South Africa

I come from a nation large and strong
Where we raise our voices in song
Sing praises unto the heavens and earth
With a dozen languages of different words

Our people, we know of tragedy and pain
We know more of loss than of gain
Yet we seek not to dominate
We seek a commitment to cultivate

We have the land, the labour, the love
We have sun and moon, is that not enough?
We have seeds sown all over our nation
So why, may I ask, are we still in recession?

Since 94 we have overthrown Apartheid
We are living legacies of Mandela’s fight
Our existence in itself is what makes us free
So why are people suddenly chasing money?

All of you South Africans are smart enough to
Stand there and tell me Zuma did this to you
And if we as a People claim to fight corruption
Then is not desire for wealth simply giving up our freedom?

I say this to you, my country, we do not need money right now
We will need it in the future, but first take a look around
You see that backyard of yours, that you forgot was even there?
Well that’s a perfect spot for a home garden, use the sunshine and the air

You there, standing by the window with nothing in your hand,
Go to your yard and look around, find a plot of sand
Take your fingers and your palm and lay them on the ground
Now you can draw a picture there by wiggling your hand around

And you, Mr, Mrs, Miss whoever you are
With your fancy trucks and empty unused cars
Why don’t you get up and register those wheels
To collect soap, food, and deliver some meals

We as a nation, we have been through much
And this lockdown has been a little tough
But remember, we’ve also overcome much more
Than just staying home and closing a door

For all the sacrifices our ancestors have made
We must have compassion, we should not complain
We as a nation have only one mission
To consider and respect each other’s fight for freedom

I have only one request today, my beloved South Africa
That we take one minute to remember Nelson Mandela
Think about why he pushed Equality instead of money
The fundamental philosophy of what it costs to be Free

South Africa, my people, my nation, my land
I wish we could help each other understand
That there is only one way to overcome mass corruption
We must be fully committed to tackling our own oppression

We must become open to change and transformation
We must set a good example for the new generations
We must become cooperative, constructive, and creative
We must focus on being productive, only in sports are we competitive

Slowly as we build ourselves, our skills, and our souls
We will see progress within the nation, and then we can make goals
We must, as People, take some responsibility
We within ourselves must have accountability

South Africa, my beloved, I pray for all of us
But mere prayers are not going to be enough
South Africa, my love, let us unite as one
Let us keep living and striving for our free-dom

 

MG

 

 

South African Freedom Day 427

Peace and Chaos

Flash fiction

 

“God, grant us world peace,” prayed the old woman.

“God, keep the art alive,” prayed the young man.

“Without chaos, there would be no art. Without art, no peace. Peace exists because of chaos, without chaos an artless world would lack peace,” said God.

 

MG

I Come From A City Where…

I come from a city where…

Kids can make computer games
But don’t know how to ride a train

Teens can ace quantum physics
But have no clue about budget sheets

College kids can start revolutions
But with love they’ve no solution

Thirty year olds still watch cartoons
But can’t define platoon or harpoon

Forty year olds still live with mommy
But convince themselves they’re free

Fifty year olds try out kick-start companies
That last no more than fifty two weeks

The sheer existence of intelligence
If not balanced is meaningless

This city is filled with educated idiots
Whose lives rely on widgets

MG

The Black Hole (Part II)

First read Part One (Click for link)

I kept that promise — except… I did it metaphorically. No, I did not join NASA and fly to the physical Black Hole on which Einstein and Hawking both have astounding theories. Nay, I traveled to a metaphorical Black Hole and was sucked into a world that I never would have thought existed. A parallel universe on earth, so to speak, where time-zones collided with human measurements of time. Where humans behaved much like the depictions of demons I had read about in literature. Where all that I knew of the world had crumbled into a pile of what I now realize was a childish idealisation of humanity.

I went to the Black Hole — if anything, simply because I was curious. At that age, it was never about the glory or fame. It was never about the money or the risk. It was about the innocent curiosity of wanting to know what lay ahead.

Of discovering a secret that the world hadn’t.

Yes, it was an egocentric drive, but one with a positive outlet that drove me to do crazy, unheard of things that I can now understand experientially rather than limited to vocabulary. It was the push I’d needed at the time, incidentally, the one that pulled me so far away from my ego and into a universe without a self.

In this universe, my shell was invisible; the egocentric shell, the human cloak which I wear to shield myself from vermin, was not brought into this place.

It was disconcerting. I felt disoriented and “not my-self” because essentially, I was not my “self”, I was just… me. I floated around the universe as an unnoticed observer who tried to make its presence known by way of habitual behaviour derived from the egotistic persona. None of my actions were familiar, and yet they did not feel wrong at the same time.

I felt myself changing in this universe. Am I growing or am I stagnating? Am I moving forwards in the wrong direction or walking backwards in the right one? Am I floating or am I flying? Am I drifting or am I surrendering my power? Am I strong or am I weak?

These questions I’d pondered left-right-and-centre until years later, I reached a final conclusion.

Do those answers actually matter, or am I just distracting myself from escaping this void I’d been so curious to explore?

It was right at that moment a pathway magically appeared. A dark spot had appeared in the Black Hole (which was filled with a surprising amount of light, so much that you couldn’t actually see anything. You know that feeling of total darkness? Well imagine total brightness, it ain’t that pretty either.) But that darkness meant a way out, a way back into humanity.

A way back to me

The answer to the question was actually quite simple: the answer doesn’t matter. It’s what you do with the knowledge that counts.

Though anyone could’ve told me that in a second, the pathway only appeared because I had reached something they call acceptance. I had to accept simplicity and deny mediocrity.

After years of exploring the Black Hole, I returned to humanity.

I tried to speak of this experience with others, but…

 

Stay posted for Part III

 

MG

From Kings to Paupers

A king’s crumb
The pauper’s pearl
~MG~

Kings, they sit amongst each other, feasting on rum and wine. They eat and drink, mock laymen and slash servants for fun. The kings awake the next morning with bitter hangovers, only to rule the People whose integrity was entirely disregarded merely hours prior.

Councillors, they converse with each other, sampling brandy and whiskey. They sup and swallow, scoff at their kings and throw crumbs at kids. The Councillors rise at dawn with no hangover, ready to persuade the kings to follow their tactics while simultaneously riding on moral high-horses, ripping off the underprivileged with unrequited taxes.

School children, they play alongside each other, drinking ale and juice. They gargle and guzzle, taunt each other and start brawls for personal amusement. The children awaken in the morn for school, only to be reprimanded by teachers for inappropriate attire and caned for disrespect.

Paupers, they laugh amongst each other, sipping gin and stale beer. They nibble and gulp, make a mockery of themselves and smash bottles across each others’ heads for fun. The paupers awake the next day with fuzzy heads, knowing that their actions only justified the ridicule of their rulers.

The People, the entirety of the humans, all engaged in the same manner with those who shared in their sameness. They all rotated like gears in a clock, trying to make it from sunrise to sunset without disrupting the direction. They were all the same, for they all shared in the belief that they were different. From kings with their superiority complexes to paupers with their simplex inferiority: each to its own, all did the same.

Despite this reality, their egos allowed them all to believe they were unique.

But they weren’t.

They really, really weren’t.

 

MG

 

While I Was Away…

I spent some time in a metaphorical submarine as the unconscious unfurled while I sought answers in the depths of me. Thankfully, I did have wifi connection wherever I went, so upon emerging from the deep blue seas, it was not a particularly intimidating readjustment. If anything, I was rather excited to come back to life fully revived and ready to thrive.

In my journeys far from humanity, I discovered many treasures that lay beneath the tidal waves where few dare to venture. These observations quenched my thirst and satiated my hunger in the days where human interaction was scarce; when those above sea-level lived their lives offline, engaging in human activities such as parties, discussions, sports competitions, birthdays and weddings, explorations of the natural world or what not.

It wasn’t until the humans commemorated their life in a shared memory space called the Cyber-Web did I know what was going on in the world above. It was entertaining, I enjoyed living vicariously through those I once knew, and those I had yet to know. Being a few hundred feet below sea-level with only a dozen other souls definitely beat soaring thirty-thousand feet above sea level with four hundred anxious flyers. There was less…turbulence, so to speak. Less chaos in the depths.

I observed the humans, they amused me. As times got tougher and the planet became hotter, each for his or her own reason reached for the skies, seeking life in more temperate regions. Those from the Cold Lands migrated further east, towards where the sun rose. Those from the Hot Lands aimed to move North, away from the sun and into more habitable temperatures.

The humans moved and migrated, each taking a piece of the land to new lands, cultivating and planting new seeds in soils becoming more and more crowded. What was once intended to be a garden soon became a forest, one that later branched into a rain-forest. Lands soon changed and merged, as physical survival became the sole focus of humans. Those who did not face physical challenges soon became bored and created  problems for themselves; problems of perception, of opinions, of emotions, and of status.

Humans…

I returned, for I missed the chaos.

MG

Where Am I Now, They Ask

“Where are you?” they ask, then don’t stop to listen to the response. Well…

I am capable of anger. Rage, too, mind you. It is not an anger that reacts to the ordinary, mundane trivialities of social construct, such as religion, race, gender, and class. No, it is a genuine anger, not a projection. It is an underlying one, the undercurrents, which have found different mediums of release so that no more human collateral is necessary.

However, I am capable of anger. And pain. And rage.

Some call them demons, I call them artists; exploding paint into an array of beauty, of wonder in the making.

But more than anything, that anger comes from disappointment. Sweetheart, I’m disappointed. I know you are, too, but part of that springs from the knowledge that we both want the same thing and just not from each other. We want it from ourselves.

Yet, I have the audacity to write this to you, knowing that you’ll never read it –  I use audacity in the context of “courage”, not “entitlement”. I am that flux between your best dream and worst nightmare. It is my humanity I present to you, as sincerely as I know how.

You’re free to come and go as you wish, you always have been. But darling, you have become as apathetic to my presence as I am resilient to your absence.

So for once, I just wish you would meet me halfway. That said, I don’t know if I should be reaching or settling…but I’m present, somewhere in the middle. That’s me.

Balanced.

Present.

Always, the last one standing. The one they’ve left to hold up the fort.

And I do, using the pain and strength that came from shattered bones regrown. On cold days, the scars do burn a little, a reminder that there is still a fire within me. On hot days, the anxiety levels rise and my aggression is channeled into “midnight strolls” that turn into 20 kilometer strides around the city.

I have no choice but to be strong. My weaknesses are merely “assignments I have yet to complete.” The disappointment in me springs from always feeling incomplete, from the perfectionism that has been instilled in me through knowing that I can only ever improve. The disappointment in knowing that I have become who I aspired to be, and now need new aspirations so as not to become complacent in the results. There is no end to the learning process, only expansion and improvement.

But they say, moving forward sometimes means allowing the future to unravel and unfurl, the seeds that have been planted through time.

They always say “reap what we sow”, and then leave out the entire “growth” process. The longest part of the journey. They say it as if one can plant a bean and it magically sprouts into a beanstalk, instead of describing the journey of how it took to turn into a plant. So yes, we reap what we sow, but in between, there’s a whole ton of adventure and growth.

Those are the challenges: the long days in the sun, plowing through the soils, finding the right fertilizers, weeding out bad roots…and yet…those are the parts they all skip…and you ask why I’m disappointed.

I feel betrayed. Betrayed by the lies you didn’t mean to tell. Because the lies you tell yourselves, are the lies you tell me. And then expect me to swallow it like it’s not insulting. Expect me to stand there and take your projections of insecurity because I’m “strong enough” to ward them off, apparently.

Well, I’ll tell you, I’m not warding them off, darling. I let them sink it, taking the place of what used to be “respect”. Perhaps it’s not that respect needs to be earned, but that disrespect should be earned. I approached you with respect, the respect you hadn’t earned, but still expected. So I handed it to you, sampling it to see what you’d do.

You took it for granted, love. You took me for granted.

It’s not a line you’ve drawn between us, or a wall you’ve built between us, darling.

It is an abyss you’ve created, a canyon, where we’re both on the edge wondering who’d fall first.

I assure you, I’ve already taken that plunge. A long, long time ago. I’ve been down here a while now, exploring the caves and digging for diamonds.

But I’m not staying down here alone, so when the storm comes and floods this canyon into a river, I’m letting it carry me wherever it leads.

Because this, darling, is out of my control. And evidently, out of yours too.

I love you. And I’m sorry that loving you hurts this much, but I’m not sorry that hurting grows me this much.

So join me, or don’t, but know that I won’t be here forever…

MG

Write Truth with Love

“Write it with love,” I kept telling myself as I nervously tried to muster up the words. Writing from the heart was never hard until I realized how much there is to say, and yet so few words to convey. Perhaps that’s why I resort to poetry, it’s the direct link to the heart, to the unfiltered emotion, without the facade and masquerade of human conditioned behaviour. Socially appropriated responses, as they call it nowadays. Nonetheless, here I sit past sunset, wondering how to best express the wondrous and astounding experience I have been having since the day our eyes met. It seems so simple, when I pen it in rhyme, but why, oh why, do words evade when I want to say more than just…I love you…

Dear Darling,

I write this to you only hoping, praying, that you read this, at some point. Preferably soon would be nice. Our journey together is one of the most beautiful paths I’ve ever taken, especially because it’s with you. I’m not there physically, don’t quite consciously know why, yet somehow emotionally understand. Somehow, I am there, always, in the way that you need me to be, want me to be. I love you for that, for letting me love you. Remember that conversation we had, about “of the many ways to say I love you”? I remember that. I remember all our conversations.

But of all the ways to say “I love you”, you said it best. You said it in your words, in your actions, in your presence as well as in your silence. I only ever wanted to show you that, but became so tangled up in everything else that was going on; all the excitement, the transitions, the thrill and exhilaration of being in your company. I was careless, many times, I slipped up, and I made mistakes. I am sorry for that, truly, for the tears I’ve caused, for the pain from which I only ever wanted to shelter you. You’ve told me how happy you are now, how much you love yourself, how much you’ve grown and continue to grow. It’s like I’m seeing you see in yourself what I saw in you from the moment our eyes met. We lost and found each other amidst our chaos.

I know you find it hard to believe, almost impossible, but I knew from the start. There was something about you, when you sat opposite me, hearing the words come out of your mouth echoing my thoughts and personal reflections? Your words were/are a splittin’ image of my journey; it was uncanny. You had me hooked from the moment you let me get distracted by the tint in your eye. That flawless spark concealing worlds of words, galaxies of comets, stars falling and swirling around planets. Even writing this, I’m taken back to that universe of yours, teleporting through all of it…

Deep down, my love, I understand you, more than you realize. More than I show, sometimes. Emotions are not my forte, I did mention that, but I’m always learning. It’s me, darling, and you have taught me so much. Simply by being who you are, by being here with me, you have taught me lessons in life that I have only ever dreamed of learning. You have given me patience and self-discipline. Two lessons most around me have spend years trying to drill into me. But that’s all you, darling, you inspired me to breathe, to slow down in a way that I didn’t even realize I could. In a way that I very much needed.

You showed me a side of myself I had long since forgotten, a gentle compassion in me that you’d managed to silently resurrect.

My love, you are so much more to me than you realize. Your presence in my life, however you choose it to be, has been one of the reasons I’ve managed to shake of the cocoon that was jading my vision for the past few years. You, simply by showing me that you exist, have worked miracles in my life. It is for this reason that I want to thank you, for growing me, for pushing me into a new realm where you and I can coexist simultaneously while still physically living our human realities. I don’t know how you do it, and suppose a magician never reveals a secret.

I’m no magician, but I do have a secret. A secret that I would happily REveAL if you want.

Truthfully, darling, I hope you realize that it has always been you.

Just you.

What you and I have…this is beyond love. It’s something deeper. I know you know that. I love you, and so much more than just love…You are amazing. We are amazing. This journey; us.

Us…The story that writes itself…

M.G.