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Posts Tagged ‘hafiz juma’

rattexIt is a strange irony, how I, the poet of provision, the builder of beauty, am deemed unworthy of my own creation. They run me out of town, and I go: what is a mere artist to do in the face of brutality?

excerpt two from ‘I am machinga’ by Hafiz Juma, soon to be published in Street Level the elusive book…watch this space (well, glance at it occasionally in the next few weeks for more information)

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i am machinga

traffic towelsThe sweet, sticky heat makes my clothes stick to my skin. I am damp to the touch, dripping with the unavoidable refuse of my art. Yes, I am an artist my friend, although you may not think so. How else can you explain what I do? I walk the town like a vagabond of the vanguard, a viscous fluid in the arteries of Bongo streets, providing for your every need.

All it takes is a single look, you know the one, while you inch along in the snaking foleni hoping for some form of respite, and you pleadingly glance out your half-rolled down window, I see the yearning in your eyes. Before you even know what it is that you desire, I will be there, with karanga na maji and perhaps a cigarette or two. I will provide. You take what I offer with subtle contempt, annoyed that I know you better than yourself, but alas, what is an artist to do?

Excerpt from ‘I am machinga’ by Hafiz Juma

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polici

What tragedy alights the flame of pittance in the beggar’s heart?
Is it the unnerving hole-ridden road to prosperity?
Or merely the worn-ragged story of possibility?
Indeed, if hollow promises made heavy debts then
the rich would beg on their knees.
Sadly only the sorry live with sorrow,
craving and raving about the unlikely prospects of tomorrow.

When the whispers of false decency tread on the still nakedness of beggared flesh,
twinkles of generosity seep from the corrupt breath of power.

Oh,
how charity strikes the chord,
how it breaks open the sealed disgust hidden within wealthy pockets.
Pockets filled to the brim; filled so high that the weight of them drags down the heart.

Perhaps it is destiny, that voluptuous specter who leads all of man to shameful ends, playing with means out of sheer amusement.

Who will curb the power of the corrupt?

The corruption of power.  

An almost instantaneous poem by Hafiz Juma, inspired by this drawing.

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