the carrot

by Kgafela oa Magogodi

the carrot attracts a crooked habit

rabbits cross the floor to chew the rot

vote right

there’s no carrot on the left

the parrot sings praises cos the carrot

is in the pot

the only truth to the tooth is the carrot

liars strangle no more they dangle the carrot

to suck you into the rot

they put the carrot in your pocket

to keep you quiet

no more riot

no more riot

no more riot

just the grinding of rot

the carrot dance is a national sport

see how they run like judas iscariot

to grab the all mighty carrot

now children are taught

that life is about who eats more carrot

to excrete more rot

lairs raise the flag of the carrot

even in the toilet

no more riot

no more riot

no more riot

just the grinding of rot

you’re a true patriot

even if you get caught

stealing the carrot

nobody takes you to court

it matters not if you forgot

to give to the poor a cut

of the carrot.

Interesting work from South Africa by a poet invited to facilitate Steve Biko Foundation poetry workshops. This poem and the following praise for Magogodi caught my eye on the Centre for Creative Arts site:

Reading … listening to Kgafela oa Magogodi’s poetry and song is a shattering experience. His linguistic chisels go far beyond ‘causing blisters in the eardrums of society’. They are like a shattered mirror, with each piece of glass throwing at you a reflection, an image of its own. His art is not something that you can fix a label on without going drastically wrong.

Nobody likes labels, but we depend on them.

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