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Two Poems by LLM Mbatha

Operation Dudula

+++++++I

Just yesterday they tried

To #CleanSA
And now we know
How all of it was a LIE
But none came to apologise
For the damage already done
How easily we forget
The nameless unlucky ones
That paid the ultimate price

And here they go again
The ones that are without sin
Pushing kicking and screaming
Wanting to be the first in line
To throw the first stone
On glass mirrors that reflect
Images they hate to see

+++++++II

As for the ‘hidden’ hands
That secretly fund the SHOW
Are they local or international?
If not local we should run away
Are they black, yellow or white?
If none-black we should run away

+++++++III

Lights camera action
“A Black Foot on a Black Face”

Hey, Mr Black Foot
Media follows where you go
You are the star of the show
Disorder and chaos on the screen
Make for a perfect distraction

No one asking the LAND question
No one asking how do we build
A more equal society…

Fast amendments to legislations
Shifting the little powers and rights
From the masses to the rulers

Whilst we are busy watching TV
Wondering whose face is next

+++++++IV

Now that Mr Hlathi is gone
We shall never know for sure
Was he a saint or a sinner?
Or were they saints or sinners
The ones that chased
And caught up with him
Threw stones at him
Set him alight, and
Watched as he succumbed
To his mortal wounds
Did he give a sigh or a cry?
Did he ask them “why”?
Such are the facts
We may never know
But this much we know
Of those that are left behind
A black mother without a son
A black woman without a husband
Another black child, fatherless

i ‘Operation Dudula’

+++++++++I

Khona izolo lokhu bazamile
Ukuthi bathi #CleanSA
Kodwa manje sesiyazi ukuthi
Bekunga MANGA wodwa lawo
Kepha akekho oke wazoxolisa
Ngokulinyalelwa okwabe sekwenzekile
Sibakhohlwa kalula kanjani labo
Abangenama gama abangena zinhlahla
Ababhadale ngakho konke (ngezimpilo zabo)

Bheka sebe ya phinda futhi
Labo abangena sono
Bayadudula bayakhahlela bayamemeza
Balwela ukuthi kube yibo abokuqala
Ukujikijela imbokodo yokuqala
Ezibukweni zengilazi ezibonisa
Imifanekiso abayizondayo ukuyibona

+++++++++II

Okwalezo zandla ‘ezifihlakeleyo’
Ezixhasa loMBUKISO ngokusithekileyo
Ngezasekhaya noma ngezamazwengamazwe?
Uma kungezona ezasekhaya, asibalekeni
Ungabe ziMunyama, ziPhuzi noma ziMhlophe?
Uma zingeMunyama, asibalekeni

+++++++++III

Khanyisa ikhamera umnyakazo
“uNyawo oluMnyama eBusweni obuMnyama”

Hheyi, Mnumzane Nyawo oluMnyama
Abezokusakaza bakulandela ngemuva
Wena uyiqhawe lawo lombukiso
Ubuxakaxaka nomsindo kuma-bona
Kudala isiphazamiso sangempela

Akekho obuza ngodaba LEZWE
Akekho obuza ukuthi sowakha kanjani
Umphakathi olingana kancono

Kushintshashitshwa imithetho ngokushesha
Kusunduzwa amandla namalungelo amancane
Asuswa eningini ayiswa kubaphathi

Thina sibe silibele ukugqolozela umabona-kude
Sizibuza ukuthi obukabani ubuso obuzolandela

+++++++++IV

Manje ke ngoba uMnumzane Hlathi akasekho
Ngeke sibuye sazi ngokuqinisekileyo ukuthi
Ubelungile noma ubeyi-soni na? nokuthi
Bona bebelungile noma bebeyi-zoni?
Labo abamugijimisile baze bamubamba
Bamukhanda ngamatshe
Maqede bamshisa ngomlilo
Bahlala bambukela emanxeba-nxeba
Wagcina ngokuze athule athi, nya!
Mhlawumbe ukhalile, noma ukhwehlelile?
Mhlawumbe ubabuzile ukuthi “kungani”?
Lawoke amaqiniso esingeke sisawazi
Kodwa lokhu siyakwazi
Ngalabo abashiyeke ngasemuva
Umame omnsundu ongasena ndodana
Unkosikazi onsundu ongasena myeni
Futhi ingane ensundu, engasenayise

In the minibus taxi to kwa-Nongoma

Just out of the city
The traffic starts to disband
iTheku* is behind us
The land sways backwards
Zulu homes turn clockwise
60,100,120 speed-signs
ISHOWE 28, ULUNDI 121
Too long before we pass
Oom Wissel’s curve
Black woman carries
A beer case on her head
Two full plastic bags
One on each hand
A baby on her back
And yet she is calm
And in equilibrium
As she walks
On the green pathway
By the road side
More road signs…
The wind is blowing harder
On the plastic window pane
Cracking windows
Cracking doors
Cracking motion
Of an aging engine
Tires on the road sing
Like waters in a stream
Taxi-driver’s rhythm
My bums start to burn
On an iron sit
That cuts my body in two
The upper from the lower
On the soft of my loins
A scent fuel burning
Reaches my intestines
And the breakfast I ate
Becomes alive again
A five-litre bucket
And my travel bag
Rest on each thigh
I wish to fall asleep
Like the sleeping baby
Thumb in his mouth
On his mother’s lap
Seated on my right
But such comforts
Are for babies alone
Heart, body, and mind
Little babies, indifferent
To the kinky turns
And to the loud voices
Of the drunk ten pals
Sitting behind us
Thanks God today
Is payday Friday!
I try not to think
About the road shootings
I know my head will rest
On her dark brown breasts
Arms around her loins
Entangled like African locks
Fragrant sweat glowing
In the dark
Her mouth on my mouth
I am drunk from her wine
We breathe the same breath
She is mine and I am hers
Warm bodies vibrating
To the rhythm of her song
And now, sitting in this taxi
Seems, like the smallest
Three-hour sacrifice!
iTheku, the original Zulu name for the city of Durban.

itekisi eya kwa-Nongoma

Uthi ukuphuma nje edolobheni
Uxhaxha lwezimoto lwehlukane
iTheku silishiya ngase muva
Ilizwe lijikelezela nyova
Imizi yesiZulu iphenduka okwewashi
60,100,120 kusho izinkomba zomgwaqo
ISHOWE 28, ULUNDI 121
Kusase kude kakhulu ukuthi sedlule
Ejikeni lika Oom Wissel
Nangu umame onsundu ethwele
Ikesi lama bhiya ekhanda
Opulasitiki ababili abagcwele mfi!
Kwesokudla nakwe sokunxele
Nangu nomntwana etete emhlane
Kodwa uzihambela kahle nje
Akahlukile naloya ongenamthwlalo
Enyathela kancane endleleni eluhlaza
Ngaseceleni komgwaqo wezimoto
Naziya ezinye izinkombandlela
Umoya usushaya ngamandla
Efasiteleni le pulasitiki
Amafasitela afahlakayo
Isicabha esifahlakayo
Ukuhamba okufahlakayo
kwe njini esindala
Amasondo emgwaqeni ayahuba
Okwamanzi emhosheni
Isigqi ngesika mshayeli
Izinqa seziqala ukuvutha
Esihlalweni sensimbi
Esiklaya umzimba kabili
Ongaphezulu kongezanzi
Lapha emanyongeni
Iphunga likaphethiloli oshayo
Lifinyelela ngaphapkathi esiswini
Bese loku engivuke ngakho
Kusukume kume ngezinyawo…
Ibhakede elingama litha amahlanu
Kanye nesikhwama sami sendlela
Zihleli ethangeni ngalinye
Ngifisa sengathi nginga lala
Njengaye lomtwana omncane
Ofake isithupha emlonyeni
Elele emathangeni likanina
Ngakwesokudla sami
Kodwa intofontofo enjengaleyo
Ingeyabantwana nje kuphela
Ngenhliziyo, ngomzimba, nangenqondo
Abantwana abancane abanendaba
Namajika jika endlela
Abanandaba nomsindo ophezulu
Wamaphimbo ezidakwa ezilishumi
Ezihlezi lapha ngemuva kwethu
Nkosi siyabonga phela namuhla
Ngulwesihlanu, baholile!
Ngiyazama ukuthi ngingacabangi
Ngalaba abadubulana emigwaqeni
Ngiyazi ikhanda lami liyophumula
Emabeleni akhe ansundu
Ngezingalo ngimusonge okhalweni
Sibophelane okwemiyeko yase Afrika
Imijuluko enamakha okwezimbali
Icwebebezele ikhanyise ebumnyameni
Umlomo wakhe emlomeni wami
Ngize ngidakwe yiwayini lakhe
Siphefumule umoya owodwa
Ebe ngowami name ngibe ngowakhe
Imizimba eshisayo evevezelayo
Inanela isigqi sengoma yakhe…
Futhi manje uma ngicabanga kahle hle
ukuhlala kuleli tekisi seku ngathi
ubunzinyana nje, obuncane kunabobonke
Enginga bumela amahora amathathu!