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  • Writer's pictureSteven Kamdonyo

Ich bin ein Berliner



I'm in Berlin this week to see colleagues, this is the international digital financial consultant part of my life. I like the city as much as the team I work with, both being open-minded, welcoming, and non-judgemental. Per my August newsletter, while there is no obvious linkage between being a business consultant and author, I do believe there is a range of alignments, and certainly, Berlin


reminds me how being somewhere due to my work life can induce creativity. This is so much so, that I’m currently drafting a book in my prose poems and picture series, to be based in Berlin. It will be titled “60 Hours in Berlin,” or something along those lines.

Another Germanic reference is the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). While he was not a Berliner, I think his thoughts encompassed much of what the city stands for, that is to say, how to live life to the fullest. A few of my favorite quotes of his are:

· “The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.”

· “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

· “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

It is with this in mind, that I wrote a poem celebrating Berliners.




I'm a punk,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I wear my hair in a mohawk,

chains, army boots and denim my ensemble.


I'm Vietnamese,

a Berliner

and this is my home.

I work in a restaurant with my family,

we are all for business opportunities,

a better life for my children.


I'm a drag queen

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I wear what I want,

I'm accepted for who I am,

strangers as unconcerned by my choices as my friends.


I'm a university student,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I’m just starting to experience life,

a future as unknown to me

as to all who’ve gone before;

I will make life what I dare.


I'm a business owner

a Berliner

and this is my home.

I have a million Euro flat,

and will drink on the street when I want.

I’ll drive my Porsche or ride my electric bike,

But will always dance at Berghian when it pleases.


I'm a bouncer,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I allow others to have fun

I have control in this city of few rules,

deciding who comes and goes on my whim.


I'm a family man

a recently arrival to Berlin,

this to be my new home.

I work in an office,

my family adjusting to a new culture,

language and school system,

new norms.


I'm part of the LGBTQ+ community,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I love who my heart desires,

walk hand in hand with my lover,

best friend or spouse,

we confident of not receiving abuse

as experienced elsewhere.


I'm Polizei,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

I'm a friend when in need…

but let people lead their lives,

my city ruling itself through respect.


I'm a refugee,

A recently arrived Berliner

this to be my new home.

My skin and voice different to most I pass in the street

I find my way to Wedding,

Immigrant communities,

and new neighbours.


I'm a tattooist,

a Berliner,

and this is my home.

Ink is my life,

help others to remember or celebrate through body art.

Berliner's souls are my canvas.


I am here on holiday,

to see the sights,

imbibe the culture and dance the nights away.

Where I’m from I'm not always accepted for who I am,

for my life choices.

I’m not free or able to live in peace.

I’m not a Berliner,

but wish here was my home.

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