I first want to compliment you for quality of this journal and my absolute pleasure of reading and sharing it with friends with similar inclinations. I would like to suggest something to you and the admin staff . Social responsibility and even activism for change and human progress is felt by many an artist and poet as a worthwhile activity.
I would love to see more human stories and especially those that are inspired by art and poetics. I am leaving you with a true story that is inspired by the Muse!
This other rainy day I stopped at a set of robots and observed a young African boy coming towards me.
The boy was ragged and it was clear that he was a street child begging for his subsistence on the road.
Closing my window and just looking forward into the road I wished that he could just go away from my vehicle. The last few years were economically challenging for South Africans and the increase of vagrants in the city was staggering.
I would never have enough lunchboxes or small change to feed the homeless at every robot and decided not to give anybody a handout. I hated creating precedence in any area of my life. This boy caught me off guard because behind the window I heard his clear voice. He was reciting something and it sounded like poetry. I levered down my window and this boy not older than six years was reciting a poem of Rudyard Kipling. The poem that he was reciting was “If” and he did so by memory!
Now completely biased, I listened with rapt attention and loaded him in the car after his great reading. We went to Kafda, a great second hand dealer in good books and I purchased him a complete collection of classical poetry. I left him at the robots with a hundred rand and a promise. That every time I came past him that he will recite a new poem out of his collection for me . If he succeeded then he would receive an award. I left that boy shining and myself I was sobbing all the way to home.
I agree with you fully. True stories of life in all it’s vastness of possibility touch our core like no other writings. Your story is an excellent example of the power of true life stories.I will add your idea to the submissions list of writings we are excepting for the paper. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with all of us and for pointing out an essential type of writing we are missing.
Thank you, Martin
Editor, The River