A Time To Listen (Puno Selesho)

A time to listen

2020. Shu what a year this has been
But with hope, we can mine resilience from our bones
Our hands will continue to build, shape, move and make
Guided by a relentless optimism

In this way, we begin to regenerate
To re-create a nation
An array of cultures, bonded and bound by trust
It is only in partnership that we truly begin to understand the extent of our TOUGH

Before we sprint into the new normal
We must heal the old

Pause here. Stop. Lament.
Bring stillness to your own chaos and listen to our societies pulse
Can you hear?
It is sad and slow
Its heart no longer recognizes its own home

This body has been torn apart
Divided, isolated, limbs no longer in synch
Right arm no longer mirrors the left
Each leg marching to its own beat – these hips no longer swing
Feet falling fast over one another
We are a sorry sight for this body’s eyes
South Africa, it is because you have blocked your ears
Each one tooting their own horn too loud to hear the other’s sound

Our beautiful, rich stories are disappearing into a cacophony of self-made misery

So please, pause. Stop. Bring stillness to your complaining tongue.

Let us learn to listen
With our ears
With our minds
With our hearts
With our will

Then watch!
Our eyes will open to let light in
Different tongues will drum, translated through love
These feet will be guided by rhythms of peace
Our armour will be held together by truth
Our arms will work well together to build

And we will be part of a greater, growing, healing, humanity
THIS is our chance to shape a brighter, better, bigger new reality

Friends, from today, let us listen.

Written by Puno Selesho, 2020, for Nation Builder’s 6th annual In Good Company conference (September 2020) the looked at “building back better”.