21 January 2019

King, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

They’ve covered miles of terrain between Selma
and Montgomery, walking in an exodus from fire
that burns us. It is like there will be no other chance
for them to walk again, bear down on the doors
of town hall positioned between phallic pillars,
as the heat of the sun fails to deliver what suns
are meant to share, behind the back of the march,
now out of Alabama and onward unto Tennessee
and beyond to the Carolinas—a whole world walks
with them, bundled in wishes and demands they carry
on their shoulders, till at last they climb the stairs
and drop their concerns at the door. For dogs and boots
have no way of stopping that kind of gift, the diversity
in their one face, not hoses and not even knuckles
or spit can change anything. And since that door
is locked, they make a gate into the next century.
The rest of the story is what would finally unfold.




18 January 2019

Like a beacon, a poem by Grace Nichols

In London
every now and then
I get this craving
for my mother’s food
I leave art galleries
in search of plantains
saltfish/sweet potatoes

I need this link

I need this touch
of home
swinging my bag
like a beacon
against the cold



Grace Nichols

10 January 2019

Nikki Giovanni and Tupac Shakur Rap

Listen: "The Rose That Grew From Concrete"


The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet
Funny it seems, but keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared

© Tupac Amaru Shakur



Tupac

9 January 2019

Ntsoana-tsatsi, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

is the place from which worlds, guileless with age,
creep out, though no world-world at the same time,
nor even just one as a whole, but a creature inch
by inch, until it’s out, its young body fuming still
with the heat of creation, as the shock
of lungs inflating with air makes it shriek.
So headfirst from its hole it offers an arm,
then another, then the rest of its body, caked
with clay still. On that day a world is born,
son of the sun who joins others prancing
around their mother, playing
hide-and-seek under the strata of her dress.
Courbet was there with his brush when it happened,
and he saw through images imprinted on his mind
the finger of God, stretched to go past nebulae
hanging like lianas at the entrance to a cave,
to touch a labium and spark it into taking
everything out of the dark, opening eyes, turning
lamps on, pulling the curtains and, in a state
of satisfaction, slinking back out
past the thicket of wiry hair that surrounds
the entrance, so that a world can happen.



Gustave Courbet

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