Monday, February 18, 2013

Less and More

Does it make her           less British that she doesn’t support the monarchy?
                                     less English that she doesn’t drink tea?
                                     less Singaporean that she doesn’t like to shop?
                                     less Chinese that she doesn’t like Math and grew up in Timaru?

Does it make him           less Thai that he’s not Buddhist?
                                     less Australian that he doesn’t know the national anthem?
                                     less German that he is imprecise and incessantly late?
                                     less Samoan that he is half Palagi?

Does it make them         less Korean because they are also Japanese?
                                     less  Turkish becasue they don’t speak it?
                                     less Ethiopian becasue they consider themselves Kiwis?

                                     Less Maori because it’s only one fifty-sixth?

IS my cultural identity just
a matter of how
see me?
How strongly they connect
with certain
values, ideals and
ways of being?


Knowing where I came from
loving it
learning from it                                   Makes me More

Knowing what I value
why I do
who else shares this                           Makes me More

Knowing who others are
where they come from
loving it
learning from it                                  Makes me More

Knowing God
as creator
of creativity
newness/diversity/unity                      Makes me More

It helps me know

Makes me More

My bus driver is a pirate

My bus driver is a pirate
His gold earrings, no doubt the loot
gathered raiding a Spanish galleon

A bushy mass of black hair engulfs his chin,
flows down his chest.
His head a shining dome
not unlike               
the sacred Muslim rock

He holds the wheel with muscled forearms
spread by the width of
massive shoulders
just as he would
a ships wheel
in a howling gale

From port to starboard
he barrels down Kent Terrace
I see him
aboard a heaving ship
feet planted firmly
legs bent
ploughing through enormous waves

When he checks passengers
in the mirror
I notice the eye creases
carved out by
gazing toward the horizon
across vast oceans
and seven seas

But all these things may have passed my notice
were it not for the gleam in his dark flashing eyes
when I presented a gold doubloon.
They glittered
and I’m sure I heard him whisper:

“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Avast me hearties and shiver me timbers!
To Kilbirnie we shall go,
or I’m not Long John Silver”