• An Open Letter to the UN Climate Change Gathering in Copenhagen

    Allow me to make a few points about the current international negotiations which are likely to make a huge impact on the future of the planet.  At the heart of the issue is the trade off that has to be made between those who want to continue on a path of exploitation and the protesters […]

  • 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 […]

  • Prophetic Verse

    please keep in mind as you prepare to pass sentence you may at some time be in need of a presidential pardon and I may, understandably, be reluctant to grant it. Dennis Brutus is a South African poet.  Active against Apartheid, he was arrested in 1963 and imprisoned for 18 months on Robben Island.  After […]

  • Cries of Ghosts across Centuries

    Babylon has fallen, has fallen Yea, Babylon has fallen Woe!  Woe!  Woe! Towers that soared into clear blue are at blocks of stone settled into earth all gone, all shattered ground into scattered dust Babylon has fallen, has fallen Yea, Babylon has fallen Woe!  Woe!  Woe! Now hordes of warring barbarians literate, skilled in killing […]

  • Farewell the Nightingales

    “This is one local aspect* of a problem which is actually global.” — Dennis Brutus Farewell the Nightingales Walking the streets of the Shah’s Tehran I was conscious of lurking Savak — cries of tortured victims hung in the dusk even as I lingered over buttered long-grain rice in a dim bistro’s magic cave: That […]

  • Amerika

    “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.” — […]

  • Remembering Egypt

    “Egypt is playing a tawdry role in the current agony of the Palestinians; but it is not new, sadly.” — Dennis Brutus Remembering Egypt  Solitary I walked the sands beside the Pyramids hot soil beneath my feet: ageless the cloudless skies aeons above invisible stars: men laboured in dusty rags parched reeds wilted in shallows […]

  • Still the Sirens

    Introduction The sirens of oppression I referred to in my first collection (1963) were still present in South Africa in 1989, as they seem to be as well in Gaza in 2009 thanks to Israel’s bombing spree.                                     […]

  • For the Prisoners of Guantanamo

    If I could be a bird I would fly to Guantanamo and perch on the barbed wire fence of Guantanamo prison and sing a song of praise of praise for your courage and sing a song of love march 18 2008; brooklyn; d.b. This poem by Dennis Brutus was posted to Debate, a discussion list […]

  • The New Monastics

    Tall black-shadowed cypresses slender beside arcaded cloisters: thus were monastic enterprises: now with our new doctrines secular-consumerist we bend with similar devoutness in service to our modern pantheon — Bretton Woods, its cohort deities — World Bank, IMF, WTO — diligently we recite “We have loved, o lord, the beauty of your house and the […]