Last song for the year: Marikana Revisited (Part 1)

2012-12-21 09:46

The child whose birth is unremembered sits on the front porch of the hospital with no name. The summer sun lightens Gauteng’s blue skies with a festive mood. Inside the secret place located in suburbia's landscape, the land’s icon recovers from an infection of some sort. The child, whose image cannot be captured by the human eye and whose voice cannot be held under arrest by the atmosphere, begins to sing her lamentation. Her song remembers the cries of the poor and the dirge of the widowed.

The child sings on behalf of the unheard:

Sound the trumpeting gunshots so to make blunt the spears of our fight

Your bullet pierces the flesh of the soldier

To mark upon him the wounds of your betrayal

To mark upon him the death of a nation’s conscience

This blood bath flows upon the table of  inquiry  

The dead leave us with no return

Only with our souls trapped in the labyrinth of the aloof State

Oh Young Nation

Can a virgin forget her ornaments?

Can an infant forget to cry?

The songs of their battle were silenced by the rifle

Their battlefield became the bed of our nation’s trauma

We gazed at this death and pretended that these men that lay deceased on the dusty ground did not summon us to remember our dreary past in this confused present

Oh Young Nation

“Adam and Eve” is the king of your rule

You bite into the fruit of the spoils unripe to fill the coffins of your fortune

You are the father who embezzles the heart of your own heritage

You are the parent schooling his child to become the thief of our days and our distant lands

Now we return to the Nile to sip on the days of our bondage

So we replay the scenes of this demise

We became the experts of the postmortem

Youtubing the images of our brother’s death to scrutinize, analyze and criticize the gunshot scenario

Yet, without knowing the names of the dead we made judgement to validate the biggest crimes of our days

We revisited the camera angles that shot their affirmations to oblivion

Yet do we visit  the home of the orphaned child, the now widowed wife and the wailing mother

Disaster has come and she is in our midst

She wears the garment of the gold of our land and the diamond unearthed by our hard labour

She wears the emblem of patriarchy and robs us with our possibility using the façade of freedom song

She builds mansions housing her greed, misfortunes and a household that may yield a power to burn our dreams away

She commands an influence to assemble a scheme of double interest

We used to call her our hero

She was only a dream that was not to be lived

For she has ordered the death of our brother who dug for her fortunes underground

The brother is left wanting and with naught but the last breath

Silenced are our poets, kings and priests

They proclaim not the void and gloom of this present time

The land of our birth has silenced its freedom song

We have sounded the mshini wami gun threat

Now the real soldiers dormant in the tombs of this shame

And the tide of our lives remains unchanged.

The child whose song remains unread wipes the tears from her eyes. Stands from the porch and walks into the hospital with no name. She walks into the secret place to appeal to the land’s icon who recovers from an infection of some sort. Maybe he might see her invisible image and heed to her unheard song.

 twitter: @jazz2ben

(For less fiction check out Kwanele Sosibo's piece and Greg Marinovich post-massacre story)

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