When the whales became stranded in the Everglades
the week of 5 December
my heart shattered
into a fearsome worry of weeping
having felt in a feverish dream a big sadness.
Then came the news
the mighty king, the giant of compassion is at his final sleep.
He who had said the lesson is not so much
in learning to forgive the captors,
but is the conquering of self,
and showing no acrimony when the bloodied spear of oppression
executed by the servants of avidya
pierced his streaming tears dry.
He changed them with the gaze of kindness.
He, who would not want to be called great or exalted,
lifted up by the arms of the singing ancestors
into the fearless globe of a transitory pure light path,
is dancing freely.
They called him a fiery troublemaker in his youth
because of his ability to jab
the ineptitude of ignorance.
Journal prompt: Write about your thoughts and feelings about humility. What does it mean to you? Did the life of former South African president Nelson Mandela affect you? Explain.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan E. Rowland