Thursday, 23 January 2014

December Five

Conscience of a nation to his children
olive tones and texture in his sallow skin
went to the God of all colours in winter
when the world is outside white.
And white hearts are black
living in skin stretched and mottled
by the sun of African skies
where his spirit flies.
Like Gandhi, a lawyer condemned
by the laws of his peer
he knew no fear of the dark
which was his manger
his refuge in danger.
They slapped the other cheek
and still he smiled
he knew they could not hurt him
with their wild accusation
they could not stop the rebirth of his nation.
Christened by his teacher on his first day at school
he had no paper or stool, no stub pen,
he could ask only why and when.
Accused of high treason; no reason,
Patience patented was his sword and shield
honed and polished on the penance field
of Robben Island's lime pits of the free
and Thatcher and Reagan held the key.
South Africa belongs to all who live in it,
black and white, genius and half wit.
“authority is based on the will of the people”,he said,
“this land is owned by the living and dead."
We have been brutalised by an invading nation
They dont know truth, or reconciliation.
He went gladly to his maker on December five
One of the chosen few; dead but still alive.

(in memory of Nelson Mandela, named after a pirate)


  1. New year, time for Patience and the Prodigal to start blogging again. Maybe we might get a new volume of verse this year again. Good to be back!

  2. A nice verse celebrating the life of Mandela. A nice picture.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  3. A bipolar granddad with a flair for alliteration. I like your style