South Africa goes to the voting polls today for the fifth time since we became a democracy. It is a time for heightened emotion, hope, hyperbole, frustration, some despair and a celebration of the diverse life that has somehow managed to coexist in such a strange and wonderful place. As I think that political promises are, well, misleading, I have taken the liberty of penning my own manifesto. It, too, has almost nothing to do with improving the country.


To write about what moves me,

all the gods and sparrows

and every space between.

Not because it pleases or

to hear my name in history,

but so the young bird,

so afraid of flight,

can find its own way up

breaking into light.


To make life beautiful

by telling simple stories,

stories filled with sparrows

and little girls whose voices

lost up in the thunder,

still stand out in storms,

for courage is a virtue

which gives to beauty form.


To know myself and share him,

no matter what the cost.

To see the eye in everyone

and look into my soul.

To write so I may listen

instead of talking over thought

and so that I may learn

what others know of life,

for what they truly yearn.


And to laugh.

To laugh at what I’ve written

and how it seems absurd.

To doubt myself and fail,

then find the strength to

smile and write some more.

To not change the world

but to look at mine anew.
To know that is all I ever need do.

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