The Earth Is Mandela University

A poem to mark the passing of Nelson Mandela

Posted Dec 07, 2013

July, 1993, the front lawn of the White House

Rest in Power, Madiba
By Ravi Chandra, M.D.

They called the prison on Robben Island “Mandela University”.
This day, December 6th, 2013, I am starting a petition
To rename the Earth, Mandela University –
The world where you find what you’re willing to live for,
The world where you find what you’re willing to die for.

I met him, twenty years ago, on the White House lawn.
I was twenty-six, he, over seventy.
“It is a great honor to meet you, sir,” I said.
“It is a greater honor to meet you,” he replied,
the greatest lessons in humility, and kindness,
I would ever receive.

My throat quaked, and tears flowed.
It had been a long walk.
My mother, standing beside me,
Shouted my name – “Ravi!  Ravi!”
Worried at my loss of control.

Losing control was for me
The same as finding love.

Twenty years later, I weep once more.

Rest in Power, Madiba.

We are, all of us alive,
All those who shared the Earth with him,
The Generations Mandela.
We are his mandala.
Together, we are Amandla!
We are his, and he is ours, forever,
Even as he rises to his peace.

Rest in Power, Madiba.
Rest in Power, Madiba.
Madiba, Rest in Power.

We’ll keep walking, in your name.

© 2013 Ravi Chandra, M.D. All rights reserved.  

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