Bra Hugh, an Ode

…Stimela… there is a train….
is how we will remember you,
a genius – with a fuse – a broad smile…
the fake you abhorred…
Bra Hugh’ how do we, you repay
for every melody,
for interpreting our pain
and bellowing our joy!
for serenading our souls,
and feeding our lusty hunger?
…Part of a whole…
Your notes fresh raindrops,
broke the spell on barren soil
your nimble feet tread –
without fear on apartheid’s tail,
with scorched voice you shout
….Brinnnng back…Nelson Mandela,
… I want to see him walking in Soweto…
Your tune, the mine workers plight
your humming our mothers solace
and our fathers silent pleasure,
A drumbeat sounds across Africa
from dusty Namibia to Dar es- Salaam,
Antanarivo saw you, Gambia played host,
You played in the jungle, Congo
blowing air in Tunisia and Mozambiki…
With your horn – one weapon
you moved them accross the Atlantic divide,
in the parade of ‘Orleans
…Been such a long time…
Your sounds, across the Pond
reverberates in central London,
you roared deep into Havana and Guatamala
Your secret weapon,
an indefatigable spirit,
for decades untold,
immortalized in rhythm
emancipated in expression…
you told our story
again and again…
Is there place they didn’t hear
since you always felt near
as you blow that horn,
and our feet start to dance
from Kofifi to the Bo-Kaap
Mdantsane to Upington,
your beat, was never missed
Moments become years and years decades…
…Child of the Earth…
You have left,
our souls cleft,
Your horn,
we mourn
…Send me….
Heita Bra Hugh Heita!
Clyde N. S Ramalaine
January 24, 2018
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