LAW FOR ALL’s Top 10: "Say something" by Harry Owen

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LAW FOR ALL recently hosted a writing competition called "Write the future, right the wrongs".

The three winning entries are published on LAW FOR ALL’s website. LAW FOR ALL granted LitNet permission to publish the seven other entries of the Top 10 in the coming seven weeks.  Below is “Say something” by Harry Owen.


Picture of Harry Owen: provided

“Say something” by Harry Owen

about us

about scarcity, squalor, disease
about avarice, lust and massacre
about bloodshed, torture, crime
about celebrity, ignorance and bling
about politics

say something

about Syria
Libya, Afghanistan
say something about Nairobi
and a thousand other wretched places

say something

about war

say something

about sweat shops, jobs and slavery
about poisoning, pollution and pimps
about fracking in the Karoo
the obscene nonsense of sustainable growth
about things that waste and die
that we’re killing along with ourselves
about China

say something

about elephant, rhino and lion
about tiger, orang-utan, pangolin
condor, dolphin and whale
say something about the planet
our lovely threatened globe
about me, about me, about ours
about us

say something

about sickness of the body
of the TV mind
of the right to speak out
of the heart, of the soul
about death
about death
about death

say something
about husbands
wives and daughters
about sisters, brothers, sons
say something about corruption
about murder and rape
about loneliness, sorrow
wickedness, despair

say something about gods and gullibility
about faith, about bigotry
and sin
about daydreams and night terrors
the childish compulsion to believe…
… then pause
and say something

if you can (whisper it)
about peace, about hope, about life
say something, something
about them, about us
the same, we’re the same
some honour, some decency
some light, some love

not gods, not spirits
not heavens, not hells

but us

us alone

something, Some Thing

that we are

speak it and speak it and speak it:

speak us


Read an interview with Jackie Nagtegaal on the outcome of the competition.

Justice in the time of COVID-19: an interview on the outcome of LAW FOR ALL’s writing competition

The winning entry of the competition was: "When I dream of a future" by Belita Andre

The second prize went to "The image of justice: a double duplex", by Nomyezo Mqhele

Third prize went to "The commute", by Sesetu Holomisa

Herewith the names of the Top 10 entries:

  • "Exit" by Maretha Maartens
  • "Green" by Naomi Meyer
  • "Breath of law" by Inga Ntantala
  • "Say something" by Harry Owen
  • "Brave" by Monicca Rampine
  • "When justice meant the world had to stop, so Ayanda could dream" by Sumayya Mohamed
  • "Nqo" by Siyabulela Javu

LAW FOR ALL’s Top 10: "Nqo" by Siyabulela Javu

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