The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

December 4, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Louis Reynolds photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

The drum roll – dear Zimbabweans, Brave Voices in this article celebrate with you the beauty of your courage, the beauty of the country while they mourn how wild and careless politicians had squandered your hopes and the beauty of this wonderful country whose name is derived from stone. A country that yearns to be respected by whoever is given the keys to lead the path.

Voices here continue to shun the ugly face of corruption and the autocracy caused scars on the Zimbabwean skin. Zimbabweans are on a journey towards a new Zimbabwe, a Zimbabwe turgid with fulfilled dreams, a Zimbabwe that enjoys wealth equally, a Zimbabwe that upholds the rule of law and a Zimbabwean leadership that walks the talk; a free and peace loving Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign voices against hate speech, insults and political vendettas. We cherish a Zimbabwe where all potentials are embraced, a Zimbabwe where the masses are not abused for material and cheap political gain. We need a free Zimbabwe, Brave Voices – let your pen spit bullets of freedom and your voice birth a new Zimbabwe. The Brave Voices Poetry Campaign continues to thank Voices and Solidarity Voices from Zimbabwe, Africa and around the globe – Mbizo Chirasha.

 

 

 

 

WE SHALL GET THERE

 

 

Behold Zimbabwe – Or A House, Stoned…

None knows the true hues of chameleons,

Except owner-creator and the chameleons

Have travelled, seen, houses of desolation

Forlorn. Standing. At ease in abject solitude

At the pith of farms of sinewy, failed crops

Have drunk dew off petals of fallen hopes

Have travelled. Have hoped. Night to days

Faltering on stones, languorous ways too

Reading stars as hobby borne of boredoms

Yet. Today the night shines starry finalities

The brick house, half built on naked farms

Old farms of petals growing, yet famished!

The brick house, half built like dying crops

On the farm under solitude and, dejected?

The brick house overgrown by petals of red

The house of dreams half-baked in bricks…

The house. That house. House of nightmare

And dreams. Half expressed. Half, a house!

By it, lies the brick red grave. Of revolutions!

Risen now by taunts. Behold new Zimbabwe

 

 

(By Wanjohi Wa Makokha – the pen name of JKS Makokha, a Kenyan poet, critic and educator. He is based in the Department of Literature, Kenyatta University. He has written and edited several volumes on literary studies. Nest of Stones (2010) is his debut book of verse)

 

 

 

 

REVOLUTIONS

 

 

Revolutions are not started

They are startled,

With actions that are rattled;

A stutter

Of one disgruntled

With cries muffled

Amid jittery, jugged nerves

And a host of reserves juggled:

Revolutions are part of a fabric all boggled,

Resolved, we are the revolution.

A shrill whimper

Evaporates from the icy caverns

Of an emasculated soul;

Short sniffs and snarls,

Dot the hollow interludes

Between talk and thought.

A sear boldly escapes the exploded mind

Calling for action, caution

The painting comes full circle:

A painting of horrors visited;

Horrors entertained;

Horrors needed not anymore –

Doused are the flames of inaction,

A fitting and valid reincarnation,

Of the much-vaunted revolution

 

 

(By Richard Mbuthia – a teacher, a poet, an editor and a motivational speaker. He studied English and Literature at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. He has great passion for poetry. To him, the rhythm and verve of poetry are ingredients of a great love story. The twenty six letters of the alphabet amaze him with their ability to foster change – their volatility and aptness cannot be gainsaid)

 

 

 

 

DREAMS

 

 

Dreams, dreams

Small and vast dreams

Unfinished dreams

Disturbed dreams

Recollecting dreams

Many dreams fused

Memories too became dreams

Dreams became memories

Past became dreams

Future became dreams

My years became dreams

Dreams made Me

Some forgotten

Some remembered

Some remain vague

All are dreams

 

 

(By Gopichand Paruchuri – a 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)

 

 

 

 

YOU HAVE RISEN

 

 

When behind the eastern rocks you rise

O you early morning sun

At the crack of dawn I shall have sung

Chorals of my belief.

My ink pot shall have run dry

My smile wry

Quill crooked and face sweaty.

When on mid-sky you stand robust O yea bold noon sun

The faithfuls shall have mastered the religion

The chords on the nyatiti plucked

So she shall spill out wails of perfect lure

When on the western horizon you shall have sneaked

O you exhausted daughter of the evening sky

To welcome eerie deep darkness to the soil

My scroll shall be full of marks

Perfect yet so imperfectly written marks

Of pain, of pain, of buoy souls and of not yet felt feelings.

Of the sound of sickly crickets.

At the mid of the night

O yea cruel sun

Where shall you be?

At the comfort of your habitat..

Maybe shining to the angels

Or perhaps walking with the Deity.

Down here, I shall be composing an unsung tone

My hair shall have turned grey

My bones exhausted

And when you shall in the morning return….

When behind the eastern rocks you rise

O you early morning sun

At the crack of dawn I shall have sung!

 

 

(By Jojji Kaka– Oluoch George Patrick, going by the pseudonym ‘jojji kaka’ is a young Kenyan poet who believes in the power of writing to diffuse positive influence to the greater mass)

 

 

 

 

AUCTIONING AFRICANS

 

 

Rich continent, ailing northeast

Humans sell humans and feast

Amidst loud silence east and west

Sucking leaders below are the best

Spraying protesters like crop pests

Seizing & bequeathing collective nests

Fleeing youths sold into enslavement

While sit-tighters battle age & retirement

Starved youths crucified on crosses

Like Jesus, while thieves stuff boxes

Dissenting bodies flood mortuaries

While power mongers build dynasties

Where is the toothless bulldog Union?

It’s gone a-borrowing from another Union!

Mutilated constitutions please professors

Who cheer dictators & rubbish predecessors

Silent Disuniting Nations guilty of complicity?

If not, they better rise to stop the atrocity.

 

 

(By Nsah Mala – an award-winning writer, poet, motivational speaker, and youth leader from Cameroon. The author of three poetry collections, Chaining Freedom (2012), Bites of Insanity (2015), If You Must Fall Bush (2016), Nsah Mala’s short story ‘Christmas Disappointment’ won a prize from the Cameroonian Ministry of Arts and Culture in 2016. In the same year, another story of his received a Special Mention in a short story competition organised by Bakwa Magazine, the leading online literary journal in Cameroon at the moment. His French poem was cited in the novel En compagnie des hommes by the internationally-accl­aimed, award-winning Franco-Ivorian writer and poet Véronique Tadjo in August 2017. His forth poetry collection in English, Constimocrazy, will soon be released by a US small press while he is finishing a collection in French, Les pleurs du mal. He has read poetry in Africa and Europe)

 

 

 

 

THE EYE AND THE HAND’S FRUIT

 

 

I’m the vigilant eye.

What i behold i yield it to the hand

to pen it in disciplined, brief, pregnant lines

you call poetry.

I’m the bold hand,

mine union with the eye

indeed is a genuine co-operation;

what is delivered unto me

i artistically cajole it to become an ode,

ballad,

lyric

or sonnet for you.

In laden stanzas,

stylized emotions

and conventional turns of phrase,

in bombastic oratory

and in sullen, protesting and swearing diction,

the long tale is told.

Bang open the doors to your ears

my target! my audience!

This message in transit is for you

to hear and digest.

To concede a word to find refuge in your heart,

and to be awake to what significance the word doth hold,

defies no authority.

Matters of heart alone aren’t a crime

until you act in a manner that is illegal.

Hearken!

The once prosperous Zimbabwe

has fallen into decay.

With the economy collapsing,

with free speech, sometimes

stammering or whispering under repression

and every election heavily disputed

and international sanctions yearly imposed,

the future remains this ugly and bleak!

Get up downtrodden children

and oppose all that is undemocratic!

Stand up Zimbabweans

despite violent threats of outer political storms!

Rise up masses

regardless of your political affiliations!

Be wise and never tolerate your trivial differences.

Confront the hell with one redemptive energy.

Allow it to seize what stance it can

and never confine it by the past to black or white,

rich or poor.

The struggle for Zimbabwe is colour and class blind.

May wrath divine lay the State House waste,

where no man’s upright nor a woman chaste,

and hasten the transition at a pace best.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

WHY?

 

 

Why Bob why?

You fought the bush war

You vied imperialism

You litigated neo-colonialism

But succumbed to internal power struggles

Rigged the elections

Mass murder the opposition

Why Bob why?

Why Bob why?

You grabbed the land from the minority

But still failed to share the majority

Why Bob why?

Why Bob why?

You fought tooth and nail against the sanctions

But vomited national corruption

And failed to eradicate starvation

Why Bob why?

 

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

 

 

 

 

GRAVE IN THE SKY

 

 

Obsidian eyes pierced my soul,

Hair like tule ecstatic feel.

Soul of a phoenix aged with mountains,

He was mine, oh he smiled fountains!

Burley limbs, I called him Cerberus.

He was mine, did you see us dance

Dear Time for whose pleasure we toil?

I kissed him, we tumbled in the soil.

I said when you die, I’ll bury you in the sky;

Heaven’s crypt is where you deserve to lie.

He was mine, ’til three days I couldn’t find him.

On the fourth there he lay, his eyes dimmed.

He was mine, and then he was gone

With a gaping mouth and cold as stone,

Those limbs that pried my beating chest

For love were cold, so cold, no life in his breast.

I picked him from the ground with his stench

My darling had died like some sordid wretch.

Death never worked for dignity’s sake

I sighed, tunnelling his carcass into a sack.

There might have been a prayer, maybe none

When I flung him high among the thorns

That caught the sack, that caught my love

And kept him in his heavenly grave.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

Empty Dream

 

 

Bring me the undergarments of the state and vests of

Parliament

I see rains of hatred pounding the face of juba

Socialists and mongers breakfasting human delicacies

Political drunkards lolling feeble voters to night mares and empty dreams

New born democrats buried without traces of memory under the hot hard granite of politics

Souls drooping in misery

When will sunlight cast blessings to these cemeteries?

Green lives decomposing in concrete corridors of history

The feet of history dragged in this grief laden earth.

 

 

 

I am a nightmare

 

 

My breasts are dry of milk in the climate of this heat

My earth ejaculates platinum and uranium

Anus of my rock puff pure gas and crude oil

The clay of my heart binds together the dust of my dreams

Forests of my mind sagging with coco beans and coconuts

 

I am tired of bullet and paparazzi gossip

I am a country eating peanut and bananas

I am the flower of want, whose bloom was pruned by madness,

Whose holy nectar was imbibed by mad drunkards?

I am a night mare, poets and prophets bring back my wildness

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

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