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Memoirs of a Petty Criminal by A.D. Labuschagne

A.D. Labuschagne | Apr 21st, 2021 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

Never take more than you need.

That is where the practice becomes art.

But like all art-forms, there is a form of practice
Which has to be exacted
Sleight of hand can not be perfected overnight
Moving in the shadows
Can only be expected to be successful
After much trial and error
And perhaps a few trials and convictions…

Always wear baggy clothes.

Diversion is your friend…

In retrospect, the pickpocket is more of a magician
A Houdini of sorts
Especially when the escape’s displayed
By slipping through some palisades…

Yet rule number one remains:

Never take more than you need.
It might be misconstrued as greed…
And the last thing you want is to get caught
Sitting on the dragon’s horde…

We all steal…

Whether it is a Facebook post
A poignant quote
Or even just a good idea
Or a few moments of someones time…

And like all art forms we practice
Until we reach a certain level of excellence
And the thief who has spent years
Indulging the monkey on his back
Will know this as a fact
That any progress towards perfection
Lies hidden in the rejection of the norms
To which I once conformed

Instead of taking, stealing, appropriating
Pilfering and running off with
I no longer shoplift
But have turned to giving
In repentance
I’ve found my penance
And my art has become perfected
For now, I no longer plunder the pockets of the poor
But steal back souls from evil’s door
I don’t spirit away phones and rings
And pretty, petty shiny things
But rather I try to give away
More of me, every single day
No longer stealing as before
I now steal back souls from the Inferno’s door

Poet Bio

Andre Darius Labuschagne is a poet, musician, and pastor from Johannesburg, South Africa. He is currently involved with various church movements – and his theological and philosophical beliefs are reflected in his poems. A recovering drug addict, his poetry also explores themes of mental illness, substance abuse, finding God, and the process of growing towards completeness. He is currently the pastoral counsellor at Lethlabile Halfway House, and hopes to help many overcome their battles with mental health and substance abuse issues.

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