The beat – our 15th article is an early morning stretch from the slumber by those who woke up last week to find that Mugabe had been replaced by a new leader. To come to terms with the realities on the ground that Grace has returned to be part of the majority she once denigrated, to the reality that the old man is now watching trips and speeches of a new president from the terraces of life like everybody else.
Life events move so fast and the soft coup was so abrupt and clean. Life after Mugabe might be difficult for others in the media spaces, in the political arena and civic society because the new leadership is still in its morning sprint.
The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaigncontinues to voice and remind the new political leadership to urgently deal with matters that concern the masses; there are a lot of grey areas to be addressed by the new system. The masses will always watch how the government will be functioning. We are grateful to all voices, who continue to participate in this Campaign. The Campaign will end when Zimbabwe holds its next elections and we voice that we need to have a violence-free and fair election season – Mbizo Chirasha.
AN AWKWARD GAIT
Papa, Daddy, Uncle, Dear Old Man:
what is it about dictators that we
coddle them with terms of affection?
The lion will slaughter, and even eat,
cubs of his rivals. No subordinate
stands in the way of the dominant
white-browed sparrow weaver, the ballast
of whose gonads gives him an awkward flight.
Why do we admire Generals, pity
vendors? Why do we revere lions,
laugh at rock rabbits? What is it about
the clenched fist, the conical tower, church
steeples, pyramids, codpieces, that we
adore? Now this Autocrat, the ballast
of whose honorary doctorates gives
him: Uncle, Dear Old Man: an awkward gait.
(ByJohn Eppel–has 18 publications of poetry and prose to his name, including collaborations with Julius Chingono, Philani Nyoni, and Togara Muzanenhamo)
IZWI RENYU NDINORINZWA AMAI
Izwi renyu ndinorinzwa amai
Makanditi nyarara mwanangu nyarara
Nanhasi handisi kuchema ndakanyarara amai
Hembe dzokukumurirwa ndakanyarara ndinopfeka
Sadza rava namabhachi nenhangamuto ndakanyarara ndinodya
Ndapedza ndonwira mvura saBhoki, ndotenda vanyakundipa
Ndakaremerwa nezvavanondiita asi handimboti bufu!
Kuchikoro handiendi sevavo vana
Vanondishandisa zvisina zororo sedhongi
Asi wangu muromo nenamo ndakanama
Makanditi ndinyarare, nazvino ndakanyarara amai
Baba , ivoka baba vanondichengeta
Vakambondinombora, vanondinombora , vanoda kundinomborazve
Pandakaudza sekuru kuti “baba ndizvo Vavanondiita”
Ivo vakati maisa kwadzo
Nyemba kutsva dzarungwa
“Ndipe kuno gapu-ro muzukuru ndikokotedzewo”
Ndava kamvemve, kwete kasikana kaya kamaishuvira ndigova
Kurasa mvura ndorasa ndichisvetuka- svetuka
Kuti svetu! Svetu! Svet…!
Kunge katsi yakandwa pahovhoni inopisa
Chero ndawana chokudya nokunwa
Chero ndawana pokiisa musoro kwechinguvana
Makanditi nyarara mwanangu nyarara , nazvino ndakanyarara
Pandakachema ndichida rubatsiro
Vakandinzwa vakaziva ndiri nhiyo isina mutariri
Nhiyo isina murwiri
Ndizvo saka mainge makanditi ndinyarare
Ndava kuziva zvamaizviitira amai
Kubva mugapu r andakabika mugore
(By Simbarashe Jongwe – a poet, born 32years ago in Bikita. I grew up in Gutu under the guidance of my grandmother, Mbuya VaZimuto, who was a very good storyteller. I went to Metero CPS and Guzha secondary school. My poetry journey begins on 17&18 September 2004 during a BWAZ facilitated Workshop. I fight for women and children’s rights. To me, poetry is the mother of freedom. I am also an avid reader)
I beg O…
In the name of this almighty!
Is the underlying disguise
I see all day long
In the city or town streets
I walk ho…
See them crippled our society
submit to lazy individuals
Allow them take along,
Every sweat earned
You being run over
The song of a hawker-city council attendants stampede,
The noise from the law enforcers step our thread bare buttocks
And the cold gun barrel rest on our naked necks
While we are nothing more than sits
To the low high officers of the peoples
A meal a day
We stay focused of being rained on dirty politics
Have you heard?
Sweet melodies from a blind street bagger
Leaves us all opened mouthed
The disabled is always our hero
Making us feel safe on the naked streets
I wish you knew my fate
I don’t but the street herbalist does
He is a god on the street
For a near Wesley brown or silvery coins
His tongue sees my future
Am more alert at the law enforcers
The low high officers of the law.
Whose rubber boots massages our buttocks
His gun barrel threaten our souls
And we kindly curry him on our backs
Of the street acrobats
Have you seen how beautiful they are
How aggressive they live
How patient they can be
They are the accommodating souls
Help them or not!
They won’t mark your face
Let you pass without calling u ‘sister’ or ‘brother’
A day later with the same plight.
They simply need a savior
A savior to lead them to classroom doors,
Studios and Art galleries
Or fashion shows
They need someone to hold their hand to the right direction
Hear them play in an appropriate stage
Play the drum sets with the right band
Dance for the right artist
They need a library to borrow books from
Not a bowl with two desperately tired coins waiting for a good Samaritan to pass by! A beggar, yes a beggar on the street
You need stop playing foul
Someone needs not pity in the name of able physiques.
What a lazy lad you are!
We need laws to punish such,
Not for being lazy
But for the injustice they do…
Harmlessly needy souls of the community
disabled members of our states.
They don’t need beggars to lead them to the streets
When they don’t want to be there in the first place.
When all they need is for the beggar to leave them alone!
To walk in the streets of towns and cities
As they head to their places of work!
(ByCaesar Obong– inspired by Spoken word, Western pop, traditional African music and world music. While he embraces so many kinds of musical genres, languages and universal themes, he has always kept his African heritage and Ugandan roots at the core of his musical identity. His poetry is embraced with acoustic backing which gives poetry a unique identity)
A DEMOCRATIC TEAR
Son the world has evolved
With contours and conjectures,
Have you ever seen a democratic tear?
Yes a tear that cries to be heard
Only to be suppressed by boots that pound.
So many years ago I witnessed such
I saw democracy going crazy
I saw democracy running naked like
The sane village mad man on the way side.
I saw democracy crumble like the cookies
Now we are eating.
Son have you ever seen a democratic tear?
I saw democracy being bulldozed
With doses of bullets that ululated in delight.
I saw democracy being torn apart
In broad day light,
That day son,
The sky grimaced as democracy trembled in abhorrence.
Son that day, the clear sky was dyed with tear gas.
The sky suffocated, the birds flew away
The children witnessed the birth of brutality.
Son, that day people toyed with democracy
It was tossed up and down, down and up again
Until it couldn’t hold on any more,
It surrendered and gave way to autocracy
Now don’t ask me where did democracy go?
The last time I saw him,
He was engraved in our National Anthem
He had garlanded the four colours that colour our National flag.
He was hiking on Mt. Kenya,
He was diving in the beautiful coastal beaches
He was crisscrossing the majestic Rift-Valley
He was fishing in Lake Victoria,
The last time I saw Democracy son,
It was when we all gathered at the freedom park
And our flag, son, our beautiful flag ascended
As the Union Jack descended.
That day tears of internal democracy washed away our shared sorrows
Son we danced with democracy like crazy.
Son have you ever seen a democratic tear?
That now my waning eyes won’t shade anymore,
The word Democracy only finds meaning in the Oxford dictionary
It has ceased to be meaningful in many hearts,
It is no longer the umbilical cord that gives life to our Nation,
It is like a scare crow that scares away justice yet purports to be uniting us,
It is like a delusion that now we have to live with in our disillusionment.
Son once upon a time there was democracy…
(ByDEDAN ONYANGOAlias MTEMI – a Masters student of Literature. He is budding poet and literary enthusiast. He hails from Kenya, a land which inspires his creative life – A POET INSPIRED BY HIS MOTHERLAND)
My voice is clear you can hear it from the mouth of the hoarse,
I got a boner for whoever’s daughter the board calls boss.
Open my drawers and scare the cabinet,
Censorship board like we ain’t having it,
Black bar all the way to my feet,
While boss lady screams shit sheet-
Like she saw a ghost. That’s a black man’s Richard.
Long John no silver, no vehicle still a walker:
Baptising you in bars beware cirrhosis on your mental liver,
And I deliver, like a cargo aeroplane.
I keep coming back:
When I try to refrain I boomerang.
I ain’t no pilot baby…but my words are fly,
I guess this is a paper aeroplane in transit
To your heart through your brain,
Unfold it, inside is an insane plan to be your one
And make you say “me too!”
You are fly but you can’t look down at the sun,
We burn dictators til they feel like dick-takers,
Scream the names of their wives begging for grace.
The word was with God and the word was god,
If God is the word who the nigga that controls the word?
I proved the pen mightier than the sword,
What do you mean you ain’t heard of ‘Mars His Sword’?
Ask the God of war where the fuck is his sword!
Fucking Shakespeare calls me the sod, sometimes a sob,
Don’t ask me, but let me tell you G,
Jesus came to divide the sheep from the goats,
I killed the GOAT and turned him into a coat.
That’s a real nigga quote,
The illest shit I ever wrote…
(ByPhilani 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)
AN EVIL COALITION IS BOUND TO COLLAPSE
I am the voice of the voiceless
I’ve to speak where you can’t speak
I’ve to stand where you can’t stand
I’m a freedom seeker
Mistaken as a rebel fighter
Fighting tirelessly but for the same obvious reason
Fighting to break the chains of oppression
Fighting to set the captives free
Captive in remand
In concentration camps
…. for the cause of freedom.
Like animals; hunted!
And killed behind the public eye; -public consciousness!
for the cause of freedom
But whose freedom?
You and I both we’re not yet free
Thou the system rest ‘pon the black shoulders
Though our brothers and sisters
Fathers and mothers perished in the woods
A couple of years long since
for the cause of freedom
I am Patrice Lumumba
And in Zimbabwe
Call me Tongogara
This time I am mightier, avenging
And seriously dangerous
Counting a defeat already
Now I’ve to conquer all
Tycoons and bastards; those political tyrants
Falsely accusing each other for a clear ground
Enriching themselves; to full their bellies whilst we-
The povo lament in hunger and holy-poverty
Purblind is Mugabe
Co-operating hand-to-hand with Cheng Wei Sushi
Who’s after material gain
To rehab his empty hell
My people this is my time
Our time to stand tall
Cry and shout
That to rebel and protest we are about
Cry and shout
This time entertain no doubt
Cry and shout
Till lips with anger are near to pout
Cry and shout
This time much loud
For someone committed to our black movement
Cry and shout
That the detained must be out
Cry and shout!
For another brother Moses
Because an evil coalition is bound to collapse
Cry and shout!
That SADC must shun fraud!
(BySydney Haile 1 Saize– a Word guerrilla, a fighter of human rights, a Word slinger in the Campaign against despotism)
A tense dark-grey political cloud risen
Over the domain of Dzimbadzamabwe
Yet to rain hail, political storms in play
To stamp out the old Bastille in a flash
A symbol of despotism yet be washed
Down the sewage lines of Borrowdale
A million march to the Bastille, Down…
Mob rioting for parity, unity and liberty.
Damned be this casted sentiments for
Long the masses in distress, displeasure
Sufering from the soul political ulcers O!
Alas… the odd to cease with the seize
Its time the cock crawl at ease, pale audio
Retire from the self imposed hardships
Amnesia to speak of. The phoenix showed
Mercy but never assured these muddlings
(ByTYNOE 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)
DADDY DROWNS IN DISGRACE
Daddy thought he was graced,
But he has been disgraced.
Right now, daddy is still dazed.
In his daze, he might be crazed.
He who to masses waved
Is now becoming crazed.
Craze dad disappearing in a maze.
His disgrace for masses is space.
We thought him sane,
But he’s become insane.
His power craziness
Exhibits his greediness.
(ByNsah 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)
I left some blanks
I filled some blanks
I forgot to fill some blanks
Time left some blanks
Some blanks haunt from childhood
Some blanks replaced other blanks
Some blanks are forgotten
Some blanks never change
Oh my God…
Bank of blanks
Blanks in my life
Blanks among my friends’…
Blanks blanks everywhere
Not an answer is final
Answers change with time
Blanks are made by time
(ByGopichand 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)
I am the true song
The song sleeping dead in the hospital bed of my mind
Song suffering from poetic hypertension
Song heaving from poetic chronic fever
I am the song of holy tongues and sacred whirlwinds
I am song, the language of mothers
I am the song in the womb and steel breasts of mothers who survived the wind
I am the song whose darkness sits in the granite hearts of villages
I am the song once tuned in the military vests and bullet proof helmets of war skeletons in night vigils
I am the song of June nights and empty streets
I am the sacred song and the holy tune of mothers incubating more dreams in the warmth of generations.
(ByMbizo Chirasha– Founder, Editor and the Promotions Executive at Large of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign)