Friday, September 28, 2007

This one's for Rethabile


Rethabile Masilo, @ Poefrika, an awesome poet from Lesotho, in a recent post of his that asks "who's your hero?" lists (among others) Steven Biko, as a person who "faces injustice and speaks out against it." This is for you, Rethabile. And for Steven.

AFRIC MAPS

Geographers, in Afric maps,
With savage pictures fill their gaps,
And o'er unhabitable downs
Place elephants for want of towns.

--Jonathan Swift



Biko,
Naked and manacled
In the back of a Land-Rover
Cannot be convinced of
Mankind's essential goodness.

Biko,

The men who have done this
Go out to kill
Believing in the mercy of God,

Biko,

In the music of love.

Biko,

Humankind moves in a celluloid dream,
Subscribes to pain. When we wake,
Your bruised black limbs
Will have pushed out roots
Watered from your blood.
Black women will prepare them
Like gari,

Black men will eat of them,

Biko,


And be strong.

.

6 comments:

Rethabile said...

Pepek,
This is mighty generous of you, and I'm truly honoured. Thank you.

slickdpdx said...

Nice job. Love that Swift quote too!

pepektheassassin said...

Rel, I am honored to know you. And slick, thank you.

Hope you both have a great week-end!

kimberley said...

A powerful piece.

I know that much has changed since he died - but it still seems like humanity in general fits your words too well:"Humankind moves in a celluloid dream,
Subscribes to pain."

On my way to check out Rethabile Masilo - :)

Pam said...

A powerful and absolutely beautiful poem.

...deb said...

This is a beautiful tribute. It soars.