We are in times told to speak softly of death and the dying. To be gentle of word to the weary souls who have been here for the duration of life and have gone on even longer than many. We are told to be gentle; but they who were here for the duration were not meek or submissive to the passing of the days. Endurance in life requires resilience of mind and body. I am reminded today of the words of Dylan Thomas in speaking to wise men, good men, wild men, grave men; most poignantly to his father.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Today is the ninety fifth birthday of Nelson Mandela.
A milestone to garner respect and great admiration of what he has accomplished in his years. I am not inclined today to speak softly of this great man. It is not softness that got him through his life but unrelenting strength. I am myself honoured to have lived in a time of change fuelled by this man’s dedication to the belief that "what is right for one man is right for all men". I bow my head in thanks and offer a poem to the man as nearly a century seems not long enough. The world is learning to let go Mandela while we stand in wonder if any good men could step up to take his place in the fight he so passionately fought.
A quiet soul will stand quiet
in the light of all just treatment
but take away justice;
take away justice from the quiet soul
and a whisper becomes a wail.
Calm breezes become gale force winds of change.
The long walk to freedom begins here
with quiet steps in protest.
The fair man becomes the outlaw;
the quiet soul of temperate rage and sympathetic objection.
Unquiet prisoner, brick red.
Unquiet prisoner, brick solid.
Take away justice and the fair heart
protests in deliberate outlaw bellows
through and beyond all borders.
Take away justice and the outlaw
defined by righteous purpose, becomes an icon.
The quiet soul is the hero of just men.
Take away equality
and the outlaw in his indignation
becomes a leader among nations.
The quiet soul; speaking unrelenting truth,
speaking from behind brick walls,
outlaw rumblings and criminal protestations.
Knowing he sees light of truth
even while held in darkness.
Prisoner fuelled by free thinking truth.
Good men stand resilient
speaking low and true
decade upon decade.
Utterance of brotherhood
decade upon decade.
Quietly the outlaw becoming the leader of men.
The outlaw becomes the law maker.
The law maker,
becomes the legend.
Free thinking just and common quiet souls
thusly are inspired to become