Poetry

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GIRAFFES, TREE STUMPS AND THE LITTLE BOY
It was a bright red door with straddling metals.
In front of it stood five muscular, perfumed men,
Who were “up to no good,” as my uncle would say
Two were tree stump short with frowning faces
And the other two were giraffe tall and smiley.
A boy I’d met the previous day told me they
Are always drunk so I had to tread carefully.
I’m not sure where they drank for I saw no bottles,
But I’d know a few days later what “drunk” meant
The first tree stump asked if I had a girlfriend.
The second tree stump joked: “I know her!”
The first giraffe smiled: “I flirt with her!”
The second giraffe only laughed and shook his head.
I’d troubled many troubles, so I soldiered by.
Like a stone statue and a meek fellow, I sulked
And wished I could just whisk by them and sigh,
But the first tree stump followed me:
“So, you aren’t a ‘nigga’ you are ‘a sir!’"
But the boy’s warning sounded in my head”
they Are always drunk so tread carefully.”
But they were not drunk as I’d later learn…
It was only the “arrogance” in me they despised:
“To axe it short like a tree stump by that red door,”
So, I artfully painted smiles on my face,
And that was all the “arrogance” they wanted.
Boom! Lights out by that dreadful red door!
I opened my eyes and the boy stared at me,
Sitting on a blue and white plastic clinic chair:
“They said you are a little arrogant sucker
and they flirt with your girl so why
punch you in the face?” The little boy asked.

My Trump and Barr face vexed up and sneered:
“And who the hell are you again, Little Boy?”
I writhed painfully and frowned.
 “What is flirt?” The strange Little Boy said!
“Facebook!” I said and turned.

 © 2019 Kuir ë Garang

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.