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Dec 2013
it is said that
a prophet finds no honor
in his own country

hard truths
boldly spoken
are received as a
wretched cacophony
threatening to melt
the caked wax
blocking the closed
intolerant ears of
intransigence

Madiba
once found no
personhood
in his homeland

his people driven
from their land
by Voortrekkers

snortling Boers
gobbling the land
uprooting native
people from villages
they had occupied
since the dawn
of time

spilling Zulu blood
into roiling rivers
of conquest

meeting peaceful
petitions of the
aggrieved with
Sharpsville bullets
splattering
the blood of
innocents onto
hardscrabble roads

redressing crimes
against the victims
by corralling them into
denuded Bantustans
where rivers do not
flow, grass never grows,
game cannot graze;
only the dust doth blow

riddling the captives
with torments of
Transvaal Apartheid,
mocking the speakers
of mother tongues with
the fained eloquence
of bastardized Afrikaans

the dominion of the
oppressors, sanctioned
and affirmed by exiling
a people from their land,
outlawing their language,
dividing the nations into
a fallacy of separate
destinies where a forgetful
history blessed with amnesia
will anoint the conquerors
with the spoils of abundance
stolen from the vanquished

Madiba spoke of these things
and was awarded a prison
cell for twenty seven years

but the hostages of
a conquerors justice
remained destined
to be freed by the arrival
of an accepted truth
set free by the very words
prophetically spoken

prisons cannot contain truth
steel bars cannot imprison
the idea of divine justice

it slips through the smallest openings
like a wafting fragrance of the first day of spring

it saws away at the rust strewn steel bars
like the surest movement of a master carpenter’s arm

it melts the thickest links of iron chains
in the fiery forges that burn in the hearts
of all freedom loving people

the truth of justice
is born and takes flight
on the wings of history
covering the globes
cardinal ordinates

nesting in the most
humble villages
and mean estates
on God’s good earth

truth and reconciliation
can never be separated
planted together to grow
healthy nations and
communities of
trust and restoration

Madiba, you always
found honor with
the salt of the earth
the children of light
who seek to dispel
the darkness of
acrimony and
*******

we continue to
walk your way
guided by your
prophetic visions
we take the first steps
asking liberators to join
with oppressors, pairing
in a magnanimous walk
along wholesome pathways
perceiving the buena vistas
of reconciled communities
firmly established
on foundations
of peace, equality
and justice for all citizens

I caught a fleeting glimpse of Madiba
as he rolled by in the Canyon of Heros
showered under a June blizzard of confetti
and a resounding acclimation of love.

I was a plebe inhabiting a lower floor
Broadway office, yet my station blessedly
brought me closer to Madiba.  As he passed
I was moved by his miraculous smile and felt
the colossal reverberations of his waving arm
triumphantly hailing the sweet freedom of
liberation all hostages of feigned justice
exude in the vindication of divine justice
enraptured in the joy of affirmed truth.

Dearest Madiba
we are enriched
and blessed for
the time you walked
among us.  

You fought
the good fight
my brother.

Rest easy
for we shall resume
the climb to
the next mountaintop.

Well done Madiba
Godspeed

Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela
7/18/18 - 12/5/13

Ladysmith Black Mombazo
How Long

Oakland
12/6/13
jbm
James Bradley McCallum
Written by
James Bradley McCallum  New Jersey
(New Jersey)   
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