{Poetry} Do you like what you see?

I originally posted this on my Facebook page last week. My brother sent me the photo below – burned books in Wartenweiler Library at Wits. I understand the students’ frustration, but destroying the resources they already have is not going to get them what they want. And it was the ANC that promised them free education, not the universities, but anyway.

Following the #feesmustfall thread on Twitter is depressing.

{Poetry} Do you like what you see?

Do you like what you see, Mr President?

Flames reflecting in your firepool,

as universities burn;

do you smell the smoke getting closer?

Can you see through the haze?


Your fiddle needs tuning, Mr President,

the strings are fraying and broken,

but you play on

and the off-key wail drowns out the cries of your people.


Your children are crying, Mr President,

crying for the promises you made

and then forgot.

Your sons are angry

and your daughters are dying.

We cannot breathe

in the thick smoke

and your hands around our necks,

squeezing tight


tighter still.


Your country is on fire, Mr President.

Everything you touch turns to ash,

and you brush off your fingers and reach for the next thing

and the next thing

and the next thing

until there is nothing left.


Do you like what you see?

(C) Melanie Blignaut 25 October 2016

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