The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

February 16, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AP photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

BEAT- 2018 should be a year of truth and truth only. First things first. As much as we do not expect miracles from the new present administration, we do not have kind words for you MR GOVERNMENT on matters of cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other health matters. I think we must not mince our words, NO TO CHOLERA, NO TO WATER POVERTY, and NO TO POVERTY.

MR GOVERNMENT, the health minister must be recalled. The health system in Zimbabwe has been in a chaotic state for a long time, as the water delivery system is in shambles. Hospitals are broken and down. Something has to be done to bring sanity. The Government must work out something on matters of health and water infrastructure and stringent measures to curb poverty must be put in place.

Mostly in situations like these poor societies who sit on the peripheral edges of our nation are at the receiving end because of poor water, housing and other social amenities. They suffer the brunt of disease and loss of life.

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign knows for sure that any sane government would always want to lead a healthy citizenry. WE CONTINUE TO SAY NO TO CHOLERA, TO WATER POVERTY AND TO POVERTY. Citizens must also on the other hand take responsibility for their actions and avoid the spread of water and food borne endemics. Let’s be responsible as much the leadership system must be more responsible. Endemics like Cholera destroys life and stifles national development. We must be a proactive rather than a reactive nation.

Thank you greatly to Richmore Tera for an insightful opening poem in this journal and all other Brave and Solidarity Voices from Zimbabwe and across the world. A big thank you to Literature Legendary Hadaa Sendoo for agreeing to be the Guest Poet of this set of Brave VOICES Poetry Journals.  We are greatly humbled.  hank you for you Voices most of them are Sister Comrades Nnane Ntube from Cameroon, Caroline Adwar from Kenya and Chrispah Munyoro from Zimbabwe, THUMBS UP for joing the struggle. ALUTA CONTINUA- Mbizo Chirasha.

 

 

 

 

GHETTO BLUES

 

 

Fingers were made before forks,

I hear you say, and you further say:

Now this is your passport, pass

Giving you swift passage, to pass

On the fleas and maggots from your puss,

Putrefying litter bags

And un-gloved un-sanitised hands?

 

Unwiped backsides, straddle hubby’s meal:

Belief – potent love portion, to bewitch him

Into blind love;

Rational, thrown out of the window

To land on icebergs of litter.

Tarmac pockmarked with potholes

Denizens of snails whose parasites

Flow within the wanton kids’ veins to dash their green hearts.

 

ST Mary’s is my home, for aeons has always been

Litter bin can be like cafeteria my own trusted posterior;

Loud fart down the street leading to contaminated algae;

Stale ale in the communal jar

Roving from lip to lip,

Swallowed into the recesses of the tummy

Producing loud report of intestinal thunder;

Lightning in the blankets

Thunder in the mango baskets.

 

Then, all of a sudden, a blackout.

 

 

(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 weekly online newsletter. His works have been read in Zimbabwe, Africa and the Diaspora 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)

 

 

 

 

ELEGANCE IN FILTH

 

 

She stood elegantly in front of me, like a maiden waiting for a dive She flung her undulating hips from side-to-side

In my eyes fell the call

Oh the thought to dive into her was trapped by the sway of her boiling hips, Cunningly, her hips pointed at me

Singing a song with hoarse note

Oh the elegance! I could swim in her,

If not for the suit I had on me,

She rested her cold head on my legs

I felt the rough touch of human waste

Flirting with my toes

She sang arrogantly with her angelic voice,

The notes fell into my ears like drops of ice blog;

I am the reservoir of your urine, the store house of your faeces,

The melting pot of your wastes, a rest house of your mucus,

The urine in me is champoo,

The faeces, the sea salt

The wastes, the sponges

The mucus, the tower

I am your lavabo,

Yet i am filthy, you are elegant.

 

 

 

THE CHAMBER

 

 

A place of comfort

where speeches saw delight in strolling,

Where hearts released all strings,

Where we sit as if in our parlours,

Has been robbed.

Thieves break in and stole our comfort,

They took our legs away,

They buried our hearts in their eyes,

On our seats, they put thorns,

Compelling us to sit still,

Our words they use to pin us down,

Nothing can dare the almighty speaker,

His mouth, the mic of the chamber,

His words, our Bible be,

Who dares?

The chamber has been robbed,

Thieves stole its name

The thieves we know but can’t point out,

The thieves whose voices have overshadowed all T.V stations,

The thieves who prance around like almighty devils

The chamber has been robbed of its seats

Its Shadows have become numbed.

 

 

(By Nnane Ntube – A Cameroonian who is passionate about creative writing. A teacher of languages (French and English) but she is currently furthering her studies at the Higher Teachers’ Training College, Yaoundé. Her poems The Lost Bond, The Pains I Feel, Hungry Voices, Change, Trust in Tears, A Child’s Dream, are published by Spill words press. Her poem, The Visitor featured in a magazine in Zimbabwe; 3Mob.com. The poems, The Pains I Feel and If I am Your Rainbow appeared in an anthology of Gender Based Violence, #Wounded which will soon be published in Zimbabwe by the POWAD group (Poets With A Difference). Her poems Before I Met You and As I Hold Your Hand are forth coming in a wedding day anthology in Zimbabwe. She is a social critic, a youth activist for peace and an aspiring actress)

 

 

 

 

Aaaaaaargh

 

 

Looking beyond the great hills.

Bathing in sweat.

Breathing hot air like a dragon.

Heart beat measured in mega-seconds.

For the umpteenth clock, signing.

The sigh controlling choking tears.

Yes I could empty the sea.

For blood had profusely pumped from my flesh.

Not by blood donation.

The goons happily enjoying.

While the masses are shrivelling.

Seeped of the great future.

Stolen is the willpower to live.

I see desert in an oasis.

Shuddering of the masses.

Swimming in green waters.

Drinking the dirty waters to try quenching the thirst.

The hunter dancing with the hopeless.

Its red eyes full of wrath.

All in all it is grinning widely.

Squashing the flies on its mouth.

So plenty, you would say it’s the lord of the flies.

Tail slicing the human throats with no mercy.

You would think it’s the honour of world.

So cunning and cruel that it repulses.

Intellects playing poker with beggars.

The roulette turning mercilessly.

Bazookas carried like beloved babies.

The hardness of the casino of breathing.

All looking at the mountain with great expectations.

Expecting fruits of life.

Only stones stuck them in amazement.

Dropping their machetes in awe.

Africa the beauty of the world.

Full of crops in granaries.

Still shrivelling in hunger.

The bumper harvests caught by spider webs.

Built with razor wires.

To go have a handful you step on scorpions.

Their venom so deadly.

While the flashy bath in ice cream

Drinking blood in wine glasses.

Babies robbed of their future.

Smoking glue, nyaope.

While they sip Musombodia from water bottles.

Drugging themselves to raffats.

Injecting lethal medicines in dine.

Africa ,wake up from the slumber.

Smell the fragrance of perfumed life ahead.

You are full of hope for the whole world.

 

 

(By Chrispah Munyoro – currently a student of Applied Art and Design, Graphics and Website Programming. at Kwekwe Polytechnic College in Zimbabwe. Munyoro is a talented writer, journalist and a dedicated Design Artist. She is natural linguist, fluent in many languages among them English, Shona, Esperanto, Setswana, Swahili, Italiana and Yoruba. She began as a columnist writing feature articles in the Gweru Times in Midlands Province Capital of Zimbabwe. She has worked as a Midlands Chapter Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Association of Freelance Journalists. Munyoro was once a Zimbabwe Representative at Zone IV Regional Youth Games in 2014 Bulawayo in the boxing discipline. The multi-disciplinary artist is registered under AIBA the international body of boxing. The Writer, Artist, Poet, Journalist and athlete has been writing poetry since her tender years and she has participated in various writers, poetry, journalism and sports)

 

 

 

 

REBIRTH

 

 

From one birthday to another

You mistake Night for your father

Each celebration,

An angel whispers in your ears

And invites you to divorce your fears

Stretches out her hand for you

To fly together in the sky

And a spiritual experience try…

Alas, the (under)ground alleges

To be your sole home

Your bottle pretends

To be your sole cure

Your flesh claims to be

The sole locus of pleasure

And the demonic voices in your mind

Pretend to be the sole teachers of your kind…

From one birthday to another

You mistake Night for your father

Each celebration

The same angel calls you

And to the realm of lightness invites you

Your heart she incites you to open wide

And your love and sensitivity never hide…

Alas, Ms. Loneliness keeps masquerading

As your best companion,

Mr.Loss keeps parading as your

Inescapable destiny,

The painful past keeps invading

Your weakened memory

And temptations all around

Keep disturbing your mind…

From one birthday to another

You mistake Night for your father

Witches and bitches kept blurring

Your vision for years;

Changed the image of

That angel in your eyes

Made you numb, deaf and blind

To all her words, tears and cries…

From one birthday to another

You mistake Night for your father

In the same vicious circle

You enjoy to run and play

How long will you there stay?

When do you intend to quit the stage?

Play a different role?

Write a different page?

Transcend the confines of flesh

And emancipate love from the locked cage?

When will you trust your heart

And a brand new life start?

When will you announce your re-birth ?

And declare your departure from earth?

Isn’t it time to be born anew

– Not from your mom’s womb –

But from your pain’s tomb?

 

 

(By Olfa Philo (Drid) – a Tunisian poetess. Her cause as a writer is to voice the buried emotions and phobias of the oppressed and downtrodden and to unmask and expose hidden truths socially considered taboo or shameful. Her poems have appeared in many international anthologies and in literary journals worldwide. Some of her poems have been translated into other languages while other poems were translated into paintings by the painter Nebiha Felah. Some other poems were turned into Italian songs performed by Fabio Martoglio. You can check her recited poems on her youtube channel below)

 

 

 

 

SAFE?

 

 

Clean hands..

the dirt is picked

Brown black dirt from the pretty nails

Those nails cooked my delicacy,

Cut my tomatoes, my onions,

Mixed the spices and touched my water…..

Those pretty nails,

Unwashed after the call..

Was it long? Was it short?

Never mind. It was a call

Back to the broth…the aroma mmm…

Mouth-watering dish awaits

I cannot wait..

My stomach rumbles..

The hunger pangs are real..

Must I wash my fork fingers?

The germs are not aware…

I have developed a tough system…

The germ knows no status

The germ cares not for class

It is lethal…kills at the first knock

Its ready claws dangerously await

To rip my intestines apart….

It destroys so fast!

Thanks to the good doctor

He quickly notices me on the queue

Handles me with utmost care

Within no time, I am safe

How will I even say it?

The ugly one had gripped me

Almost killed me!

I must surely tell it

I must surely shame it!

Cleanliness at all cost.

Catch its anonymity

How it tries a disguise!

Of course it will not work!

Last night it gripped me

Earthen and ashen it made me

Ripping my tummy in shreds

And my once jolly frame a scare crow!

Its name,we must shy to call

Its source a shame to divulge

Its threat to life a reality

Poverty,its food

Dirt its lifeline.

 

 

(By Caroline Adwar – a rising Poetess, an English and Music Teacher in Kenya. She started writing poetry while in high school and she is a fanatic of old English poetry writing traditional style, rhyme, repetition, alliteration and assonance. She is currently experimenting African free verse and her poetry will soon be published in Kenya, Zimbabwe and other International platforms. Caroline is a Bachelor of Education Arts (English and Music) from the Kenyatta University in Kenya)

 

 

 

 

YOU HAVE A RIGHT

 

 

‘Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.’

Esther Harding

 

Unless draw a line vehemently

Unless own a thought an opinion –

An assertion unless and unless

Beat the comfort of enslavement

Storied into capitulation and unless

The opiate is poison and you beaten

Beyond limits until you burn

On trip-wires and your bare back

Lashed or you hung upside down

Or you just survive on the least

Your spirit systematically crushed

You made to believe lies

You disdained and you brutally killed

Dishonoured and flogged with names –

Or the cowards who want to control

Collectively demean or singly de-robe,

And if you are not already dead –

Or if alive and dead of soul

You have reason to raise your voice

And your rights you have a right to ask.

 

 

 

THE RESISTANCE POET

 

 

An addict he hunts lions –

A lone he fights pack of wolves,

He misses no target

He is a falcon

He is feared like you fear a snake –

A sniper he takes the bull’s eye

And in dark he can see like a cat

In haze he smells the prey –

Then he digs his grave

To lie in peace –

For he is the ultimate winner.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

WHEN I RETURN

 

 

It is June, there’s cold rain and I

am alone like a wolf

when I look into the distance

There’s just the sky without borders

Now, I’m living

And often feel

this pain

is only a tie that binds

 

I FEAR

To Adonis

I fear time

as if I fear that love will change

I fear spider webs

as if I fear to lose my memory

I fear the big bright lamp*

as if I fear that father’s eyes will close forever

I fear all illusions

as if I fear that an egret will fall from the sky

I fear lightning

as if I fear that

until death comes, poet

your soul will still suffer deep sorrows

Because you cannot kiss your old mother

 

 

(By Sendoo Hadaa – a poet and translator of international renown. He has lived in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia since 1991. He has won awards for poetry in India, the USA, Canada, Greece, China, and Russia, including the Mongolian Writers’ Union Prize. Since 1989, he has published 15 books of poetry. Sendoo’s recent collections of poems include “Sweet Smell of Grass” (in Persian 2016), “Aurora” (in Kurdish 2017), “Mongolian Long Song” (in Georgian 2017), WENN ICH STERBE, WERDE ICH TRÄUMEN (in German-Mongolian bilingual 2017)”Mongolian Blue Spots” (in Dutch,2017), and ” A Corner of the Earth”(in Norwegian 2017). Sendoo Hadaa’s influence transcends national and ethnic borders and he is recognized as a great poet of the 21th century. In 2006, he founded the ground-breaking World Poetry Almanac, which he continues to edit. Presently he also served as co-Chairman of the Council of Writers and Readers of the Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia, in Russia)

 

 

 

 

THE UNHEARD VOICES

 

 

The Unheard Voices

What’s in it for a country that speaks of a new dispensation

without the true feeling of a freedom sensation

Big men in politics speaking of new action

The ordinary citizens wallowing in their blurred vision

The past is laced in the future

And the present is a tall order

Choking on the misdeeds of the ones we

Entrusted with our destinies

One step forward, suddenly

The machinations of the malicious

With the reins of power get you walking still.

The inquisitive voice of the millenniums

Posting a litany of captions goes untold

While their grip is further tightened

The mind is allowed to hurtle on a devastating rampage

But the real action is monumentally constricted

Let’s not grumble, they say.

Give them a picture of what we imagine

This is our voice,

Speaking as if we have a choice.

Maybe, just maybe

 

 

(By Takudzwa Larry Chiwanza)

 

 

 

 

LOCAL CONTENT

 

 

Local content:

How good is this local content?

Trash cane material based on propaganda

Hastily produced to fill the vacuum.

 

 

(By Sitidziwa Ndoya)

 

 

 

 

ZIMBABWE

 

 

Land of impressions

In awe you increase:

Collecting the tempests,

Crushing them in dark alleys.

From ashes you

Fan yourself.

and then dazzling in flames.

In the dark of the continent,

Glorious in the universe,

Massaging the spirit,

Walking in the soul,

Calming the well,

Sustaining the flickers,

Strumming the strings,

Of Africa.

 

 

(By Oduor Obura – a 31 year old male Kenyan citizen, currently living in Berlin Germany. He is an unpublished poet with an own complete poetry manuscript. When not dabbling in poetry, he engages in his other passion: short story writing. I am also a doctoral fellow at University of Potsdam in Germany. He is highly motivated on his creative works)

 

 

 

 

LETTER TO AZANIA

 

 

Madiba is no more, a heart break of Azania

The river that carried our smell and totems, the river that coursed with our past

Madiba the summer sun that melted into the hazy mountains, leaving behind

Children wetting the rainbow mat with stale urine, beer- coholics drunk with xenophobia

Hawkers vending guns for gain, Casanovas pimping freedom for slogan.

Black freedom toting fists for revenge, I see people with stones heavy in their hearts,

Trembling in the delight of fading rain, dieting from gossip and fear,

In a country smitten by ego and arrogant ambition

A country that lost its character and everything, infected by moral dementia, drinking from jars of sorrow every dawn

 

 

(By Mbizo Chirasha – Internationally published Poet 2017 Participant/Contributor to International Human Rights Arts Festival, New York, United States of America, Citizens Rights Activist, Blogs Publisher, Originator/Instigator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign (Brave Voices Poetry Journal, Poets Free Zimbabwe Journal, Word Guerrillas Protest Poetry Journal)

 

 

 

 

MY AXE WIELDS SOUNDS OF BIRDS

 

 

My axe wields sounds of birds,

That have flown to heal one too many nations.

Nehanda is in good talks with me

And flies to the ends of the universe

To find new sources of water for Zimbabwe.

We are axes that don’t cut trees. We preserve our oxygen.

But we are tired of chopping heads off

Because heads carry good minds

For our future poems

 

 

(By Mbonisi Zikhali – I am a humanitarian, carer of our grandmothers and grandfathers. I am a warrior for truth, and leader of our youth. I am the new Zimbabwe, along with my brothers and sisters)

 

 

 

 

CHANDINODYA (A POEM AGAINST CHOLERA)

 

 

Chandinodya ndechanyatsogezwa

Chagezwa neyakachena chikachena

Chandinodya ndechanyatsobikwa

Chabikwa chikanyatsoibva

Chandinodya ndechanyatsodziiswa

Chadziiswa nekufashaidzwa

Kuti ndisadye zvangu utachiwana hwekorera

Yandinonwa ndeyakachena

Yakachena yakafashaidzwa

Yandinonwa ndeyakarapwa

Yakarapwa nerasha romupani kana chlorine

Yandinonwa ndeyakavhenekwa

Yakavhenekwa ikatendedzwa

Yandinonwa hazondipinze muchipatara

Yandinonwa inopachimiro handitizwe nevamwe

Vakutiza kupiwa korera. Itawo yandinoita tipedze

Korera

 

 

 

ASI CHII NHAI? (A NO CHOLERA POEM)

 

 

Dzamakatema tinongogurawo wani

Asi imi kutishapirisa inezvipomerwa.

Asi chiyi nhayi kuti yemvura mobanda

Imi mega nemhuri dzenyu, asi chii nhai?

Asi chii nhai vanhu vakadzidza kudaro

Kutadza kuronga kudaro, imi muchiswera

makavharira mumisangano isingaperi

muchirakasha yacho yemvura?

Asi chii nhaii kukoshesa mari muchisiya

Hupenyu, chokwadi mungavakisa vanhu

Mumatoro hamuzivi here kuti nyika inopwa?

Asi chii nhai imi kutenga dzinogwadamira tenzi

Imi muchisiya hukoshwa hweraramo?

Mwoyo yenyu matombo imi chaiwo. Imi munayoka

Yekutenga yakachena, ko isu tsuro dzemubhuku

Tongofa heduzve nekorera. Nedzamunotisvina mabva

matadzawo kana kuisa zvibhorani?

Asi chiyi nhai kubva matiita vanhu venyu kudaro?

Manje isu tazviramba isu, haticha uye hatitatya

Munhu haafe kaviru, Makati uraya kare nevadiwa

Vedu vakaenda nekorera.

 

 

(By Collen Gaga – an Activist Poet, who writes to advocate for democracy and protection of human rights though going beyond to write about other social aspect of life. He is Currently Studying for a Bachelor of Science in politics and public management at MSU Zimbabwe. His poetry career started since childhood with reciting other people’s poetry and developed to blogging and commenting on other literature works like music and poetry. Currently working on a Shona anthology of Poetry to be named Gapu ReRairo, Collen is still rising the in the spheres of literature)

 

 

 

 

SILENCE: A KILLER DISEASE

 

 

Needless composure

Needless comfort

Needless quietness

Needless peace

Speak against

Or you die

Scream out

Or become the past!

 

(Silence: Violence, Politics and Dependence)

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

WHEN IT FAILS TO RAIN

 

 

The sun scorched us

The rain divorced the earth

Dew retired

The land starved

Citizens ran back to the street

Shall the economy resurrect

Or we all going pray for NGOs.

 

 

(By Sydney Haile Saize I – a word guerrilla, a fighter for justice and a Poet in Residence for the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Haile is also a journalist, social change activist and a writer)

 

 

 

 

DROPS OF FREEDOM

 

 

I hear my dad still saying

‘Woza malamulela’

Then I was blind as a bat

Now that veil is off my mind’s eye

 

‘Woza malamulela’ now I also say

As the pregnant skies open up

Those drops severing this bondage

Severing those devilish schemes

 

‘Woza malamulela’ children shout it out

That our people may not be manipulated

Trading their precious votes for food

Voting with their stomachs not minds

 

‘Woza malamulela’ we shout it loud and clear

That our people may not be set up against each other

By crooks masquerading as their benefactors

That our people may not be proxy warriors

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

CAPTAIN’S LOG

 

 

Thundering typhoons rat-a-tat my tin-tin

Dome and I fear the tempest my dear Sebastian.

Between arrows of water and sea black of blood

In the moonlight. Upon bark, wind a-howling bard;

And fragments spill from his mouth to mine

Like a fatal kiss passing poison aged in brine.

Will it sink to the floor with my anchored tongue

Never to be found after the lightning’s stung

For the last time? My hope is in the bottle,

Bum-bum rhyme-rhyme sing away the rum-rum

Dare the tempest full throttle thunder rolling drum-drum,

Blah-blah wa-wa, dum-dum dah-dah tootie-tu!

Sing all the way to Timbuktu!

If this is death we meet let arms be feathered in the wind,

It’s always a good day to die whether low or high,

In this weather I wouldn’t [CHATTER] mind MIND!

Brazen brow, stand tall on broken toe and pity fie!

What must be will be, and all that’s left for me

Is to make the face as I dance the steps of the ditty;

Graceful or woebegone, play the part mime the mime,

Our second minuet, keep the posture keep the time.

The bottle is empty now, does its bottom hold a sage

To spill ink to refill the bottle, now empty, with a message?

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

 

 

JUNGLE

 

 

It harbours all

The simple and the intricate

The ferocious and the docile

The carnivorous

The omnivorous

But the classification is

The eaters tears and mulls

Jaws tearing the fresh

Unlucky ones eaten

The eaters lying in contentment

Bones mulled and crushed-

So we are,

Two distinct groups

Ferocious man eaters

Docile eaten ones!

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

THERE IS THIS ITCH

 

 

There is this itch

so nagging and impossible to repress;

it begins with an idea

a seed in the mind

that soon grows and blossoms.

It mocks and taunts and pricks

the bearer of the message

he tosses and turns and perspires

sleep elusive at night’s noon,

till he kicks everything aside,

exasperated searches for a pen

and in a daze scribbles the dream

upon a bare page.

It is an urge to create

which only creatives can create

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

AFTERNOON SONG

 

 

Afternoon Song

Huge incomprehensible

Birds shake the borders

Of our kingdom

Winter turns into

Salt, pitchforks drop

From the ceiling

I am, Joseph, alone

In the cafe looking for

My anonymity, the old

Crocodile sips tea and

Bristles, espresso machine

Goes into a frenzy

Joseph, what sins

Are we committing

In the loud grove?

do you hear

Me on the path leading

To bulrushes and silence?

I’m stuck in this tragic

Canyon overgrown

With ferns, forever

Lost, earth beneath me

Quakes, restive choir

Grumbles backstage

Yes alone am I in

The afternoon, Babylon

Is one train ticket

Away, my eyes believe

In what they feel as

The screw slowly turns

 

 

(By Neeli Cherkovski – an internationally known poet living in San Francisco California. He is the author of many books of poetry and prose. His latest collection, Elegy for My Beat Generation,” it’s published by lithic press)

 

 

 

 

YOU SURPRISE WITH BLOOMS

 

 

You surprise with blooms

Ringing bells of hope

All day long

Next day new blooms

Fill the gaps

Sprinkling hopes

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

I STAND PREDOMINANT

 

 

The dust is gathered

and barren clouds are stirred

into temporary being

to choke the beloved victims

whilst those standing at akimbo; in stupefied safety,

enjoy the scene grinning from ear to ear

like there is something there to stand at awe for.

The insecure revel in this finger-pointing idiocy,

but scratching a bare sky with their ass-stinking finger nails

will not bring me heaven.

I stand predominant!

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

AT DAWN….I RISE

 

 

At dawn the ghosts of my past haunt me

The threads of pain weave toward me

The tears of past years

The ache and sorrow they contained

For when childhood friends played

I wept

And when juvenile songs arose

I cried

For the one who left me forlorn

And I bore the hurt so gallantly

Navigated my path through life with a strong will

Failed and rose several times still hiding the pain beneath my robes

Sojourned into foreign lands

My talent was my ability to understand human beings

The selfishness within ambition

The trampling upon people’s emotions

I understood man’s failings

For I was hurt early

And hid the grief beneath my bones

My sorrow was mine alone

I rise and ward of the ghosts that haunt me

At this crossroad of a new dawn

I choose strength over pity

Love over hatred

Indifference to scornful men

I make my way God’s Word my Light

The lamp with which I connect to the eternal realms

Threads of Light connect me to Azure plains

My spirit ascends from the ghosts of the past

 

 

(By Temitope Aina – I studied Accounting at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I love writing poetry, reading and classical music.
I am married with three children)

 

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

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