Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Vale Nelson Mandela

(18 July 1918 - 5 December 2013)
"Courage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it."
Nelson Mandela

Raise the colours
to half mast.
Bow your heads
in benediction.

Angelic chorus
is weeping.

The world keeps on going.
Look to the person
deep within yourself,
and look at the person
you hate, you fear,
despise the most.

Are either of you really
that different from each other?
Do not allow the trains to run,
shut down the schools,
ground all the flights.
Stop the traffic.

Suspend the stock-exchange.
Cancel your trip to the plastic surgeon.
Stop all the killing
for just one minute…
For a great man sleeps
eternally now.

Not a man raised in privilege
or sort, stardom, wealth or fame…
A simple man,
an angry man,
freedom and justice
his only aim.
A generation he sat
in a vertical tomb of stone,
hatred, oppression
buried him—patience
and love, eventually freed him.

A man of violence and struggle,
who found wisdom, inner-peace.
Do not let his passing go un-noticed,
do not let his sacrifices, just become
legend and myth.

The world’s become a little
colder, the stars just a little more
dim, for tonight he sleeps
in eternal reverence
and we’ll be all the better,
all the wiser,
all the more loving,
for having shared the world with him.

© James WF Roberts Friday, 6 December 2013

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