Gedig van Mike van Graan (Bekende dramaturg en een van die sprekers van Verantwoordelike Vernuwing 2008)

Verantwoordelike Vernuwing


I am not a patriot
For pointing out naked emperors
For not joining the chorus of praise singers
For allegiance to country, not party

I am a traitor
For practising constitutional freedoms
For choosing the margins not mainstream
For saying what others but think

I am anti-transformation
For still sprouting non-racist mantra
For being happy with grey amidst black and white
For not being a brother to opportunism

I am a sell-out
For donating my poetry to resistance
For refusing to live in denial
For declining thirty pieces of silver

I am an apartheid spy
For not turning a blind eye to corruption
For loyalty to principle not expedience
For daring to uphold the law

I am an ultra-leftist
For supporting human rights in Zimbabwe
For believing HIV causes AIDS
For not being a millionaire socialist

I am a racist, a coconut
For breaking the silence with a whisper
For preferring thought to propaganda
For standing up amidst the prostrate
For repeated conspiracy with the questions what, how, why

I am a danger to society
For not martyring my mind
For not terminating my tongue
For not sacrificing my soul

I have been here before
But then as a communist
An atheist
A Marxist

And I am here again
As some other “ist”
This time, as artist

Labels they come and labels they do
Hard on the footsteps of those
Who defend new privilege with old morality
Who appropriate history for contemporary pillaging
Who now crucify the people on their electoral crosses

I have been here before and I shall be here again
For as long as the poor – like Truth – are with us.

Mike van Graan