Tag Archive: xenophobia


Mandela Day, 18th July

Mandela Day
18th July 2017.

the great plains of Africa echo your name, you live in our souls, a radiant flame.

the notions of racial superiority quake in your shadow, in the teeming cities, in the rural meadow.

you had an ideal for which you were prepared to die, you banished the clouds of oppression, revealing freedom’s unfettered sky.

your courage as you spent twenty-seven years in Apartheid dungeons, was unshakeable, even as you bore the brutality of tyrannical truncheons.

your comrades and you turned Robben Island into a university of freedom, of hope, even as you were shackled by iron and rope.

your indomitable spirit reached far and wide, across the great lands and over the vast seas, infusing freedom-loving people with the strength to fight, against that festering sore, the scourge of Apartheid, with all their collective might.

and when that day came when you walked under the South African sun, tall, proud and free, we ululated, we danced, we cried tears of joy, for at long last the dawn of liberation we could finally see.

and still your battles were far from over, as you steered our teetering country away from the abyss, the violence of Apartheid so brutal in its death throes, your message of forgiveness, of reconciliation spread as far as the wind blows.

those were harsh times indeed, our beloved South Africa on the precipice of civil war, the stench of blood on the breeze, yet you remained firm, urging us to throw our weapons into the waters of our seas.

then dawned the 27th of April in 1994, when all of our peoples queued to vote, democratically and peacefully, to realise the ideals and principles you and your comrades and countless, nameless others, fought, sacrificed, and died for.

and on the 10th day of May a couple of weeks later, you became our President, our Commander-in-Chief, as the yoke of hegemony was cast off, after all the pain, the suffering, the savagery, and the grief.

your principles never wavered, you did not to the powerful bow, you remained steadfast in your dream of a better society for all, you taught us to rise up again, to stand upright, after many a fall.

your humanity, your conscience became a part of the wind, your message, your dedication to the human cause, inspired numberless more, breaking the latches of racism on many a shut door.

you were our Madiba, our father, our beacon of truth, your message imbibed by so many, the aged and the youth.

then came that sorrowful day when you passed away, and to the welcoming arms of our ancestors you made your way.

we cried, we sobbed, our world convulsed, having lost you as you no longer walked amongst us in flesh and in bone, yet your example, your life entire, became a lesson set in stone.

today we fight newer battles, the enemy not so apparent, not so clear, corrupt in words and in deed, we see the scurrying for power and for greed.

we see our beloved rainbow nation fracturing, your dreams of economic and social justice diluted by avarice, and not by need.

but still we cherish and strive and fight on, todays battlefields less easily defined, the enemy often within us, and harder to find.

still your revolutionary spirit, your unwavering belief in equality for all, your principled struggle never expedient, but for what was, for all, true and right,

it is still that undying spirit of yours that compels us to never rest, to never give up the just fight.

Viva Nelson Mandela Viva!

Mayibuye-i-Afrika!

Amandla! ngAwethu!

All Power to the People!

The Struggles Continue …

with President Nelson Mandela. Johannesburg 2008.

__________

http://www.anc.org.za/content/nelson-mandela

xenophobia 

​in the belly of xenophobia.

when you see them,

passing by your pretty green avenues,


grab your garden rake,

stone the encroaching horde,


they take our jobs,

they marry our women,



put them all

to the sword,


“bloody foreigners”


“wetbacks”


“nigger”



leeching off our taxes,

stinking up the neighborhood,


send them all home,

or better still,

build walls,


seal the borders,

and don’t allow “them” into our fair country,


seek them out in every street,


in every bar

and finish them off

one by one


finish and klaar,


and rest assured,


if not that,

then atleast fuhrer trump and all his cash,


will find you as many  scapegoats you wish to gleefully bash

​the immigrant at home



fatigued

pained


cast adrift

shunned aside


living

existing

on

islands of despair


deprivation

death


human beings

you and i



who just yesterday

or perhaps many lives ago

 

were

hounded

persecuted

jailed


cursed

spat on


rendered

alien at home


and

then


lost at sea


mere cattle

to be hauled


onto desolate cages


mere cargo

in the

economics of flesh



and

who

now


are

everywhere


cursed

spat on



and

told


to go home 

( for all humans beings living under the yoke of tyranny, occupation, oppression, injustice … and for those who continue to survive and to hope … and to the memory of those who are no longer with us )

Yoda’s advice to Trump et al

Yoda’s unsolicited advice to the Trump and the Republicans:

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“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
  
       ______________

may the ‘leaders’ heed the little green Jedi’s words.

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.

fleas

sweltering,
trapped,

saltwater all around,
fleeing death,

surviving death on the seas,

to be greeted,

as fleas.

tripped

tripped,
brought to ones knees,

fleeing beds of nails,
shrapnel pockmarked dreams,

crossing deserted seas,
swallowed up,
regurgitated by merciless elements,

to be washed ashore,
dead,
cold,

broken,
lifeless,

on countless,
pristine tan-soaked beaches,

invisible,
unseen,
hidden in plain sight,

mute,
hushed,
silent,

as the soul of dumbed down,
traded,
inebriated humanity,

bellows,
howls,

and screeches.

image

The Immigrants Void – Sculpture by Bruno Catalano

image

http://brunocatalano.com/sculpture-bronze2/sculpture-en-bronze-bruno-catalano.php?galerie=1

young refugee

an immigrants lament …

image

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!

it is just that
my little wings,

are my tired
little feet …

        _____________

(photograph of a Danish border guard playing with a Syrian girl)

seeds

image

seeds …

swept up
by the dust

scattered remnants
of lives once whole

now
buried
interred

in cold dead dry ground.

image

seeds
swept up
by the dust

seeking a glimmer

of hope
of the promise

of
a better tomorrow.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

sinking roots
hoping to belong

somewhere
anywhere

fatigued
spent

waiting
hoping

for days
moments
tomorrows

a
time
&
a
place

where one
need not

be
ever smiling

and to be
always strong

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