When it clicked

This is a different post. /The Rules, an activist organization “pushing the global narrative in a new direction”, has recently started a “When it clicked” series of “stories from people working within the ‘international development’ sector who want to share their experience of challenging the dominant narrative around poverty and development, how it felt and why it’s important to question”. I felt compelled to share my story, and here it is: “When it clicked: I chanced upon a series of eye-opening discussions on social justice with a friend”.

My poems tend to get a little abstract at times. Sometimes I anchor them with a reference, but mostly they tend to float. The post above should provide some context.

 

Scoundrel times

The antic of the grown up mouse
is ancillary to purpose, to
meetings that sell power and
vocabulary to pools of pus

And vermin, to ghouls of a
dependency that is not
contingent on the human but
on the abstract necessity

Of a cull, of class, of
hyenas shrilling the voice
of an unknown past on to
an unforgiving scoundrel now.

“We live in scoundrel times.” Eqbal Ahmad

the myth is not the fairytale

the myth is not the fairytale, though
it pretends

to catch the drift, the smoke and the
paltry guts

that flake off when dents of time speak
stilted ifs

and buts, when the theme of now occludes,
prevents power

from showing where it really comes from
from myth

“The language of Realpolitik offers a poor basis for constructing a popular consensus behind a corporate ideology. Hence modern imperialism has needed myths to legitimize itself. A policy which responds to the interests of the few but needs the support of the many must necessarily invoke a people’s sense of mission and fear.” ‘Political Culture and Foreign Policy: Notes on American Interventions in the Third World’ – The Selected Writings of Eqbal AhmadEqbal Ahmad

As you try and bleed the past

“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? 

from rebellion to roar

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.

A tangent taken while re-reading Eqbal Ahmad‘s insightful 1980 article, “From potato sack to potato mash: the contemporary crisis of the third world”.

Remnants of the East – Picking up the pieces

The lost child is the poor child is the dark child is the savage
savaged, needs salvaging. Enumerating rules of love will not do. And there’s only so much chicken soup you can douse your soul in before it pukes.

History is not a fad. It is dust thrown in your face. Eyes need to open when the dust has settled.