I remember Mahatma Gandhi
Breakfasting at my Nan's.
He was the perfect gentleman,
When we met we all shook hands.
He said that India would soon be free
From the British Empire’s choke;
And India would be a superpower
When it threw off that yoke.
I remember Nelson Mandela
He and my Nan had lunch.
They talked about apartheid;
It would end soon, was his hunch.
Black and white would be equal,
Everyone would get a vote,
South Africa would look forward.
It was his greatest hope
I remember Arthur Scargill,
He came to my Nan's for tea,
Before the miners' strike started -
I think it was eighty-three.
They talked about the government
And the attacks on the working class
And disappearing freedom -
I think it will come to pass.
I remember Muhammad Ali.
He had dinner at my Nan's,
She'd cooked a special goat stew
They talked about Viet Nam.
He said he'd fight no wars abroad,
They're not the enemy;
The real opponents are at home.
It made real sense to me.
I remember Che Guevara
At my Nan's for his late night meal.
He spoke about Cuba's freedom -
I couldn't believe it was real.
They’d kick out the corrupt, he said,
And the people would be free.
I said it was a great ideal,
But we’d have to wait and see.
I remember eating at my Nan’s,
With politics the fayre.
With tales of fighting for freedom,
For bread and for clean air,
For education and our health
And a right to vote for change,
For freedom from starvation.
Does that seem very strange?
© Peter K Jones
Barack Obama condemns ‘strongman politics’ at Nelson Mandela centenary event
Peter K Jones took up writing poetry and short stories after retiring as a lecturer in employment law. He’s the Secretary of Pinboard Writers in Mold and prefers it to work.