The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

November 3, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

Dear Grace Mugabe – This is for you. The voices are calling you to step down from your position as a de facto Zimbabwean executive president. You have  appointed yourself to preside over the governance of the once beautiful country of Zimbabwe and you have since overstayed your self-appointment and self anointment.

During your three year term in office you have proved just to be a qualified money-guzzling machine. You have been keeping our country in your handbag. In  October 2017 you reshuffled your cabinet and replaced the old cabinet with the worst looters who have pending corruption court cases and you don’t even care.

Your actions and deeds are not inspired and are testimony of your violent and corrupt conduct which is the path you have chosen to sink our beloved country in your ego and tyrannical ambitions. SHAME!

We need new occupants in the State House. Citizens need clean water, electricity, money, houses, fair elections and food. Tears of hungry CITIZENS are going to be the fuel  burning hell. STOP disgracing the masses, Brave Voices will speak and will not stop but rather continue to speak against your ills and vices.

The 9th publication of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign is a composition of solidarity, voices from the United States, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. Zimbabwean Voices make a large number of those published. A great thank you Solidarity Voices. We would like to thank again the  International Human Rights Arts Festival in New York for  including Brave Voices in the Festival line-up. Our sister publication partner Zimbabwe Sphere, we thank you as well.  Kindly contact us at miombopublishing@gmail.com for more information.

You can also send your poetry via the Zimabwe We Want Poetry Campaign facebook platforms: 100 Thousand poets for Peace – Zimbabwe and MiomboPublishing. Brave Voices; Let your pen and your voice defend the suffering Zimbabwean masses.

 

 

 

 

STEAL A GLANCE AT THE SKY

 

 

Look!

Hey, look up

see the sun sitting still on the cloudy sky

flaring on the days of worry

and slitting through the sky;

eyeballing on the earth

with a beautiful smile

and then gyring on the placid sky

 

Look!

Hey, look up,

the sun is still sitting still on the sky

as the cloudburst withdrew

like a bat that must flinch In flinch

from the morning-rosette.

Look,

all you who draw hot tears

from its sad face

all you who draw sword

against your neighbour

all you who feed fat on bloody wars.

Look at the gyring sun;

sunny, while rain drizzled the earth

and unmoved by the cloudburst:

It glisters all day in serenity

and bring harvest to men.

 

 

(By Martins Tomisin – I’m currently studying at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State where I have earned awards and recognition. Some of my poems have been featured in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. I love painting colourful rainbow-of-thoughts on paper. I vehemently believed that, “life without poetry is like a soup without condiments; without it, life will be flavourless, distasteful and unrhythmic)

 

 

 

 

A CHANGE MUST COME!

 

 

Industries are but now just a long ago history;

shut, abused, declined or ruined!

Where they used to manufacture

useful products in overwhelming quantities for the nation,

a different trivial activity

was introduced in substitution.

Whilst the nation await for bread to eat,

frustration scourges the expectant hungry masses

to mutiny and rebellion.

From the bakery now come countable primitive coffins

for sale.

From the shoe factory now comes

poor quality ex-Japan made cars

for hire.

And the former company of dairy products

is now a Flea market of second hand clothes

from Mozambique and Mussina.

Is this the leadership of the so-called revolutionaries?

Can we survive another year

of this insulting joking?

Are the hungry and unemployed

going to remain patient forever

and continue to vote blindly?

It’s high time the nation must demand its vote’s worth!

Stand up Zimbabweans,

it’s long you have been taken for granted

and cowed to condone

your rights being trampled upon.

Any which way a change must come!

Better flood the streets and confront the hell

than being part of this misery.

 

 

(By Blessing T Masenga – a bold word guerrilla, a fiery poet through his writings tirelessly and boldly seek to strip nude the oppression and the violations of basic human rights)

 

 

 

 

Y’all Can Stop Dissing my Axe, I Don’t Have All Day

 

 

Here’s to those who told me to

Put my left hand down

And speak only when spoken to.

For all who told me to stand over there

And wait my turn,

That girls can’t do that

And it’s unladylike to even think it.

To know my place and stay there.

That if it’s God’s will fo me, it will be well

That I will never amount to anything

Because people like me never make it anywhere

That I ‘talk funny’ and shouted me down

So when I finally got to speak,

I stuttered so bad my pen wouldn’t stop flowing

So much so, my son asked me what’s in my flask,

Coffee, tea or water? Not what’s in my wallet?

See my son knows that I have options

And multiple streams of flow.

All the while that I had my head bowed

And my hands behind my back,

I was working the shackles off my wrists

And filing the chains off my waist.

You can’t hear the chains jangling

Because I’m no longer shuffling.

You can’t hear my beads clatter

Because they are costly and don’t clatter

They just shimmer,

Muffled by my hips’ audacious swagger

As I steps over every

mountainous obstacle in my way.

Some I deliberately run over like road kill

For daring to block my path.

I am tagged priceless

Not discounted by the likes of you

Who only see value

In things that glitter.

 

 

(By Roberta Turkson – a restaurateur who started writing seriously a few years ago. She published her first book of poetry, Talking Robbish in 2014 and her first children’s storybook, The Children of Abuta Village in 2015. She just finished writing her second poetry collection, Ghana Handkerchief, and Other Poems and is currently finishing up work on her next children’s storybook. She studied in Ghana, West Africa where she’s from and now lives in Nashville Tennessee)

 

 

 

SACRED ESCAPE

 

 

Because you might get a death sentence on our bed

Doomed to stay quiet till you on your deathbed

Or disappear into thin air

I always thought that only magic could do that

Buh monsters are real too

That prey on you and suck you dry

Like Gagamel versus the smurfs

Cat and mouse like Tom and Jerry

As the Gagamel picks us out one by one

We all wonder…who’s next?

 

 

(By Alfred Masunda – Poet, Founder at Avante-garde Association of Young Artists. Studied at National Gallery of Zimbabwe School of Visual Arts and Design)

 

 

 

THE SOUND OF EMPTINESS

 

 

What is the residue?

Stripped of high sounding titles

Taken out of limousines

Bereft of computerised wardrobes

Stripped of suits from harrods

And all fashion capitals of the world

 

What is the residue

Stripped of mindless ostentation

Perhaps a barren wind blowing

A drifting cloud bearing no rain

Maybe humility can fill the void

 

 

(By Jabulani Mzinyathi – a Zimbabwean to the marrow. A firm believer in the peter tosh philosophy that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Jabulani is a pan African and a world citizen)

 

 

 

 

‘WHERE?’

 

 

Where is the sun and the face of light

When the deep dark hates to spread the night

Where is the moon and the glint of stars

For the hours need them to cure the scars

Where is the air and the breath of life

When the wind wants to blow down the strife

Where is the love and seed of trust

For the earth needs it to fix the crust

Where is the way through the door of peace

When hate is rife and wars never cease

 

 

(By Munia Khan – a poet and short story writer, born on a spring night of 15th March in the year 1981. She is the author of three poetry collections: Beyond The Vernal Mind (Published from USA, 2012, To Evince The Blue (Published from USA, 2014), and Versified (Published from Tel Aviv, Israel, 2016). Her poetry is the reflection of her own life experience and her short stories are mostly fictions based on reality. Her works have been translated into Japanese, Romanian, Urdu, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Indonesian, Bengali and in Irish language so far. Her work has been published in several anthologies, literary journals, magazines and in newspapers)

 

 

 

 

AFTER 50 YEARS FROM NOW

 

 

After 50 years from now

Where you will be and how,

Where I will be and how

After 50 years from now.

After 50 years from now

Will someone see me stopping here

Or standing near the city bridge

Or lost in pensive mood

By the deep, dense woods.

Or I will be there in the midst of stars

Or whispering with the wandering clouds.

After 50 years from now

You may know where you will be

But I know –

I will not be here in the same human form

And busy with writing verse.

May be I will be back here again after re-birth

In human form or in the form of insects or wild

creature

In the form of cow lost to grazing in the meadow

And no one will recognize me

But I will bear with the brunt of destiny.

After 50 years from now

Where you will be and how,

And I will be and how

After 50 years from now.

Parting pains of separation

Departing from the mother world

Will roll tears to my near and dear

They will seek but find me nowhere.

Oh! after 50 years from now

I will not be here.

 

 

(By Priyatosh Das – a poet and writer in English based in Karimganj, Assam, INDI­A. Chairperson at Nobel Prize Aspirant Great Poets Society and United Nations Assembly of Great poets and writers. Member of several writers societies including World Union Of Poets (US),World Writer’s Society, Larissa, GREE­CE)

 

 

 

NO MAN CAN CHALLENGE

 

 

‘Sinhahanu’s bow waiting from timeless years

None can string and twang it ‘, cried a citizen

With joy, Siddhartha said ‘ Bring it ‘

They brought the cart on which shone heavy black steel

Gold laces hanging on its curves

Many tried to lift and string it

Only long heavy sighs were heard

Siddhartha effortlessly lifted the bow

Slipped the string on the notch with grace

Twanged the chord and the the echos

Went round all the universe

The onlookers were drowned in wonder

The delicate prince has mighty power

That no man can challenge nor surpass

 

(By P. Gopichand & P. Nagasuseela – Poet – Lecturer in English – Interest in Literature – Keen on Travelling, Head of the Department of English and Vice Principal at JKC College, Guntur, Studied MA in English at Acharya Nagarjuna University)

 

 

 

THE PRAYER (Hallowed be Your Name)

 

 

My Father,

Hallowed be Your Name.

Your Kingdom come.

Hear your children’s plea.

Your will be done in earth,

As it is in heaven.

Feed the hungry

with manna from heaven;

Clothe the earth in dew

and quench the thirsty

forgive our failures, flaws and sin;

Forgive our pride and arrogance,

our rebellion and fixation with prejudice –

Forgive us Father as we

forgive them that sin against us.

May our hearts be dressed in the colour of love and compassion.

may we stand for justice, mercy and righteousness.

Give us discernment to

understand this era and

choose wisely

To say no to the enslavement of man.

Lead us to overcome and live in humility

Protect us,

be our safe refuge

and strong tower

deliver us from evil,

corruption and despotism

The earth is yours

and the fullness thereof.

Establish Your kingdom,

Give aid to us in this dismal time

Keep murder from our dwelling

and dig a pit for our enemies

who plot to take our lives.

You are the All powerful

the All Mighty God,

A consuming fire

King of the Ages

Alpha and Omega

Ancient of Days

Our unconquerable Lion of Judah

war with us, for us.

lead us.

Give us victory over

the powers of the air;

Every living creature that

slithers on the earth and

sets out to harm us.

send aid to Africa

To South Africa –

While the searching man

needs an image

we bow to You only,

The invisible yet tangible God,

manifested in changed hearts,

In miracles and wonders.

in the earthly phenomena

of evolved patterns –

We give You glory,

honour and praise,

Even when we are slain

we will trust you.

We cling to you

Our Prince of peace who is

“From Everlasting to Everlasting”.

Hallowed be your name;

Our Victorious Champion

Our Coming King.

For ever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

(By Jambiya – an emotive writer who weaves the tragedy and victory of the human experience into a tapestry of memorable imagery and metaphor? She speaks with honesty on the spiritual and social challenges of our time. Jambiya’s works are a must read for those accustomed to the jaded perfunctory cleverness of modern wordsmiths)

 

 

 

 

THE TRANSITION

 

 

Though courage sailed me through

The quest still moulds bitterness.

Hostile was my father’s gods be ridiculed

And vindictive my ancestral spirits scorned

Scourged my priests viciously, destroyed

Our shrines to enchant his wiles so deceitful.

Enslaved this black blood and yoked the comrades

Terror sought to ease my agitation awry,

In reaction to the lashes- my back bent

To the weight of humbleness

Yet I admitted to the sjambok

For the struggle spelt a ceaseless brawl

And Nehanda prophecy to have clinched woe.

Though courage sailed me through

The quest still moulds bitterness

As the liberty secrets bitter tastes.

Now the brother lures me into submission

My emancipator turns the persecutor

As I question the serenity he claims

To have brought, a blot on escutcheon is he

Who rules his own with an iron bayonet

Laments in exchange of exults how blunt

The deed to have instigated no dissimilarity

With the mission so gloomy, tis a shipwreck

Unattended and the rudder in rotation

To where we came from, victims of circumstances.

 

 

(By TYNOE WILSON – a rising Zimbabwean poet, a Word Slinger and a rights Activist. An impetuous mastermind so zealous to out the muddling and crippling societal affair through stanza)

 

 

 

 

MY EGGS IN ONE BASKET

 

 

My eggs

In one

Basket,

What do you say, Mugabe? You are an old man

Responding to Grace in your pocket, not people

Who pray you will reach that age when your

Legendary champion past comes to be relived

And you again become the hero of your people;

Who do you say, Mugabe? When your sons

Ride Rolls through the seweraged roadways

Splashing disease from the potholes on by

Standers to sick too beaten to care to wipe

Themselves from the more dirt in their lives.

What do you say, Mugabe? While the world

Watches senility conquer solidarity, infects

Your party with beggars awaiting your Grace

To give hand-outs. Saving Grace? Beyond

What possibilities for another revolution, war

Again, and poverty like a whore in every bedroom.

What do you say, Mugabe? Your people ask.

Save yourself, Robert; save Zimbabwe.

 

 

(By John Horvath – poet and publisher, disabled vet and retired prof, parent and husband Studied American Studies 19th Century at Purdue University, Lives in Jackson, Mississippi)

 

 

 

 

DICTION-GRENADE XPLOSION

 

 

I am a hero

Unsung hero; unrecognized!

Fighting for freedom

Fighting for the people

Fighting on a paper

Fighting without an Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK47) but a pen

This time armed with bold confidence

Fighting with a cause

But no atomic energy conjured

Just diction grenades to explode

To kill no one but cowards

Poetically piercing the soul of an enemy

I bet I will not miss my target

Through my vigilant telescope look

The foe is magnified

It is a war on a paper over the minority now!

 

 

(By Sydney Haile 1 Saize – a Word guerrilla, a fighter of human rights, a Word slinger in the Campaign against despotism)

 

 

 

 

CCXLVI

 

 

I can see its underbelly, the hawk, soaring

On wings of hunger against a denuded sky.

Mother-hen fidgety, stalls his quick diving,

Her children will wait another day to die.

Infants with ghost-faces and stockings of dust

Wave their soiled tatters in a joyful run,

The aged sprawl on reed mats under the cast

Shadow of a teak behemoth halfway to the sun.

A swallow sews through air like a serpent,

That serpent, flung to the needles of Umkhaya

By the boys earlier, ere the sun’s noon ascent.

Hazy steam is rising from a can on a lazy fire.

A gust greets me not by name, but by totem,

Unburden your spirit it says, you’re in a poem.

 

 

(By Philani Amadeus Nyoni – a Zimbabwean born wordsmith. He has written award-winning poetry for the page, the stage and the screen. He has also written articles and short stories for various publications, local and international)

 

 

 

 

THIS COUNTRY

 

 

I was born along with this country

listening to the afro beat of politics

Fist of slogans smashing into mothers faces

Sisters raped in the reggae of propaganda

Sons dancing to the funk music of violence, bathing villages in blood

I was born along with country, listening to the afro beat of political music.

 

 

(By Mbizo Chirasha – Founder, Editor and the Promotions Executive at Large of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign)

 

 

 

 

I CRY FOR YOU

 

 

When l set my eyes on you

I cry tears of blood

You use to be beautiful as the sunset

Now l cannot even compare you to an old machete

 

You were beautiful in a way l can’t explain

I wonder if one day you will regain your comeliness

Your pimple free face

Your attractive curves

Your cute smile

Unemployment is a disease you are seriously suffering from

Dilapidated buildings is now your characteristic

Potholes and dust roads your signature

Environmental pollution now your culture

Law makers and those in power abusing the law

The constitution is treated like past newspapers

Embezzlement of state funds is now the order of the day.

When l laid my eyes on you then, you were attractive

My perspective was to see you grow economically

When l first saw you, you were the breadbasket of Southern  Africa creating employment opportunities to the people and region at large.

When l first saw you, your land was indeed a land that overflowed with milk and honey

Land that was utilised for production

You were free from diseases like dependency syndrome you are suffering from

My heart aches…l am having sleepless nights wondering if you will regain your beauty.

I am crying for you my beloved ZIMBABWE.

 

 

(By Tanaka M Bandera)

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

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