Thoughts on Born a Criminal

I was there in the flesh

when a young man

was slaughtered in cold blood.


The last poem in my poetry book could have been written soon after Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson. It could have been written a day or week after, by someone who was at the scene. But it wasn’t. It didn’t need to be.

The template that saw others including Trayvon Martin murdered in broad daylight is all very familiar. It’s as predictable as ever. And when 2 years ago some of us convincingly put forward the case why it would happen again, many people who claimed to know more scorned us. Some said we were prophets of doom with nothing better to do. Others scoffed, claiming that these kinds of shootings happen all the times….That it is the media who are selective in reporting the incidents. Both groups had a point.

You can write a story today about what will happen in some US town next year to 80% accuracy in this arena. It will come to pass. If not next year, then sooner than later it will happen.

Because if you’ve lived on planet earth long enough, are alert, if you question what you are taught, and look for the alternative viewpoint in an argument, wanting to know the real truth, it becomes quite easy to spot certain patterns. The fallacies, lies and bigotry can easily be sussed out. You can smell the conniving, the lawlessness, the absurdities from a mile away. The worthless gossip and busybodying has a distinctive shade of green on it. When laws are used as tools to oppress minorities, your eyes light up in disbelief. When military budgets are more important than preserving life, it beggars belief. You become astounded when you learn that the presiding attitude in some quarters is it’s okay to prey on the weak and vulnerable in society. To prey on poor countries, to do anything and everything – as long as the authorities don’t find out/ as long as the authorities can ignore it – for profit. When the poor are made to pay for the mistakes of the rich, and leaders refuse to tread the purist’s way. All because of votes. Or wealth. Leaven that leavens the whole lot. A mental disease that corrupts a global village.

What’s more chilling is that there are people alive today who think it is normal for things to work this way. They have been conditioned to believe it is okay. They’ve never questioned themselves as to the morality of their actions, because, well – they have no moral code.

I can imagine that some of them think that asking questions of morality or ethics is for the weak minded. To them the strong minded just get on with it. Champions don’t ask questions which can arouse guilt….

They’ve never looked themselves in the mirror and dared to challenge their worldview – no doubt passed on to them by their parents or friends.

Brethren, there are people who think things should remain as they are.

After a while your eyes will open. Everything becomes crystal clear. The sustained inquiry has paid off. Even the quiet ones who never say a word can reach nirvana. They know, even if they don’t say it or show it. You can see it in their eyes that they know what the deal is.

And it makes you cry. Because essentially they are enlightened slaves.Locked potential. Untapped potential. Underutilised potential.

But then it makes you smile. Because the vanity within this bubble of lies is but for a time. Like history has often reminded us, its days are numbered. Its officers will die very sudden, painful and tortured deaths. Maybe during the end of civilisation as we know it, maybe before.There’s no redemption for the architects of evil. Lost souls destined for calamities worse than hell deserve just that.

My heart laments our world today. The reality of life on planet earth weighs heavily on my shoulders. Such are the predicaments of the 21st Century. Such is our cancerous shared destiny.

#philosopy #life #decisions


TrueStory: The young girl in the school #bus


I saw a young girl yesterday morning who was trying to find someone to wave to her.

She was in a school bus, and was trying so hard to grab the attention of someone, anyone, so long as they waved to her. She waved a couple of times to passers, but they couldn’t see her so they didn’t wave back. One or two pedestrians must have seen her, but they walked right past, and didn’t wave back. I observed the little girl closely, her skin pale and white contrasted sharply against her dark black hair. She must have been 10 or 11, maybe younger. Yet most of the pedestrians and commuters (all this was happening near a tram stop) – who no doubt were on their way to work – couldn’t as much as notice her. Or care. Not even a glimpse, a smile, a small little wave. No, nothing. Some of the pedestrians were smoking, others immersed in their thoughts, nobody was talking to anybody. Some had those disposable cups of tea/ coffee in their hands, some were listening to music and had headphones, some wore gloves to protect against the morning cold, others were talking or texting on mobile phones as they walked, and still others tightly held onto their handbags, but all oblivious to this young girl who was seeking a tiny little friendly gesture, a little bit of friendly attention, seeking only a wave, maybe a smile to accompany it. Nothing more.

It was 8am, and after 3 or 4 minutes watching this scene, my eyes had filled with tears. I wept. I was not near enough the school bus to be able to wave to this little girl. I wanted to abandon the car right there in the traffic, to get out and run towards the school bus (which was on a side road, waiting to join the main traffic) just to wave to this young girl, who looked lonely, who looked needy, who looked troubled. Maybe she came from a broken family, maybe her parents had just divorced, maybe there was strife and unrest in her home, maybe one of her parents had lost their job, maybe she didn’t have good friends, I don’t know…..just too many maybe’s.

I don’t know why, but I panicked. Like, really panicked. Why couldn’t anybody on the street notice that little girl? Why couldn’t anybody take 5 seconds to smile and wave at her? Was humanity that busy and self-absorbed that they couldnt find 5 seconds to smile and wave at a little girl? I was getting really upset.

Okay, the fact that she was in a school bus meant that someone could afford to pay for her transport, which was good (and consoling) , but what else was happening to her? And why won’t anybody wave to her?

Suddenly my priorities changed. Instead of being enroute from home to work, I was now going to find a spot next to that school bus, so that when I positioned my car in that spot  I could see the girl, and she could see me, and I could smile and wave to her, to show her that some people weren’t too busy to wave, that some people could smile, that some people cared. That life was not only about rushing to work and making money, ignoring everything else.

I tried to get close to the school bus, changing lanes, hooting to the idiot in the Audi A3 in the next lane to give me way (who refused to do so), I even gesticulated to another driver with urgency to give me way, all in an attempt to follow the school bus. He too refused to let me through.

And unfortuantely, the school bus entered the main road, two cars ahead of my car, then passed a set of traffic lights, which funny enough changed to red at that moment. The school bus was gone, just like that.

It must have taken a corner, because two minutes later when the lights changed back to green, I fruitlessly tried to follow it , but it was gone…obvioulsy to a school somewhere. After a 10 minute guess-search frantically looking for a random school bus, I abandoned the search. I could only wipe my dry tears and hope that the little girl was fine. I could only hope she would be okay…whatever was happening in her life. Maybe she was fine after all, maybe all was well, maybe I was overreacting…maybe she was happy, and wanted to share her happiness with somone else, with a wave. I don’t know…I’ll never know. I can only hope so, I sincerely hope so. What a life!