Word Sound

Seeds of Resistance

This poem was performed by five members of our community as part of the Great Seed Festival at the Garden Museum, October 2014.

In the end, everyone joined in a resounding chant for the last verse!

My Seed

I am an indigene, of the marginal lands

I am an artefact, of your constructs.

My whole anatomy has been divided up, you see

Quite arbitrarily

Reclassified: into flower, stem and shoot

Mind and body, Soul and root

Reclassified: Into class, gender and race

Allotted different kinds of space

But I am who I am! 

My seed!

They stole my seed!

They pillaged

Raped

Extracted

Ransacked

Nicked

Pinched

Lifted

(are they kleptomaniacs?)

They took

Patented

Mined

Grabbed

Borrowed without permission

Robbed

Bio-hacked

Thieved

Walked off with

Tapped

Made off with

Exploited

Bio-pirated

Suppressed

Manipulated

Raided

Fleeced

Pickpocketed

Cheated

Stripped

Deprived

Removed

Denied

Withdrew

(not that we knew)

Plundered

Alienated

Raided

Pirated

My seed!

This seed was the originator

Original – 

The ‘wild-type’ – 

Aboriginal.

This seed was the source of all seed

This seed was curated by my womb!

I trace a long line through my genetic legacy,

Right back to the honey bee

When we all lived in harmony, the angiosperms and we…

We evolved together!

We trace a lineage forward to the human race

It’s why we talk about One Love 

One Love! One Heart! Let’s get together and feel alright

And it is why all that plundering is such a disgrace

dis grace, dis race, dis race, race, race, race

You see, when my seed was taken; you also took my story too

How we had our way of interacting, transacting, acting within nature

 

We said, ‘As above and so below’

We blended in with nature, so

We cultivated her, we let her grow

But then the greedy ones came and

Took

Pillaged

Raped

Extracted

Ransacked

Nicked

Pinched

Lifted

(are they kleptomaniacs?)

They took

Patented

Mined

Grabbed

Borrowed without permission

Robbed

Bio-hacked

Thieved

Walked off with

Tapped

Made off with

Exploited

Bio-pirated

Suppressed

Manipulated

Raided

Fleeced

Pickpocketed

Cheated

Stripped

Deprived

Removed

Denied

Withdrew

(not that we knew)

Plundered

Alienated

Raided

Pirated

My seed!

My Yam! Cultural ambassador of my land!

My oil palm, my multipurpose tree!

 – WHAT TREE DID I SAY? –

Went to make Palmolive soap and others that you see

My shea butter, one of many natural oils! 

– WHAT TREE DID I SAY? –

Went to make food and cosmetics, business spoil!

My bitter leaf, hot leaf, afang, eru, amaranth, taro, so many greens I can’t number

Demolished when they cut my forests to plant imported species for their plunder!

My bitter leaf, hot leaf, afang, eru, amaranth, taro, so many greens I can’t number

Demolished when they cut my forests to plant imported species for their plunder!

NOW they say that our environments are vulnerable –

To ‘environmental degradation

Loss of the topsoil”, wholesale ‘farmer infestation’!

No more the domain of great diversity and abundance –

But ‘degraded’ and almost empty,

A ‘Recipient’ only

To exotics from other lands

But

If Lions were Historians, tales of hunting would glorify the hunter

Now man the hunter tells the stories, these tales glorify the punter!

 If Lions were Historians, tales of hunting would glorify the hunter

Now man the hunter tells the stories, these tales glorify the punter!

Got to tell it like it is

Seed from Africa and Asia and Jah knows where else, taken to the Indies and Africa West

Because the botanists and the traders they thought that what they knew was best

Used my seed to till the earth,

To draw the plough, they drew my blood

Foreign seeds were sown, watered by my sweat

Grew mighty profits from my body and my mud

 

Used my seed to till the earth

To draw the plough, they drew my blood

Foreign seeds were sown, my sweat watered them

Grew mighty profits with my body and my mud

JPMorgan, RBS, Lehman Brothers and Yale,

They’ve heaped up so much profit, could make a black person turn pale!

Though we don’t mention reparation, seems like our labour just went

The seed has suffered, is still suffering, five whole centuries energy spent!

 

My body was PHARMACEUTICALLY POISONED through artificial fertilizers and chemicals –  to make the seeds grow fast

That’s Mama Earth violated and abused, LAWD, how much longer can this last?

Neeeeeeeeewsflaaaaaaaaaaash!!!!!

They have invaded us again!

True, true, news, my friend!

They have invaded us again!

Not content with the profit from the seed

They have inserted their proboscis

BLOOOOOODLETTTERS!!!!!

Now they want to make us bleed!

New alliances resemble older Scrambles for the land

Africa’s bank of biodiversity, now they want it on demand!

Not content with

Stealing

Pillaging

Raping

Extracting

Ransacking

Nicking

Pinching

Lifting

(They must be kleptomaniacs?)

They are taking

Patenting

Mining

Grabbing

Borrowing without permission

Robbing

Bio-hacking

Thieving, I mean T’IEFING!

Walking off with

Tapping

Making off with

Exploiting

Bio-pirating

Suppressing

Manipulating

Raiding

Fleecing

Pickpocketing

Cheating

Stripping

Depriving

Removing

Denying

Withdrawing

(By now it is getting BORING)

Plundering

Alienating

Raiding

Pirating

Secret meeting… cheating…

African seed companies have now been taken over!

BY THE BIG ‘Gene Alteration Daddy’!

GM Criminals to NOW to OWN the seed and the African BODY

IT is OUR BIODIVERSITY they want to REPLACE

OH JAH! 

It seems like a conspiracy to poison all the AFRICAN HUMAN RACE!

What do we want, my mother?

Seeds of Freedom!

Seeds of Sovereignty!

Seeds of Resistance!

Seeds of Authority!

Seeds of Justice!

Seeds of the past!

Seeds of Culture!

Seeds that last!

 

Seeds of Freedom!

Seeds of Sovereignty!

Seeds of Resistance!

Seeds of Authority!

Seeds of Justice!

Seeds of the past!

Seeds of Culture!

Seeds that last! Seeds that last! Seeds that last! 

Seeds that last! Seeds that last! Seeds that last!

Mama Udongo, Oct. 2014

Garden Museum, London