“But the native intellectual who wishes to create an authentic work of art must realize that the truths of a nation are in the first place its realities. He must go on until he has found the seething pot out of which the learning of the future will emerge.” Frantz Fanon, “The Wretched of the Earth”.
this new vista, a gradual
leaflet of sky, the rune
of an antiquity resigned
to seed the fringes of an
ticipation: the grunge and
dung of it, the hapless
beat of song’s tyranny cap
tured in this visitation.
“We lived in a society which denied itself heroes.” – V.S. Naipaul
“This is not writing. He should stop writing. He should be selling sausages.” – Eqbal Ahmad on V.S. Naipaul
As you try and bleed the past onto the speak of now,
Look for the hooded guilt past the sentence of ilk &
Brood, the tripping verb thrilled by the possibility
Of sheen that traps the rook, the sow, the seed that
Bit the hand that fed the pith of scorn, the hand of
Up, of law. And as you try and mock the horn of dust
And cut of rain, and gasp at awe & awe again, whence
Will come the ore of night, which die is cast today?
The peasant of old was content with
rebellion, with skirting the fronds
of power as it descended cupfroth from
up high, with skimming the sheen
of lava as it settled down in crusty
sleep, but she bristled the unkempt
bristle often enough to prime her
peep for growl when it’s time.
The wit cannot untomb graces
Of collective chatter bellow
Dark shine on injustice hard
Injustice soft spread-eagled
Five thousand years - approx
A billion bad jokes - approx
The wit cannot unearth races
Of collective shatter bellow
Yardsticks of im-measurement
Crude approximations of hate
The river meanders through the now
On to tomorrows all the while silting
The past onto its bed, revisiting it.
Deeds and land and titles and contracts
Circumscribe the river’s ownership, and
Peg its worth to the whim of the marketeer.
Blood and rage and tears tear through
The fabric of power eking out cries, cries
Older than power, and as old as sin.
Machinations of modernity confound deed
With law and the harvesting of seed with
Reflections on dead leaves and stolen tales.
Silence at the root of the river bed
Listens to the wind, to the chirp of
A wayward bird, to the mountain, still.
I Am The River – Documentary on the New Zealand Maori on aljazeera.com