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When I started this blog, the idea was to be focused and tight.  Somehow, I’m not feeling that today.  But this is my “stream of consciousness” so here goes.

Thought #1: My father taught me to never cross a picket  line.  Not ever, ever.  I’ve thought about this more than once during this strike.  The cause of the workers has been defended by brutality, intimidation and grossly inhuman behavior.  The perpetrators, striking public sector workers, should be exposed and punished.  How can they be supported when they are menacing the public?

And the voice of my father rings clearly in my head, explaining worker solidarity, telling me that our unity is the only bargaining chip we have as working people, poor people.  And I always added black people and women.

The reality is that as a class, workers in this country get far less of the pie than other sectors, i.e. the bosses/owners.  We live in one of the most unequal societies in the world say the statistics.  And isn’t the responsibility of the state, one of the primary employers of country, to ensure that its workforce doesn’t live on the edge of poverty while the managers live the high life?

So I might not like how people are acting in the streets and on the picket lines but …these are our sisters and mothers, fathers and brothers standing up for themselves.  I have to support the workers in a just fight for a living wage.

Thought #2: The Year of my Wounding. A year ago today I lost the vision in my left eye.  This horrible, traumatic thing happened to me and I survived.  Yes, there a many people with only one eye.  And many people have lived thru much worse trauma.  But this happened to me, changed my life.  There are limitations now, I have to be more organized so that I can get out at night, I’m jittery and dulled at the same time.  My energy is low.  I’ve  found new levels of poverty.  The low-level depression isn’t lifting. Can’t handle the unexpected, little things freak me out.

Still, I  have survived.  I discovered many people loved me, more than I ever knew. My friends took care of me, brought me food, took me out, sat with me.  They gave me money,  a few even put me on their debit orders for a few months.   I learned to ask for help and to accept it.  I like to think that my third eye is activating itself.

All things with time, I know.  My eye is still actually sore to the touch. A year is not a long time at all, so I’m doing OK. But I’m still needing prayers, support, love.

Thought #3: I spoke to a young woman and mentioned that women are still being murdered “for being witches.”  She didn’t believe me, pooh poohed me, that was a thing of the past.  Yet today my helper matter-of-factly spoke about the horror of “that old woman and her grandchildren who were killed by her own relatives because they said she had bewitched them.”

Yes, folks, this is definitely happening in South Africa in 2010; women are being murdered for “practicing witchcraft”.  The frightening part is that it is usually young men doing the killing and old ladies being killed.  As an old woman now, I have to ask myself will they come for me?  If I lived in rural Natal or the Eastern Cape or Limpopo – foreigner, one-eyed, alone, often writing late at night – would I be safe or living in constant fear?  Am I really safe in those young, male-dominated poetry sets where I so freely encourage my sisters to break  out of the boxes of conventionality?  Would these same brothers view me differently if we weren’t in Jozi?

I actually do believe in negative energy but the pattern is too clear.  When bad things happen, someone has to be blamed.  Older women are judged to be dangerous and expendable, easy targets; women are viewed by some as the source of all evil.  Is it because we are seen as useless, no longer sexual, no longer productive?

This just freaks me out inside – another form of violence against women.  And I’m not downing the country or anything, I’m sure there are other pockets of backwardness and misogyny in the world.

But this is happening here,  where I live so I have to say something.

Thought #4: A idea going round and round, wanting to be poem.

I don’t care that you birthed a nation

I want to know how it feels to be a woman

See ya next month.

mj

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  • Tuelo (A sense)

    Naima, so you’re with Mpho ya Badimo overseas, i’v been begging matthew to interview her for ages

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  • Naima

    myesha
    my esha
    esha my own
    still doing the good work
    worldwide
    still building the good earth
    a silken patch for you queen
    a silken patch and an opening eye, large
    green
    lavendar
    right in the middle
    of the forehead
    replacing the curl
    the forelock
    the new loc
    speaking now
    ‘when we were good
    we were very very good and
    when we were bad we were
    very very good —

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  • This is a time of unbelievable economic problems across the globe. The greed of my nation brought this to Europe and now other places. Some of these ‘others’ share the blame but like many things it starts and stops with the USA. Unions are greatly weakend now in the US, a product of 8 years when a party controlled by big business was in power. It is impossible now to easily change as the employer holds sway over the employee. God preserve South Africa from the destruction of the middle class now seen in more industrialized nations. Be on guard.

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  • Hey Myesha… still…”,
    i don knw if u subscribe to any Christian inclined views on WOMAN, bt a few weeks ago, my pastor mentioned how women r incorrectly blamed for the fall. that both sexes where made PERFECT. that the serpent LIED, taught a new message other than Gods. in a PERFECT place, who would suspect he intended malice? that even wen God set out judgment, he gave both EVE n ADAM a chance to defend themselves… that the serpent was cursed ON THE SPOT, but (wo)man was neva cursed, instead it was the ground that was cursed. Man (spiritually,culturally, traditionally, ideologically ) have misread their lot n incorrectly n unfairly burdened and persecuted women ova the yrs and continue to this day. Love is the answer… jus felt like babbling

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  • Myesha Jenkins

    Thanks, Lerato. Your poem really captures that spirit I’m trying to touch – still. I refuse to be earth bound.

    I’m writing it down.

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  • Miss Myesha you are a a universe of wisdom, a landscape wonderment.

    Now my thoughts:

    In old age purpose reigns still
    as long as breath still floods your veins,
    you’ll rule still
    As a one-eyed wonder you’ll envision still
    You’ll embrace still
    You’ll discover still
    You’ll create still
    You’ll be embraced still
    You’ll imagine still
    You’ll define still
    You’ll utter still
    Even if now and again you stutter still you will
    LIVE…
    S O A R!

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  • Tuelo (A sense)

    Naima, so you’re with Mpho ya Badimo overseas, i’v been begging matthew to interview her for ages

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  • Naima

    myesha
    my esha
    esha my own
    still doing the good work
    worldwide
    still building the good earth
    a silken patch for you queen
    a silken patch and an opening eye, large
    green
    lavendar
    right in the middle
    of the forehead
    replacing the curl
    the forelock
    the new loc
    speaking now
    ‘when we were good
    we were very very good and
    when we were bad we were
    very very good —

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • This is a time of unbelievable economic problems across the globe. The greed of my nation brought this to Europe and now other places. Some of these ‘others’ share the blame but like many things it starts and stops with the USA. Unions are greatly weakend now in the US, a product of 8 years when a party controlled by big business was in power. It is impossible now to easily change as the employer holds sway over the employee. God preserve South Africa from the destruction of the middle class now seen in more industrialized nations. Be on guard.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Hey Myesha… still…”,
    i don knw if u subscribe to any Christian inclined views on WOMAN, bt a few weeks ago, my pastor mentioned how women r incorrectly blamed for the fall. that both sexes where made PERFECT. that the serpent LIED, taught a new message other than Gods. in a PERFECT place, who would suspect he intended malice? that even wen God set out judgment, he gave both EVE n ADAM a chance to defend themselves… that the serpent was cursed ON THE SPOT, but (wo)man was neva cursed, instead it was the ground that was cursed. Man (spiritually,culturally, traditionally, ideologically ) have misread their lot n incorrectly n unfairly burdened and persecuted women ova the yrs and continue to this day. Love is the answer… jus felt like babbling

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Myesha Jenkins

    Thanks, Lerato. Your poem really captures that spirit I’m trying to touch – still. I refuse to be earth bound.

    I’m writing it down.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  • Miss Myesha you are a a universe of wisdom, a landscape wonderment.

    Now my thoughts:

    In old age purpose reigns still
    as long as breath still floods your veins,
    you’ll rule still
    As a one-eyed wonder you’ll envision still
    You’ll embrace still
    You’ll discover still
    You’ll create still
    You’ll be embraced still
    You’ll imagine still
    You’ll define still
    You’ll utter still
    Even if now and again you stutter still you will
    LIVE…
    S O A R!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
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