To Die Before You Die – Modise Sekgothe

This poem has been nominated for the Word N Sound Awards 2014 Perfect poem award. To vote for it got to:


To Die Before You Die – Modise Sekgothe


My beloved brothers and sisters,

Today I embark on a journey

Into the unknown dark never to return.

Say your goodbyes to my shadow

And let my incense continue to burn.

The burden of my death eats away

At the shaking shoulders of my dear friends.

But I have to leave, because life is a prison

And the soul is like a bird

While the body is a cage

And I have hungered for my wings

While locked up in this cave.

I have been starved of my freedom

And silenced by the grave.

My back was covered with feathers

But they were ripped off at birth

Because the sky abandoned me

And I was taken by the earth.

But all my feathers found their way to me

And I’ve been lifted from this world.

And now my friends will cry for me

And speak to their hearts content.

My mother is an irony

For her womb is left a dent.

She’s the seraph who gave birth to me.

Her wings became my wishes,

Fulfilled in distant skies.

I’ll finally get to see them

In all the splendour of her eyes

For she knows where I am headed,

And for that reason doesn’t cry.

It is a terra firma of queer angels

Where she found her strangest child,

Amidst the vagrants of our cosmos

Flying across the streams

That make up Gods veins.

Where honey is taught to bees

Before their first buzz

And all of a sudden…there I was

At the touch of a nephillim unknown,

She awoke to conceive of me

And gave birth to a dream.

Unlike any other child I didn’t enter the world in screams

But beams of light and gleams of nights unseen.

The stars have followed me since,

Tracking my every move.

The scars on my back reflect when I sing

They serve as my only proof

That wings are not foreign things

To a child grounded in self.

That kings are born crying, just like everyone else.

Except my kind

The ones that only see love in a world

That disregards them as blind.

As a cherub I heard the musings of other broken spirits

Who found the world confusing

And the ground a bit insipid.

So as a legion of cherubim’s

We would climb the highest trees

In hopes to coax the sky into

Allowing us to pay the clouds a visit

Wishing to reconcile but our souls were juvenile

And the planet was our exile

Where we were to learn the laws of gravity

Before we truly learn how to fly

For the greatest among us never needed wings,

Nor the sky, nor the wind, nor the clouds,

They just needed to die before they died

To kill the ego and find weightlessness in their minds.

Because wings can never carry a rock

Not even a diamond of splendid shine.

So let go of your heaviness

And rise to a light sublime

I am here for my fellow angels

Who’s lives are a tale divine

We will gain the skies forgiveness

And fly amongst our kind.

But we’ll remain a slight bit different

Cause we’ll have felt the pains of mankind

And we’ll look down with compassion

And maybe come back from time to time

To bring the others a few lessons

On how to live a life refined

To the purest form of passion

And to rise above the demands

Of all the worlds obsessions

How to find peace and align with

The words of the greatest wordsmiths

To understand the divine truth

In Gods greatest confession

That human’s are better than angels

For they were designed to withstand agony

And still come out enlightened.

And that what’s amazing about us

That’s what makes us the envy of every nephillim

For our resilience is unbounded

And our strength is beyond all question.

Humans are angels,

Angels are actually just, humans before they are born

Stripped off our wings and our souls remain torn

But feather by feather we will find,

And further and further we will fly.

The memory of the melody of our melancholy

Can be heard in the songs that we paint

And the paintings that we sing

In the sculptures that we dance

And the dances that we sculpt

In the poems that we dream

And the dreams we write.

In the sketches that we beat

And the drums that we draw.

In the citadels we blew

And the trumpets we built.

In the cities that we drank

And the villages we spilt.

In the pyramids we grew

And the sky-scrapers we planted

In all the mantras that we cast

And the spells that we chanted

In the vehicles that we flew

And the air-planes in our traffic

In the killing of the Jews

And the rising of a prophet.

In the companies we sued

And the consequence of profit.

In everything that we do

Is a concentrated effort.

To find the divine truth

That all of us are angels!

From murderer, to mystic

To prostitute, to priest,

To revolutionary, to dictator,

To philanthropist, to thief

To you the listener, and to I who speaks.

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