(With Apologies to Rudyard Kipling)
Philip Vermaas

If you can keep yourself solvent when all about you
Are in arrears and blaming it on you,
If you can twist the truth with silver tongue
To make thrice-mortgaged doubters follow true,
If you can posture convincingly
About the need to conserve electricity
And then throw, with a light switch,
A billion Rand bash,
And yet fund it not with conscience
But with public cash.

If you can cheat on your wife
And convince her you’re worth her life,
If you can travel at mind-Benzing speed
Endangering those you’ve yet to feed,
Crash into an unexpected wall
And have your henchman rally a call
While you, for an egregious lack of safety,
Wriggle, with hangover, out of jail safely.

If you can make deals with diabolical dictators
Shake hands with self-serving human haters,
If you can run up a gargantuan gambling debt
And pay your bookie friend from the treasury chest,
If you can send your private guard
To sway the votes of those with or without card,
If you know that while, in spotlight, you cradle a baby
That there is for your indifferent soul
An endless spiral of poverty and crime
For which that baby will pay the toll.

If you can do it all without looking back
Get reelected as you exceed fat,
Then you’ll be a South African president, my son!

©2011 This work is the property of the author.


Posted on December 29, 2011, in Philip Vermaas, POETRY and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. m lewis redford

    good ole ball-shrinking anger and disbelief and incredulity that that monstrosity even only approximates to existing – very reassuring

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