What got you here, won't get you there. -Marshall Goldsmith ------------------- Curls of hair tumbling down my chest, Falling from my neck, The black on my face Say I'm ready for battles to mate. Each strand whispers to the other: "I'll protect you from the strikes", As they expect a foe, similar to me, To punch, bite and scratch. Protect the vitals: A cushion for blows to the head, Where the control tower plans the win strategy; Another for blows to the chest, Where energy is supplied to the weaponised sinews; Another for blows to the groin, Where the prize of all this mayhem sits safely. The times have changed, though, and such fights, Are not the path to procreation. Neither are our socialist governments A path to independence. Protecting us From blows from foes, similar to us, They once curled, and some were cut out. They took the blows, that we may be Free. But, the times have changed and such fights Are not the path to civilisation. They seek to control the head, They seek to constrict the chest They seek to conscript the groin. They give the blows, that we may be Free to do their chores. In truth, the times have changed, And even if the policies look great It's time to go bald. (c) nyonglema
Is made of strangers, living next to strangers.
Not with them.
Indifference is king, and the king is indifferent.
Tears have taken Oxygen's place in our atmosphere,
And we breathe them in, and exhale stale
Bravura to match King Arthur.
Only, in my country, hearing aids are radios,
And the television is Braille.
The tales fail miserably to push us to excel
As we look round, and our senses are tricked that
That tears are oxygen, and pain is a toy,
Blood is water, and water is abundant.
So our indifference remains king,
And the king isn't different.
"Who wants change?"
I stare at the last instants of my son
I bare my soul to the sun: scathe me! bathe me
In scars that will heal! The Saian
Promised that pain brings new shoots from the ground
But who shoots flowers from a gun?
But I see flowers rising from bullet-made mounds.
I stare at the last instants of my son
And bear my soul scathing under the sun. Sounds
Are muffled. Hope sang birds' songs
Before on the trees above my lawn. I don't know
That bird, but I sure know the song.
It was Schroedinger's cat predicting my future.
But who shoots flowers from a gun?
Nobody! Nobody believes anything else will come
Nobody bares their soul to the sun
That song is either dead or alive, but nobody's looking.
We all want to see that cat run,
We all want to hear that song, the bird's, you know
I stare at the last instants of my son,
For no finger will be lifted higher than abandon
No hand shall be lent, only backs bent in allegiance.
And they gouged its eyes, and ripped out its ears
That no future generations could hear of all the pain
Caused by pseudo-science or thoughts born in fears.
When you think you know what you do not know,
And leap off the ledge into the burning desert snow
You don’t realise how terrible is your crazy show.
But your kids will, and they’ll start screaming
How silly it was not to consider the heat, and that’s
Where we are today, we know more about being
Human. We know that skin colour is just a DNA
Variation, that language varies like wind directions
And that cigarettes will mess up your later days.
But we don’t know if skin colour will stop causing pain
Nor if language modifies the way we live or think
Nor that weed will mess up your later brain.
But I do know that by wiping the mistakes, hiding
Cracks in our foundation, we’re building a shaky future
Where the politically correct act or denying
History was nasty, by renaming, breaking, burning
What once was celebrated for valour, just to fit our mould
Creates ignorant youth who’ll start the same wheels turning.
I told him exactly the same as I’m telling you now:
The gun you point at your people is a gun you point
At your pupil, or at your pupils, or through a peephole
Into a future with LED lights lining trees capturing
Sunlight, and lightning, a future enlightened
By the lightness of the smiles of generations to come
A peephole looking back at the nozzle of a barrel.
I knew he wouldn’t listen, for without the ash splattered
Against my mane wisdom cannot be part of my game.
All their epithelia are the same, waiting for epitaphs
Epilogue to tales where epic lies dominate photographs
Of instants of truth, painful truth….like the peephole
And the barrel, and they’ve seen it all, the seed to the tree
The stream to the river, the whole range of our history
I knew he wouldn’t listen, nor read, nor taste of my sweat,
But maybe my blood, so I painted myself like the others
Vehement in thoughts dancing entrapped in cages of fear
Where the lines on the 60 leaves plane-leaved exercise book
Jump off the page where you jotted your deepest hopes for
Change, change into pain, twist your arms and pull your fingers
Around them. They turn into metal, and you’re looking out,
Wishing for a desk, a pen, but not even a toilet for your rear’s near.
But I know He will listen. He doesn’t read these words
He feels them. He sees my prayer that we’d stop crowding Peter’s
Waiting room: the logistics department had to order new magazines,
About cars, about medicine about emptying magazines on citizens,
To accommodate the throng waiting for their lift to the final
Destination: Heaven or Hell. The water dispenser needs refilling,
This place wasn’t designed for such affluence…well there was Noah,
Or better still his time, but there was enough notice for facilities
To be put in place. Not this time…but I know He listens.
So, they told him exactly as I tell you now:
When words can save the souls of many,
Lay Guns to rest by Pride’s old body
And dare to save another’s soul today
For face to face mountains all decay.
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.
Leaves flooded your dreams of youthful nights:
A young caterpillar crawling about the jungle
Dodging the sight of hungrier beasts in the heights,
And the ground beasts dreaming of you and their tongue.
A white streak in a ballet of windy green leaves,
Gripping, then crawling, then gnawing near the midrib
Then gripping, then crawling, watching what the spider weaves
As flies dance about as if they knew there was no return to their cribs.
A tough silken box later and you’re clothed in glory
Vestments singing bright colours for the whole world to know
Fluttering fleetingly from bough to bough in a fairy story
Where you’re king, queen, prince, horse and coach
I know you reminisce the crawling and gnawing of youth
But Time’s persistence is such that you can never have both.
Remember as you wish those days that, in truth,
History’s devices need be adapted for the present to suit.
Change beckons to the souls of erring humans
Walking this abyss of lies and false promises,
Oblivious of the lives beside, of cheerful instants
They miss with eyes fixed on the AFCON premises.
She gestures grandly in frantic frenzy,
But the eyes stay fixed on the soccer game
Till from white the blood taints them red and bronzey,
Then it’s over, and we all start to complain:
“The weather’s not right, the traffic’s too tight,
Corruption’s rife while thieves play with our taxes,
The economy’s gonn’ nose-dive, relationships turn to strife,
And that report’s not right, and that’s some fallacious praxis!”
She gestures, then whispers, then shouts to all:
“One domino’s tumble can make millions to fall;
Take that one step like when you first stopped to crawl.
You can be and bring change. Even the sequoia started small.
So off your complaint hats and choose your battle
Carefully, and that one cause go champion cheerfully.
If each a battle picks and the status quo rattles,,
What wave of change we’ll all see here today!!”