You Lived

“maybe death
isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light
wrapping itself around us–”
Mary Oliver, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
lights 2
You were
full of despair
the night
you crashed
your car.
Your lover
had just died
and you couldn’t
bear the thought
of going on
another minute
without him.
You wanted
to die too.
But you lived.
You lived to
show us what
beauty looks like
from the inside
with soft spoken
words
and a smile
that lights up a room.
I know that
many times
you wish
you’d died
because you
were left
with so much
grief
and your form
was changed
and bent
and hurt.
But you lived.
You lived to show
us how to occupy
deep gratitude,
even through the pain.
You remind
us each day
what beauty
looks like from
the inside
with soft spoken
words
and eyes
that have known
great sorrow,
yet they still shine!

Freedom Day

nelson mandela 2
It was 1994,
in lines we stood.
We voted for freedom
and it was good.

Oh, happy day
of celebration.
Our hearts united
in jubilation!

Nelson Mandela
Father of our nation
He brokered peace
it was our salvation.

Remember his legacy
keep his dream alive.
Care for the poor
and let *Ubuntu thrive.

*One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our inter-connectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.
Desmond Tutu

 nelson mandela 4

 

 

The Soul of Africa

africa
Distant drums pulsate a beat.
Tones of praise on breathless air.
Hadedas cannot compete.
Voices collide in fervent prayers.

Her land occupies heroes’ dreams.
Fiery hearts do quicken.
Struggle won and hope redeemed.
Many brave were stricken.

Her voice is soft as morning light,
when sunshine comes in view.
A turtle dove on winged flight
when blessings are renewed.

The rivers vibrate in reverie.
Her oceans breathe abundance.
The African soul of humanity,
forgiveness being her substance.

Past atrocities lament,
her lands are stained with crimson.
Heartache was her soul’s descent
affliction had dominion.

The ancestor’s cries ring out
o’er hills and mountainous regions.
From bushveld vistas devout
may liberation have allegiance!

Suffering was in soulful supply.
Equality must take residence!
The voices of *Ubuntu arise
and peace will be her inheritance.

She is of beauty deeply ingrained.
Her people are her legacy.
Her glory forever is proclaimed
so celebrate her endlessly.

*Ubuntu; A quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.

©2017

Remembering Sharpville

sharpville

A massacre on the streets
69 unarmed
people killed.
Mowed down by police.
Automatic weapons
fired into the crowd.
Women and children died.
A peaceful protest
against the inhumane pass laws.
The dompas*

In Sharpville
many shot in the back
when the crowd dispersed.
Thousands arrested.
The world watched.
Anti-apartheid sentiment grew.
Your sacrifice was not in vain.
57 years have passed.
We remember you.
We mourn you.
We grieve for those you left behind
who bear the scars of injustice.
Rest in Peace

*The “Dompas” otherwise known as the dumb pass or reference book;

The pass laws act of 1952 required all black South African men and women to carry reference books containing their personal details. The law stated that anyone found in a public area without their book would be arrested and detained for 30 days.

My dear friend

“Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps.”
Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

my friend
I’m so sad
my dear friend,
sad beyond belief!
Sad that you would take
life so lightly,
as if you weren’t
really alive.

What is this
that has replaced
your happiness?
Has joy left your grasp?
Do you try to
numb the anguish
of a once
tormented life?
Has pernicious shame
held you captive
for longer
than you care
to remember!

If I say that you are worthy
will you believe?
Because God’s love
is all that’s real,
and He can lead you back.

When you lose your way,
your being
and you cry out amid the shadows
of your brokenness,
God will be there!
When shapes are shifting
and the horror calls
you back.
Sorrows can’t be drowned.

If I find a way
to help you stop the pain,
will you let me?
Can I cover you in silence
with my supplications!
Those lonely, fearful nights
and days that had no end,
tormented with regret!
Why do you seek comfort
in what once,
nearly
destroyed
your life?

 

Afflicted

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

affliction-2
A path to God they said,
kept messing with his head.

Forgive him for he failed,
affliction was inhaled.

The craving ate his soul,
he could not be consoled.

He surrendered his dreams,
in intermittent screams!

On cold hard floors he lay,
and night turned into day.

A whisper in his heart,
God said he’d never part.

He was rescued that night
from shades of ghostly white.

Restored in gratitude,
faith was being renewed.

In God he now abides,
serenity resides.

©2017

Still my hero

A Cherokee or Ojibwa chief is said to have asked his young braves, “Why do you spend your time in brooding? Don’t you know you are being driven by great winds across the sky?” Don’t you know you’re part of a much bigger pattern? But you’re not in control of it, any more than you would be of great winds. You and I are a small part of a much bigger mystery.

rev
This is inspired by AA’s book of daily reflections;

When I think of what you’ve done
I’m plunged into deep despair
and then I remember
the place of the miraculous,
where divine souls are formed
in the beginning when it was good.
I look up at the sky and know that
together we are part of a greater thing.
I accept those glorious paradoxes
and reaffirm an inner strength,
knowing that through pain
there is growth.
When I face my darkest fears
I am given courage.
Each time we confront our own darkness
we get brought back into new light.