I'm sure this hill is where it stood.
Amazing shapes of stuccoed wood.
A glass-brick, neon stream-lined place.
As if it flew from outer space,
A swing band auditorium,
An Art Deco emporium,
When romance, innocent in pace,
From dancing to a teasing chase.
The town grew west in modern haste
And down it came, without a trace.
The war and culture's change in taste,
Predestined doom, the past erased.
The future sighs, with solemn face
The wrecking ball, the glittered waste
No plaque to read "Historic Sight".
The swirling dust, a dance goodnight.
Strange shadows on these coral walls
stay hidden from the setting sun,
yet creeping through the shafts of amber light
drag behind them to the high parapet
a cloak of utter darkness.
Fierce defended, now are none:
no frightened men to urge the heavy cannon round
no shrill alarm or battle cries;
the end of this, as every other day has sealed
a silence now complete.
Once we held here, on this foreign shore,
the fortress of our childhood dreams
and all the world’s assaults
seemed nothing then;
an ocean breeze would cool the hurt of falling
and bring sweet scents to pick us up again.
Across the bay the dhows set sail upon a rising tide
their canvass spread against the purple sky.
We watched their leaving long ago
but you are gone away now, gone to sleep
and no injured soul so left alone
can wait to watch them home again.
Yet I will stand, a little or a while,
and will not fear cold shadows rising
nor while breathing yield the fort to them;
in every breach I meet your laughing eyes
and feel the warming of remembered suns.
Swoosh, whoosh a salty sea soars,
splish-splash colossal waves a roar.
Drip-drop, a leaky faucet spent,
trickle, streaming tears repent.
Pounding heart sore, you adore,
beating, loving pumps no more.
Thump of regret, of love in debt,
thrashing together you forget.
Fluttering beats on retreat,
sloshing a scent so very sweet.
Shattering bond, broken beyond,
a bellowing future now so fond.
Grimacing glares, hatred a flares,
spawning an odium of stares.
Soured smiles, trekking every mile,
whispering woes all the while.
Crackling hearts, burned apart,
smoldering pain from the start.
Hissing highs, kissing goodbye,
a burning love affair denied.
*An Onomatopoeia Poem people, but no place to choose that category! Thanks for taking the time to view my work, my fellow poet and poetess friends!
generic minds listen to generic music
have generic thoughts that are unknowingly abusive
watch generic things talk about generic things
gee this generic *****is spreading like a disease
better get your flu shot
thats what they said to me
a suicidal vaccine
a subliminal killing spree
its contagious and the outrageous
thing about it is that the people are blind in an eye
that they didn't even know they had
it's sickening to watch these clueless civilians
inside the looking glass
with nightmares of being free
without a key to their mind
for it is trapped in the frequency
in the illusion of time
bathed in our universe
killing all that refuse to see
those that admit to hypocracy
or see the message in hip hop
how cant you see
the message in the lyrics that
bring adolescents to their knees
from bullet wounds conflicting their flesh
contradicting that they're the best
but the songs keep telling them that they dont need no rest
that they dont wanna go home
that they should ride alone
with the gat as their only companion
and so the only path they choose is the one that they're told
until they grow old and hope turns to a window pane
inside a window pane, until all they feel is pain
they realize that the music itself is ashamed
so whats to look up to
when you cant even speak when you cant even walk because you look so bleak
your eyes are sunken from the tv you're infested with the dee zees
now its too late to turn around and live for your conscious
so when youre screaming oh please
close your eyes and bring your mind to life
open your eyes for the first time
and never wonder why
since the answer this entire time
has been inside
and you better find it before you die
you dont want your soul to be in a pool with all the others
a buncha brothers missing their mothers
but only seeing strangers
only feeling the haters
wishing they would have used their minds when they had them
and now its too late,
now it's time for another new born fate to grab them
Elegy to Child Lost
Passion's love oft tempts despair
Casts a prideful cosmic dare--
Like Prizing Joy's most intimate caress
Babe snug beneath a mother's breast
Senses at this time are keen
There's no secret kept between
Loving mother, wriggling babe--
Wanted , dreamed of, much delayed
But entwined twin was also loved--
Some say Nature's method proves
That one twin may give all to mate---
But this fatal sacrifice must decimate.
Only mother's eyes would feel babe's smiles--
or sense those legs that wandered miles
And daring feet that danced in tunes while
Arms swam in gentle Celtic croons.
When babe vanished--not a sound.
Mother 's grief was not allowed.
Tempted so to trail behind
Escaping shattered troubled mind.
Squelching sorrow's hungry arms
She Tried erase babe's fluttering charms
Never spoke of-- never mourned.
By her husband she was warned
Was best forget a child so early lost--
Funerals, gravestones--such a cost--
But the years have called babe near,
Mother's journal writ in tears:
'Please forgive my selfish heart.
Repressed from all --this tragic part
I felt your sacrificial act--
You left your cherished twin intact'.
There is no law of random acts
Doctors examine data facts
It may be --that in the womb
When both spring flowers cannot bloom
One bold twin refrains to eat
Compels the other to complete
Hardy growth that life requires---
Sparks survival's crucial hours.
Not an accident 'tis sure--
Boldest spirits blossom pure.
Victoria Anderson-Throop ©
My Fetish. I adore you.
Baby Blue. Black.
Red. Pink are all so
beautiful. You make me
feel like a lady. Nikes.
Timberlands. A pair of
killer boots. Match with a
fedora or a fresh to death
leather coat. Uggs, Steven
DSW, oh my how I am grateful
for you. Loafers. Buckles. Straps.
Peek a boo toes. Strapbacks. ON SALE.
Played dress up with my mom's and the
love affair began. Leopard. Bows. Fashion.
Class. With leggings. Jeans. Skirts. Suits.
Bikini underwear with a special Boo. Bags
the same color, high heels assists with what
some say is my sex appeal. Pretty details draw
attention from all ages and genders. A little girl's
obssession grown into a woman. Closet packed sparkling
eyes, legs dancing, carrying me into the next life lesson.
I give you tribute and pay homage to you. I love you shoes.
My friend John Barnes is as special as can be.
When it comes to friends God sure blessed me.
There are some things we lose, while others we win.
Some games we play lead us into sin.
I’ve have been lucky enough without any doubt.
I have a friend who always helps me out.
He drove across the state to find me on the roam.
Said, “get into the car I’m taking you home.”
He never once asked for a thing or questioned me.
I reckon that’s how a good friend should be.
We worked together off and on, our entire life.
I’m on number eight, John’s with the same wife.
John and Lisa have most certainly had their fights.
In the end they always do what is right.
Work it out, stay together, never giving up.
Realizing they already have a full cup.
They have raised all their kids, which should include me.
I reckon that’s how a parent should be.
John’s not really my dad but he is my brother.
He’s a friend to the end like no other.
A perfect example of what a friend should be.
That’s what John Barnes has always been for me.
From the start of the game to the end of the show,
John’s been the friend who has never let go.
He has stood by my side through thick and thin.
I’m very proud to be a friend to him.
Through the love of my friend I was able to see.
This is exactly what a friend should be.
You guys know that twinkle that you see in a star.
When it comes to life that’s what good friends are.
John Barn's is my best friend. Him and I met in the Oilfields outside
of Bakersfield where he still resides. We worked together on many
different jobs together over the years operating heavy equipment. I
reckon I was about 20 years old when I first met John and Lisa, his
wife. I haven't had 8 wives but I have 3 had wives and 5 significant
others during the time we have all known each other. I'm very lucky,
as well as, very proud to have had them in my life. We may not be
blood but we are family. Several times in my life they have opened
their home and helped me. Never asking for a thing or questioning my
behavior. Of course, them I would never disrespect. Not even in my worst
days. In fact, I never was a disrespectful or rude person. I just had bad
habits. I wrote this in honor of them but it is how I feel about all of my
friends. You guys all shine in my eyes. God Bless, mj
Verlena S. Walker
Earthly skin tone
Reality of the world
Living for the moment
Entertained by her imagination
Never lost in thought
All aspects of life are focal points.
(S.) ensual sensitivity endeavoring triangle
(E) verlasting is her stride.
(X) is the answer mark
(T) ogether with those that are important.
(O) nly a spirit embodied
(N) either way is preferred.
Willing to enrapture emergence
As is derives innovation
Lively and invigorating
Keeper of the Shrine of God
Enshrined by faith and religion
Rich is the soul that embellishes the mind.
Penned on January 04, 2015!
Let’s praise the Lord!
All you people of the land!
Let’s praise him with every
Instrument we have on hand!
Let’s shout praises to his
A message of rejoicing,
we need to proclaim!
Let’s come before him,
with love from our hearts!
This is where a victorious
life really starts!
Let’s bring him our thanks
And sing of his tender mercy
and wondrous salvation!
Let’s bring him a heart filled
With hope and cheer!
The coming of the lord,
is so very near!
We bless the father, the spirit
Through the blood of Jesus,
we have overcome!
By Jim Pemberton
Land of the free
Home of the slaves
The blood, sweat and tears of my ancestors resonate
Amongst the soil where they were slain
I’m hearing their struggle
I’m feeling their pain
I can’t imagine being forced to part from my family
All for massa’s gain
So I pay homage to those who promoted change
People like every slave who tried to escape
Nat Turner, Ms Carlotta, Harriet Tubman
And the safe houses who were in accord
And peg leg Joe with his song
Follow the drinking gourd.
People like, the disregarded - those thrown overboard
And who was dismissed and defamed
The ones who were stripped of their soul, their pride, their names
The list could go on
The full will never be told
So I pay homage to others who were bold
Like John Brown, The Freedom Riders, Sojourner Truth
Ida B Wells, Phyllis Wheatley, Maya Angelou,
Langston Hughes and Charles Drew
George Washington Carver, Ruby Bridges
Booker T Washington and Mary McCleod Bethune
Charles Houston, Ralph Bunche, Fredrick Douglass
WEB Dubois, Paul Robeson, Ralph Abernathy
Benjamin Banneker, Marcus Garvey and Crispus Attucks
Who’s death by the way
Symbolized the American lie
You cant declare the rights of all men
While the people of African decent rights get denied
But still we rise
Thanks to Dr Martin Luther King, Malcolm X,
The Black Panthers, the Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen
None who were showed any love
Yeah it’s an uphill battle,
But obviously greatness can be done.
We can rise above this stigma
That blacks are lazy and daunting
That our worth is null and void
And in essence minus nothing
And of all the names mentioned
And the greatness of their successes
No one has been able to erase the evil transgressions of a racist mind
And once you have experienced just a taste of it
It changes your perception of time
The oppression beats like the drum on the chariot
Of when it was finally time to escape to freedom
Judas betrayed Jesus’s whereabouts
End, was near
Son of God, knew this
Universe of the Son of the Divine Father, restored
Sins of man forgiven, Prince of our Universal domain, alive in the hearts of his children
My main man Michael
Where you’re is where you’re, J
Keep shining like stars
© Joseph Spence, Sr., 6/28/09
© All Rights Reserved
Joseph S. Spence, Sr., is the author of "The Awakened One Poetics" (2009), which is
published in seven different languages. He invented the Epulaeryu poetry form, which
focuses on succulent cuisines and drinks. He is published in various forums, including the
World Haiku Association; Poetinis Druskininku, Milwaukee Area College, Phoenix Magazine;
Möbius Poetry, and Taj Mahal Review to name a few. Joseph is a Goodwill Ambassador for
the state of Arkansas, USA, a college faculty, and a military veteran.
Green bark a prism creates,
Feel the pull of earth, you must.
Rotates, a slime of endless hates,
Can hold me not, this world’s crust.
Friendship’s ties, isolation Deflates,
Succumbs, my spaceship, to bitter rust.
Mist, my soul forever permeates,
Lift-off, booms the rocket’s thrust.
My spirit when light returns, elates,
Swamps swell, swallowed hope’s swirling dust.
Trapped, I am, until student from fate
Arrives to learn; Cloud City or bust.
And the storm calls to me in ways you'll never understand
A gentle call that urges my soul forth
The lighting guiding a path for my feet to walk
Between the stones and ash of all that once was
I stand in the echoing silence of the rain
It drops down upon my skin like the blessing waters of heaven
Soothing me, lifting the weight from my body
I feel at once as if I am home
Standing amid two dimensions
Caught between two skies - here and there
The night wraping around me in warmth
The gentle wind lifting me off my feet
Drops from the clouded moon washing away my body
and I am left just a soul, an essence
The storm calls me forth from beneath my roof
Beckoning me into its depth
I stand among the reeds in the basin
They dance and sway as if welcoming me
And I sway with them back
Caught up in the power that charges the air
That threatens to sweep me away
If the ground will just loosen its hold
The thunder rumbles a low welcoming growl
And I get pleasently lost within it
I am so small compared to its vastness
I close my eyes and succumb to the skies wishes
Rising higher until my feet no longer touch the ground
My fingertips touch the liquid color of the stars
A sigh drifts from my lips
There is no need of thought to stay afloat
There is no demand to breathe in air
No crushing weight upon my chest
As my lungs struggle to survive
There are no struggles here
I make my bed on blackened clouds
And give in to the call
The storm has claimed me as its own
It was such a struggle to stay upon the ground
When the storm would call me home
Earths people, it is time to wake up, the ‘Prince’ is alive!
Ascension available, access through your heart
Seek and you shall find!
Time is short, personally unite, connect as one
Rise to the occasion, celebrate the gift of life, bond, with ‘our lord Jesus’ and ‘our Universal Father in heaven, building a bridge, experiencing kinship, between human and spirit
***Happy Easter Everyone***
I do not know?
(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)
She’s the little girl with pigtails,
who sits quietly at her desk.
Whose eyes lift to meet no one,
whose clothing is always a mess.
He’s the little boy on the playground,
whose strays alone without a friend.
Whose countless cuts and bruises,
are too deep for those to mend.
She’s the little girl in the lunch line,
who stares at classmates having fun.
Her mouth never forms a smile,
her long sleeves cover what’s been done.
He’s the little boy, who lashes out in anger,
as his classmates stop and stare,
in wonder at the skeptical, of a little boy
who seldom had a word to share.
She’s the little girl who recites excuses,
for every injury her tiny body may bear.
A rehearsed story told so perfectly,
no one notices the blankness within her stare.
He’s the little boy who startles so easily,
and jumps at the loudest sound.
A little boy covered in shades of blue,
inflicted by an abuser his fate is bound.
She’s the little girl with pigtails,
she sits alone, without a friend to tend,
a black tinted heart of abusiveness,
hidden injuries never to mend.
They were the little boy and girl in the classroom,
who sat quietly alone, concealing the crime,
of living a life-time at the hands of an abuser,
who raised their hands of abuse one last time.
He wipes the tables clean
Picks up the dirty wears
Take out the garbage
Stock the fridge with beers
Cleans the bath room
And mops the floors
Sweep outside on the sidewalks
Before he the doors
Sounds like a lot of work
But he enjoys it everyday
It’s the cotton club
With great jazz music every day
In this boarded up building
On 142nd street and Lenox Avenue
In the central of Harlem
His dreams has come true
In a sense it was segregated
White folks patron the establishment
And the black performers
The will provide the entertainment
And he heard the best musicians
The likes of Duke Ellington, cab Callaway
Nat king Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, count Basie
Josephine baker, mea west, Billie holiday
Some of the great performers he seen
Many comes from all over everyday
The cotton club is renowned worldwide
It’s where the best black musicians play
He thinks he is truly bless
And in his heart it’s what he felt
For just a poor Harlem boy
The music is the soul of his wealth
He remember it like yesterday
But it was 5o years ago
As he passes by the cotton club
He can still hear the music inside the door
He sits in the park watching his grandkids
As they play in a yellow plastic sub
And his mind wonders back as a kid
In the Harlem cotton club
a green thumb
the green-eyed monster
as sure as God’s green apples
they gave my plan a green light
green around the gills
a green back
golf course - putting green
the hanging of Christmas greens
a sergeant wears his dress greens
why does brass turn green?
greenhorns are naive
greenware has not yet been fired
what is the greenhouse effect?
he lost his green card
The Archer of laughter
He needs to know; not trivia
But all those deeper things
Needs a higher education
He wants his life to bring
All the answers big and vast
He wants to travel too
Cause he has heaps of energy
He loves to do things new.
He cannot handle boredom
He must be on the go
If not in the physical
Then he will have to know
Everything about anything
He’s a philosopher, this too
He loves to have his high ideals
And he’ll always say what’s true.
But most of all he loves to laugh
To him life be a game
He doesn’t do traditional
And he don’t like things the same
He can be over bearing
But you’ll like him anyway
Though he will really pee you off
When he has too much to say.
1 August 2013 @ 0727hrs.
I do not know?
Slipping through the sieve of history,
the nameless rest.
Not for the nameless are roads renamed, nor monuments built.
Not for the nameless are songs sung, nor ink spilled.
The nameless rest.
Their silent sacrifice,
amongst their remains.
The nameless rest.
Not for the nameless are doctorates conferred, nor eulogies recited.
Not for the nameless are honours bestowed, nor homages directed.
The nameless rest.
They rest within us,
they walk with us,
in every step that we tread.
They rest within us,
they walk with us,
for their spirit is not dead.
“Your name is unknown, your deed is immortal”
- inscription at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier WWII in Moscow
Special thanks to my dearest elder sister Tasneem Nobandla Moolla, whose conversations with me about life as a non-white person growing up in pre and post-Apartheid South Africa prompted me to write this dedication to the countless, nameless South Africans of every colour, whose sacrifices and dedication in the struggle against Apartheid tyranny must never be forgotten.
My sister’s middle name ‘Nobandla’ which is an isiXhosa name and means “she who is of the people” was given by her godfather, Nelson Mandela, my father’s ‘best-man who could not be, as Nelson Mandela was unable to-make it to my parent’s wedding as he was in jail at the time in the old Johannesburg Fort. This was the 31st December 1961.
I do not know?
Tomorrow is Ours.
Suffocating beneath the weight of historical fear,
asphyxiated by the legacy of traumatised yesteryear,
the festering wounds of enslavement still remain,
juggling euphemisms in a crisp sound-bitten refrain,
spewing out neo-liberal economic charades,
doling out charity in strips of plastic band-aids,
tomorrow shall be ours,
casting away subservient mind-sets that shackle,
no longer the weakened prey of the insatiable jackal,
tomorrow shall be ours,
we shall reclaim our plundered mindspaces,
we shall shed our chains, leaving behind the traces,
of past injustice, of the hurt and pain of our ancestors' sorrows,
we are here, now, alive with hope,
we shall rightfully claim our own tomorrows.
VIETNAM VET SOLDIER'S NIGHTMARE
Another dream –
I could not wake –
Escape from what would follow--
Grasping for a secret word, the letters stark and hollow--
I was trapped entangled there,
Just beyond the reach
Of men that could release me
Or a hill that could be breached
Gunfire was a backdrop
Soft and pungent was its sound
Fell on me like raindrops--strangely harmless on the ground
Smoky gray encased me like a piece of sleeping net
Tunnel faces hidden —easy killing, no regret--
Felt terror and the aching for the friends around me cold
Standup guys with stalwart hearts--just did what they were told
Then my cell phone beeped a beep---
A message had come in ....
Now awake I saw your name---
My new day would begin.
November 25, 2012
waking from a nightmare contest
These pretty little creatures
On the serpent road to Exmouth
They be some of the features
Along with Emus, Kangaroos
And handsome birds of prey
These little goats be bountiful
They’re all along the way.
They be domestic goats
Who’ve gone back to the wilds
Where they have bred one million fold.
As one moves along the miles
These little goats be seen so much
In their many shades and hues
Don’t know where they got their water
It be tough country too.
The weather here be hot and dry
As the sun bakes everything
And mostly here no rain does fall
To drinking water bring.
And yet these goats look healthy as
Such nimble little beasts
You’d see some dead there in the road
As the crows do have their feast.
That be the price of progress
That poor beasts have to die
That be the curse of human beings
Sometimes it makes me cry
Yet still they be so plentiful
These handsome little guys
Another little part of nature
That make love in me rise.
Newton and Leibniz,
both creative geniuses,
birth the Calculus!
If one is compelled to stay longer,
If one’s senses are assailed,
If one is driven to suppose its motivation,
If one is urged to seek detail,
If the palette makes its statements,
If each stroke helps one define,
If the subject can be seen anew,
If one seeks to know the artist’s mind,
If one sees therein a beauty,
If one somehow identifies,
If one feels their heart is touched,
If one is thankful for their eyes,
If one is moved to remember,
If one can see it in one’s mind,
If one is pushed to revisit,
If one seeks out more in kind,
If the painting is acclaimed or
If it's “art” to only one;
Then it’s a perfect painting,
And its work is done.
I cannot get into heaven
God I have tried!
Suicide is a double edge sword
Especially when you survive!
Walking the streets at night
Dazed and confused
Longing to be loved
When is Mum, coming for me?
"Does she still love me?"
"Does she still care?"
"Does she still think of me?"
"Does she wonder, where I am?"
I want her to come find me
I want her to say she 'loves me’
I want her to comfort me
I want her to take me home
And keep me safe
And not forget hat I exist
Like the way she treats me now
I wish God
Could make my Mum
Making this hellish nightmare
On the street
“Send my Mum please!”
So, all this can end!
Before this last ray of hope
Diminishes for good!
I don’t want to become
The walking dead
Forever forgotten as if
I was never born!
For this is the cruel, harsh reality
Of living life, feeling unloved
Uncared for, abandoned,
Left to fend for my own
A dangerous killer inside me
Eating away, at my soul
Something, no one can see
As I suffer in silence
My insides crippling!
Lost, alone and frightened
Weeping on a dirty
Graffiti park bench
Rolling down my cheeks
Stuffing newspapers under my jumper
To keep myself warm
“What am I going to do?”
“Will I make it through the night?”
“Will I get raped and beaten?”
"Will I be left for dead?”
“Will I survive
To see another day?
“Is my life worth living?”
Please God, I beg of you
Have mercy now
Please show me the way!
Tonight, the full moon blooms
And foils the looming gloom.
The remnant doom from noon
Has lost it's bullish tune.
And embraces dusk's eerie cool.
The village square it illuminates
Arena of moonlight tales of late
The little ones gather and wait
While the elderly engage in debates
And the goats noisily ruminates
The bright night, lights sparks
Of bliss and joy in trees' barks
The tall iroko whistle in parks
Where young lovers end their tracks
And skimpy skirts lose their tacks
The son of perdition frets unsure
The thief in the night fears exposure
The pirate sailor steers from ashore
The night fisherman denied action
For the kind light bathes the ocean
Tonight, the full moon beams proud
As the town crier makes his round
Belting forth a piercing sound.
While the town's chorus echoes loud
The stage is set for the yearning crowd
I do not know?
The Petty Posh-Wahzee - Liberation & Ostentation
The Not-So Distant Past:
The fallen fighters for freedom, are unable to turn in their graves,
their battered, fragmented bones, mixed with a handful of torn rags,
are all that remain, a mute reminder of their selfless valiant sacrifice.
They endured brutal Apartheid harassment, detentions without trial,
torture in the cells, and mental anguish when loved ones disappeared,
they left their homeland, to continue the struggle against racial bigotry,
while countless others fought the scourge of white-minority rule at home.
Nelson Mandela and many, many others, spent their lives imprisoned,
on islands of stone, and on islands of the cruellest torture, yet they stood,
never bowing, never scraping, they stood, firm for ideals for which they were prepared to die,
and many, many comrades did die, at the hands of the callous oppressor,
and many, many comrades perished in distant lands, torn from their homes,
while the struggle continued, for decades, soaked in blood, in tears, in pain.
19 years have passed, since freedom was secured at the highest of prices,
delivering unto us, this present, a gift of emancipation from servitude,
a freedom to walk this land, head held high, no longer second-class citizens,
in the land of our ancestors, whose voices we hear and need to heed today.
I do not care much for fashion, Lewis-Fit-On and Sleeves unSt.-Moron,
yet the ostentation that I witness baffles even my unsophisticated palate,
our ancestors' plaintive whispers are being dismissed, left unheeded, as
we browse the aisles for more and more, always for more and yet more.
Asphyxiated by the excess of the Petty Posh-Wahzee, we find ourselves,
perched precariously on the edge, of a dissolution of all that is humane,
babies go hungry, wives are battered, our elders left in hospitals for hours,
I cringe as I scribble these words, perhaps too sanctimonious and preachy,
yet I know, deep in the marrow of my brittle bones, I know, I know, I know,
this tree of freedom planted by the nameless daughters and sons of Africa,
needs to be shielded, nurtured, protected from our very own baser impulses,
so that the precious tree of freedom, may bear the fruit that may feed us all,
for if not, then we are doomed, to tip over, and into the yawning abyss, we shall fall.