It was just yesterday that over 300 people were in my audience. The entire February our group of a amateur dozen met each evening for our annual neighborhood drama production, which culminated last night.
Michael is no actor. Yet, the role was landed due to the fair sallow complexion that a certain ancient Anglo gene bestowed, and a lot of coaxing by the neighbors. The role was of a British officer during the world war. There were challenges. The script which earlier didn’t require any speech, gradually requested impromptu one-liners. The costume was elusive. No one was aware where and if we get the authentic outfit of a four placket jacket. Finally we got an antique set for a small fortune from a drama shop hidden in the most inconspicuous street. I loved the pointed boots that came along. To describe them, they were Peter Pan meets Hitler in an American ranch. The base was a dark brown cow hide and it was held fastened over the khakhi breeches with help of goat skin, a zipper and three buckles. That one shoe didn’t not quite match the next, was irrelevant as the distance that the stage afforded from the nearest eye, the difference would be negligible. So, marched Michael with his pointy toes on the stage, uttering a few “very brit” lines.
One of the “very brit” lines was from Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s burden.
Take up the White Man’s burden-
Set forth the best ye breed –
Go bind your son to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
In today’s climate, this poem might be regarded colonial, fascist, racist, imperialist, Euro-centric and every term that is the antithesis of “black lives matter”.
When I; the “burdened” Brit; was killed, the audience did applause, happily. I wrote my own answer of “The White Man’s burden” from a dark woman’s perspective, for the meek today are the strong tomorrow. With this poem, hope March restarts from where February was interrupted. [At this instant, what if my protagonist is a woman?…hmmmm (in deep thought)]
The Afro-Asian woman’s burden
There is no white man’s burden,
Tis was said, but tis a myth.
What you thought was civilization,
Is a conspicuous ficth.
There are women and children,
Who the burden,
Of a peaceful life ever hold.
But their story is barely mentioned,
Their truth is rarely told.
Go bind your white men to exile,
Of a corporate cultures’ need,
Where they’ll live in a merry bubble,
Each others word they heed.
Once we have shunned these devil children,
The White Earth’s burden we take,
Not with bits, bricks or gold,
But love and peace,
A new world
Take up the earth’s burden,
In patience, why abide?
Why veil the threat of terror,
The shallow show of pride?
Take up the white man’s burden,
Have done with boyish days!
It’s human to take responsibility
Not just wait, for praise!
Dear White Man, you hear?
We take the burden from here!
We reign Gods’ peace empire,
Each day with maternal care.