Tag Archive: Solomon Mahlangu Kalushi


Inscription on the Statue of Liberty, from the poem “The New Colossus” written by Emma Lazarus in 1883.

Inscribed on the plaque in 1903.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning,

and her name

MOTHER OF EXILES.

From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome;

her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

                   _______

​Inscription on the Statue of Liberty, written by Emma Lazarus in 1883.
Inscribed on the plaque in 1903.

               __________

Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band performing “American Land” live in concert.

https://youtu.be/6lcvpmvcs6U

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2 0 1 8







2 0 1 8 …

… a cry as another year beckons.





where hatred flows like raw sewage, where intolerance festers in fungal minds, where every ugly stripe of prejudice is on proud display,


may we all stand up and be heard, may we all rise up and be counted, may we all shed our cloak of apathy, may we all cease to be active participants in this grotesque play.




where vicious poverty tramples human dignity, where gnawing hunger leeches humanity, where human beings have been cast out of their lands, of their houses,


may we rattle the corridors of power, may we fight for equitable change, may we scream our outrage, may we forge the bonds of solidarity, may our collective voice be hushed no more, may we shake each other so that humane ideals from slumber rouses.




where violence is rained down on people of a different colour, of a different religion and creed, of a different caste, of a different sexual persuasion, of women everywhere every night, where the shadows of pain grow ever longer,


may our lips not remain sewn shut, may we remain complicit by silence never again, may we know we are more, and being more, we are all the stronger. 




may we link arms across this pained world,



may we all see the banner of hope unfurled,




may we cease to look the other way,


may we strive for a more just day,




may we lose our petty differences, casting them into the sea,


may we reclaim our humanity, may we set our loving thoughts free,




may we always strive and struggle and battle for what is right,


may we never give in to despondency, may we not sink into the quicksand of feeling helpless, may we all arise and fight the good fight,




may we never forget the sacrifices of those who have passed, of those who have shed their blood, of those who made the supreme sacrifice so that we may today be here,


may we always honour their legacy, not in words and poems and songs, but to truly honour their lives and their scattered bones, by picking up their baton they so fiercely held, by raising their standard they so courageously held aloft, by getting our hands dirty as we rattle the 1% and their ostentatious thrones,




may we accept that the battles ahead may be long and hard, may we acknowledge that power never cedes, it’s metallic talons digging into our flesh so deep,


may we send them a message loud and clear, that nothing shall ever again dull our common resolve:



now.



today.



and in the tomorrows that yet to upon us creep,


may our message be clear:


we the people have awakened,


and we the people shall not be driven back to sleep.





all power to the people!




the struggles continue!




amandla!

ngawethu!



freedom 2018












freedom 2018 …





The shackles have been cast off.

Chains broken.

A people once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,
are free.



Free at last!



Freedom came on the 27th day in that April of 1994.



Freedom from prejudice.



From institutionalized racism.



From being relegated to second-class citizens.



Freedom came and we danced.



We cried.



We ululated as we elected
our revered Mandela.



President Nelson Mandela.



Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.



Black and white and brown and those in-between.



All hues of this rainbow nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.



Today we pause.



We remember.


We salute.


The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

18 years ago.



Today we dance.



We sing.



We ululate.



We cry.



Tears of joy and tears of loss.



Of remembrance and of forgiveness.



Of reconciliation and of memories.



Today we pause.


We acknowledge the tasks ahead.



The hungry.



The naked.



The destitute.



Today we reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.




From want.



From hunger.



From eyes without promise.




Today we also wish to reflect.



On unfulfilled promises.



On the proliferation of greed.



On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.



Today we say:



We will take back the dream.



We will renew the promise.



We will not turn away.


Today we pledge:



To stand firm.



To keep the pressure turned on.



To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people need to savor the fruits of the tree of freedom.




And till that time,



when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.



And we shall continue,

to struggle.



And to sing out loud,



“We shall overcome”









nature rages










nature rages, lightning streaks the Joburg skies …


rain sweeps down, drenching empty boulevards,


wreaking havoc, oblivious, unfeeling,


as gargantuan monsters often are …







in your eyes











in your eyes …




in your eyes,

marmalade swirls,

candyfloss twirls,


draw me ever deeper,


as another day unfurls …










a new years wish for all










a new years wish for all …







may this year be kind,

leaving the detritus of the past behind.



may this year be filled with peace,

where humans discard prejudice,
where all hatred may cease.



may this year be gentle and true,

banishing the notions of “us and them”,

by acknowledging the humanity that resides in me and in you.



may this year shower all with the truest wealth,

the bounty of the priceless gift of health.



may this year bring real change, by speaking truth to power to effect real humanitarian aid to all those in need,

knowing that the “other” may be “us” someday, if we do not cast out the demons of selfishness and of unending greed.



may our collective power be on display when we demand a better deal for our home, this planet,

by accepting that this is the home we shall bequeath to those yet to come, to leave a healthy environment for them to inhabit.



may this year and the years ahead be filled with the ideals of a more equitable and just and prejudice-free garden of promise,

where the 99% languish no more in poverty and deprivation,

where human dignity is restored to the countless many,

so that the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of this earth may truly live, and not just survive and cope,

so that the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of this earth may finally,

after epochs of injustice,

seize the light and the banner of achievable hope …











for women everywhere







for women everywhere …




they said she was opinionated.



they castigated her for not following the norm.



they dismissed her for being “loud-mouthed”.



they spoke disparagingly of her for flouting cultural, religious, sectarian narrow-minded claptrap.



they damned her for unclipping her wings, as she soared free into the open skies.



she is you.



and may you always be you …










serenading the glistening rose,


a solitary tear of dew,


falls.



caressed by the lilting of rustling leaves,


enveloping dawn,


to gentle birdcalls …






another year flees





the swaying of the grass, as another year flees …

 


1.


 


a path leads,

to where wild grasses grow,

sashaying in the summer breeze.


 


2.


 


along the path,

lightness settles within,

feeling the grass,

swooning,

tickling ankles,

swaying to lilting bird-song,

a dance of intimate abandon,

brushing remnants of pain away.


 


3.


 


melodies float across fields of green,

delicately caressing my heart,

teasing emptiness to flee,

comforting the mind,

to silently be.


 


4.


 


walking on,

savouring the peace,

a momentary respite,

casting off burdens of the now,

all is quiet,

a stillness cradling fractured emotions,

the grass in the fields sway,

dusk descends,

shadows lengthen,


nudging dimming light to take leave of the day … … …







a wish for you










a wish for you … …




May your smile never fade,

may you always be as you are now,


warm and kind,


true and filled with the generosity of spirit that defines you,


may your dreams soar into the boundless open skies,


and may the benevolent fingertips of time and of fate,


brush away any tears that should fall from your gentlest eyes.





May you forever stand tall,

may your head always be held high,


with stoic dignity.


May your past experiences be the stepping-stones that mark your path ahead,


may your heart be your guide,


your blazing beacon of wildly enthusiastic hope,


may your wishes be simple,

and may they come to be,


filling your life and your moments,


with joyous bliss,


where you truly feel free.





Free of the weight of yesterday,

free of gnawing doubt,


and may your being be infused,

with the softest serendipity,


so that you may spread your arms,


and to the heavens shout,


I am free,


I am me,


at long last,

I am standing tall,

never again to bow,

or to fall on bended knee.





This is a wish both simple yet elusive,


a wish that only you can make true,


by simply being,


the kind,

warm,


gentle person,

that is you …















she is my all,

picking me up whenever I fall,


walking beside me, fierce and tall,


unafraid pain may yet befall.



my all, my strident constant, breathing away aches in an instant.



she is my all.


she is all.






Vincent and Ludwig











Vincent and Ludwig …





“Do you know, my dear Ludwig, that I’ve sold just one of my paintings?”


“Yes, Vincent, do not despair, my friend, they cannot, will not, fathom the flower that reveals its petals before their eyes”


“I suppose you are right, old friend. They cannot, will not, hear your ‘Ode to Joy’, though it is you who are deaf!”


“But my dear Vincent, you do hear my ‘Ode to Joy’, deep in your soul”


“Yes, I hear it, I feel it, Ludwig, flowing like liquid paint through the canvas of my veins”


“My dear Vincent, I too feel your brush-strokes, and in each swirl of colour I hear your joy, and I can touch your pain”


“What does that make us, my friend? Two men cast adrift on the bluest seas, leaving nothing behind, yet heading nowhere. What does that make us then?”, asks Vincent.


“Human”, replies Ludwig, smiling.


“Human, yes, dear Ludwig”.


“And that is enough”, says Ludwig, almost to himself.


“It is enough”, smiles Vincent.


“To be human. It is enough.”




Vincent laughs, as Ludwig watches a gentle wave caress their toes, through their tattered shoes.






My Christmas bipolar Haze









My Christmas bipolar Haze … …





watching the stars fall,

ablaze,

scorching these nights,

the manic days,


and,


yet she remains,

a constant,

a bulwark,

an anchor,


in my bipolar haze …








( merry Christmas to all )
















lying together,


enveloped in each others arms,


we swore oaths to the stars and the years yet to unfold,


lying together …





years of war











as another year flees, soaked scarlet by war, choked by the famished cries of the baby, torn by the screeching of hate, adulterated by the politics of intolerance, bruised by gender-based violence, shaming humanity by female genital mutilation, ripping our souls out by wanton greed, trashing our world with mountains of waste, scarring our planet with the oblivious ignorance of climate change, hacking us, binding us with the knots of intolerable pain,


and so, may the coming year be less violent, and more equitable to all.


idealistic claptrap? yes, I know, I know …


but at times like these hope is all that I know I  know …









alone, i swim




alone, I swim, thrashed by the tides, while high above me a solitary albatross glides.


alone no more, soothing me to my very core,


i hope for days and nights far more placid than those that have passed before …





the rose and the dew










the rose and the dew …



soothing dew of the dawn, teases the rose in the mist of new morn,


nourishing the rose, encased in a dewy sheath, drops of soothing dew tease tendrils of each leaf,


soothing flowers, the dew banishes the night, in soft hues of exquisite early light:


you are the dew to my solitary leaf, seducing my soul with loving belief,


and I, I revel in the balm of your solace, shunning the pain of this world, with welcome relief … … …













bidding another year adieu …




and when i see,

breathe her, her softness a whisper away,


she knows the ache, i fear,

of wanting,

needing perhaps,

the feeling of feeling dear,


not much, 

soothing warmth,

enveloped,


our warmth, a light autumn shawl,


her fingers, mine,

tracing sketches, scribbles,

our waltzing fingers entwined,


shedding this year that wasn’t, or hardly was at all,


like so, so many yesteryears,


now long passed,


quietly, threading catacombs crumbling into dust,


gently, reverently, 

laying it down, leaving it all far, far behind,


a few shared moments,

of gentleness, warmth, solace,


of pure, innocent, delicious, alluring promise of bliss,


so rare, 

            priceless, almost,

            

            almost,

            too rare to find …







a new year beckons













a new year beckons, thus a scribble on treading onwards …





we have been hurt,

battered by time,

by fate,


we have been stung,

by harsh tongues wagging,


words,

            words,

                        hollow,

  meaningless,

                         harsh tirades borne, colder words, mere words,

            spoken,


meant to jab,

                       prod,

ceaseless,

                 until spirits are torn,

                 and,

                        broken …




… still,

           we endure,


    still,

           we hope,


for,

      we may be lashed against fates’ ropes,


    still,

           we endure,


we cling on,

                     to dreams,

                     and to shared hopes,


for,


we shall rise, staggering perhaps,


                but standing,

                never kneeling,


however painful,

                             sorrowful,


times may be,



for we shall stand,


if,

   if,


you are with each other,

offering each other,


that helpful, comforting hand … …








new year











on repetition: new years day …






the years have chased,

cajoled,

time has a-rambled & a-rolled, 

just another year,

where loves’ wares,


love, the commodity,

and us, all of us,

mere commodities,

traded as futures,


hastily stitching gaping wounds, with superficially strong sutures,


add some smiles bought and sold,

dignity bartered,

amalgamated, merged, lost & battered,


thin skins moulting,

spawning breathing thicker skins,


just another year,

same dreams to be shattered,


no bleating hip-hip-hoorays,

just the ever-fixed smile,


bright teeth bared as hands morph into machetes, hacking,

gleefully as the beast slays,


and while some burn, the fireworks elicit oohs, many an aah,


with kafka in the shadows, shaking his head,

this is farce gone too far,


to dampen the collective hope,


not more crumbled platitudes,

meant only to soothe, to apply the balm, to help the other half cope,


with what,


just another year,

reborn, the umbilical cord cut,


just another year,

working, eating, buying, buying,


as we scamper ever on,

with our eyes sewn tightly shut





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