Monday, August 10, 2009


I was six when
Mama was careless
she sent me to school
five days a week

One day I was
kidnapped by a band
of Western philosophers
armed with glossy-pictured
textbooks and registered reputations
'Holder of BA
and MA degrees'

I was held in a classroom
guarded by Churchill and Garibaldi
pinned up on one was
Hitler and Mao dictating
from the other
Guevara pointed a revolution
at my brains
from his 'Guerilla Warfare'

Each three-month term
they sent threats to
my Mama and Papa

Mama and Papa loved
their son and
paid ransom fees
each time

Each time
Mama and Papa grew
poorer and poorer
and my kidnappers grew
richer and richer
I grew whiter and

On my release
fifteen years after
I was handed
(among loud applause
from fellow victims)
a piece of paper
to decorate my walls
certifying my release.

(Kidnapped, Ruperake Petaia)

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won't even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.
The Diameter of the Bomb, Yehuda Amichai)

What a sight for my eyes
to see you in sleep.
Could it stop the sun rise
hearing you weep?
You're not seen, you're not heard
but I stand by my word.
Came a thousand miles
just to catch you while you're smiling.

What a day for laughter
and walking at night.
Me following after, your hand holding tight.
And the memory stays clear with the song that you hear.
If I can but make
the words awake the feeling.

What a reason for waiting
and dreaming of dreams.
So here's hoping you've faith in impossible schemes,
that are born in the sigh of the wind blowing by
while the dimming light brings the end to a night of loving.

(Reasons For Waiting, Ian Anderson)

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