Monday, October 28, 2013

                 All her life she had searched for                                      the truth in being loved
                                                                                            Her heart had been turned upside down                                                                                            
   By the kinds of loves she had desiredBut when she found love hidden in the fold of her sleeve                                                                                                        She knew not what to do with itLike a whirlwind it swept the fineness with the dirt                                                                                 And trust had escaped with the blowing curtain      So when she started searching again                                                                                 She knew it would be a different kind of searching          Searching not for love and dreams and fantasies                                                                                       All her life would be spent searching...                           Just searching for things lost but never had                                             And as the line went             dead on the other end                                                 To be loved had        become empty                                                              In the echoes                                                                               of thrusts                                                                  between truth                                                                                       and trust

                                                                    Long lost in distant 

                                                                       desires and fires
                                                                       She had to teach                                                                                                                                            herself to breath                                                                        Again.
-The Unspoken Truth

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Child that Died

The child that died
In the shanty-towns of the cordoned heart
No longer lifts her fist against her mother
For they no longer shout Africa! Shouting the breath
Of freedom and the veld

The child that died
In the streets of her slain pride
Cannot lift her fist against her father
In the march of generations
That no longer shout Africa! Shouting the breath
Of righteousness and blood

For the child is dead
In Nyanga, Mokopane, Soweto, Soeding
A child dies again and again
The child stays alive
To her pain and agony

The child that died
Lies in her mother’s house cold
With a bullet through her chest
A braai fork through her neck
Lifeless in her mother’s lap

The child that died
Forbids us from calling her name
For how shall we mention her name
In the midst of her mother’s screams
And the government’s silence?

The child that died
No longer peers through the windows of houses
and into the hearts of mothers
For they strike her over, over and over again
In her death they have been killing her

This child who just longed to play in the sun at Nyanga
The little girl who just wanted to love girls in Limpopo
The boy who, in Kuruman, just desired to be with boys
The child dead before a giant journeys over the whole world
That child is nowhere

And we die with this child
We are dead to this child
How shall we call your name child of our mother?
And speak of love amidst hate crimes?
The child is dead
To herself
To us
Carrying no hate

Source: Adapted from The Child that Died at Nyanga by Ingrid Jonker

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We Don't Die, We are Killed (or the Grammar of Violence)

I will be walking along Kimathi Street on a Tuesday night
I will have spoken about homosexuality and oppression
On the night they closely walk behind me 
Close enough to not be ignored
I will have had a few drinks with the other three
I will have listened to karaoke
the good and the bad
I will be in a good mood
They will keep walking behind me
Behind us

I will start getting scared
walking too close for comfort
And they will be talking about me
As I walk along Kimathi Street on a Tuesday night
They will tell each other about me
And I will remind self that they do not know me
They will say that I am a shoga [gay] and they will swear in God's name
Haki ya Mungu tutamuua
They will talk about killing me
They will keep walking behind me
Behind us

I will quickly run for male priviledge on a Tuesday night
My friend will notice and overhear them
And he will quickly walk between them and I
I will feel safe with him
They will talk about killing me
As we stop to let them pass
I will be dead to myself
When I get home
We wait