The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

March 16, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

Brave Voices and Solidarity Voices, thank you bravely for braving the torrents of life as you continue to write even during these harsh economic and political times. Africa is falling apart. Child soldiers in Congo, ethnic killings in Burundi, rivalry in Mozambique, blood bath in Maiduguri, political violence in Kenya, poor health and mass poverty in Zimbabwe, to mention but a few.

Zimbabwe a country once the honeycomb that dripped with sweet honey, which means life was once sweet and great here in this great land. Today looters are the only survivors, Zimbabwe oh Zimbabwe my Zimbabwe, Africa come back Africa.

Why bury the dreams of children? Why burn the fertile hopes of mothers? Why Zimbabwe? Why Africa? We have become a nation in intensive care. We need an economic oxygen tube to survive. We have become a nation infected by political syphilis, corruption is now infectious like tuberculosis. Politicians transfer it to bureaucrats through sneezing and they cough into the conscience of technocrats. It’s all now corruption influenza, we are sneezing and coughing corruption. The clap of poverty smashes the once rounded faces of villages, while the streets are licking their boils for supper.

We shall write, we are not going to be silent. It shall be right. We are going to be alright through poetry. Aluta Continua- Mbizo Chirasha.

 

 

 

 

METAMORPHOSIS

 

 

You abet the rustler and

Tip off the cowherd,

Declaim to be a servant of the public

And yet exude power in every pore

Of your body;

You are the insider Death that

Let into the house an outdoor menace,

The thieving threat within that colludes

With those without,

For only your enigmatic clique could track

The spoor of their kind on the inscrutable sea…

It meets to call thee the fiery louse

Lurking under the donned blouse:

For you burn deeply and singe not,

The terrible larva munching on

The vegetal shelter it’s hatched from.

 

 

(By Opeyemi Joe – writes from Ibadan. He’s had his works featured in journals, reviews and anthologies the world over. He likes soccer and singing, in that order. He is also a geologist)

 

 

 

 

THEREFORE DEMOLISH

 

 

They are through we are nearing –

Wars of today and future are fought

By the corners, kitchens and in bathtubs –

You may to a thunder wake up

In rain-some night and see a wall

Fallen, your manhole drain your –

Love child’s blood and the pantry

Blasted out by mine planted

Your bed be the peacekeeper with yourself

And broken window transformed

Into an architectural beauty of destruction

An urbane war, so the planners

Make space for shelters and runaways because

Military shall pound you from their blankets

And drones deliver bombs in pizzas

Soldiers chew flower stems and make

Coffee, while a long line of girls

In skinny jeans await evacuation

Deportees head to distant peaceful countries

And wait three generations to rehab –

Therefore war breaks into class barriers

War in posh habitations and war of educated

With the slogan that there in backyard

An imposter of barbaric fears hide –

Therefore demolish therefore displace

Therefore because you are the protector.

 

On a picture of old man sitting on bed in his demolished home, Aleppo Syria

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

SCENTS OF A MILLION ROSES

 

 

Scents of a million roses

Perfume my stone-cold nostrils

As garlands crafted by different hands

Carpet my ornate casket

And the avenue

Leading to my final

Place of rest.

Although my body

Now is cake for the worms

My soul is watching, observing

From a distance above

Counting mournful faces

Grieved hearts

Tears beating against the dust

From whence I came

Whence we all retire

Upon completion of our earthly race.

In some secret concrete nests

Perched above the street lights,

Stereo blurs with glaringly loud music

And dressed in gaudy costume

They gyrate like marionettes

In a dollhouse

Celebrating my fall.

Somewhere, I see plastic masks

Contorted into grotesque grimaces of dispute

Haggling over my body

Some saying it belongs to them

Others claiming it deserves to be interred

At an acre of space

At the village anthill:

Reminds my soul

Of the Scriptural story of Michael and the dark angel

Contending over ownership of the body of Moses.

My soul flies across shores

And sees oceans of faces

With tributaries of tears

Feeding into the forest of pain

In their hearts

Where I shall remain mummified

Like an Egyptian Pharaoh departed.

 

 

(By Richmore Tera – a Zimbabwean poet, short story writer and freelance journalist. He is the author of the poetry monograph, “Here Leaves Silently Fall” which was published by Arts Initiates in 2009. In November 2017, Tera was appointed as the Zimbabwean Ambassador of the Museum of Words by the Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in Madrid, Spain, for advocating for unity and peace through his works)

 

 

 

 

WHO BLOWS THE WHISTLE AGAINST CHAOS?

 

 

Who is to report facts

calling ‘a knife, a knife’!

Today when many lips are bought

and voices sold

to selfishly quieten screaming

misconducts

and unwisely mask with brightness darkness of chaos?

Who will point sternly an accusing

finger at the devil amidst us

Showing him no love or teeth

Explicitly hanging on public wires his

stinky mischief

for all to see and despise

Who is to set a tone of right and

light

of not striking another because they support a Frog instead of a Hyena? Or of brutally spilling blood just to make

a quick ngwee?

Who is to blow the trumpet?

When wrong becomes right

and right is dung

When silence proudly dethrones speech

on issues begging sound intervention

When greed of the belly and

gravity of lusting eyes

ambidextrously compass pursuits

and determines reliantly morality

When ignorance is freely taught while

information is withheld

When it is normal to unsee crime than

confront it

hoping it dies on its on unreported

Who blows the whistle then?

Who blows the whistle

If not you and I?

For if you and I choose to be calm

even when political animosity rages

wildly

then we are watering it to grow even

stronger

ever thirsty more and more

If you and I decide consciously to idle and loaf

while barbarism sweats its way into our hearts and ways

only we are to blame for setting ablaze

our country

for cursing our nation with dwarfism

and eventual peril!

Who blows the whistle

to bed burying this chaotic insanity

If not they that still remember fair play

You and I, yes, you and I

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

AN ELEGY FOR AFRICA

 

 

I’m sent back to fight

black misrule in Africa

dictators like Sani Abacha

Nigeria’s late menace.

My second coming is dangerous!

I’m Keni Saro Wiwa.

I’m tasked to exterminate

betrayers of Freedom Fighters in Africa

traitors like Jomo Kenyatta

Kenya’s late Mau Mau betrayer.

My second coming is dangerous!

I’m Dedan Kimathi.

Africa!

What can i liken your seeds to?

Truely!

What can i liken them to?

In Malawi

Hastings Kamuzu Banda

was elected to be the people’s democratic leader

but only to become an autocratic ruler

past holding the office,

disappointing the povo,

banning the oppositions

sometimes killing them ruthlessly!

What do you know of the Kamuzu crocodiles?

About Uganda what have you heard

during the iron-reign

of the cannibal Idi Amin?

Ask of this from the Acholi and Langa lucky survivors

and successful escapees,

they have much to tell.

P.W Botha down in South Africa

left a sad history

behind him

of apartheid.

About Kenya and the dark years of Daniel Arap Moi,

look for Ngugi wa Thiongo,

he will tell you

of his detention without trial.

In Liberia

ask the Liberian failed populace

why Charles Taylor

is behind bars.

In Ghana,

in February 1966,

history tells us why Nkrumah’s coup,

was a success.

In Ethiopia

Ethiopians are aware why Mengistu

fled into exile

to Zimbabwe.

In Africa

have you questioned yourself

why things have changed?

Some men in politics have changed

something to nothing,

everything to anything

and order to disorder.

They have even changed

election to nomition!

In Zimbabwe

do you know why Constantine Chiwengwa

is now your vice president?

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

DISPARITY

 

 

President when was the last time you go to bed on an empty stomach?

Do you know how it feels to have no food to eat?

Do you know how it feels to be jobless for over a decade?

Last but not least, when was the last time you walk the talk?

Everyday you say things are getting better but all we see is the worst

Promises are comfort to fools.

Do you think we are fools?

You have been promising us heaven on earth, since 19 l can’t recall. lt’s evident you enjoying playing us like football

You are always on the wealth table, taking the lion’s share

While we are wallowing in abject poverty

We are sick and tired of this cancer called poverty

We need the chemotherapy of opportunities and development

You are not creative that’s why we have been in poverty for ages

lf you want to fight crime,

fight poverty first.

lf you want to end poverty,

listen to the people who are in a relationship with scarcity

You put your energy on what benefits, which makes you bogus.

Its time you and your cabinet handle business like grown ups.

 

 

(By Tafadzwa Bandera – Fast rising thinker, thought leader, poet and writer)

 

 

 

 

MIND IN EXILE

 

 

By my birth I entered a dispensary,

Where they dispense fear,

Information services prescribing propaganda,

The born free guilt tripped for their parent’s day of their conception, Like I chose when I was to be planted,

When I was to germinate,

I have thoughts of true freedom,

However freedom of thought is regarded an ailment,

But are those thoughts not natural,

The fear imposed on my skin,

By a clap on the cheek from the men in suits,

The lumps and bruises from button sticks by the men in blue, Legislation by legislaters legislatered to keep me gripped in fear dilutes my thoughts, Relegating my freedom of thought to the sub conscious,

I am home but for my thoughts home is not home,

I fear to imagine for someone under my table might snitch on me,

I cannot innovate for innovation is a direct mockery of the status quo, A brainless opportunist screams treachery at the sight of organised thoughts, Bootlickers’ treasonous bootlicking rewarded by the death of brilliant minds, The system’s pedagogy is ruinous,

Strategically creating educated fools,

Robots dressed in human clothing,

Taught to take instruction and not think,

Graduation sends your brains on leave,

Those few who escape this strategy of instruction are hunted,

Attempt after attempt after attempts to vanquish their freedom of thought, Their rebellious patterns of thought,

A carrot dangled to subvert my mind,

To divide and conquer my being,

To actively produce turmoil within myself,

I thus dare not think,

Thinking is dangerous,

Its factional,

Its a threat,

My mind decides to vacate my head and reside in my bowls,

And with every excretion it is diminished,

Into a self-imposed exile where return is a fallacy.

 

 

(By Mabenge Aleck – 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)

 

 

 

 

A WARRIOR’S TORRENT

 

 

I am caressed by the careless hands of fear

I am romanced by the rough fingers of hatred

My brother’s blood is now their cooking oil

My husband’s body, their chicken for super

With waxen heart,

With sunken eyes,

With feeble legs,

With palsied mouth,

The scenes of the fierce spear of silence stabbing our screech

Open their thorny red blinds before me

When shall our subtle lips be opened?

I was brutally slapped by their shackles,

Fear gave me another slap,

It shelved my desires

Yet boldness was the ligament that kept my bones intact with my flesh Butcher me with your eyes,

Slaughter me with your words,

I shall kiss your weapons and take them to bed

I shall remove the man in them

And make them eunuchs

Your brutality shall impregnate me and I shall give birth to warriors, They’ll vomit words that’ll plaster your walls with peace

No matter how many stones you throw on me,

I shall walk bare-footed on the burning coal you put on my way,

Slap me! Rape my voice! Cover it under your iroko weight!

The arrow I possess is the orifice you’ll be trapped in.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

Why #IsraeliApartheidWeek in Kenya?

 

 

Because we were also a colonized people.

Because Hamas is Palestine’s Mau Mau.

Because East Africa was also proposed as a location for a Jewish state.

Because Africans, like Palestinians, were non-people.

Because our resistance was also labelled “terrorism” and met with mass slaughter and collective punishment.

Because 1.5 million Kenyans (children, women, men) were imprisoned for over 8 years in British concentration camps, starved, tortured, executed at will.

Because Israel was the leading supplier of arms to apartheid South Africa.

Because Israel is an apartheid state built on genocidal settler colonialism.

Because it is always about the land.

Because Zionism is colonialism, Zionism is racism, Zionism is white supremacy.

Because if we say Gaza we must say #KasaraniConcentrationCamp.

Because if we stand with Palestinians we must stand with Somalis.

Because Kenyan troops in Somalia are no more “moral” than Israeli troops in Palestine.

Because Occupation is Occupation is Occupation.

Because ethnic cleansing is ethnic cleansing is ethnic cleansing.

Because we too were a colonized people.

 

 

(By Shailja Patel – an International poet)

 

 

 

 

MEMOIRS IN DIASPORA

 

 

The Egypt I miss;

Had bread basket filled, bottled butter

Mouth-watering sliced salted spiced snacks,

Vast garlic gotten from government grocers,

Onions, olives and countable orphans,

gracious graduates donned in fitting gowns.

No pick-pocketing pirate police

 

Even though we wailed upon Pharaohs’ whips

Stomachs were stuck with solid meals.

 

Is Moses’ Canaan carrying a curse?

I can’t help wondering.

 

 

(By Nyasha Musimwa – Poet and Educator)

 

 

 

 

METAPHORIC SONG

 

 

Words bring out kolanut

from the pocket

I have ears for drum

Let the drum speaks

the language of the drummer

Those looking for missing words

should visit the house of proverb.

Spoken words are horses for metaphor

Metaphor are horses for spoken words

Let the drum constellate the stars

of the night for moon light tales

We are going home

to become one with the beautiful night

A tale at night for the starry stars

Words are the beginning of small things

Break words with me brother

I am yet to see two plants fighting

Sweet words beat the drum of my ears

Words on my tongue sweet like honey

I have tasted the salt of the cloud

The day clothe my dreams

with the colours of rainbow

 

 

(By Oladipo Kehinde Paul – Nigerian Poet and Educator)

 

 

 

 

MY TONGUE IS A CRIME

 

 

Is it not Selassie I

Who fought fascism

Colonialism

Racism

To guarantee a united African state

Now I hear you taunting that Selassie was a dictator

Dictating what?

Is it not Garvey

Who stood up for repatriation

To break the chains of oppression?

Now you jeering his philosophies and his opinions

Is it not Bob Marley

Spearheaded with the Rastaman vibration

Chanting reggae music for equal rights and justice

Now I can hear you mocking Rastafari everywhere

Saying its stupid senseless racial movement

Yet when Rasta fight he fight for all

Is it not Peter Tosh a Rastafarian

Who taught the world about the healing properties of ganja

Yet today you are gravitating towards decriminalization of the herb

All you saying over the years is a Rasta is a stinking dirty head

I heard you say ganja makes one rebel

Rebel?

Against what????

I heard you hailing Abraham Lincoln

That if it was not his generosity

And his sympathy slavery wasn’t going to end

Yet the reality remains that there was sty for capitalism

The south was growing fast than the north

Because its ME

Who pen this all you can say is its racism

Yet I am a victim thereof

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

 

Editor review

1 Comment

  1. Kumbirai March 19, at 12:22

    Indeed Zimbabwe we want poetry, poetry which passes and shows our sentiments..words which reflect our pains, gestures whucheche demonstrate what we so much want to achieve..Africa our MotherLand we need voices which echo far and beyond..Together we Are the words which you pen down.

    Reply

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