Qalandari Design 2015


While some of them will hunt you down

to kill the rest of you

the others will hold festivals

to have something to do


And even while they make of you

the very first to die

because of age-old Dutch racism

we both know it's a lie


And even if it were the truth

what would it really change?

the jingle of the guilder

is the rattle of the chains


The chains they used to bind the blacks

and certain whites as slaves

strange the ways they have devised

to get folks to behave


Lord knows the list is long

no space is left to fill

the names of those they've wronged

the unknown ones they've killed


A-h-h Europe - your rope - your rope

around my people's neck

after all you have taken and done

what more do you expect?


Yes!!! they come and why not

to see theirdiamondstolen sparkle in your sky

for us poor / folk / of a darker race

it's always been a place to go and die



The 1st black to set a foot

in America as a slave

was left in trade

from a Dutch man-o-war


Kerwin: what makes you differ

from the others racism had die

is that your case of death by race

is one they can't deny


A blood-stain on a taxi-seat

meant more than your life

that's why you layed down on the street

when you were wounded by that knife


When they decide

that one must die

it's while the blood is wet

that we're obliged

to ask ourselves

which one of us is next?


Remember the friends close to you

who did not look like you?

who did not treat you as

so many of the others do?

Friend is a friend is a friend

is not a color of a skin

but a way of being

this! hate cannot relate

and this is where racism steps in


Racism is one thing we learn from history

has done more to damage man than any one disease

people live and people die: that is a natural fact

but not so if the reason why is

just because you're black


Kerwin you were not the first

but we wanted you to be the last

we want fascism to stop

and we must do it fast



No one believes it - Kerwin did not - had he - alive

he would be - but he didn't believe -

racism - fascism - Adolf Hitlerism

or just plain Amsterdam snobism


No one really believes there is a thing called


it's always something else -

it's not because of your color

they say: it's the way you carry yourself -


Who knows what reasons they'll retrieve

racism is something no one believes

even when the black lays dying in the street

no one believes it


Closed eyes don't see it

racial abuse / an excuse

no one believes it though it is true -

Kerwin didn't believe / why should you?

Plus how could he?

no one believes racism to be -

like they didn't believe the Vietnamese

pleas to live in peace

they didn't believe blacks should be free

after 400 years of misery



They didn't believe / they didn't

believe that we too should

have a right to breathe -

no one believes racism to be /

that people are people

with a right to be happy and free - happy and free


No one believes that to be the way it should be

no one believes it possible because no one believes

people don't even believe

what their eyes can see

the injustice / the waste / the inhumanity

they just don't believe - they just don't believe


The horror is so normal

so, so, so informal

that the normal horror is believed good

even at the cost of blood !

                        Maurice Di, 25 August 1984


Qalandari Design 2012

Kerwin - the poem