The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

February 2, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

pixabay image

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

The BEAT- The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign is in its second phase and the Campaign community is growing. More and more poets from Zimbabwe are participating, while other solidarity voices from outside Zimbabwe are participating too. It’s great we embrace you Brave Voice Vivian Mabenge (Zimbabwe) and Solidarity Voice Tracy Robinson (Georgia), not forgetting Temitope Aina from Nigeria, welcome sister comrades to the struggle for making Zimbabwe and the world a better place to live.

The Brave Voices Poetry Journal is also growing into leaps and bounds. In this 26th journal/publication we say good leadership know no cholera, no violence, no corruption, no poverty for citizens, no hunger, no vote rigging, no human rights abuses and no gender disrespect and violence. President Mnangagwa, Zimbabweans are looking for better policies and the rebuilding of Zimbabwe. MDC Alliance, lets participate in national processes, put the administration to task. Civic society, the hope of people is in you, let’s do less talking and talk shop.

We need the best out of Zimbabwe. Our parliament is remaining a circus, we need debating of real national developmental issues.

Thank you brave and Solidarity Voices for taking the systems to task, thank you. POETICA INFINTA!- Mbizo Chirasha.

 

 

 

 

I, the GREAT LEADER OF AFRICA

 

 

I’ the great leader of Africa,

A true revolutionary of the pan African struggle

The acquitter’s blood I enjoy, in the tears and sweat

Of the peasantry, I stroke and baptize all descendants

I the great dance of poverty rhymes, mambo in the melodies

Of the howls, mourning and weeping of the ancient and infantry

 

I the prodigious leader of liberation skirmish

Who can sojourn me? Who can rheostat me?

I for one the predecessor of soil they are sons to

Neither death nor era stances my way

I am greater than the commonalities. My voice,

Is a sword that incisions with both ends

Remind me my accountabilities and see the morning sun

I slay in any angle age nor gender despise you are mine on not

I am Malta all my age mates are departed, bereavement

Took them to their ancestors as I animate to demonstrate my supremacy

In the heights of Nyanga flora and fauna trembles the echoes of my voice My word is the judiciary I am the law the rule is me.

 

I the forebear of peoples, leader of a race

As black as my skin is my heart

Only bullets can confiscate my Crown

Ballots reinforces I myself and radicalize thy

I enjoy their pitiful demonstrations peace rains on me I their reigns Their pursuit for freedom springs me hopefulness in my livelihood Their pursuit for justice decorate the shields an medals of my great success Where ever they are, my ancestors are gratified, my comrades are awe-struck This is what they suffered for in the thick forests of our land, Oppression, poverty and suffering and injustice, a fight amongst us

 

I a revolutionary who enjoys dressing every new-born in

Jewellery, jewellery of chains in hands and leg irons

To the rich paint them gold, my patriots and commissars

I get them aluminium chains.

This is my story I the great leader of liberation revolutionary

A devoted pan Africanist and a leader of race

Miss your dread I be defeated my legacy, stay forever frightened.

 

 

(By Collen Gaga)

 

 

 

 

RUPENGO RUKAVE IRWO NDURI YANGU

 

 

Rupengo rukave irwo nduri yangu

Kunditaridza ziMuonde

ZiMuonde rakonzera manyongori

Rikaveiro roita kuti muruwa muve nokutya

Mufungo ukave wekupiduka kwakasauka

ZiMuonde randionza

Kufunganya nezvaro mumisha

Yongove ziMuonde, kugara pamimvuri

Rondidzimba mwoyo wangu nhete

Ndikati kuridzura ndingaone huni

Izvo rinoririma kupfuta chiutsu

Choti togo kutitosvora maiso

ZiMuonde kundipa unhapwa

Rangu demo rogomara

Kurikuda kuti riwe

Simba ndiro ndapera negobo

Rupengo rikave ino nhetembo

Vavariro kurikuda kuriwisa chose

Ndaitiwo zvimwe kuudiridzira

Ramangwana raizove nechiedza

Izvo kwaitove kusika moto mumaiso

Mvuto kuramba yopfuta

Ndotsva hangu mwana wevhu

Muonde kundipa rudziyo rwakafumuka

Kutiwo zvimwe ndikarima paumire

Muonde ungamerawo mabazi

Ndowana mumvuri wezororo

Izvo ondipa donhodzo kuwangu muviri

Shuviro yove yokukuwisa , ZiMuonde.

Asi mudzi wako ove damba nevhu.

 

 

(By Wilson Waison Tinotenda – I am Wilson aka lowlife diarist with the zeal to embroider the societal restriction logo that heralds our misery as poets, writers and the society)

 

 

 

 

STOCK TAKING

 

 

It’s time to take our stock

Not of unsold merchandise

Not of what to barter globally

our balance sheet of nationalism

What outweighs the other

Cycle of unbridled bloodied riches

Cycle of nationalism or treachery

Pests eating our nationalism

Stock of corruption or development

Our burdens becomes heavier

Leaders stealing the lend ones-

Pillaging like rodents to enrich

Lend ones- slaughtered by poverty

Naked poverty that struts

National debt skyrocketing

Economies plummeting

Truth clothed to become lies

Selflessness clothed in avarice

The nationalism burdens gets more

Time to do stock taking!

 

 

(By Patrick Kamau – a graduate in literature and special education from Kenyatta university. He hails from murang’a county in Kenya. Currently he is a special education teacher. Kamau loves reading, making friends and writing poetry. His dream is to publish an anthology in collaboration with other like-minded poets)

 

 

 

 

VOICES

 

Voices from the ashes

 

 

I

 

Note that I was murdered to have risen transformed

Note that my flesh and blood was readily made dust

Note that my bones and skeletons got incriminated

Note that my impetuous voice echoed from the ashes Note how I was silenced… to have risen transformed

Note how I struggled: from the liberation coercion Note how I triumphed over the sceptre and bayonets

Note how I gamed over the war sceneries impeccably

 

 

II

 

Note that I was flawless, efficient, resilient, competent

Note that my energies were sapped during the event

Note that my knee crawled from valley to valley deep

Note that my aim was for the betterment of the kins

Note how I was enslaved* before and fought swiftly

Note how I become a guerilla in motherland, savage

Note how I raptured apart the foes and the schemes

Note how I became violent and vigilant in my domain

 

 

III

 

Note that I was a victor before I got engraved deeply

Note that my wrath did grew with the evolution peak

Note that my beloved comrade back stabbed his own

Note that my bornes has risen the ashes mold vessels

And let my long gone blood reflow from the pool of

That Impetuous distant rivers, and rekindle the lost

Blazing flames of the Chimurenga wars… Magamba

Josiah Tongogara the barracks named after decades

 

 

IV

 

Denote when I rise from the ashes I votes mercilessly

Denote when my passions gather I will spit of venom

Denote when my strengths grew I will fight back fists

Denote when my courage reverberates I will burst out

Denote when I become potent, I will reign over again

Denote when I am with the mighty I will aside favours

Denote when I reign the Augustus house it will report

Denote when I speak order will reign, reconstructions

 

 

V

 

Denote how the muddled economy will reboot again

Denote how the incubators of corruption will vanish

Denote how the lost zealous and confidence bestow

Denote how the ills and evils will be driven to extinct

Denote how the brothers will cheer from the drums

Denote how the sisters will

 

 

(By Wilson Waison Tinotenda – I am Wilson aka lowlife diarist with the zeal to embroider the societal restriction logo that heralds our misery as poets, writers and the society)

 

 

 

 

THE VILLAGE FAIR

 

 

People in hurry, People in merry

Young and old,

Funny moments to celebrate

Braving cold.

Smoky air filled with fog

And yet heart is blowing with the

Cold wave of festivity.

Remember it’s Makar Sankranti.

Children busy with choicing toy

Little, little girl and boy.

The lady with grey hair

Busy with buying an earthen jar

Might be of use when time will take her

And no one will see her

In the earthly home or

In the country fair.

It’s funny to walk in a fair

In the midst of busy crowd

But if you lose companion

You will lose the charms of moving around.

Wasting time searching his or her

In worried mind.

The world is full of untold care

And yet people celebrate fair

A beacon of hope to live and go forward

Braving colossal worries of mundane life.

Let’s live with celestial charms and happiness

And with the peace of mind.

 

 

(By Priyatosh Das – I am basically 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 society including World Union Of Poets (U.S.A), World Writer’s Society, Larissa, Greece)

 

 

 

 

KITCHEN KNIVES NOWADAYS

 

 

Kitchen knives nowadays

wake up under pillows from beds

proud having been of service!

 

Kitchen knives nowadays

fancy not cutting Onions

but spousal jugulars

tears and screams summoning

 

Kitchen knives nowadays

thirst not for blood of tomatoes

but love to wine and dine on the

redness of lover’s flesh

 

Kitchen knives nowadays

wake up under pillows from beds

mostly rusty unused!

 

 

(By Gerry Sikazwe – an emerging Zambian poet whose poems have been featured in local and international literary magazines and presses such Tipton Poetry Journal, Tuck Magazine, The Global Zambian Magazine, Dissident Voice, Nthanda Review, AfricaWriter.com etc. Further, he manages a poetry Facebook page and a blog. He writes to shape opinions by ridiculing, questioning, inspiring and teaching in his poems. He is currently attending University at The University of Zambia reading Adult Education with Mathematics)

 

 

 

 

FOR FRANKAVILLA

 

 

The painting isn’t on the wall

but it stares me in the face

blowing the sea breeze against my back

and the salt is in my eyes

And where is my treasure

Should X mark the spot for my pleasure or pain

If I could touch Titan or Ganymede

and watch the sunrise

and search for my ultimate sublime

could the lightning of the storm brighten my path

Would it echo the refrain of my hungry heart

Will it roar at the fate of the night slipping by

and chant to the beat of the distant drums

And will the embers dancing just like fireflies ever die

or will all of the stars still sparkle in the night

And which eclipse will visit my world

Am I lost in the rift

 

 

(By Tracy Raines Robinson – a writer in Georgia. She has written short fiction for the “Spectrum” magazine and book reviews for the “Infantry” magazine. Her poetry has been published in anthologies such as “Expressions of the Heart.” She began writing professionally in 2000. She has earned a B.A. in language and literature from Columbus State University. She has earned a Paralegal Career Diploma from Penn Foster.Her passion is peace)

 

 

 

 

WHEN LONG IS AN ETERNITY

 

 

Long is as long as time that will never cease.

But He who owns time hastens time

to last no longer than long.

We are embroiled in a society riddled in aggression, anger and bigotry.

Where violent crime and social fraud has become the norm and not the exception; where taking a life, whether in impassioned rage or simple shapeless killing, has become easier and even accepted.

We live in an era where communities, lest the law fail them, have become self-appointed jurors and vigilantes –

and maybe the law has failed.

Southern Africa – one of the most beautiful nations and countries in the world;

one of the most aggressive and violent;

a nation where occultist attraction has led it to believe in false success.

A progressive deception hell celebrates.

A country smudged with a bloody stain of evil and ugliness so severe we struggle to see our own beauty as we cry out for justice and vengeance;

for action;

for something to ease the tempestuous frustration;

for anything that would numb the rising anger for which there is no outlet.

The Rainbow Nation, with its robust resources, diversity and unique bloodlines;

where is its beauty when soaked into the grasslands, is the evidence of murder, rape, abuse and horrors too gruesome to consider –

barbaric and beneath animalistic.

Dead humans,

demons walking.

Voices talking –

where is Africa’s beauty?

What has become of the luscious

and rich globally envied land?

We will need to pound loudly and persistently at the door of our hearts to beckon what we all instinctively know we have –

unconquerable courage

and undeniable charm –

an ancestral pride that lies imbedded in the soul of every African.

If we look long and close enough

we will find what we are hunting for.

If we look heavenward we will find

all that our souls yearn for.

We will have to gaze unflinchingly and desperately at love;

hold onto it like drowning children.

We must embrace the threads of unforgettably exquisite moments and

with every breath we must gasp for life.

We dare not stare too intently at what is so blatantly clear – the signs of the times lie at our feet like a slaughtered goat from whose dead and glazed eyes we cannot escape.

We must realise that our focus must be upon that which is infinitely greater.

Upon Him who is the greatest;

the ruler of heaven

and at whose feet earth must bow.

We must, with tears and supplication surrender to that love which will ultimately take us home.

We will not wait longer than long

Even though longer seems

like an eternal plight.

Look closely,

we are all being called

home.

 

 

(By Jambiya Kai – an emotive writer and storyteller who weaves the tragedy and victory of the human experience into a tapestry of memorable imagery and metaphor. She speaks with honesty on the socio-spiritual challenges of our time. Jambiya’s works are trail to a feast for those accustomed to the jaded perfunctory cleverness of modern wordsmith)

 

 

 

 

A CRY FOR BELOVED ONE

 

 

I hate to see this beauty

So filled with pain and grief

Darkness in sunlit days

Teetering on brink of destruction

From which she must be saved

Every fifth of the moon

For choice of temporal suitor

Despite her youthful energy

The unsung bounty and vigour…

I hate to see her hunger

Clad in foreign rags

Stripped and ripped bare

Her shame exposed to sundry

Stitched with mixed colors

Holding a beggar’s bowl

While she stands on wealth

Trapped under the ground she stands,

Expansive farms waiting to be tilled…

When will she remove the mask

And wear a smile again,

Happy for her struggling children

Finally liberated from this pain?

 

 

(By Michael Mwangi Macharia – a poet based in the Rift Valley region,kenya. He contributes literary and education articles to the kenyan dailes. He is also involved in directing,adjudicati­on of music and drama. He has developing interest in History, fine art and photography)

 

 

 

 

THE FALL OF TYRANTS

 

 

They one by one fell

Went to hiding the little tyrants –

Wolves and hungry beasts

They a pack of the crumbling empire

Of the underworld –

They who drank blood

Of the innocents and fed on flesh

Who were hired assassins

They for penny would commit murder

Or name any heinous crime –

They are the ugliest form

Of repression –

They under the garb of law

Under protection brutally kill –

Torture and demean

They rape and thrive on thievery

But they can’t stand a truth

Their thirty thousand lies

And your one truth –

They break apart quickly

Lacking in moral cohesion they

Since are characterless

Brutal and cruel

They are hardened and seasoned

Criminals –

They are an enemy of humans

Flourishing in political uncertainty

They are gangsters –

A respectable citizen fears them

Like a nightmare

Living vampires on day light,

Cowards of the first order

They know that they are above law

Above any discipline

They look like dacoits on the lose

They are capable

They are well connected

For they are either dons

Or servants to a Don –

A saleable commodity

Revengeful and vindictive

They are armed with lethal weapons –

They kill with impunity

Staging an encounter –

They think that they will get away

With it, – but for how long?

 

 

(By Sadiqullah Khan – The Brave Voices Poetry Journal Solidarity Voice from Pakistan, Dr Sadiqullah Khan is a gifted poet of immense insights and creativity. Writing on a range of subjects his themes are social, spiritual and politically aware. Looking the domains of day to day living, delving deep into the sufferings and joys he seems to be the voice of dispossessed and the vast majority of poor he passionately identifies, yet his art touches the high mark of existential writing, unique in style and composition, he appears to lead his own genre. He belongs to Wana, South Waziristan in Pakistan)

 

 

 

 

ODE TO THE AFRICAN WOMAN

 

 

Our lively warmth

Our cold detachment

Our will to survive

And rise above pestilence

Our African womanhood

Trampled upon for years

Yet the continent survives

Because of our resilience

Our custody of tradition

Our native organisation

When the terrorists attack

Like the slave hordes of the past

Melt away in our fire

Our blackened pots and water

Consistently support

The African Woman’s Voice

No terror can wilt us

Local disturbances or wars

As we move between borders

Through pestilence and wars

From the banks of the Nile

And the plains of the North

The desert heat scorched us

Our will never falters

Ode to the African Woman

Promised and never fulfilled

Making the best in dire situation

Trodding forward still

Ode to the African Woman

Mother Earth salutes your courage

We call for a new dawn

Our very wombs shall bring it forth

 

 

(By Temitope Aina – Temitope writes passionately and inspiringly and her themes are love, peace , harmony and self development.she loves to read African literature and is enamoured with poetry. She writes from Lagos, Nigeria)

 

 

 

 

UKANZWA DZOSUNGANA DZONGORIRA

 

 

Ukanzwa dzosungana dzongorira,

Dzoregedzera emutandabota achiyerera

Nemumakumbo

Ukaona wodhidha murupazo nyoka dzichimonya idzi

Wotoziva kuti chachaya, watsikwa nechikara, korera inouraya

Inokuzvambura wongoti mbombombo samasvusvu wakarukutika

Ukanzwza wongo ridzamabhosvo, kusvotwa, kuoma muromo nenyota

Isingapere muviri wose uchinge gwenga usisina mvura uchigocha

Wotoziya kuti rasvika gamba ukasangwara unorarofuga rakowega.

Zvichida uri pwere unozhakwa nepfari, kutiza pfungwa nekuinda mukoma.

Berekatsoka mwachewe unoshapira inemunyu netsvigi rakafashaidzwa.

Ita chipatapata wakanaka kwachiremba usati wazadza dunhu.

Asi kana wakapotswa;

Garogera maoko nemvura irikumhya nesipo kana dota

Idya zvakatso iva nekuti mandikurumidze akazvara mandinonoke.

Geza michero nemvura yakachena usati wadya. Momwa yakashongedza

Yenyika yakasvipirwa nenyoka, pamwe vachazvigadziriawo.

 

 

(By Collen Gaga)

 

 

 

 

A PREGNANT SCHOOL GIRL

 

 

He paid for her seat in the matatu

And walked away;

As he disappeared in the city crowd

All her dreams vanished;

One more passenger squeezed in

And lit a cigarette,

She opened the window

And spat cold saliva out,

As the cigarette smoke intensified

She wanted to vomit:

She remembered the warm nights

When she was her man’s pet,

She remembered the promises

The gifts, the parties, the dances –

She remembered her classmates at school

Who envied her expensive shoes,

Lipstick, wrist watch, handbag

Which she brought to school

After a weekend with him

The future stood against her

Dark like a night without the moon,

And silent like the end of the world;

As the matatu sped away from the city

She began to tremble with fear

Wondering what her parents would say;

With all hope gone

She felt like a corpse

going home to be buried.

 

 

(By Dedan Onyango and Everett Standa (Dedan Onyango alias MTEMI is a Masters student of Literature. He is budding poet and literary enthusiast. He hails from Kenya, a land which inspires his creative life)

 

 

 

 

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

 

 

During commission throne realities were sweet,

but now as haunting menaces they are bitter!

We used to live like packs of wolves

so i didn’t care,

and i never knew i have a homework to do later.

Circumstances reigned with triumph

and at last we were put this asunder.

Now i am here solo like an oyster.

And i am drunk with remorse and drowned in fear,

confused and sick

and a minute to get ruined.

This fear in me is paralysing my past heroism,

imprisoning me in this cave; bunker

hurling me into this dock on my mind,

trying me only to convict me

and of my former freedom and fame,

i know at last that i shall lose but both.

Total power promotes myopia.

It stimulates too much pride

and buoys its victim with all sorts of misguided hopes.

A throne my comrades is a cushioned timebomb.

Sit upon it with buttocks wide awake

and never dare deceive yourself that you can relax on it for life.

During commission throne realities are sweet

but one day they will haunt you as menaces and become bitter.

You might live in packs like wolves

and seem not to care of all this

but you have a homework that you still have to do.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

DZIMBAHWE

 

 

na Prosper Kavunika

Ndimi munoti vakafa vanoona

Ndakambovatsvaga asi handina

wandakaona

Asi kana muchinge mavaona,

muvaudze nezvenhamo yataona

Taisimboti muromo nyarara meso ichaona

Asi vakaenda vakatisiya vasina chavaona

Uriko here Tongogara

Nyika takatora asi yovava kugara

Kuchikoro takaenda asi pamba takangogara

Kune dzimwe nyika kwatinoenda mashoko

avanotiudza pamwoyo anoti dzii kugara

Takaudzwa zvakawanda nezvako Nehanda

Nhai Nehanda-nyakasikana

Nyika yacho zvaichisina vasikana

Pese pawaringa yangova minana

Tongotsikirirwa nevaye vane mikana

Nhaiwe mbuya Nehanda

Inga tachema,kuungudza kunge zvihanda

Shumba zvodzotipedza dzichitibanda

Kutisvuura kusara tisisina makanda

Mitsipa zvoyonyura nekushanda

Asi tinongoratidzika sevaranda

Mbeu takadyara asi hamuna nechiro

mumunda

Uriko here Chaminuka

Tichishaiswa mufaro nevanotimanika

Iwe uchirega hako tichiminyuka

Kutambura seuya ane runyoka

Zvataiti wani tasununguka

Nhai Changamire Chaminuka

Nderinhiko patichabengenuka

Rinhiko patichapunyuka

Nyika yacho haichaite yatenuka

Kana nepwere dzazvino dzasvinuka

Kana newewo Mutapa

Tongoita kunge vatapwa

Taiti munhu wani zvatakakuti mambo

Mutapa

Izvo kwako kwaiva basi kutapa

Inga wani isu todya zveziya hatina kuita

zvekutapa

Ririziya rakatisiya tatota kuti tapa tapa

Mazano ose apera tava pamupata

Hechoka chitsvambe kwauri Nyatsimba-

mutota

Tatoshaya pawakasiya ako matsimba

Zvotogonekwa nevaye vanoita zvechisimba

Isu hedu takurirwa kuita seuye ane mimba

Chindipindurawozve zviite mutsimba

Ndatomboedza nepese pandogonera

kutsigira iyi imba

Kudomboedza ana mazvikokota

Naiyo misodzi isu tatota

Pese patiri kupopota

Padyiwa pese isu kukota

Ivo vane maoko ane simba vachititsokota

Nhai Nyatsimba-mutota

Mamwe mashoko ndachengetera Tangwena

Parizvino ndomboti severere sengwena…….

 

 

(By Prosper Kavunika)

 

 

 

 

WHY IS MY SUCCESS IN MY PRIVATES?

 

 

I learn, I read, I know, I work

I struggle with the curse they attach to my shade.

I rise above the brown girl expectations,

They see it and they cringe.

It seems I was not made for such success,

For success is in my privates,

My most intimate details.

I hold a book, I bring change, they turn away their heads,

I spread my legs, I show my thighs, they turn to stare.

I write my life, they do not read,

I twerk and strip, I get an applause.

For success is in my privates,

My most intimate details.

I feed the poor, they say I stole.

I live with the poor, they say I want to be known.

I dress like a lady, to them, I’m covering up my flaws,

I expose my breasts, then it is expected of me.

Suddenly the world applauds, to them I’ve made it.

For success is in my privates,

My most intimate details.

It is a daily struggle, low communal esteem.

We smile and get comfortable, sisters should fail.

We settle for less, when we could be more.

We brag about curves, and sex appeal.

And when we are treated the way we portray ourselves,

The world should stop, but only for so long.

We get back into the habit, our bodies enslave us.

Why is success in our privates, our nudity, our most intimate details?

 

 

(By Vivian MaMoyo Mabenge – I am a Zimbabwean born lawyer and poet who is passionate about story-telling and provoking thought on a wide range of socio-political experiences in our communities. I find inspiration from listening to people’s stories and searching within myself for that part of me that can relate to such stories. I dream of a community that is free to engage in conversation and action for the benefit of its people, especially those who cannot voice their opinions and grievances. I dream of peace, justice and heath for all. I know through our collective effort on this platform, a lot can be achieved)

 

 

 

 

A MIRAGE OF HAPPINESS

 

 

It is folly to celebrate the death of a King,

Thinking the Prince will end a monarchy,

For they say a snake is a snake no matter what colour,

A python has no venom like a Cobra,

Still its constriction is as lethal as a Cobra’s venom,

A pot hole is a pot hole no matter where it is,

In Mbizo or in Famona,

Drive without care it will damage your tyres,

Changing a driver won’t make a damaged car road worthy,

Remember that greed suffers from insomnia,

Bloated and obese it is but still it won’t sleep,

More, more, more and more and so on,

Billions of dollars later the council of men becomes the council of thieves, My people collectively put their wealth,

Their health and their lives in a cabinet,

A Cabinet turned into a haven of thieves,

Thieving my people’s inheritance ohh we grieve,

National briefs left docile,

While Torture is daily bread for my people,

A Heatwave of hardships strikes,

A Cyclone of struggle is their ride,

Salaries are unicorns from hell,

Still Ceasar wants what belongs to him,

But what has Ceasar done besides sit on a throne,

Watching as my people are lashed on the back by poverty,

Crowned on their heads by the thorns of hunger.

 

 

(By Aleck T Mabenge – I am a passionate poet who writes for the love of poetry and as a way to have my voice heard on a broad range of issues. My poetry is influenced by the socio-econo-politica­l issues of the day world wide. My hope is my message reignites the dream of our fathers of a prosperous, peaceful Zimbabwe whose people look forward to brighter future free of social ills, disease and injustice)

 

 

 

 

BRA HUGH

 

 

Gold is the sweat of migrant workers

And the mish-mash of iron shovels

In the Witswatersrand: you polished it into song.

Silver is the tear of Miriam;

And Winnie when they brought back Mandela.

Mine when Change seemed to come

And you had your answer:

He finally said goodbye, goodnight.

Hugh were there when we started

To turn it around.

Bronze is your immortal breath,

You who etched your name in air.

Angels floating around your head,

The birds are ringing for you;

Floating as you sail away.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

THE SOUND OF EMPTINESS

 

 

What is the residue

Stripped of high sounding titles

Taken out of the limousines

Bereft of computerised wardrobes

Stripped of those suits from Harrods

And all the other 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)

 

 

 

 

SONG OF THE MAKIWA TREE

 

 

When I die I want you to make of me

ashes, the colour of infinity;

the colour of horizons where the sky

beyond the focus of an eagle’s eye

meets earth – not any earth – the western hills:

five wasted cheekbones where makaza spills,

of drops, a shiver, trickling slow.

Winter

is the time for fires, for limbs to splinter,

trunks to topple down koppies, bark to drop

like peeled skin. Time for Efifi’s crop

to tighten, but not crack. Not yet crack.

Ntabemnyama carries on his back

a herd of Matabele cattle ghosts.

Potgieter and his men are at their posts;

the last Boer raid for many many years.

Bambata pats away Ingwenya’s tears;

Inungu, desecrated by a cross

completes the five that stand and gather moss.

Call me Commiphora, the Paperbark;

my trunk is green but my ashes are dark

as blurred horizons where the earth

beyond the shudder of a jackal’s mirth

meets sky – not any sky – the western deep

where balding koppies and their valleys sleep.

Smell me smouldering in this chilly night,

watch the gradual dying of my light.

Scatter my ashes where makaza spills –

among the slopes of five Matobo hills.

 

 

(By John Eppel – John lives in Bulawayo and has 18 publications of poetry and prose to his name, including collaborations with Julius Chingono, Philani Nyoni, and Togara Muzanenhamo)

 

 

 

 

THE SETTING NOON

 

 

Your face is the midnight sun

Illuminating obstinate darkness

That, with a whisper,

Shoos the light away

Which matters not anyway.

Your voice – a lion’s bleat

Amid the verdurous herbage

In the arid patch

Just across the fence.

Your alien progeny smirk –

Hollow laughs paint pastries

Stale on a discoloured sherd;

Discordant half smiles

Ascending hearty half miles.

An absentee father you are;

Your seeds you shed with relish, ecstasy

The story follows a broken trail;

She, your clone you vested –

Your voice and face her unwelcome attire.

Who will teach boys a man’s life?

Who will hold their hands in the canyon,

Casting doubt into oblivion?

Who will look into their eyes

And affirm their dejected selves?

On that relay track

A frail baton shivers in the gust

Absent hands pass the switch –

A switch grossly hewn

With edges to pick and prick.

 

 

(By Richard Mbuthia – a teacher, a poet, an editor and a motivational speaker. He studied English and Literature at Kenyatta University in Nairobi. 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)

 

 

 

 

VOICE OF Gopichand Paruchuri

 

 

We sipped sugarless teas

Talking of epics, poetry and fiction

Sat beyond midnight hours

Raked our memory and recollected the past

Your affectionate call “ hey Gopi”

Before and after every sentence

Gave me immense pleasure

You at 80 I at fifty

You sat waiting for me

At 4.30 am in the dining hall

At my first glance your “ hey Gopi”

Made my day run with joy

What are you to me ?

What am I to you ?

I see my father in you

In every word and phrase

Two days and one night

Brought back the long years we met

As you are thinking of me

I’m thinking of you

The conference brought

The conference between us

Your breathless long sentences

Show the anxiety of pouring your ideas

Whom should I call you

A guru, a friend or a father

Dearest , I saw my pains in your sighs

I saw my wit and humour in your conversation

Like a kid you stared at me

When I waved my hand at you

It’s time for my train

Then your heavy words touched my heart

“ Hey Gopi “ you left here

A heap of broken images

A won a learned soul as my friend & guide

A noble prize for me

You stood and walked with me to the gate

The epic hug echoed a billon feelings

The tears in your eyes

Reflected in my eyes

Now I’m in the train

Recollecting train of words

We spoke and laughed

You won my heart

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

SONG FROM MY RUCKSACK

 

 

Toting my rucksack on my weather-beaten back

Disheveled like a forest destroyed by a cyclone

I wend my way along the tortuous track,

Carrying my worries my hopes my dreams my songs

All in one pack.

 

I am scouring for a place to wedge my stake

To set up my rack

For bitter-sweet condiments

That no snake will dare to take.

 

This is all I have betwixt heaven and earth

This haversack that is not even waterproof

As I tramp the earth

With scornful fingers colouring me a loony goof.

 

To hang my hat I have no hook

Save for stumps, ghosts of yesteryear trees;

Neither do I have a couch

To retire to, to warm myself before the hearth.

 

As I sojourn, I have counted grains of sand

Conversed with the stars

Mute in their shining light

Numbers myriad such as infinite.

 

Crickets and birds make my music.

Brooks are my mirror after a rare shower.

The sky my roof.

While the earth makes my carpet.

 

Meanwhile, I trudge on and on

Up the steep incline

Staking out for a place to call mine

To set up roof to shield myself from the pelting rain.

 

 

(By Richmore Tera– a poet, short story writer, playwright, actor and freelance journalist who once worked for Zimpapers (writing for The Herald, Sunday Mail, Kwayedza, Manica Post, H-Metro) as a reporter but currently focusing on his creative work. Currently, he is the Associate Editor of Chitungiwza Central Hospital’s weelky online newsletter. His works have been read in Zimbabwe, Africa and the Dispora in various publications which he contributes to. He is the author of the monograph, “Here Leaves Silently Fall, a collection of poems, which was published by Arts Initiates in Namibia in 2009)

 

 

 

 

DEBACLE

 

 

Why is homosexuality

Still a subject to discuss

When it proved that it won’t bring better

To humanity

Neither it uplift the society

If all men could turn gay

No child bearing, I say

All women become lesbians

What about the future of the children

Is this not child abuse?

Is this not destroying humanity

Should this be considered human rights?

Or debased human lust?

And if I can express myself over this debacle

Why am I considered homophobic and bad

Yet people who practice this are outlaw illiterate and mad

Only to hurtle and ouster nature

Emulating sodomy to overture

And prosper

If all men could turn gay

And women be lesbians

Shall not this world be desolate?

Or I need to isolate

Myself from you.

For if you are a gay you surely disrespect your mother

And if you are lesbian you dishonour your father

 

Inspired by the questions posed to President ED Mnangagwa in an interview

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

 

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