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“After throwing a shoe at the US Consulate in Durban today to wish the Bush regime good riddance, I remind myself that this sentiment of disgust has occurred repeatedly.  In 1987, it was Reagan in the White House, tomorrow it will be Obama, but the problem is not the person, it is the system.” — Dennis Brutus


Wraiths are racing down Fifth Avenue
over ice-crystals ignited by streetlights:
spectres fleeing vainly their grisly deaths
and premonitions of the undead
doomed to be struck down tomorrow:
Amerika, Amerika, where will you find compassion?

February 8, 1987

Dennis Brutus is a South African poet.  Active against Apartheid, he was arrested in 1963 and imprisoned for 18 months on Robben Island.  After his release, he became a political refugee in the United States.  Today he is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, engaged in poetry and activism against all forms of oppression and exploitation.  The Centre for Civil Society circulates a Dennis Brutus poem every day.  If you want to get a Brutus poem a day, subscribe to the Debate list at

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