“Take me back letter to my ex blog”

Dear

It’s been two years and some months now since I eloped and left you hanging. Waiting has not always been your strength, especially for a runaway lover who dashed your shared hopes and dreams of a life together. Strangely though, I find you still here. Right at the very spot I left you when we last saw on that misty harmattan day.

A lot has happened since the last 24 moons and recounting them would take another two moonlit nights to finish. Cutting to the chase, I admit my folly in thinking the pasture at the other side was greener when in fact, I lived in the lush of “the” virgin forest. Please accept me back and let’s go back to the way things were before they just became.

It’s always been

TIMEwithJEREMY

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Good Night Dear!

“YoUnG, WiLd and FrEe” read her whatsapp status boldly written in animated font style. Being new to not just the app alone but also the brand android, I stared in fascination at the screen of my phone wondering embarrassingly how to haul out this digital screen keypad without exposing my ‘country-ness’. Eventually I was able to get around it and manage a “good night dear” text, which after a couple of minutes of it being sent seemed a pretty dumb thing to do as auto-correct had cunningly put out “good night death”. You can only imagine my face to this horror.

Next morning, we meet in the bathroom. Weird right, For we were complete strangers who had only gotten acquainted the night before in the hall. As students of the only multinational residential flat on campus, the hybrid bathrooms had become a normal phenomenon but as always with the first time, there is total shock when a lad walks into the bathroom only to meet two ladies brushing their teeth. Scary! Well, breath easy guys . . . there are strings of cubicled shower spaces that keeps each occupants’ business their business.

I walk straight to the sink and pull out my toothpaste. Looking at her stare into the mirror on the other side, I let out a “good morning”. I nearly choked on my toothbrush when I heard her classic response “Not yet resurrected!” and with that catwalked her gorgeous self outta the bathspace.

Ewuradze medi nkwasiasem!

You dare not touch her

You dare not touch her

that beautiful queen who lies beneath your torso

with your arms outstretched preparing for a “she” to wrestle

And clenched fists balled together like a ‘misfired’ canon

releasing a thunderous bare-knuckle to her ‘unshielded’ canine

She wince her cheek twisting every muscle in spasm

the pain so sharp reverberates across the bridge of her temple

Your claim of love is doubtful

For you treat her like a possession, not a person,

even though she remains faithful

Constantly giving her a black eye for make up

yet daring to denigrate her beauty in comparison to other women

Just because you won’t wake up

From a slumber of chauvinistic tomfoolery

You draw her into the mire of your drudgery

You her Lord; And she? Your handmaid?

Just wait up, Chaley

Maybe it’s time to give you a dose of your medication

Boot – for – boot, pound – to – pound and bare knuckle – to – bare knuckle

Come let’s brawl man to man and

let’s see how tough and valiant you are

Stop beating unto her feigning supremacy,

feeding her off your lies

One jab to your face, then another, followed

by an uppercut igniting sparks in your eyes

You’re not a man, only a boy so grow up

Until then, learn to keep your distance

you raving immature bully

And then again she’s silly

because she still wants to be with you

But can you fault her, you crazy billy?

For with her love you just can do no wrong;

Well, don’t get it twisted hommie;

And for one last time remember

You dare not touch her!

Cry, the Beloved Country – the pain and struggle.

Cry, the beloved country,

for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear.

Let him not love the earth too deeply.

Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers,

nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire.

Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing,

nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or valley.

For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.

Our first rendezvous was  thirteen years after his passing, in February 2001. I was then in eleventh grade studying Pure Arts in Wesley Grammar School and the meet was facilitated courtesy my English Literature professor Mr. William Gah. It was quite a riveting experience and ever since I have been deeply fascinated by the literary works of Alan Paton, with the most compelling of them all, Cry, the Beloved Country.

The ballad above gives deep insight into the nature of life and its unpredictability. On the face of it, the poem highlights the essence of moderation with regards to the things we hold so dear to us; it begs of us to eschew over zealousness and extreme verve as these can potentially cause us to crumble when we no longer have those things that once used to bring us joy and pleasure. In a silent and subtle way, it talks about the throes of living in a society where there is a great disparity in lifestyle and opportunity; where the social divide is so wide with regards to “the haves” and “the have-nots”, and the fear of each other creating an atmosphere of hate and bloodshed.

This was written at the time when apartheid was at its worst in South Africa. Several decades down the lane and Apartheid is now a thing of the past. Sadly, another canker has taken its place. It is called Xenophobia. In April 2015, xenophobic attacks became widespread in the suburbs of Johannesburg where locals were reportedly attacking African migrants and looting their properties forcing hundreds of them to relocate to police stations across the country. These latest attacks were believed to have been fueled by the comments of a Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini who was said to have made a public speech demanding that foreigners “go back to their countries”. This is not the first time these xenophobic tendencies have arisen in South Africa; in 2008 we saw similar acts of violence being mete out to foreigners and if we look further back we can trace more incidents of violence against African migrant communities.

I hope my South African friends have not forgotten so soon that during the scourge of Apartheid it was these very African countries that opened their arms wide to receive their citizens as well as help to wrestle the giant called Apartheid thus liberating them from racial imperialism. How can there be a united Africa when we continue to hate our own. I can’t and won’t say much on the issue anymore as am not in the right frame of mind to, but I can leave you with a summary of Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country to muse over and see how far we have come as a people. And that the hypocrisy of bashing racism only to take up xenophobia is nothing short of being double-standard. Take a ride with me on these pages as the ink of Paton’s pen continue to dribble.

The story basically chronicles the sojourn of a reverend minister, Stephen Kumalo from the remote village of Ndotsheni, in the Natal province of eastern South Africa to the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg where he is urgently needed in taking care of his sister Gertrude whom the letter summoning him on this quest states is very ill. He undertakes this expensive and herculean journey in the hope of helping his sister Gertrude and as well find his prodigal son Absalom, who traveled to Johannesburg from Ndotsheni and never returned home.

In Johannesburg he is warmly received by Reverend Msimangu, the priest who sent him the letter, and given a comfortable lodging in the home of Mrs. Lithebe, a Christian woman who is very passionate about helping people. He visits his sister and discovers she is a prostitute and liquor seller, and eventually convinces her to give up the trade and return home with her young son.

A more daunting task follows when the search for Absalom begins. Kumalo and Msimangu comb through the labyrinthine metropolis of Johannesburg, visiting John Kumalo, younger brother of Stephen now a successful businessman and politician, who directs them them to the factory where his son and Absalom once worked. One clue leads to another, and as Stephen Kumalo travels from place to place, he begins to see the gaping racial and economic disparity threatening to split his country. He eventually finds out that his son had spent time in a reformatory and has gotten a girl pregnant.

In the tabloid headlines, the news of the murder of Arthur Jarvis, a prominent white crusader for racial justice, in his home by a gang of burglars send shock waves down the spine of the general public. Kumalo and Msimangu learn that the police are in search of Absalom, and Kumalo’s worst suspicions are confirmed when  Absalom is arrested for Jarvis’ murder. Absalom confesses to the crime, but claims that he was not alone in the act as two others including Matthew, his uncle John Kumalo’s son aided him and that his intention was not to take the life of Arthur Jarvis. With the help of friends, Stephen Kumalo obtains a lawyer for Absalom and tries to make sense of the person his son has become. John, however, makes arrangements for his own son’s defense, even though this split would worsen Absalom’s case. When Kumalo tells Absalom’s pregnant girlfriend what has happened, she is greatly saddened by the news, but joyfully agrees to his proposal to marry his son and return with him to Ndotsheni as daughter-in-law.

Meanwhile, in the hills above Ndotsheni, Arthur Jarvis’ father, James Jarvis, tends his bountiful land and hopes for rain. The local police bring him news of his son’s death, and he leaves immediately for Johannesburg with his wife. In an attempt to come to terms with what has happened, Jarvis reads his son’s articles and speeches on social inequality and begins a radical reconsideration of his own prejudices. He and Kumalo meet for the first time by accident, and after Kumalo has recovered from his shock, he expresses sadness and regret for Jarvis’ loss. Both men attend Absalom’s trial, a fairly straightforward process that ends with the death penalty for Absalom and an acquittal for his co-conspirators. Kumalo arranges for Absalom to marry the girl who bears his child, and they bid farewell. The morning of his departure, Kumalo rouses his new family to bring them back to Ndotsheni only to find that Gertrude has disappeared.

Kumalo is now deeply aware of how his people have lost the tribal structure that once held them together, and he returns to his village troubled by the situation. It turns out that James Jarvis has been having similar thoughts. Arthur Jarvis’ young son befriends Kumalo, and as the young boy and the old man become acquainted, James Jarvis becomes increasingly involved with helping the struggling village. He donates milk at first, then makes plans for a dam and hires an agricultural expert to demonstrate newer, less devastating farming techniques. When Jarvis’s wife dies, Kumalo and his congregation send a wreath to express their sympathy. Just as the diocese’s bishop is on the verge of transferring Kumalo, Jarvis sends a note of thanks for the wreath and offers to build the congregation a new church, and Kumalo is permitted to stay in his parish.

On the evening before his son’s execution, Kumalo goes into the mountains to await the appointed time in solitude. On the way, he encounters Jarvis, and the two men speak of the village, of lost sons, and of Jarvis’ bright young grandson, whose innocence and honesty have impressed both men. When Kumalo is alone, he weeps for his son’s death and clasps his hands in prayer as dawn breaks over the valley.

Liberia: Glory Days by Bai T. Moore

I wandered in the moonlit night

to the view of the glory past

The ruins of those pioneer days

were silhouetted against the light

where once stood mansions decked with pride

now ruled by vipers and the bats

are ‘nough to make one stop and sigh

The broken frames can hardly stand

the beating of the constant rain

And on the landscape high above

the ruins of the parish too

can tell the ghostly story plain

beneath the grass stand epitaphs

a remnant of some burial ground

A lordly  cricket once in a while

will break the silence with a sound

Or in some distant woods drum

a native feast in feverish swing

I wonder after all these years

these ancient ruins can rise again

and brighten up a dismal scene?

Doing It Wrong

This beautiful duet was performed by the delectable Ms. Alysia Harris and the phenomenal Miles Hodges

[Intro]
cry if you need to, but I can’t stay to watch you
That’s the wrong thing to do
Touch if you need to, but I can’t stay to hold you
That’s the wrong thing to do

[Alysia & Miles]
I know that you’ve heard this before,

I know that your patience has run thin,

And these love poems are getting boring.

[Alysia]
After the 5th one night stand, she said she felt like a slave to your lips.

I guess that’s when you started fearing, using your tongue as a whip.
[Alysia & Miles]
When the lust is so thick and the morals so weak,
[Alysia]
Her blood still violet on the inside but her lipstick’s gram pink

When you scrape your paintbrush across her canvas, nothing but water color courage & red wine to pour,

[Alysia & Miles]
Intentions & temptations blurred like,
[Alysia]
like a beautiful sunset but you swore on the blood of every black bird

Not to answer her calls,

Not to empty her depths,

Not to fish her pearl,

But just look at her black curls

So much midnight about her you feel like she’s cursed.
[Alysia & Miles]
And you can’t tell what’s worst, admitting you’re a coward,
Or telling her you just don’t want her.
[Miles]
After the 5th one night stand with the 4th different woman for the 3rd time this month, he wrote a poem about how 2 is the loneliest number he’s ever known

how the most at home he feels is in highway drives that wind him home

In the tar of I-95 north, across Bronx, south of route 4, west 87 towards Jersey.
[Alysia & Miles]
The damps of mattress plural she’s left behind
[Miles]
The contoured faces of girls wondering “why?” haunt through the air

And she likes it there.
(And he likes it there.)
In that haze.
[Alysia]

She is literally saying his name
[Miles]

In other men’s beds.

She actually told them that but the last text he read said “Miles you are fucking disgusting, to think you came in me one week ago”

He puts the phone down back into the center counsel of the car

Face steady like warriors after a clean death without a flinch or a murmur of limbs as Take Care fades back through the speakers
[Alysia & Miles]
You know, you know it’s messed up when you can start relating to that shit
[Miles]
When the best excuse you have for leaving before the sun rises is “she’ll never understand me anyways.”
[Alysia]

And yeah, the truth hurts,
[Alysia & Miles]
but don’t tell her you love her if you’re not willing to put in work.

After the 5th date, with the 4th guy who looks like you I’m beginning to wonder if I’m not just a little nostalgic

And I’d apologize but he doesn’t love me anyway,

he’s just in love with an idea

so I promise instead not to fart or cough

I’ma just let Einstein keep dreaming
[Alysia & Miles]
all hypothesis & semen.

Why ruin the ambiance with honesty,
[Alysia]
I just happened to have breast & ass & added a bonus for free

So whatever feelings he claims he has it won’t last no matter how bad the hangover, it’ll pass
[Miles]

‘cause I can stomach damn near everything

Even gas and a lit match with your initials etched on the back
[Alysia]

I don’t have to think when I’m with him

If that’s any constellation

Surface conversation in the blind observation that hands feel like hands in the middle of the dark

But his voice don’t sound like yours no matter how many lights I turn off.

[Miles]

And I, and I, I can’t get high enough anymore to disregard the beautiful, young lady, my one & only,

that reminded me,

keeps reminding me

that when you give yourself to someone

when your walls collapse

& your masks are thrown to the floor

You’re so close to someone, that everything seems to have a taste

The texts of her insides, poems itself over swooning to cum at the same exact time
[Alysia & Miles]

I’m reminded that when it’s done, they can call on your soul whenever they want to

And will, whenever their lonely needs its fix.
[Outro]
We live in a generation of, not being in love, and not being together…….