Last Trip
Last Trip

Last Trip
Last Trip

By Mike van Graan | The AfricaPaper


There will come a time

When history turns

When new heroes are birthed

And made more giant by fading memory

Of him who has now passed


Not yet interred

The time has already come

For those without sin

To cast their first




He should have done

He did not do

He could have done

They hurl


Empty vessel revolutionaries grown fat on

Revolutionary speak

Unexercised by revolutionary acts

Already vulture his legacy


Lesser mortals see fit

To remind us of his fallibility

Devils mock his un-saintly moments

Short poppies lust for growth

By taking aim at his celebrity


The time has already been

When the claims to his legacy

Are rendered hollow by the deeds of those

Who most make such claims


There will be a time

For anger against them

Who pirate his name

Who for thirty pieces of silver

Betray his life

Who in selling him out

Have sold us short


He needs no defending

His defence is written

In his people’s hearts

In statues strewn across the globe

In reams of tributes from high and low

For a life well-lived


It is we who must make our destiny

Who must constantly free ourselves from tyrannies old

From tyrants new


Yet when we weep

We weep not for him

We weep for ourselves

For having had too little of him

For what has come after him

For the likes of him who are not on our horizon

We mourn what has become of us

So soon after his light burned a path of hope


Trite exhortations call on us to keep him alive

Yet if we have become

More unequal

More divided

More inhumane

While he lived among us


What shall become of us now?

What shall we become now?

What becomes us now?

The AfricaPaper: Sincere thanks to Mike van Graan