breathe

we was always beautiful

We was always beautiful
Even when our collective memory didn’t recall
When we were called names
Suffering from a trauma induced amnesia
When we couldn’t recollect who we are

We was always beautiful
Even when your mentality refuted a glaring fact
Black is beautiful
You know what I am talking about
Am referring to your plantation mentality
Your self-defeating attitude right there

We was always beautiful
Thank goodness for the brothers and sisters who recognised
Focused on a glaring fact
Glorified by the halo of the afro
Dressed in black garb from head to toe
Leather jackets, polo necks, berets
Armed with knowledge
Reminding us against our will
Coining a phrase with no change in our pockets
But bold enough to change many a mind set
Including mines and my generation
Cos black is beautiful was the platform of my birth
When I realigned my mind set instead of my facial features
When I parted ways with the moonwalker
When I parted ways with insecurity
Embracing my coarse textured hair
My broad nose fulfils its primary objective
Keeping me alive with a constant supply of my stash
Hooked on oxygen by default
Trying my best to breathe

We was always beautiful
When our skin was undiluted
When it was diluted
We give the world its true complexion
Cos our souls will never be diluted

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

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Photo: property of zen magazine africa

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cry wolf

The world is silent to my tears
Deaf to the plight of the voiceless
Blind to cries for help
When my voice loses its pitch
Decreases in volume
Drowned by the establishment
As I try to breathe
Gasp for a pint of air
Will you recognise my goat wails
My pleas for help from behind the veil of a choke hold
Should a strong uniformed arm over power me
Place my fragile neck in a vice grip
Will you document the proceedings
Just in case the surroundings decide to do me in
Should the most probable occur
Don’t look away
Place your recording on record
As my corpse is placed on trial
Castigated for my dress style
Persecuted because I wore a hoodie
Please highlight my side of the story
Or at the very least
Allow me to state my case in absentia
Tell ‘em I ain’t no thug
When the world ignores my cries
Trying to breath is no crime
Mistaken for resisting arrest
Tell ‘em I have ghetto mentality
I don’t do no fairy tales
I don’t play no cry wolf
I am dying

child of africa

Nigga please
Choose your words wisely
Sometimes words lose their meaning
Are devoid of emotion
Absent of common sense
Cos sometimes life means death
Or rather that’s what
They try impress upon you
If you’re like me
And don’t give a sh*t
You tend to ignore what they say
And do what comes natural
Words can be heavy
Careless words can crush a human spirit
Breathing an aerobic exercise
An act of defiance
Just cos you down don’t mean you got to stay there
I too was born in the ghetto
I’ve been to worse too
I’ve been to rock bottom
Touched the bottom of the barrel
Like Tosh says
Not too many know where that is
Too many talk of stuff they know nothing about
Nobody knows the bottom like you and me
They can build a fortress around you
Tie your hands with time
Strangle you with debt
Attempt to miseducate you
Arrest your development for all I care
Hang in there
Cos bottom is a strong foundation
A spring board to up-up and away
A place to build your castle
So nigga please
Please call me sir
I am a man after all
I am what I am
Am black and proud
Child of Africa
Mr Wendal

knox mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright © 2015

oasis

My frame of mind fractured
Am struggling with my mission
Enduring a great difficulty
Living without an anchor
I as a man am incomplete
Needing a piece of a puzzle
Living without you jeopardizing our existence
For without you
Queen of queens
My soul restless like the rustling wind
Wandering aimlessly in a desert
Searching for my resting place amongst thorns
I as a man am incomplete without my woman
My black star on the horizon
My rock of understanding
My oasis
Pillar of strength why do you forsake me
Discard me to the wolves
Leaving me for dead on a dirt road behind enemy lines
Scattering my pleas across the plains
Yearning for a fertile patch
A place to grow love
Irrigate our union with tears of joy
Sending my cries from atop a lonely mountain
Listen to the echo carried by the wind
I as a man am an incomplete being
Save me from wine, women and song
Nubian princess are you there

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit

one day

One day soon
In the distant future
In the near future
You’ll wake up
Wake up to the fact of the madness
Appreciate the choreography of your surroundings
Your mirror image dancing on the stage
You on some reality show
Your reflection staring at you
Looking you straight in the eye
You’ll open your eyes for a change
Wake up to the guise of reality
The reality of the illusion
The tightness of the blindfold
The after taste of propaganda
Until then
Enjoy the slumber

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit