I Am A South African

Poem By Werner Schmidt

and this is what that means:
I was simply born here,1975
and certainly not by choice.

A Bloemfontein child runs past the names of
twenty-seven thousand dead
at a war museum - laughing.
The obelisk points its finger at the heavens.
A stoned woman and child mourn at its base.
Butterflies fill the mausoleum.
War memorials grow like khaki bush.

How can we use our aggression to
build and beautify?

Some of us build lives for themselves
and launch pads for others -
accepting who and where they are
in many moments.
Faithfully growing - brick by delicious brick.

Some sit on their hands
waiting for a super someone
to save them from a supper
of violent disappointment.

Save steal kiss rape truth lie
fly fall penetrate land take-off
clobber
create destroy ejaculate water plant
cheat burn dance trample grow uproot
embrace reject sing conceive assault
excrete abort birth die raise rise
stand
talk
shut up.

During my lifetime:
Some of us have killed many fellow
SAfaricans and others for a variety of reasons
with one bottom line of constant coffin.

More recently:
One of us
… - saved someone else's 8-year-old daughter from human trafficking.
… - killed his 5-year-old daughter for wetting her bed.
… - saved a broken bird on a dusty rural street.
… - equated many of us with animals.
… - helped an infirm person across the street.
… - killed her 3-year-old grandson for taking chicken from the pot.
… - prevented a child from running to her tarred death.
… - cheated some of us, her customers.
… - gave his marriage a second chance.
… - suggested that many of us be killed.
… - saved herself by picking up a pen and blank page.
Some of us
… - killed a family on a farm, their garden doomed.
… - destroyed public property
… - while others
… - formed human barriers to stem the tide
and so on, and so on.

Our little gigantic blue home ball keeps
rolling day, night and enchanted
twilight - aurora borealis.

Oh, and, Werner:
Regardless of where you get born
once you wake up, you'll understand that
the world has always been mad.
Therefore, also in your day.
The only way to thrive through is a life
of practicing your art. Have you started, again, today?
Health warning:
Embracing more madness on your inside
than on your outside
may cause great calm.

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