TDR Poetry: Activ-isms

by Imran Garda


Sorry to buck the trend

My activist friend

But your activ-isms have created schisms in my land

Reminds us of days gone by

As your ancestor’s ships arrived on our shores with the good book in hand

We are not obliged to match the size of the garments you cast upon us

We are not designed to conform to your fetishes


We don’t intend to bite the hand that feeds us

But forgive us

We may have lost our appetite a long time ago

You enter my dry windless summer

A land for you of infinite drama

Intervening, hunting for the killer in the wood

Strange that you should have such swings of mood

Forgive me for the bitterness swirling in my spleen

Your cash flows like our tranquil streams

Fulfilling the wildest dreams

Of our real tormentors

Our Kings and Queens

Send in the troops

In endless postcolonial loops

Like Black Hawk Dawn and Apocalypse Now

Let’s shoot some hoops in HD and together vow

Death to poverty, death to crime

Time to change the world one RT at a time

You raise awareness

But what of fairness?

Read, watch, click, send

In an over-saturated online wasteland

Millions and millions more informed

What if your history was deformed?

Yet still, my continent, to you a country

Welcomes you

Let the internet set the bounty

From ABC to ICC

Only because you love me

But if you love me, why don’t you ask me what I think?

Or do you fear that I, from the fountain, shall too deeply drink?

Sorry to buck the trend

My activist friend

But your activ-isms have created schisms in my land

Forgive me my beloved rebellious bird

Your voice, unshackled, deserves to be heard

But while you explore our forbidden fruits

Take me as an equal, from the leaves to the branch, to the trunk, to the roots.


About the author

Born in Johannesburg, Imran Garda has over a decade of experience as a journalist, writer and TV personality. He currently lives in Washington, DC and hosts The Stream on Al Jazeera.



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