The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

December 6, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AFP photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

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– our 15th article is an early morning stretch from the slumber by those who woke up last week to find that Mugabe had been replaced by a new leader.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 Campaign continues 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.

 

 

(By John 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

Handichemi amai

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

Zvino ndanyarara

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)

 

 

 

 

STREETWISE

 

 

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!

Pessimistic opportunist!

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!

 

 

(By Caesar 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…

 

 

(By DEDAN ONYANGO Alias 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)

 

 

 

 

CENSORSHIP: BORED

 

 

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:

Johnny 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.

Check it:

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,

That’s 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…

…NOT!

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

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

Captive detained

Tortured

In concentration camps

…. for the cause of freedom.

My people

Persecuted!

Like animals; hunted!

Abducted

And killed behind the public eye; -public consciousness!

for the cause of freedom

But whose freedom?

Our 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

Kimathi

Biko

Saro Wiwa

Mondlane

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

Your 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

I conclude

Cry and shout!

That SADC must shun fraud!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

DARK SALVATION

 

 

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

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

BLANKS

 

 

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

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

(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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