DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Thursday, March 27, 2008

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.


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

--Jonathan Swift

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

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

In the music of love.

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,


And be strong.


1 comment:

Rethabile said...

Thank you, Joyce. Rock on.

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1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.