Rabbie Serumula, author, award-winning poet and journalist. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha
Rabbie Serumula, author, award-winning poet and journalist. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

#PoeticLicence: Morals know no victory while in a war with laws

By Rabbie Serumula Time of article published Nov 29, 2020

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We want criminals to starve:

If they are employed, we want them to be fired.

If they have sponsors, we want those pulled.

We want them to amount to nothing.

This is how we maintain balance when tiptoeing on a thin line between “innocent until proven guilty” and “a man accused of raping two minors”.

Morals know no victory while in a war with laws.

The hand of god comes at his choosing.

Not when a 42-year-old mother and five of her children are being murdered.

Not when their motionless bodies traumatised the 16-year old son, who discovered them departed.

How dark is the imagery of such a scene to such a mind?

Hell must truly be here on earth for him.

He could have used the hand of god. So could the 12-year-old grade 6 girl who died when a water tank fell on her at a school in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

We want nature to be fair:

If morals stand no chance against laws of man, what of those of nature?

The hand of god is a law of nature.

Nature is strict. She is forgiving, but adheres to time. Far from a saint, she is creative in both her beauty and the pain she brings. The inevitable pain. Sometimes it is the same from different angles; like a neighbour’s galvanised steel stand that gave in to the weight of a loaded Jojo water tank, then collapsed on three children. Killing two and hospitalising the third in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe.

We are looking for fairness in the wrong places; man is corruptible and nature destructible at the hands of man.

Rain forests swapped for skyscrapers because tree tops were no longer doing a good job of scraping the sky. We never forget the art, but man’s hands do unspeakable things. The only reliable hands are those of time.

Only death is fair. Everyone is a taker. It takes the sinners, the old, the babies, the kind and the cruel.

It even takes those who have received a helping hand through the hand of god.

Diego Maradona who died aged 60 possessed "greatness but not sportsmanship" said former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton who was victim to the infamous "hand of god" goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final.

The 3rd century custom of not speaking ill of the dead will always be tested. Morals will always be first in line to this test.

And sometimes speculations of an alternative reality. You would imagine if Maradona’s hand of god goal was disallowed, no one can say for sure if Argentina was still going to win the match, and subsequently the World Cup.

It can not be too easy to spot a disturbance on the space-time continuum.

However Shilton said "it was a great goal but we were in no doubt - without the first goal he would not have scored the second."

We do not want nature to be fair, we want her to be on our side..

We want criminals to starve, but only if they are not related to us.

Forgive us father, we know not what we want. We are just afraid of pain. Of death.

The Saturday Star

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