Tag Archive: secular


Talkin’ Sunday Jazzy Blues …

A day of rest,

one is told,
that even God took some time off,

leaving His children to worship Him some more,
while He stood on high,
to chastise us some more,
to scoff,

isn’t it ever enough,
the hollering,

the counting of the rosary,

those infinite beads,
on whose counting,
the merciful God feeds.

its sunday,

bluesy tones and jazzy notes,

are all I wish to hear,

not the tolling of the church-bell,

gently reminding me,
that unless I confess,

i shall be damned in some fiery hell.

i feel the same of fridays,
when my brothers prostrate themselves at noon,

while my sisters slog over pots of food to feed the spiritually under-nourished,

laying the tables,
as the faithful return from the stables.

and on saturdays too,
in the synagogues,
packed like pickled herring,

my brothers and sisters,
eyes closed in penitence,
seek absolution,

and all I wish for is simple revolution,

a tearing down of these quaint edifices,
that pander to some mythical maker,

all I need is my honeyed weekend,

free of sanctimonious clap-trap,
devoid of wishy-washy assurances of everlasting life,

hell, my life’s already a convoluted dead-end,

filled with discarded emotions, blinded by strife,

so I’ll have my weekend,
and I’ll have it now,
if you please,

as I savour my extra-matured,
pungent cheddar cheese,

to the sounds of Coltrane,
of Thelonius, of Satchmo, of the Duke, and of Miles,

the simple life,

some jazz,
and
a few smiles

I Want to Walk with You …

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?

#notinmyname

https://mobile.twitter.com/hashtag/notinmyname

afzaljhb@gmail.com

South Africa: Freedom Day April 27 2013

1.

On the 27th day of April in Nineteen Ninety-Four,

Freedom was won, at long last.

The battles were many, the foe brutal,

Apartheid tore our southern tip of the continent of Africa apart,

it’s notions of racial-superiority,

its religious fundamentalism,

its fascist tendencies,

its beastly nature,

ripped the flesh off the skin of our collective selves,

but resistance to tyranny has always been a basic human aspiration,

and so resistance flourished.

2.

Ordinary folk,

school-teachers and machinists,

nurses and poets,

labourers and engineers,

lawyers and students,

resisted!

We remember you today,

as a copper African sun shines bright this Saturday morning in April of Two-Thousand and Thirteen,

we honour you, who fought,

Comrades all –

Walter Sisulu,

Nelson Mandela,

Joe Slovo,

Ahmed Kathrada,

Bram Fischer,

Steve Biko,

Solomon Mahlangu,

Vuyisile Mini,

Denis Goldberg,

and many many more,

those we know and love,

and those whose bones have now settled in our rich African soil,

those who died,

those who were executed,

those who were shot,

those who were tortured,

those who were killed,

and the countless who are still tortured today by the swords of memory,

the emotional and psychological torture,

that still rains down on the valiant ones and their families.

Families!

Families fractured, broken and scattered throughout the world,

fragments of a sister’s laugh, a daughter’s smile,
bite as harshly into the soul as did Apartheid’s cruel lashes of violence.

So many died, too many died,

and I remember them,

Dulcie September – Assassinated in Paris

Steve Biko – Tortured and Murdered in South Africa

Solomon Mahlangu – Hanged by the Apartheid State

Ahmed Timol – Tortured and Murdered

Bram Fischer – Died in Prison

Hector Petersen – Shot in Soweto ’76

David Webster – Killed

and many many more,

their blood flowing into the soil of our ancestors,

our country, our South Africa,

for all South Africans,

Black and white and brown and all the shades of humanity’s mosaic.

3.

Now we reflect,

now we must dissect,

the fruits of freedom,

thus far,
much has been achieved,

yet,

the struggles continue,

for employment,

health-care for all,

shelter and housing for all,

and my compatriots have earned it,

they have stewed in the mines,

deep beneath the soil,

for shiny metals and glittering glass.

The revolution is a work-in-progress,

true liberation shall be economic liberation,

where each and every South African,

can walk the land of our ancestors,

truly free.

We SHALL overcome!

Amandla!

Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

The Struggles Continue, Comrades…