Battle Scars Run Deep

Battle Scars runs deep.
I come bearing a disclaimer, I carry no sense of entitlement,
Nor do I carrymanipulation,
If you be asking so what,
I will ask conscience to speak to your consciousness,
You may be disappointed with this freedom,
please don’t condemn those who fought for freedom,
Do not curse the cause of struggle,
for we bear battle scars,
The battle was real and true,
comrades distinguished themselves at the worst of times,
Do not let anger and disappointment drive you to extinguish the role of these freedom fighters,
I am the still waters of freedom,
Running deep to the battle of cuito cuanavale,
I am the AK 47 of Andrew Zondo rattling in the heart of memory causing fear in the bosoms of the enemy,
I am the blood of martyrs oozing in different skirmishes across Africa, longing to go home,
By the river of limpopo, where we sat down,
When we remember those who succumbed to the clutching jaws of crocodiles,
they chose bravery just to see a free South Africa,
I am the petrol bomb,
the primus stove bomb flying from my hands to anywhich passing Casper,
What you do with freedom or what you chose as freedom does not diminish their role in the cause of freedom,
Battle Scars run deep,

Some of our necks squeezed by the rope of the hangman,
Snapping the spine, fist clinched in defiance while at the hands of death,
Some waited in the hands of torture,
for the death sentence was already pronounced,
Through our struggle we saved them,
please don’t so what me,
Human vultures here for the pickings of my hard earned sweat and tears,
You are the reason the young curse my pain of struggle,
May greed choke you as you steal from the poor,
The tree of freedom has been stolen,
Nourished with the blood of Solomon and many martyrs,
Its fruits benefiting the greedy, not the needy,
We all yearn for change on folded arms and moving lips,
Battle Scars runs deep,

We carry the experience of life in exile,
These eyes have seen the demise of combatants in the fight for freedom,
We are the embodiment of post traumatic stress,
these ears heard the haunting screams of torture in the interrogation room while waiting your turn,
The anxiety and silent panic in anticipation of pain as they drag you to the seat of torture,
Tell the youth these stories so they may know,
we come a long way,
Battle Scars runs deep,

Some were tossed out of the window from the 5th floor,
Sanlam building, search your history it will show,
Who knows their thoughts as they flew in the air to a certain death,
as broken bone meet the ever hard concrete floor,
Scattered on the road were hopes and aspirations of a nation, a family,
Lungile Tabalaza, history calls your name out loud still,
Battle Scars runs deep,

Will you make me a donkey who pulls a heavy load and still gets the whip,
Bears the scorching label of laziness for a pull the whipper can never accomplish nor attempt,
Easy to critisize and label others as sell outs in the seat of comfort,
My ears know electrocution in the torture room, while my chattering teeth grinds my tongue as I scream from pain,
My private parts squeezed with a drawer of an old merciless furniture of the interrogation room,
Bulging eyes painful groans Hamming pain through the night while my body shivers,
Battle Scars runs deep,

Tell them Lennox Klaas, our love for freedom and our involvement in the struggle was never fake love for our people,
we never fake our fight in the struggle,
The torment of a single walk,
52 stairs of no return to the hangman,
Taunting pinching and insult as they walk you to the cruel jaws of ever waiting death,
Still we find courage to sing as the noose sets in before the body jitters violently, gasping for breath,
For some, the noose was carelessly place on the nose and neck from the back,
Ripping the face and they die of bleeding and pain,
These images are not for under 18 and come with a violence warning,
our love for liberation was never faked,
the casualties of freedom, that was not faked,
the inscription on the tombstone of the martyrs who died in the Matola raid and other skirmishes,
the inscription on the grave of Sabelo Phama, Steve Biko,
the pain on the Brutal death of Onkgopotse Tiro,
these we did not fake,
the erasure of the voice of Mangaliso Sobukwe from any audio visual in our country, that is not fake,
so in your despair, never must we curse the role played in the liberation struggle,
as we poke holes in this democracy that masquerades as freedom,
still honor those who gave their all for the love of freedom,
Battle Scars runs deep,

To the youth, I present to you this incomplete freedom,
Paid for with our blood sweat and tears,
You too have blood sweat and tears to complete the circle,
Blame game never achieves,
Its a space for whiners to find seated faults,
If one day freedom does find my land and you be there,
Please tell it about Looks Matoto,
Battle scars runs deep,

I was dragged from my home like a carcass, leaving my crutches behind to a convoy of awaiting police cars,
I have been made to crawl just to achieve humiliation, denied my crutches,
Good Lord I have been selected for perpetual struggle,
I now find myself excluded because of disability,
Will I ever enjoy freedom,
When I am gone and freedom finds you,
Tell it I went to look for it in the grave instead,
Battle Scars runs deep.

By Looks Matoto.
28th May 2021