Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ironic Advent Mediation #5: The Return of the Advent Bird

The Return of the Advent Bird

Father heard a bird one morning,  
from his lonely cell, 
"Madiba, O Madiba” she singing,  
 Freedom what she tell.

Singing, “Father lift your weary eyes,
Father, make your old heart new,
Sweet the soul that longs for freedom,
Madiba, Thembalethu

Can we risk the cost of mercy
After living living hell?
Is the bird of hope still singing?
Madiba, I cannot tell.

Singing, “Children lift your lovely heads
Children, make the old world new.
Dance the dance of Nozibele,
Rolihlahla, Thembalethu

Father heard a bird one morning,
from his lonely cell
Madiba, O Madiba” she singing
Madiba, Thembalethu.*

*Xhosa words
Madiba—an affectionate tribal name for Nelson Mandela
Thembalethu—“our hope” (masculine)
Rolihlahla—“troublemaker” (Mandela’s birth name)
Nozibele—kindness/mercy (feminine)


  1. I wrote it as a dance, but will have to record it later (after finals!)

  2. I've felt sad hearing the news, this is good, will make a lovely dance to celebrate!

  3. Everyone feels sad and a little shell-shocked even though we all knew it was coming, it's like we really did lose the grandfather of the nation and now we have to stand on our own two feet. I've heard people say over and over again, "It would be selfish of us to keep him here." So even though we're sad, people are also happy for him. And there is lots of singing and dancing and togetherness and rejoicing in his life and what he accomplished, too. So this was just so perfect.