Multitudes Within; Multitudes Without.

3

Until Protest Becomes Uprising

Last night two men were killed by the police
Which means it will not be long before they start killing people like me
They are killing those with braided cords in their hair
To stop the flow of time
Which means it will not be long before they pull the trigger on you and me

At the national hospital
With rotting wounds on his leg
We hid under the bed
To shield ourselves from the shame of neglect
We tried to stop the flow of time using dialogues and debates
Mutual aid and donor reports
Still they killed those with braided cords in their hair
Which means it will not be long before they turn the barrel to you and me
In the West a dictator thrives
To stop the flow of time using drone strikes in the East
At the bottom of the valley
We bury our children in the rubble
To scavenge for plastic bottles
Metal rings
and glass jars
To give the merchant at the foot of the hill
The spoils of their war
They are killing those with braided cords in their hair
To pressure the flow of time into a deadly recession
It will not be long before they come for you and me
Where the safety of our little bubbles
Will be nothing more than sprinkles of air in a distant horizon

Saba Saba

On the shoulders of Dandara dos Palmares we stand
In Celia Sanchez legacy we nourish our resistance
From Zandile Ndwandwe we strengthen our militancy
From Wangari Maathai our courage flows
From Alaa Salah
Our songs of protest
From Saida Menebhi
A stubborn belief in our struggle
From Qui Jin we heed the call to fight!
In our struggle against patriarchy we shall be victorious
From Furogh Farrokhzad
We sharpen our rebellion
From Emma Mashinini
We draw our unity, which is our strength
Homeland or death!
We shall win!

WA-Mjengo

Early in the morning,
Ti! Ti! Ti!
Ting! Tang! Ting!
Tang! Ting! Ting!
Wa- mjengo lay the road
To the shrill wail of the Range Rover
The impatient diplomat
The hungry policeman
and the student
– late for class

Wa-mjengo
Backs speckled with dust
Asphalt debris inside blackened noses
Laying the road
In the flame of noon
The shiver of dawn
Toward a barren dusk

Ti! Ti! Ti!
Tang! Ting! Tang!
Ti!
Wa mjengo lay the road
For the people’s representative
To rush to their airport
– an early morning flight,
To weighty matters of national importance
That are none of wa mjengo’s concern

Ti! Ti! Ti!
Ting! Tang! Ting!
Wa- mjengo raise their tools
Against the greed of consumption

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