues to shine

now and forever

warm and dignified and forever true!

Viva Nelson Rolihlala ‘Madiba’ Mandela Viva!

Tomorrow is Ours

Tomorrow is Ours.

Suffocating beneath the weight of historical fear,
asphyxiated by the legacy of traumatised yesteryear,

the festering wounds of enslavement still remain,
juggling euphemisms in a crisp sound-bitten refrain,

spewing out neo-liberal economic charades,
doling out charity in strips of plastic band-aids,

but,

tomorrow shall be ours,

casting away subservient mind-sets that shackle,
no longer the weakened prey of the insatiable jackal,

tomorrow shall be ours,

we shall reclaim our plundered mindspaces,
we shall shed our chains, leaving behind the traces,

of past injustice, of the hurt and pain of our ancestors’ sorrows,

we are here, now, alive with hope,

we shall rightfully claim our own tomorrows…

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