21 April 2018

Men flow like rivers (by Basotho participants in a training workshop)

Men flow like rivers from the mountains
clear and strong
into the pits of South Africa
to pull gold from the earth.
As they descend into dark chambers
their families become memories, like the sun.
They claw through the flesh of mother earth
searching for veins to exploit,
while their own blood and souls are ravaged.
For when their bodies are spent,
twisted or lifeless,
the clean white-shirted man picks up his phone
and orders another river of men
from the mountains.

According to Work for Justice, the Lesotho-based newsletter in which this poem first appeared, "Men Flow Like Rivers" was written by Basotho participants in a training workshop for community workers.

From Work for Justice. No. 24 (March 1990). Reprint with acknowledgement.


Deb S. said...

The words here are very, very powerful. The poem, which I've read several times, evokes lots of emotion. Fabulous writing.

paisley said...

a terrible tragedy... here we have the same atrocity in the search for coal.. in other countries boys being sold into slavery to pursue cocoa... or weave rugs... man is a greedy bastard...

Rethabile said...

Man is a greedy bastard. That's the honest truth. Is there a cure, though? And do we want one?

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