Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Sandile Dikeni

Featured Poem:

Way back home

Enlarge poem

One day, some day, should some freedoms be registered in final.

Please do not scoff when I spit at the fruit of freedom,

because maybe, maybe my bong was the sound of a wail,

and my voice, the anger of distance.

And my movements, the estrangements of discontent,

but please do not be angry

Some say, some claim,

that in some April some freedom threatened and came.

Huh, but Hitler was born in April

and Lenin celebrates life in April, but so do I.

So what are the boundaries, Rosa Luxembourg once asked?

And I wonder, the questions of a Namibian poet.

How far is Washington from Pretoria?

And how near Bonn from Tokyo?

What is the distance between hunger and wealth?

What is the mileage between the contentment of one nation

and the discontent of a continent?

How much of a black comedy is Africa really to the Unity of Nations?

How satisfying are potatoes as a relief measure dished out from countries’ hands?

Italy loves Somalia, this much we know from Benito Mussolini.

And Michael Jackson loves Zairean children.

Across the Diaspora how much love do we need to get serious?

Maybe, maybe, if we do a tongue on lederhosen,

and karate seven times a day.

The G7 will give us g-strings to enter Hollywood in noble images.

The most exciting acts since Zionist put Palestinians on the alter.

And if we eat pasta we’ll discover,

the distance between Italy and China is as fragile

as the love between Great Britain and Northern Island.

The lofty ideas of the Eiffel tower are as crazy as a time bomb mentality in big Ben.

As crazy as the love between Napoleon and Nelson.

How far is a laugh, is Mandela from X and before Y and Z seals us?

Shall we not rather ask the spirit of Gaza to be our blood,

and the blood of the Maya and the Sioux to be our spirit.

So that we drum it on the drums of Uhuru when it bangs in the pangs of a continent.

Che might be dead, but was it Che only in Cuba?

So now why, why do you wonder?

When my kind of freedom can only sing me an internationale,

because, maybe just maybe, that, this, this, that, that, this,

this is my distance from home.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (8)
  • Pride (16)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (6)
  • Delight (5)
  • Inspiration (5)
  • Reflection (6)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (4)
  • Amusement (2)
  • Sorrow (5)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (12)
  • Sadness (5)
  • Fear (2)
  • Jubilation (8)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Sandile Dikeni was born in Victoria West in 1966. He studied at the University of the Western Cape where he served on the SRC. He began writing seriously while in detention in 1986, and was a popular performer at political rallies and community cultural events. Since the coming of democracy, he has worked as a journalist and political commentator. In addition to Planting Water, he has published two previous collections of poetry, Guava Juice (1992) and Telegraph to the Sky (2002), as well as a collection of his articles featured in the Cape Times, titled Soul Fire: Writing the Transition (2002).

Sandile Dikeni

Biography

Sandile Dikeni was born in Victoria West in 1966. He studied at the University of the Western Cape where he served on the SRC. He began writing seriously while in detention in 1986, and was a popular performer at political rallies and community cultural events. Since the coming of democracy, he has worked as a journalist and political commentator. In addition to Planting Water, he has published two previous collections of poetry, Guava Juice (1992) and Telegraph to the Sky (2002), as well as a collection of his articles featured in the Cape Times, titled Soul Fire: Writing the Transition (2002).

Featured Poem:

Way back home

Enlarge poem

One day, some day, should some freedoms be registered in final.

Please do not scoff when I spit at the fruit of freedom,

because maybe, maybe my bong was the sound of a wail,

and my voice, the anger of distance.

And my movements, the estrangements of discontent,

but please do not be angry

Some say, some claim,

that in some April some freedom threatened and came.

Huh, but Hitler was born in April

and Lenin celebrates life in April, but so do I.

So what are the boundaries, Rosa Luxembourg once asked?

And I wonder, the questions of a Namibian poet.

How far is Washington from Pretoria?

And how near Bonn from Tokyo?

What is the distance between hunger and wealth?

What is the mileage between the contentment of one nation

and the discontent of a continent?

How much of a black comedy is Africa really to the Unity of Nations?

How satisfying are potatoes as a relief measure dished out from countries’ hands?

Italy loves Somalia, this much we know from Benito Mussolini.

And Michael Jackson loves Zairean children.

Across the Diaspora how much love do we need to get serious?

Maybe, maybe, if we do a tongue on lederhosen,

and karate seven times a day.

The G7 will give us g-strings to enter Hollywood in noble images.

The most exciting acts since Zionist put Palestinians on the alter.

And if we eat pasta we’ll discover,

the distance between Italy and China is as fragile

as the love between Great Britain and Northern Island.

The lofty ideas of the Eiffel tower are as crazy as a time bomb mentality in big Ben.

As crazy as the love between Napoleon and Nelson.

How far is a laugh, is Mandela from X and before Y and Z seals us?

Shall we not rather ask the spirit of Gaza to be our blood,

and the blood of the Maya and the Sioux to be our spirit.

So that we drum it on the drums of Uhuru when it bangs in the pangs of a continent.

Che might be dead, but was it Che only in Cuba?

So now why, why do you wonder?

When my kind of freedom can only sing me an internationale,

because, maybe just maybe, that, this, this, that, that, this,

this is my distance from home.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (8)
  • Pride (16)
  • Optimism (8)
  • Anger (6)
  • Delight (5)
  • Inspiration (5)
  • Reflection (6)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (4)
  • Amusement (2)
  • Sorrow (5)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (12)
  • Sadness (5)
  • Fear (2)
  • Jubilation (8)

Comments

Your email address will not be published.