Purple Hurdles

By Thandeka Bhengu/ @MissNinaBrown

Throw your bones;
You’re dancing on your throne
While you’re walking down the streets of your mind
And you’re on a natural high.
Breathe your dreams
You stalked it in your sleep

After you stared down the black cat in the yard
And it swore to not cross path
Feed your flame,
Shake out your alter ego’s mane
Where it takes flight, never shy
And you’re safe enough to let it cry.
Blood, weep, maggots tears vomit,
Vultures ripping in on it,
Roaches crawling on your skin
All that because of purple hurdles,
The burdens of the bricks of years of social constructs
Building up walls, identity falls
The city don’t understand these purple hurdles
But I’ve been told,
My need to jump these heights it holds
the prayers of souls
that rest in holes
nightmares of their lives untold
Fight seeming war of elements,
Judgments, illusions, angry mountains shouting.
Rain. Sandstorm round your neck
On a beach that was your friend
Reject their poison lies,
Preach truth of alternate life,
Love yourself enough to die
To primitive world views of life
Wake up in a jungle
Where the faces looking down on you
Are paintings of the spirits of their tribes,
Where their souls remain alive
Drink their nature in,
Feel vibrations on your skin,
Walk the trance of energies
Past green snakes curled in mango trees
I linger in the grass fields
That grew right above my head
And if the wind blows hard enough
I still can hear what grandma said
To wander to the river
Where you wash up to the rising
Of the laughing chants of children
That keep gem-filled waters flowing
Purple rivers, Dive in the flow of tolerance
know no current of ignorance
Exorcise hate;
You’re free to find your mate
In purple rivers, Just two pure hearts
Converge along love’s path of art
Dispose of care
And free your flare,
Hold hands as one we’ll dare
To laugh like we’re tickled by the wind
And skip like we’re led by our dreams
Open ourselves to insanity
Forget what made sense in history
We’ll ride on
Enchanted flowers
Get lost in
the magic hours
Feel smooth along the rhythm of the energies,
That emanate the beauty of what we be
Catch rain on our finger tips,
And let its secrets be the magnetism of our lips
The universe is ours
And the soil will remember our footsteps like the crevices of the Nile
And together we’ll life endeavour,
Love soft as a duckling feather
So smile.
Just smile.

Originally and even Into the earlier years of my childhood, The Valley of a Thousand Hill’s spiritual orientation was driven more by Zulu culture than Christianity. There was a large active community of nyangas (healers), sangoma’s (‘witch doctors’) and even abathakathi (witch crafters) – especially more concentrated closer to my actual home which is a five minute walk from the Inanda Dam which was originally the Umngeni River.

This piece is inspired by a sangoma named Shaya; He was well known and well liked but also very obviously homosexual and leaned much more to the female gender, he was a queen – a spiritual queen. He was never ostracized or made to be a victim of hate. He was a very integral part of the healing society. He was invited to all celebrations and ceremonies and the village regarded him fondly, and were also frank about his sexual orientation and gender identity. Most of the female sangomas were androgynous. 

 Hate against homosexuals was more introduced by the shift from the practice of African culture to Christianity where now in the same place young homosexual individuals are prayed for – for the eviction of the demons that possess them. To be homosexual has become politically un-African, but at the core and origin of Africanism, homosexuality existed. There are many respected spiritual people who are homosexual and homosexuality did not start now in this day and age, it is engrained in our ancestral history, it has its rightful place.

 

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