It all starts with a good intention If I could change the world? The switching of seasons can’t bring constancy of reason, Where my people live treason, and profound division In silence, in a world Where their full potential is nobody’s goddamn mission. And escalates with good intention And that’s insane! My damn mission is to alleviate your burdens, Elevate the status quo, no matter what the wardens Say in this bloody prison, I’m breaking the chains I’m going to fight for you sisters and brethren! And intentions with fodder gain attention And graciously turn to further actions Fight till my blood’s gone. Walk with me, fallen and lost, walk with me past the present Into a future where there’s no sullen, no dreams evanescent Only throngs growing strong, And I’ll make you see Heaven on Earth when I’m president! And the actions grow to the expectations Of those good intentions And now I’m president, how much better! See justice live in day, live from vampirism of before, See collaboration with the opposition, but I want more! Let’s find solution to every matter Through collaboration, I’ve told you I need more and more. And temptation comes to haunt the decisions As attention clouds intentions, warping the actions I told you I need more, more! Walk with me. What? I said coercion isn’t a foreign language, When the army can assuage, or assiege your verbiage Of disses to me, and my chores! Walk with me now, or you’ll be safe from hampering us in your cage! And the actions warped by other intentions… For we must reach this target, Set by him who pays our bills. We must comply with the majority’s wish. Nothing else matters than keeping this power I have, this power which Ebbs from my assets, And if you think of stopping me, we’ll have you served a gifted dish And the actions warped by other intentions… And if anybody complains, We are taking them out. Ungrateful lot, I made you who you are And now you question the very mind that took you out of mar Into a new existence plane? Damn you all, let’s see who can get me off this high of power! And the actions kill the budding good intentions, As if good intentions were greed, Forgetting, where they came from, Forgetting that they were fighting greed. And that all started with a good intention. (c) Nyonglema
In earnest beyond the Pings and Bongs of firearms
And call to live your life on the ground with raised arms
I see one dying people
Taking shots from lying people
And, they, dear friends lose again amidst the hearse’s palms.
They said they loved us.
They said what had hovelled us this long
Would melt in the ideas they’d put to physical form, fixing the forms, printing new laws to make more feasible new morns where dreams grow, where the beams of oppression become beaming faces facing greatness in all facets of a society phasing out the old, and phrasing in the new, and enacting, and without feigning bringing hope and growth anew.
They said we’d love it.
They said the picture would be bling
To the point of our dreams’ Everests, that they’ll brave the storms of whether to go with the hot or the cold, with the dry or with mould, or the new or the old, or whatever internal or from other holds could chip at our wishes, that they’d protect us, shield us in a new shell more robust than the previous, and keep our homes, culture, and aspirations safe anew.
They said they loved us.
The said we’d love it,
And this they said in words we’d listen to and miss the meaning shrouded like a zombie’s soul within idioms and colourful slogans painting derelict walls of our city gloom, and filling the air of family time with promises of Utopia today, Utopia tomorrow after Hell yesterday, and trickling out as if not premeditated and making us believe in Canterbury tales anew.
But now they hate us,
And hey! We don’t love it,
This stagnation like mosquito larvae infested ponds leaking putrefaction to our already putrefied systems, with corruption and stealing…no… embezzling being the order of the day, and deleting competition or young petitions to fix the predicament with silent words halted by violent wars. This stagnation so old we’ve lived that it even starts to feel like new.
Oh how they hate us
And hate that we don’t love it,
For to lord it over us longer they need us to be coy, kowtow, and shut up like Guantanamo torture secrets or that moment in a gory movie you are caught up between darkness and the bloodied blade and to speak your mind would Soweto you and your family in one instant, and depending on the riches you had, it will be featured, or not, on the news.
Oh how they hate us,
And how we wish we could change this
Situation with feeble will to exchange our lives with joy in the future generations as others before bothered to, feeble strength we are deluded to have whereas Gandhi taught us all by shooting up the opposition with words and Christ-like pain affliction and acceptance.
Urbanised, I grew near concrete and car honks, not farms and cow horns
Nor the chirp of birds harmonising farm hoes tilling the soil.
My streams had little fish, just plastic and plastic and sticks from corns.
Urbanised, I learnt to read quite young, and in books was embroiled.
But back “home” where they wake at 5am to prepare for a long trip
To the farm, with loads on your back to and fro, you went off to the farm
And through sun burns you got trained to live through your hardship.
But you forget I have my own hardship which I don’t need to wear on my arm.
Yes, you laughed because I couldn’t handle your condition, I buckled
You chuckled and gave me names to signify I didn’t fit in
And that made me shut down from learning the richness of my culture,
Then seek strength in all that the urban life had trained me in.
Don’t you just hate the incessant annoyance buzzing out of a cellphone?
Your eyes are shut, and dreams are in you, swaying and cuddling you
And there’s this syncopated harmony floating about like US drones,
Like you’re going to get hit. Like you shouldn’t be sleeping, but you,
You love it here. The real world’s harsh with things to fear, fears to bear
Bears in the office, officials plundering taxes, taxes to be paid,
Payments you are owed, Owen missing goals, Goals not getting nearer….
Near this cosy cushion of dreams, the cursed music is played
By transistors you’d bash but for the fact that you’ll have to pay
For the pain of being able to make a call again….
But that’s not what I’m talking about today. No way.
Who are you going to blame when it’s time to feel the pain?
Africa! AFRICA! Hey! AFRICA! It’s 6 a.m. and it’s pouring.
You’re stuck in a past of pain, perjury and mourning, looking further back
To dream of glory, gumption in days when you built stone storeys.
Those stories are history…..hello! ….Wake Up!!! Get out the sack
Generations boated in hordes, hoarded to shores where all fell apart
To generations hoarded on their own shores, robbed, tortured, more
To generations seeking for sure, for their brains have lost their heart,
And disconnected from self they float in hordes tormented and more,
Are your pedigree. Shall you stop to stare at the tripping stone there?
Shall you mourn the morning that brought mourning till it disappears
To some sugar candy mountain in purple pill colours, and hear
Psychedelic mushrooms hum soothing tunes into your crying ears?
Africa??? Who are you blaming now, while the shutters blind your view?
They enslaved you? You’d been doing it for ages and taught them too,
And caught and chose the ones to be sent off in balls and chains in twos
And forced them in exchange for glitter, clothes, status and booze.
They signed shady deals? Well not amongst themselves they didn’t!
Not like some shady deal CIA-hidden between Obama and Biden,
Or Paul and Phil. You were represented by the mice with hidden
Agenda at the cheese distribution party. So …..nope they didn’t.
Rather than mourn, and seek root in tradition tradition…tradition.
What’s tradition? And who said it was frozen in some distant time
Before others changed your clime? Your ancestor’s oral diction
Was altered, and clothing, and building and art and even clime
As you migrated from oasis to oasis, fleeing from wars and drought!
Tradition? That’s a 60s newspaper bashing Facebook for breaching
Tradition. Culture. I’m more for principles, which is deeper, without
Which our bearings are stuck in heavy rotation North East West South.
Rather than mourn, and seek root in tradition, reinvent your minds
Adapt, grow. Change is opportunity, and exclusion kills opportunity.
Reverse racism is two wrongs to a right, and no matter what fines
You would levy, exclusion is your energy spent to fix past iniquity,
But shouldn’t we be seizing that opportunity? Driving paradigm
Change in little and big ways, and saying to the plants in the garden:
It was tough, but soak it all up, learn from all and then you can design
A new way to live. Then call it culture, call it tradition. Call it Eden
Her thoughts percolate into my ears like acid rain
Reined in, tied to loads of nonsense from new-world
Worldly thoughts I loathe, for venom is their ocean.
Oceans of bliss in their ignorance masks the ensuing pain.
Pride in her riches like my daughter’s first picture;
Picturing formless ink forms as more of number “1”s.
One day she’ll doodle and it will make sense, but now
Nowhere near Picasso’s are the art in her feature.
Pride in riches: she called Africa the richest place!
Placing my bets carefully I side with her view.
She then said the diamonds and gold sustain that too!
Too much for me ma’am…but mine’s a different place.
For rich or poor is defined by so much more than stones
Stoning soldiers to death, stone cold killers from kids
Kidding with adult toys (not those …jeez guys! Be adults!),
Adult toys that suck life and blood and call retaliative drones.
Come on! Those aren’t your riches…they are Earth’s;
Earthly things outliving our decaying remains,
Remaining for the next generation. We could have picked
Pickets as currencies, or flowers…just anything and set its worth.
For the real wealth is people together working equal,
Unequal, Good, evil. All people as long as they are happy.
Happens that that’s what also brings economic wealth.
Wealthiest nations have the highest density of people.
The leaves of her premise sway about on the roots of
Offish bar-talk: “They get raw and process and sell,
Sales price escalating in the process so the initial person
Persistently can’t afford what has come of his stuff.”
But maybe there’s the catch: It’s not your stuff!
Stuffed with plenty from mother nature you watched
Watches scattered in rocks and metal about your garden,
But never sought to assemble any, never used your stuff.
So while you hid and counted the talents in hand
Handymen handled theirs, building all that we see around.
Round the centuries Africa did, then Asia, then Europe, then…
Then Jesus’s talent parable’s paradox suddenly stands.
So while Africa whines about the stuff being stolen
The real loss is the exiled minds who’d fathom new ideas,
Ideally within their home. But there the hero is non grata
Grating his life away amidst corruption and opportunities stolen.
A lot of talk of how Africa’s rich for its resources, landscapes…blah blah! No! what Africa has is people. People abused for being honest, abused for seeking change. But people capable of great things, but pushed into egocentricity by the artificial adversity created by the people appointed to get them out of adversity.
Africa’s quite huge, but this is the commonest trait. Our leaders spoil themselves on their people, and education suffers, then research suffers. The major cost of finished goods is the R&D we don’t do due to stolen (not embezzled) funds. Lots of wasted opportunities.
Africa’s time will come when Africa’s people’s time will come…when they shall be heard. When Africa stops looking for the fault everywhere and really introspects in a deep SWOT exercise. When leaders actually start to serve.
There are guns shouting fear through your window shutters,
A bomb blast breaks your neighbour’s home and you’re running down the street.
The kids don’t get it. They don’t get it: why is there blood in the gutters?
Why are hands without bodies, heads with gaping mouths, missing severed feet?
The screaming gets louder, and it’s on your spouse’s and your shoulders
To save them from a threat, unarmed, untrained and the closest
You’d come to death were those Expendables movies in your hard disk folders.
The banks are shut, the bus system is shut, you never even had a Toyota starlet.
What would you do if it were you? If you’re playing metal gear solid in your own town?
Only this time, you have one life, no continue nor save, and to your untrained self are tagged
More untrained and even naive souls counting on you’re strength in this showdown.
What would you do if the only option was either death by exhaustion or having your head bagged?
Doh Tita in brown shoes, brown trousers, beige shirt,
The only gentleman shining integrity five miles around.
Doh Tita, everybody knew him, even in the town’s outskirts.
Memory of his war-wrought limping gait,
While he bragged of his world war prowess,
Telling of shrapnel, burnt flannel and some fallen mate.
And as he talked, a tear would have been born
On his eyelid; so much sadness plagued his heart!
But he energetically went on, disclosing the cold tales of that morn.
Like a forgotten folder, he sits and ruminates
About unrewarded sacrifice, the lethal hail all about,
At school with his friends, years of training a pellet deflates!
Wolves kill dogs, must man kill man?
Doh Tita would tell of the glassy looks of the stiff
And we’d listen without lassitude to the Shaman.
Dear mum, dad, brothers, sisters
I finally arrived where my wings would lead me:
Fluttering butterfly flying over the arid bones
Littering the Sahara and the water-less desert homes,
And the Unicorns died long ago in this part of Earth,
And the promise is great beyond this packed car so lonely.
I finally arrived over the wall of hydrogen and oxygen:
Cod zapping around the nets of growing security threats
Avoiding capture by sharks swimming in Libyan markets
Lonely in a packed raft dreaming of Sugar Candy mountain’s berths
And the promise is great beyond this journey scars of candy.
I finally arrived, oh you should see me now, I made it:
Bones lying comfortable in the land promised to us
As I waved goodbye to you watching the tailpipe of that bus,
Lying lonely in a crowd of happy silence, where water has seized our breaths,
For we made it, we made it beyond pain to peace in this earth so cozy.
Farewell till we meet again beyond the pain.
From the grave with no name.