Flag.

we're a set aside people
spurned
misconstrued
a people which fought and was defeated.

therefore, in my psalm,
I cry out and propose, negro,
that our flag
be a black cloak,
dark as the night without moonlight...

over such darkness of mourning and grief,
of our colour,
write, my brother,
with your rough, hesitant yet strong hand
the word of strength:
unity!

then trace, unwaveringly
these primary, edifying
words:

work, enlightenment, education.

and in golden, splendid letters
(with now a firmer hand)
write, negro:

civilisation, progress, wealth.

in rose-tinted characters
outline with affection
the key-word of life:
love!

in white letters
draw with affection
the sublime word:
peace!

then
in bright red
in blood-red,
with ink made out of crushed black bodies,
in battles that we're still to fight,
in bright-red,
the colour of our blood
ground and mixed with bloody tears,
the tears shed by slaves,
write, negro, firm and confident,
each letter a block capital,
the supreme word
(eternal, noble ideal
of the troubled mankind,
for which it's been fighting and suffering)
write, negro,
write, brother,
the supreme word:
FREEDOM

around these lever-words
sow stars aplenty
each of them glowing
all of them immeasurable,
the perfect stars of our hope
the beautiful stars of our faith
stars that are sure to be found on our FLAG.

MAURĺCIO DE ALMEIDA GOMES.
As translated by his grandson João Paulo Simões. The published work of Maurício de Almeida Gomes defined what was to become modern Angolan poetry and was a crucial lever in the course of the country's history. Read more here.


Boys Who Throw Rocks.


On ocean shores,
Lakes and ponds
Little boys sit cross legged,
pondering
The weight of stones.

And it must have been
The same for neanderthal man
Who first held
its edges and
knew his hands were not enough.

And as each little boy,
Spends his stones
By picking them up
With small chubby fingers,
Lining his shoulder to the horizon
And letting fly;
There is something ancient
in this compulsion
to return each stone to the sea.

Do they like the way it sounds?

Do their hands throw away
Pieces of a distant past
To make way for new life?

Or does every little boy,
At first doubt he is real,
Not know where he was plucked from,
Or how the world dissapears
When he closes his eyes
And yet the sky changes
Colour in his dreams.

Perhaps taking this stone and displacing
It in the ocean
is a little boy learning
in his small way
he can change the world.

So if you ever see a little boy throwing stones,
Smile, show him the biggest stones
Aren't the best, point to the flat sharp
Pieces of slate, which can skip
Across the waters edge.

Because if they do not find out
they can change the world;
You will see not so little boys
On motorway bridges
With dirty fingers and rocks
That can break open
Glass, metal, mouths.

JOE KRISS.

R. Kelly.

i'm tired and it's a white hot afternoon
that is it's going to snow

and it's going to be dangerous as [country] was in 19-somethingsomething
on the roads so keep one eye on the time all the time

because time management
is a key into a successful examination

and i say i'm thirteen
when actually i'm twelve (check my myspace)

and i don't care how old rimbaud was
because "illuminations were fucking awesome"

i said to someone, somewhere, once
though i have never seen a real dolphin

and now i'm writing a valentine for you on the slight of my hand
saying "fuck the thought police

and fuck you" too
and because cars can kill people

i'm going to rank them next to bears
on a danger scale i'm making for my daughter's birthday

55 and entering a death sentence authored by the conservative gvmt
i don't have enough hours to care about american politics or political agendas

though i don't really want to be ignorant either
as in i don't want to eat or subscribe to animal murderers

because arguably my spotify playlists have individual souls
and i'm going to make a playlist called 'happy songs'

and i won't be cruel and kill it with sad ones

JOE VAUGHAN.