Brazil: Revisited

“A modern city, warts and all.” — Dennis Brutus

Dawnlight seeps slowly into Sao Paulo skies
as if reluctant to rediscover old betrayals
or disclose new ones in Lula’s disappointed lands
(IMF/World Bank scoundrels have tenacious
as well as rapacious ravening claws)
but trees silhouetted against pale skies
against malodorous ditches assert
irrepressible growth, undeterrable vitality:
daylight advances, accepts sunset
all elements of daedal law.

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