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Nelson Mandela birthday July 18                                       The Honorable Nelson Mandela.

A lot of big names from history and celebrity tags from right now have birthdays during the month of July. Right at the beginning there’s Princess Di and then all month long a gang of A-listers like Sandra Bullock, Kevin Hart, Missy Elliott, Michelle Kwan, Lindsay Lohan, Mick Jagger, Marlon Wayans, Ringo Starr, Jared Padelecki, Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Vergara and tons more.

Actor Jaden Smith has the same birthday as the Quotable Poet, and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela’s is 10 days later on the 18th.  Word at the moment is that Mr. Mandela is on life support and might not make it to his 95th but with the living he’s done and all the lives he’s touched, who could even think about blaming him for saying “Ok, that’s good, I’m done. Bye!”

The plan for the July Poem of the Month was to post a poem written by the Quotable Poet about Mr. Mandela. But guess what??? One doesn’t seem to exist! The next best thing might have been to post A Poet’s Birthday Dance through Fire and Rain  from The River of Winged Dreams but that didn’t have a whole lot to connect with Mr. Mandela. So it’s “The History Lesson” from ELEMENTAL The Power of Illuminated Love instead because both birthday boys have had some major run-ins with history and survived to tell their tales:


This morning bombs ruined
the back yard. Prophecies and
rumors of prophecies all came true.
A despot bound for hell
took the long way to a very bad day.
A feather-throated songboy screamed
madness from atop his platinum-plated cross.

But the temple of your presence?
It never shook once.

Biblical atrocities stormed chaos
from New York to Bagdad to Freetown.
The sun and moon of your face refused
to hide behind Armageddon.

Wisdom gushed like diamonds from your brow:
“Knowledge planted in truth grows in truth.
Strength born of peace loses nothing to hate.”

How many fears came between us?
Earthquakes, diseases, wars where hell
rained smoldering pus
from skies made of winged death.
Horror tore this world asunder.
While inside the bleeding smoke
and beyond the shredded weeping flesh
we memorized tales of infinite good.

poem by Author-Poet Aberjhani
(from ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love)

blog post by MS/25