Tag Archive: Socialism


The African Rains

from google

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.

from google

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(January 15 1929 – April 4 1968)

1.

You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

2.

They silenced you, yet your dream
resounds louder still,

in pastures not yet of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

3.

You said that you had been to the mountain top,

they tried to strangle your voice as you saw the promised land,

those pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

4.

Today your dream is glimpsed in pastures,

not yet of peace,

for though they tried to silence your voice,

your spirit in our collective hearts does rejoice.

5.

Your spirit, your dream,

mingles in the winds of all those pastures,

over the valleys, in the oceans, across the mountains,

in every flowing stream.

6.

Today, your dream lives in the wind,

seeding the prairies, the steppes, the savannahs, the pampas,

pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

7.

We remember you today,

with a shared pledge to nourish those pastures of peace,

in each of us,

where your dream may thrive,

blossoming into our shared dream,

bounteous, and alive.

8.

Your dream realised shall then seem,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows,

when we give life to the promise of the radiance of your beautiful dream …

The Stench of Xenophobia.

1.

when rancid racism strikes,

in cocooned fungal minds, narrow,
superficially deep,

an insidious venom begins to seep,

into our consciousness as we sleep.

2.

racist 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 racist xenophobia 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 hate.

4.

are we guilty of succumbing to this virulent plague?

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

falling, slipping into inebriated stasis, without care,

as the stench of hate, prejudice,

and of xenophobia,

continues, belching out into the air.

double-helixed uBuntu*

double-helixed uBuntu*

these interwoven veins,

dna
double-helixed,

microscopically
binding,

me – you,

us all,

through
this common
shared
truth:

‘I am because you are’*

all of us,

together:

as one.

me.

you …

… uBuntu*

______________

* – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses the “belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity

uBuntu*

I am the blood, coursing through its veins, thumping boldly, the heartbeat of Africa.

I am the sands, sweeping across its deserts, mingling in the soil of Africa.

I am the waters, raging through its rivers, quenching the thirst of Africa.

I am the air, soaring above its lands, breathing life across Africa.

I am the sighs, of generations past, brutalised into slavery from the plundered homes in Africa.

I am the words, imbibed in its being, deeply etching a shared yearning, in the daughters and sons of Africa.

I am the mountains, majestic sentinels watching over the children of Africa.

I am the spirit, of ancestors long gone, enveloping the vastness of Africa.

I am because you are*.

I am Africa.


____

* – uBuntu is an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”

from google

The Judging of Nelson Mandela.

1.

“It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, said the resolute prisoner in the dock.

He stood firm in his revolutionary convictions, potentially facing the gallows of Apartheid tyranny.

The prisoner and his comrades were sentenced to life imprisonment on an island of shame, and Robben Island was it’s name.

They endured the hell of Apartheid’s abyss for 27 long years.

2.

Nelson Mandela walked free on that early February day in 1990.

His years of incarceration did not dilute his revolutionary ideals.

His beloved organisation, the African National Congress with him at the helm, now dealt with an enemy hell-bent of sowing the seeds of mayhem in a country on the precipice.

He stood resolute.
He stood principled.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades negotiated the path ahead, which realised the objectives of a free and non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress had to make many compromises, in the quid pro quo of negotiating with an enemy busy in the process of fomenting a civil war.

This did not make Madiba a sell-out.

This did not render him toothless.

This did not mean he had capitulated on his revolutionary ideals.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades faced a stark reality – a negotiated peaceful settlement with the Apartheid state or the prospect of further bloodshed and the implosion of South Africa, sinking into the horror of civil-war.

This did not render him impotent.

This did not dilute his revolutionary fire.

3.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades realised that the white minority regime would not simply relinquish power.

The Apartheid state was already actively engaged in the stoking of wanton acts of violence in order to derail the process of transforming South Africa into a democratic country where all human beings regardless of race would be granted the right to vote and to be no longer relegated to second class citizens in the land of their ancestors.

There were difficult compromises to be made, and there were bitter pills that had to be swallowed.

The enemy would not simply give up the privileges of the white minority without a fight.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades understood that reality.

The cold harsh reality of facing a protracted war of attrition or the birth of a new democratic South Africa from the clutches of Apartheid hegemony.

4.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the African National Congress made the hard choices.

They laid to rest the prospect of a civil war, while making gut-wrenching decisions in order to achieve the first goal of bringing to fruition a free and democratic South Africa.

Many were displeased.
Many were embittered.

Many thought this the abandoning of the true principles of the struggle.

They were not all wrong.

They had good reason to believe that far too many concessions were made.

They who fought on the frontlines were not being unreasonable.

They faced Apartheid’s bullets and truncheons and torture for years.

Yet Nelson Mandela did not shut them out, but brought them in and invited them to be a part of the hard work that lay ahead in the creation of a new democratic country.

5.

Today, we look back.

Today, we judge Nelson Mandela and his comrades for a “revolution denied”.

Today, with the hindsight of history, we damn the negotiated settlement.

Today, the failures of the democratic governments that have followed Nelson Mandela’s one term as President, are coldly and conveniently laid at the feet of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela did not crave power nor status. President Nelson Mandela was a human being, a man of flesh and of blood, with his share of faults.

Nelson Mandela never shied away from acknowledging his faults.

6.

Today we dismiss Nelson Mandela as one who sold out the revolution.

Today we condemn Nelson Mandela for the greed and corruption that keeps millions in poverty and the majority of the population who have no access to dignified health care and education and housing and employment.

Today we judge Nelson Mandela as the one who watered down every ideal and principle of the struggle for freedom and for human emancipation.

7.

Nelson Mandela stepped down as President in 1999 after serving one term in office.

Today we are in 2018.

How convenient to subtly paint Nelson Mandela as the one who sowed the seeds of all that is wrong in our country today.

8.

How very convenient.

9.

Nelson Mandela was not the prisoner-set-free to to assume the Presidency of the African National Congress and rule by dictatorial edicts and by personal decree.

The African National Congress and its National Executive Committee (NEC), the ANC’s Armed Wing Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK), as well the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) played an integral part in the negotiated settlement that resulted from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

Leaders and political activists like Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and many other individuals who spent years in Apartheid prisons and in exile were part of the decision making process.

To hold Nelson Mandela solely responsible for the negotiated settlement that led to the creation of a democratic South Africa in 1994 is both disingenuous and ignores historical facts.

The African National Congress structures on the ground were part of often heated debates as Nelson Mandela and his comrades navigated the treacherous waters of negotiating with a government that was in power and had the army at its disposal and was conducting bloody covert operations in order to derail the efforts to reach a peaceful solution for the dissolution of Apartheid and the birth of a new South African nation.

If Nelson Mandela is to be regarded as a ‘sell-out’, then he cannot be judged alone for the failures of successive ANC governments from 1999 to 2018.

It is a simplistic reading of history to come to the conclusion that Nelson Mandela stood alone as a “sell-out” while once again conveniently ignoring the many other factors that played a part in the transition of South Africa from a racist, tyrannical state to a free and democratic new nation.

10.

Once again, how very convenient.

from google

H O P E

Quote from Google





H O P E …





In these times,
when you feel the walls closing in on you,

in these times,
when you feel the world to be hypocritically untrue,

in these times,
when you feel all your lifeblood being sucked out of you.


In these times,
when people seem shallow, heartless too,

in these times,
when you feel yourself a bystander in your own life, not having a clue,

in these times,
when every breath seems a mammoth task, when the air seems sucked out too.


These are those times when nothing offers peace,

when no solace can be found,

when all you feel is dragging yourself along the tear stained ground,

these are those times,
when asphyxiation threatens your soul,

when you scream with all your might, without hearing a sound,

these are those times,
when the world is a blurry haze, with a rancid stench that keeps jabbing you on the rebound.


It is in these moments,
when all hope disappears,

when all is lost in trepidation and gnawing fears,

it is in these moments,
when you plumb the depths of your soul,

when you beseech the Gods above even as your faith may have taken a toll,

it is in these moments,

that you fight to smash the shackles, so you may be free,

it is in these moments,

that we wish to simply,

be …



Artwork from Google



For Scully, my beloved cat …


Scully, the avid reader 🤗



The Saga of Romeo and Juliet on Valentines Day …







that day of the year once more

the zombie-apocalypse-horde descend

foaming through aisles in this-or-that store.

they seek, perhaps, absolution for ‘that one time’ and, of course ‘those’ other times before

when you felt the splintering of your very core

while he mumbled apologies that sliced through your bone | your flesh like a saw

so, yes, it is ‘that’ day of the year once more

the cat’s night to sashay through the front door

knowing only too well she’ll find me right here looking the grumpy old bored boar

and now look who’s purrring like 1-coolcat flopsilly sinking to her majesterial floor

“oh please not the ‘I’m really not into valentines day blah de blah’, you old boar!”

that unwipeawayable smile seems to say

“who loves kitty hmm who loves kitty”

by then as was with the Borg

resistance is futile

so you flopsilly flop down next to her

and as she permits you to you to brush the now “greying-cos’ of oldage” lil’ hairs under her teensy furrry chin

you begin to hum a tune,

‘Romeo & Juliet’ oh yes that 80’s Dire Straits song …

“… and he says …

‘you & me, babe …

how ‘about it …”





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxfjSnMN88U

“Romeo & Juliet”

Written by Mark Knopfler

From the Dire Straits’ studio album ‘Making Movies’

Released on 17 October 1980

Lyrics

“… A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Finds a streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

Juliet says hey it’s Romeo you nearly gimme me a heart attack
He’s underneath the window she’s singing hey la my boyfriend’s back
You shouldn’t come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

Well you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin, yeah
Now you just say oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

I can’t do the talk like they talk on TV
And I can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be
I can’t do everything but I’d do anything for you
I can’t do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Julie I’d do the stars with you any time

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it? …”

you good people have yourselves a special valentines day too!

Scully whacking me at chess 😊

Prejudice 2.0

Artwork from Google





prejudice 2.0






when the ghouls emerge, from deep within the recesses of our fungal minds,



our prejudice, our hubris, our misogyny, our racism, seeks fertile ground to take root,



to mutate into a new fangled, subtle fascism,



across breakfast table banter, seeping into politely civil conversation,



digging its claws into the common discourse,



choosing to settle comfortably into binary, zero sum opinions,



to make hate acceptable, if couched in the right language,



to make racism the norm, if sewn into the broader fabric of society,



to make misogyny humorous, a joke to be shared here, or a comment to be sniggered at there,



to make poverty the fault of the poor, branding the vast majority of humans as being simply lazy scum, chattel to be squashed or squeezed dry,



to bask in the ugly cocoon of greed, of ostentatious excess, to deny that privilege has been handed down, generation upon generation,



to gloss over the facts, to polish the brutal past, to spew the notion of not being complicit,



to make these abominable thoughts,


these despicable actions,


these repugnant beliefs,



feel at home again.


 



Quote from Google

quote from google





the corrosive concept that “fair is lovely and thin is best” …





fair is bland,

fair is a void,


of all the glorious colours of the rainbow devoid.




fair is lovely,

fair is insipid,


absent of flavour, lukewarm and tepid.




fair is lovely,

fair is cruel,


a self esteem-draining weapon wielded, from the corridors of corporations to the hallways of school.




fair is lovely,

fair is vile,


polluting minds with notions of white supremacy, sowing the seeds that the other is inferior, meant only to revile.




fair is lovely,

fair is an infection,


a fast spreading disease of the mind, rejecting all children of god, or to consign to the trashcan, the science of natural selection.




thin is beautiful,

skinny is best,


leaving the rest of real human beings to question themselves, and diet and starve themselves and imbibe pills and all the rest.




fair is lovely,

fair is a dagger,


plunged deep into the hearts of people everywhere, to breed the grotesque spawn of racial superiority, while intoxicated on that bullshit, the racists rant and blabber and swagger.




fair and thin is lovely ?


no, the kaleidoscope of humans of all hues and of all sizes is lovely.






NO TO RACIST DEMEANING OF PEOPLE !

NO TO BODY-SHAMING !


artwork from google




Quote from Google





I am Woman!




Just when you think you’ve broken me,


with your cowardly fists,


with your diseased tongue,


I will not cower.




Your fake macho shell does not frighten me,


your violence will not silence me.




I am I,


I am mother,

I am sister,


I am woman.




I am woman,

powerful and strong.


I am me.


The very thing you can never be …






Artwork from Google

too idealistic ?

Quote from Google







too idealistic ?






in this world so harsh and stark,


may we be the spark that dispels the dark.



may we hold onto each other in a warm embrace,


regardless of colour, creed, gender, or race.



may we accept that we sip from a single pond,



may we acknowledge that the spirit of uBuntu* envelopes us – in a unifying bond.



may we cherish this bounteous earth, our only home, with respect and kindness,


may we open our eyes, and resist greed-filled corporate, personal, and governmental blindness.



may we love all, irrespective of who they choose to love, gay or straight,


may we accept that ignorance breeds hate, so may we banish those forces, baying at the gate.



may we teach our young that the objectification of women is not right,


may we strive to make every night, an abuse-free night.



may we face all forms of prejudice with a united stand,


may we find renewed strength by clasping a strangers hand.



may we realise that there is no place, on this planet, for poverty, hunger, and human despair,


may we appreciate that this world has enough for all, to from the communal orchards share.



may we start by introspection, by tearing off the blinkers of denial,


may we pursue to change that which is callous within us, even though that may be our hardest, personal trial.



may we tear down the walls that are built to divide,


may we emerge into the open fresh air,


with no longer the need to hide …








* – ‘uBuntuis an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity” – I am because we are.








Quote from Google

Artwork from Google






The Stench of Prejudice …





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 and prejudice and greed wafting in the cool evening air …








Artwork from Google

Artwork from Google







The Tears of Mother Earth …




Mother Earth weeps, her cries silenced, by the clinking of champagne flutes, as yet again, men myopic with greed carve out plans to plunder her more.




how much more shall you take, she moans, while men with noxious lust whoop with joy, their greed tainted with blinkers, knowingly stripping her further, in a blinded frenzy of self-serving savagery.




Mother Earth is ill, diseased by the ceaseless pillaging, by us, her children, siphoning more and more, till heaven knows when, she shall be hollow to the core.




are we so blinded, are we so callous, are we so lost in our glazed orgy, to hack away her dignity, her bounteous nurturing spirit, her selfless giving of herself, to let her children, us all, to eat, to be healthy, to live, to breathe in the freshest air and to bathe in the most pristine rivulets, flowing through her very veins and arteries, those very arteries and veins which we slice and dice each day.




our Mother calls to us, beseeching us, asking only how much more can she be expected to give, how much more are we going to take.




her wheezing spasms are felt by us all, her pleading for help resounds, as we chip away at her lungs, poison her waters, belch bile into her air, continually desecrating our shared commons.




our Mother is as mortal as you and i, for she too bleeds, for she too chokes, for she too lies weakened, ill after being brutalised by her very own.




as we avert our unseeing eyes, our deafened ears to her simple needs, we turn our backs to her, refusing to acknowledge her consistent gifts to us all, epoch upon epoch, millennia upon millennia.




as we avert our complicit gaze, we stand indicted, we stand forewarned, that her bounty is finite, for if we plunder evermore, she too shall be forced onto her knees, exhausted by her persistent and consistent motherliness, for she too can give only so much, for she too is aging and in need of tending, for she too is mortal.




and when that time comes, as it does to all that is mortal, that she fades and slips away, it shall be us, her very children, consciously and with savage intent, who rained down suffering on her, our Mother, till she said in a hushed whisper:




I am famished.

I have nothing left to give.





farewell, my children …




Artwork from Google

Artwork from Google






just you, just me … 





i cannot walk this path alone, my footsteps dragging on desolate cobblestone,



so very distant from you, my dear, enmeshed in this straightjacket of fear.




so let me dream of us on some idyllic shore,


together at last,


alone no more,


our bare feet tickled by the ebbing tide,


at peace with each other,


side by side.




let us meet on that distant beach,


where joy beckons us within reach,


to a place where we truly live,


not just cope,


where crimson horizons infuse us with hope.




let us to that place of peace flee,


together at last,



just you,

just me …






Artwork from Google

Artwork from Google





you have the largest part of my miniscule heart …




you smashed everything apart,

your light shone so bright,


you lost me from the start,

yet, and still,

you breathe within me as i trudge through another day and as another night readies itself to depart,

your light shines so bright,

deep in the creased corridors of my fate,

for you have the largest part of my miniscule heart …








Artwork from Google










astrophysics, astronomy, and love …




she smiled, she looked at me, incredulous, her jaw dropped,


” how on earth can you be so sure about that ? “


well i had to explain, because motion at this velocity cannot be simply stopped,


so i thought, this was the bloke who sported mops of hair, yet couldn’t do without close shaves,


so i said to her, i said,


” gravitational waves “






          ____________________



Gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature of spacetime, generated by accelerated masses, that propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. 


source: Wikipedia

Artwork from Google







letting go …





scratching

at wounds


picking

scabs


unleashing pain


twisting knives

turning effortlessly


amid the cacophonous romp

of highfives …



letting go

of

scraped souls


eroded

by

dishevelled dignity


stung

wrung

strung


and

hung


to dispel quaint smiles


perfected over a million wounded miles


shattering consciensces

along the way


blinding

blinkering

rose-tinted phantasy

day to groteque day


clogging vision

hazing eyes


tugging

pulling

tearing

down

curtains


leaving eyes

blinded

blinkered


unseeing

unfeeling …



while broken stems

mend gently


elsewhere


plucked

along strings


strings

strung

and

strummed


igniting

numbed senses


sublime flavours

on clouds of

touch

taste


melding

fusing


myriad dreams

into

dreadlocked hopes


entwined

intertwined


knowing the paths ahead

to be

far from kind


still

setting forth


yet

moving


ever moving

forward onward


hearts ablaze

hopeful


letting go

of it all


leaving it all

far far behind …






Artwork from Google

A Baobab Tree – Artwork from Google





as we walk …




though today we tread on broken glass,


our time shall come to pass,


when we may walk past the travails we seem to amass, 


and beyond the splinters of all that is crass …




A Baobab Tree – artwork from google

Artwork from Google





dawn breaking …




dawn breaking




1.



willowy brushstrokes,

conjured sketches,


painted,

etched,

embossed,


hewn between forgotten morns,


waking,

splintering,

straining, against each other,


ceaseless,

relentless,

endless,


empty,

a vacuum,


an abyss of night.




2.



still,

hope blazes,


bright,

radiant,

smiling,


though measured,

disciplined,


while embracing,

enveloping,


and always

surrendering to the eternal promise,


raging,

hungering,

aching,



the promise of a new dawn breaking



Artwork from Google

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