I do not know?
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
Solomon Mahlangu: My Blood will Nourish the Tree that will Bear the Fruits of Freedom:
Solomon Mahlangu was trained as an MK soldier with a view to later rejoining the struggle in the country.
He left South Africa after the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when he was 19 years old, and was later chosen to be part of an elite force to return to South Africa to carry out a mission commemorating the June 16th 1976 Soweto student uprising.
After entering South Africa through Swaziland and meeting his fellow comrades in Duduza, on the East Rand (east of Johannesburg), they were accosted by the police in Goch Street in Johannesburg.
In the ensuing gun battle two civilians were killed and two were injured, and Mahlangu and Motloung were captured while acting as decoys so that the other comrade could go and report to the MK leadership.
Motloung was brutally assaulted by the police to a point that he suffered brain damage and was unfit to stand trial, resulting in Mahlangu facing trial alone.
He was charged with two counts of murder and several charges under the Terrorism Act, to which he pleaded not guilty.
Though the judge accepted that Motloung was responsible for the killings, common purpose was argued and Mahlangu was found guilty on two counts of murder and other charges under the Terrorism Act.
On 15 June 1978 Solomon Mahlangu was refused leave to appeal his sentence by the Rand Supreme Court, and on 24 July 1978 he was refused again in the Bloemfontein Appeal Court.
Although various governments, the United Nations, International Organizations, groups and prominent individuals attempted to intercede on his behalf, Mahlangu awaited his execution in Pretoria Central Prison, and was hanged on 6 April 1979.
His hanging provoked international protest and condemnation of South Africa and Apartheid.
In fear of crowd reaction at the funeral the police decided to bury Mahlangu in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
On 6 April 1993 he was re-interred at the Mamelodi Cemetery, where a plaque states his last words:
‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom.
Tell my people that I love them.
They must continue the fight.’
Mahlangu died for a cause!
The Struggle Continues…
(special thanks to a friend who shared this tribute to Solomon Mahlangu)
The time has come your passing has happened
Your desire to live was never dampened
The great Scottish debate for you to stay or go
I screamed yes, but the haggis of your heart said no
The split of our nation represents the split in my heart
But now the time has come and we must part
Much like our dreams of reaching the sixth form debate final
“Page 32” you crowbarred into conversation
infuriating Ash to the point of self-immolation
your self important boasts of superior knowledge
turned my my weakened soul into watery porridge
You were not a stereotype, despite what many said
Unlike most Scots, you ate more than simply fried bread
Your challenge with crackers so lascivious that I lost my thread
And since then I yearned for a way to do more than simple observe your bed
But your aggression was endearing, cutting and clear
Tearing opponents to shreds, speaking to all that will hear
But I was behind a glass wall, simply shedding a tear
As a limp invitation to a party was the closest I could near
I sit here now and remember our lark
Our time together, characterized by a battle with a shark
The verbal brutality was shocking that situation was stark
But your retorts were quick witted, but often loaded with snark
This took so long to write as my heart still bares scars
An open mouth like yours could give hour long seminars
Yet you still saved me from being bundled into one of Bennet’s cars
Yet I must hope that we meet again, underneath heaven’s stars
Dramatic Verse (Verse Drama)
When I met her , a very old lady she was , yet inside lay a frightened child .
I felt my heart cry , I felt as if I was touching history itself , as I made this older lady, child, chai .
I remember the day , and so many tears I have cried
I have cried before she and I met
As a child , so many tears, left confused inside .
Not understanding Why , and how could we stand by and live our lives as if this never happened ?
It happened , we are left in dismay of the movies seen the accounts taken of History
My self ..I have caught stereotyping the very people whom did this to she , the rest of her Family erased .
The white candles we light , we try and forgive , or just simply block this pain out completely.
It occurs , over and over , as it has been said History will repeat .
When thinking of my children , when I think of that little girl losing , cold and scarred , feeling only defeat .
There is a lesson here and I pray , that all whom have been taken from life , have no pain and are gifted spirits throughout eternity . May they be warmed with love, and reunited with the ones they lost .
The first time I met her , her old hand I took and warmed it with mine , I held it for a long time .
You could not, but notice ..the Evil imprinted on skin , the Evil only to remind.
This very old Soul , in her eyes you could see .
The child that once lived , so innocently free, not aware yet, of the Hostility .
I speak of a Little girl, I speak of a old woman , I speak of a Jewish, chosen Religion.
There as I held her frail , old hand , a brand , a number stamped in Evil a long time ago . In 1945 , once in our distant, yet Frightening past .
We should never forget , never forget it happened , never forget all the names .
If we do , we have learned nothing , A World living in Shame .
" Etta Babooshka Kofman "
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)
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.
INTO THE LIGHT: SAFE HAVEN, 1944
“And you that shall cross from shore to shore…are more
to me and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.”
Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
Thank God for you, Henry Gibbins, ship of dreams
laden with bedraggled brethren
dark and fair, tall and short, all frail-boned
and gaunt, each and every one a survivor reborn
in the wake of conscience.
Blessed, their leader, Ruth Gruber; praised, her leader,
Franklin D. Roosevelt; and you, Captain Korn
— commanding officer extraordinaire —
your kind face and outstretched arms,
the ship’s crew — their smiling faces, helpful hands;
the stalwart bulk and hallowed halls, sky-crowned decks
surrounded by sea-speckled rail —
far cry from barbed wire.
Joy, the glistening white toilets;
divine, clean fresh air that fills sunken chests, lungs
ashen from the fires of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen,
Buchenwald, Dachau, Treblinka…
And you, buoyant sea, revered for strong currents and
changing tides; and you, gulls that glide the breeze,
assuaging wounded spirit.
“Are you America?”
And you, huge dining hall bejeweled with vegetables,
cornucopia of meats, kaleidoscope of sweets
that swell shrunken bellies, smooth withered souls;
the soft pillows and ample blankets nestled in tier after tier
of bunks, the nightmares you help smother,
sweet dreams you set in motion;
talent shows, chess tournaments, movies, musicales.
“Are you America?”
“Yes, you are America — my America!
Land of the free, home of the brave!
Scheming together years ago, before the weekly executions,
dreaming of days we'd lift the fog of ignorance from the masses
and paradigms of stagnation shifted with cerebral solutions.
To no avail our heady course in theory only passes.
We knew the day, the hour, the minute how texts would be rewritten.
The generation of our spawn in classes they would read it.
History so enthralling, with learning would they be smitten.
Instead the propaganda beast so ravenous and we must feed it.
The old men while away their time with tales of a foiled coupe,
and students smile and avert their stare, it's better to be a number.
The One he loathes such minions who wish to think or do,
so all the day of arduous labor leads to fitful slumber.
Yes you and I, my loyal friend, matyrs in the making,
outwitting cowards that march us to the death of liberty.
But threats and greed lead to your word finally forsaken.
In brutal death at least my soul will wonder this world free.
I do not know?
Just watching my TV
New York City Centre,Jet Crash.
News Call,Broadcast stall.
Drop the headlines!!
This is the new line
Look up on the Skyline
Right on the building top.
On another line
Pentagon now a exagon
Another plane drop.
Whats that?whats that?
Beam in on the spot.
Another streak across the sky
Sliiced another tower
Whats going on?Whats going on?
Another crash,big explosion
Switch broadcast over to Washington
Whats your impression?
Whats your emotion.
"Whats your reaction"?
Can't believe my eyes J
Just as it began,I realize
This is an atrocity
Right here,in the heart of the city.
Terrorist Attack!!Terrorist Attack!!
Then the burning Walls a falling
Like crashing dominoes
Right to the ground.
Armagadeon has arrived,without warning!!
CIA, FBI,Home Security Then the Guv
Blaming intelligence,asking why.
Collate and evaluate
Then the appropriate reply.
Calling the president for a comment.
"What do you think of unfolding events"?
"WE will find the perpetrators one by one
Whether he is hiding in Iraq,Iran, or Pakistan.
We will call up the troops,assembly the galleon,
Then bomb them ,blast them Clean up their land,
Bring in new administrations,
Thats the plan
Fireman, Policemen,all on the scene
"This is total disaster,the worst we ever seen.
Engines,sirens,surgeons and volunteers
Combining efforts in a stream.
Such a nightmare, awful dream
But in the present,
the on going theme
I do not know?
A Rant – The Quiet Hypocrisy
it seeps in through gradual osmosis
and soon is ingrained in pliant minds
it mutates and thrives in tunnels of vision
and then is fused into the fiber of unreason
the quiet hypocrisy that drips of the tongues
spouting broken words of unfathomable callousness
the mutilated reeking carcass of cynicism
obscured by the veneer of polished discourse
stinks of inaction and of insipid rationalization
the probing and prodding and splintering of each thought
curdles the shallow layer of feeling
interring the basic simple and only humanity
that is gleefully ripped into isolated fragments
the quiet hypocrisy of battles fought and of causes embraced
is plain to see in the faces of the earnest
as they cling onto their bitter loathsome prejudices
whilst buying redemption under a placard of well-meaning
the quiet hypocrisy of these selective battles waged under the flimsy pretense of caring
stinks to the highest heaven promised in mantras and duas and prayers and chants
as the spectacle of the apartheid within the mind is worn on each tailored sleeve
the choosing of these battles in the name of faith and clung onto simply because of a common creed
is a pathetic spectacle of segregated thought
buried under the folds of righteous bluster
so before you jump on that bandwagon of indignation because 'your' people are in pain
take a look at the hidden fascism that simmers just below your holier-than-thou sudden spurt of heartfelt rage
for the quiet hypocrisy that is unknowingly imbibed
is apparent for all to behold
for when the 'other' endure the injustice carried out in 'your' peoples' name
you stand mute and silently complicit for your indignation simply melts away
as the quiet hypocrisy that is firmly rooted in you
exults in pious pretences while 'your' own continue to hate, rape, pillage and slay
it saddens me that so much vitriol drips off my pen in such effervescent times
but I cringe as each moment another quiet hypocrite rants about the despotism of the 'other'
while smiling complacently and smugly and soaking in the quiet hypocrisy of remaining mute about 'my' peoples' own crimes