culture

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

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the spoor

my search continues
seeking mammals amongst reptiles
scavenging the hills for pretty words
looking for the comfort of fragile settings
beautiful landscapes
though thorns reside
side by side
with colourful flowers
leaving no stone unturned
scowering the terrain
searching for for people amongst the mainstream
kind hearted individuals
following the spoor
footprints left by my nomadic ancestors
like the Amazon i carry baggage
sediment from where i come from
a chequered past
a history rich with experiences
scar tissue from life’s lessons
heritage from chromosomes
forensic evidence of where my people come from
somewhere in Africa
deep in a forest
under a mound of rocks
lies my title deed

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

overseas

I leave my land
To live in a foreign land
Unlike my forebearers
I didn’t come here by ship
No shackles either
I flew here
Enticed by a scholarship
In search of knowledge
Intellectual capital
I leave my land
To live in faraway capitals
Lured by material
Entrenching a colonial path
Taught in an alien lingua franca
Forgetting language is a carrier of culture
Forgetting everywhere is overseas
I left my land
In search of an education
Only to return naked
Stripped of my perspective
My identity drowning in the oceans below
Am half the person I was before I left
Though I flew here
Like a free bird
I return with shackles in my mind
Like a caged bird

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

motherland

They plunge hers wares
Embroil her in their wars
Steal her jewels
Dishonor her name
Misrepresent her history
Little do they know
Material matters not to her
Despite their attempts to rape her soul
Separate her from her offspring
Little do they know
Her children matter most to her
Whether they adorn themselves with beads
Attire themselves with hoodies
Her children matter most to her
Black lives matter
No matter their location
Their pigmentation
A reminder of a mother’s love
Blessed with melanin
Africa is more than a landmass
She is a congregation of souls
A village filled with hope
Black men united
Sounds of blackness
Sisters with voices
She is a survivor
The voice of love
The face of humanity
A resemblance of the supernatural
Knox Mahlaba
Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit
Copyright 2015

love II

Love II

Love is majestic
Mightier than the bullet
It is love
Love for her people
Love for herself
Making Rosa realise she tired
Love is stronger than hate
Turning songs sung in captivity into Negro Spirituals
Songs sung with hope
Love is the soul of a people
Making Martin turn the other cheek
Love for his people
Inspired Garvey to build a fleet
Love dresses dreams
Produces U.N. I. T. Y
Forges brotherhood like a Black Panther
Gives five on the black hand side
Makes the hood into Hollywood
Turning kids into stars
Planting a seed of hope on a plantation
A glimmer of hope in private prison
Love is considerate
Wearing a condom in dangerous times
Standing by his woman
Uplifting her man
Raising their child
Love for his people
Taking Malcolm to Africa
Love is colour blind
Doesn’t differentiate between red and blue
Love is black ‘n beautiful
Listening to Kathleen break it down
Love is a sister in an Afro
Affirming her looks
The looks of her people
Love reads the situation
In short supply of late
Too many brothers on their backs
Too many sisters on the street corner
Families torn apart
Kings and queens on opposing poles
Love is a secret ingredient
Love never fails
Stands its ground
By any means necessary
Love is the love of people
Bringing families together
Love conquers all
Love is the new black

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

genocide

My sisters lonely
My sisters caught unawares
Filling the penitentiaries
Too many brothers doing too much time
Some awaiting trial
Successful brothers fishing in another pond
Sisters fighting for the rest
Unwilling to share
So a few get the ring
Too many single mothers
Far too many frustrated women
Fatigued by the wait
Tired of visiting rooms
Disappointed by the odds
Angry at themselves
For being too damn materialistic
Brothers behind bars because
Nabbed by expectations
Doing life because of the finer things in life
Diamonds and pearls
Whims of women
Vanity tampering with the soul of a community
Single ladies getting their groove on the side
Children cheated of a father for life
The father figure history
Stolen by desire for the dollar
Even though it’s unintentional it is the case
My sisters’ expectations filling the penitentiaries
Clogging the prisons
Blaming playas
Faulting the system
Ignoring the hands on the wheel
Our part in the genocide

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

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tree of wisdom

where the people once gathered
thrashed out their differences
let go of ill feeling
left light

until we began to think
assumed people could do nature’s job
only nature can heal
like nature heals

Copyright © knox mahlaba 2014

Author – Back From The Dead: The Rising of an African Spirit