Tuesday, December 10, 2013

UBUNTU

Ubuntu: South African and Zimbabwe philosophical term for human-ness, human kindness; coined in mid-19th Century; popularized in 1950s by Jordon Kushan Ngubane; essential to the South African liberation movement led by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress political party; and cited in the Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa (wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu).

Again awake in middle of night,
Puttering a bit, hungry a little.

Turned on TV at exact moment
President Barack Obama strode 
Into Soweto stadium in South Africa 
To offer his poetic, stirring eulogy
During national memorial event
For Nelson Rolihlala Mandela, 
"An icon of flesh and blood,"
The father of the nation, and
Affectionately known as 
Madiba and Tata (father).

Clearly touched, President Obama 
Similarly touched the citizens and 
Dignitaries gathered to celebrate 
Mandela's uncommon yet common
Life of dedication to individual
Rights and to service for the world.

Our President quoted 
Inspiration accessed by
Nelson Mandela during his
Twenty-seven years in prison:
Invictus by William Earnest Henley 
(See full text below):
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

Thank you, Godspeed, and 
Rest in deserved peace, 
Dear Nelson Mandela.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) December 10, 2013

Invictus by William Earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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