Saturday, December 14, 2013

Poem To Africa's Greatest Son by Lesedi Evans Shumba

Gone too soon
Always will be remembered
I will cherish your loyalty to Africa
until the day I also see you sited somewhere beside
Peter, Mahatma, Martin and Teresa

I could have sworn I felt the ground shake
When your soul escaped form the body it was kept
I could hear the sounds and celebrations of the jubilations in hell
last night when the world wept -
the angel has gone where he belongs.

Hope they tell me where they bury you
so I come and lie down near you and listen to all your stories
Stories of how you and your comrades marched down the streets towards the enemy
Ran Soweto carrying nothing but banners
the only bullets you had was the shouts of 'freedom'.
How did you really feel when you drank coffee
with the same men who put you in cages?
I bet they almost died of your brutal, unconditional forgiveness.

Dear Nelson
Take thy place as God's greatest grandson
Bring thy head forward to receive your crowning as Africa's greatest son
Twinkle, Twinkle little African star
How I wonder why so soon.
Wish I could put your spineless spirit in a bottle
Then drink it until my heart burst.

One last time
fold your fist hard, bang in the air
Just like how you used to stand in the crowd saying:
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fail"

Your enemies and even your dearest comrades
have tied to destroy you but failed each time
You are a lion with nine lives and a thousand hearts.
Wish I could write 10000 words
each for each day you spent in prison
I know you will shred your soul into a thousand pieces
then drop it into the hearts of all the
Leaders of the world, then maybe they would know
how to really treat their people.

Nineteen years ago you made a nation
out of a notion you strongly held.
Nineteen years ago I was born free,

Your hustle was not, just meant for Africa to see
Your courage was like a virus
which I tested positive.
Looked into your eyes and saw a thousand pictures
I Take your soul and make a thousand copies
One great leader is worth a thousand dictators
The giant has closed its eyes
for the world to open its minds and souls

I am a present of the past
Because you made your present not resentment over the past
but the refurbishment of the future,
My future.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmastime in America

You see the oddest things 
at Christmastime in America.
The bigger the city, 
the stranger the sights.
I was driving downtown 
to buy gifts for the family 
and enjoying bouquets
of beautiful people
bundled in big coats
and colorful scarves
clustered on corners,
shopping in good cheer
amid petals of snow 
dancing in the sun. 

One of them, however,
a beautiful young lady,
had stopped to take issue 
with an old woman in a shawl
picketing Planned Parenthood.
The old woman was riding
on a motor scooter 
designed for the elderly.
She held a sign bigger
than she was and kept
motoring back and forth
as resolute as my aunt
who had been renowned 
for protesting any injustice.
Saving seals in the Antarctic 
had been very important to her.

On this day, however, 
the beautiful young lady
who had taken issue
with the old woman  
was livid and screaming.
She marched behind 
the motor scooter and 
yelled at the old woman 
who appeared oblivious
to all the commotion.
Maybe she was deaf,
I thought, like my aunt.
That can be an advantage
at a time like this.

The letters on the sign were huge
but I couldn't read them
so I drove around the block
and found a spot at the curb.

It turned out the sign said,
"What might have happened
if Mary of Nazareth 
had been pro-choice?"
Now I understood 
why the young lady
was ranting and raving
and why the old woman
kept motoring to and fro.
At Christmastime in America
people get excited,
more so than usual.

When I got home 
I hid my packages 
and told my wife at supper
what I had seen.
I also told her that if Mary 
had chosen otherwise,
I wouldn't have had 
to go shopping today.
That's obvious, she said.