The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

May 7, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo

 

By

Mbizo Chirasha

 

 

Drumbeat- “Raising Mukondi” Phase1 (Brave voices Poetry Journal 44 –The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign is this time of the year in partnership with the Campio Burns Group- “ From Ashes of the Fire”.  We are in solidarity with the burn survivors, Solidarity with Victims of Xenophobia, domestic and political violence, we are in solidarity with victims and survivors of burns, burning and domestic violence, we are in solidarity with the victors who managed to pull through defying the aftermath, scars, pain and trauma.

 

We say write it, say it, talk about it, tell a story. We say poetry heals and Words are a form of therapy. Let Poets from across the globe write on this CAUSE alongside victims of burns, violence, xenophobia and refugees’ maltreatment. Let’s tell our story through poetry, testimonials and flash fiction.

 

The Intervention is offered space at the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign Facebook platform (100 thousand poets for peace-Zimbabwe on Facebook). Campio Burns Group –“From Ashes of the Fire” is founded by Beulah Faith Kay, an advocate peace, life skills coach, Poet and a literary arts activist. She works alongside other great people around the world. The organisation is doing great through integrating burn survivors into communities as telling their story.

 

We are proud to say that poetry is a refreshing form of therapy that serves heals scars, wounds and burns from inner to the outer. We continue to invite our poets, new voices, regular voices, victims and now victors to send through poetry above mentioned Causes and Themes to MBIZO CHIRASHA. Thank you Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Pakistan, Cameroon, India, Zimbabwe, United States of America, Liberia and Zimbabwe for taking part.  We are looking forward to have more poets in the next 5 set of journals, journals.

Here is a brave mouthful from Beulah Kay, the Founder of Campio Burns Group- “ From Ashes of the Fire”-“ “Raising Mukondi” is a Campio Burns Group project (www.campioburns.blogspot.pe) partnered by the “Zimbabwe We Want Poetry” Campaign led by Mbizo Chirasha.

 

The project is a consequence of Campio’s “Face to Face with burns” Campaign and bears evidence of global awareness and the literary activism of poets and writers across the world. Activists who have been touched by the stigma and brutality of burns abuse of refugees, women and children.

 

Their pens speak and their ink never dries. It calls for the world to listen and cries out for xenophobia and burns abuse and stigma to stop! It cries out. This project has taught me that anyone can be burned… at anytime and anywhere anyhow. #awareness Edgar Langeveldt – recipient of the Prince Claus Award – Mbizo Chirasha.

 

 

 

 

IS HALLOWEEN IN BANGLADESH?

 

 

Is it Halloween or what?

For the faces covered with masks.

Can I get one for my cuzz?

He likes Halloween and fine masks.

 

Twas a baptism of acid!

alas! baptism of acid.

Bangladesh- baptised with this water,

that rapes the face of beauty’s tower.

 

Ah! that satanic water!

that eats the eyes and the skull!,

it leaks the brain like butter,

it eats the flesh to the core.

 

Stop! stop that baptism!

of a satanism.

 

Stop the burning of flesh!

stop the roasting of teeth.

stop the boiling of breast!

stop the baking of ribs.

 

Stop defacing Bangladesh!

stop burning her fine skirt.

 

 

(By Ibrahim Clouds – Nigerian poet. He spends 90% of his time in seclusion, meditating, reading spiritual books and writing. He studied science for three years in Wesley college of science Elekuro Ibadan Nigeria. He is currently studying architecture in the polytechnic Ibadan Nigeria. He was born a poet, identified as a poet since he was 4 years of age and started writing 5 years ago)

 

 

 

 

MAY I ASK

 

 

For am grieved to the marrow –

That be if a child play, – you sold –

Worse than in slavery, the ones

Picked and stolen from mothers’ laps

Every name is lost every missing dead –

Did you trade in them, may I ask?

This is not a poetic hyperbole without sub-

Stance.This is your statistical head count.

Sold or killed is your reply, and the homeless?

The immeasurable suffering and forfeiture

Honour, citizens’ rights and law?

I turn my face this way and that

It’s the same sight everywhere –

There are graveyards spread over miles

A sneaking author once said

Who stole herself through the biggest

Prison on earth where inmates suffocate

Or breathe in the destruction you brought.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

BLACK OPAL

 

 

The molasses type of skin.

Created with the coating of honey.

So preserved to the core.

With the scent of best blooms.

Fixated by the enhancing spices.

Very tolerant to weather conditions.

Blessed with the sun.

Baking the skin to tan.

Winds fail to chap it.

In the cold it will be sweating.

Cicadas and birds making melodious mellow.

God’s best ever creation.

The black color, the black skin.

 

Rise up black, rise!

Illuminated by the stars.

Caressed by lovely fresh breeze.

Enchanting, the moon always lingers.

Wanting to dance in the black skies.

The darker the most.

The dawn is so nearer.

Doves in a sing-song.

Crows crowing to welcoming the new day.

The dew, sweetly sprayed on the plants.

It’s a new day.

From gory to glory.

A blessing to black people.

 

Shedding off calories naturally.

Bathing in sweat to maintain,

The masculine and forever youthful skin.

Munching the abundant fruits.

Full of nature’s sweetness.

Enjoying vegetables, so essential to health.

Harvesting them and sun-dried.

Great forests full of salivating delicacy, wild animals.

Without too much fats.

That endangers the health.

In the homestead plenty and more.

Livestock, goats, chickens, pigeons, rabbits.

The list goes on.

Just grows naturally.

As the creator intended them to be.

 

Flawless, shiny, precious as the best gems.

Which are flourishing under your feet.

A paradise on earth.

A place where every being wishes for.

Bathing in streams, rivers.

Natural jacuzzis, bathtubs and swimming pools.

With your hard working expect hands.

Competing with best machinery.

Powerhouses of great wealth.

Black color, black skin.

Warriors, withstanding many hurdles.

Full of intellects.

Adore you, respect you, cherish you.

Treasure you, salute you.

Black opal skin.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

CHILDHOOD FULL OF WONDERS

 

 

Childhood full of wonders

Boyhood full of dreams

Youth full of aspirations

Old age full of hallucinations

 

Dreams dreams

Make our life

Dream dreams

Roll years and years

 

Child’s fancy

Create Wants, and wants

Ice creams and toys

Eternal likes

 

Attractions and distracts

Dreams made, mad and smashed

All fill the tender heart

Some shared and some shaded

 

Day fades into evening

Old age too fuse into body

Fancy for food and taste

Make again demanding kids

 

Old men tell tales of victories

Battles won and battles lost

Virtues stood for and vices at present

Their world is best and present is worst

 

Old hearts long for love

Old hearts hurt easily

Old hearts rush for Herculean tasks

With weak voice and faltering steps

 

I have seen my own father and mother

I have seen my own teachers

standing at big milestones

narrating again and again long life stories

 

Tears roll and heart melts

I love you for your spirit

I love you for your need love

Hallucinations and hallucinations

 

One day, that one day

You remain forever in memories

Making the world recoil in your memories

Dear friends let us stand by them

 

Listen to their tales

Before they stop telling them

We are in the line

A lion is a lion even when it’s …

 

 

(By Gopichand Paruchuri – International recognized Publisher, Academic and great English Poet in India)

 

 

 

 

UNTITLED

 

 

A woman sees future in the eyes of her children

She cares and nurses them with her eyes

I have seen soup without the fruits of the sea

I have seen soup without bush meat

You and I know that too much of fish do not spoil the soup

Too much of meat do not spoil the soup

To and fro the hands greets the mouth

We cannot eat without meat in the soup

It is not proper for the eyes to behold the soup

Without fruits of the sea and meat

Believe me, you see things

When you are hungry

Look into my eyes and tell me food is ready

My patience can cook a stone

My ears are tired of the stories you dish out

Food is a friend to the body

You see things when you are hungry

Those who go to bed without food count the ceiling

Ah! The night is long

So long a night without food in the stomach

I open my eyes wide to see the vision behind words

I examine the question to find the answer

I have seen tears of joy rolling down the cheeks

I have seen tears of hopelessness when the tongue is confused of the way out

I can see the world changing without the sense of humor

The eyes of babies are sweet

Dainty child, luminous eyes

My eyes are on the streets in search of daily bread

Let my bread and water look for me

When supply visits the house of scarcity

The stomach rejoice

The stomach rejoice for abundant supply

But supply is a constant issue

 

 

(By Oladipo Kehinde Paul – Nigerian Poet and Educator)

 

 

 

 

SAMOSA TOWN

 

 

Gone from my town is the one-cent coin,

Miniature wheels rolled into the tunnels of oblivion

By the fickle hands of mounting inflation.

Remember how it looked like?

Then I will reward you with a dollar

To buy yourself a sweet cake.

The datum line now is the ten cent-coin

Not a cent as in the days of yore.

Anything less than ten cents

Earns you disdainful looks

From the peevish vendors on the streets.

Ten cents, the price of a samosa.

Samosa that won’t fill your belly

But melts in your mouth like warm butter

Leaving a tangy after-taste

Of congealed oil on your hankering tongue.

Samosa made from dough

Kneaded from flour

Past its best-before date,

Spices filched from the local bazaar,

Rotten potatoes, tomatoes and peas

Picked from the market dumpsite,

Baked in used oil

Over a fire from disused car-tyres

On the banks of the turbid Mukuvisi River.

And every little thing takes after the samosa:

Sweets – ten cents for two;

Need a smoke – then part with your ten cents;

Box of matches – ten cents,

Single banana – ten cents.

If your bus-fare is short with ten cents

Then you stand in the overcrowded aisle

While the haves with dollars to spare

Nudge you in the ribs from the comfort of their seats.

Want to enquire about directions?

Upfront you ought to have ten cents.

Ten cents and upwards

So is the trend of the prices for everything

In this samosa town

Where the one cent-coin

Now is history

In the books of economics.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

LITTLE BIRD, FLY AWAY

 

 

The winds are shaping your flight path, little bird,

Strengthen your wings, try against the tide..

A step at a time, till they be strong to soar…

Then fly, little bird, away, from the hunter’s catapult.

 

He aims at you, little bird, duck from him,

See, my head bows, to motion you, duck

Dive, then fly, your salvation from the pebble..

Little bird, fly, away from the hunter’s catapult.

 

Perch, little bird…to rest your weary little bones

A time comes, for all of us to rest from labour

Rejuvenate our tired souls, and see with bird’s eye

Then fly, little bird, away, from the hunter’s catapult

 

 

(By Caroline Adwar – a fast 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)

 

 

 

 

BREAKING ICE

 

 

They may their heads raise to connect –

Dear lovers in a sad room

Husband and wife breaking ice,

For the rival be none other, but

The brutality of reality, and –

The bills, taxes and mortgages to pay.

 

 

On a painting by Edward Hopper, ‘Room in New York’

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

FEARFUL SILENCE

 

 

That was whole lot cold dark –

Cold blooded, – that was some few –

Flocked to ash-ice silence

With the urgency of sheep-keeper

Those were unforgettable eyes

– The girl waiting the death squad –

Why they did not took her home

Or those women fired upon systemic

– This cold murmur lead them –

A roar of bullets would severe

Noise out of no-noise and they

Quickly washed their hands of blood.

This was no domesticity, – nothing –

Furious, – there was a horrible scene –

Of dumping a young girl after rape

On garbage, – I fear silences –

I do fear silence. Silence after

A death squad kills or silence

Simple silence of a gut-execution –

The gray silence and silence like

Earth. Warm inside and brutal like

Arbitrary. A missile from skies.

Like the dusk when it holds

In its twilight fold all noise and dawn

When silence breaks into saddest

Beginning. Silence on her face.

On their faces. Fearful silence

Like a shifting shadow chase me front

Back and side. Fearful silence.

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

70 YEARS YOUNGER

 

 

Youth hood discovered me in my grey years,

As gaze flipped my world upside down,

As i traveled down the memory lane,

I obliterate the joys of aging

As a stream of tears trickled down my cheeks.

 

A bubbling cauldron of images,

breeds tendrils and strands ,

Appearing as random images;

Dreams strike a chord in my mind,

Brewing a mixture of pain and regret,

Regret over the” virgin heart”

 

A migraine pummels louder,

Fighting with a sense of nausea ,

Only then do i let the memories sublime,

As they sour perception of self;

Making “self” look inferior

I resort to living in the moment as i embrace FATE.

 

 

(By Vanessa Kalukwete – aged 20 and currently studying Psychology at the University of Zimbabwe. She is in her first year, second semester. She is a poetry fanatic and enjoys reading novels during her leisure time)

 

 

 

 

VERSES OF OLADIPO

 

 

These eyes have seen army of books in the library

The library is the hospital of the mind

Where words are prescriptive and descriptive

Words jumped out of the pages of the book

Logic reason with philosophy

Ideology at a logger head with psychology

Idealism at it with mysticism

The train of thought left the station

When hunger greets the stomach

Books on empty stomach make the mouth to yawn

These eyes have seen the edge of knowledge

Yawn, hunger, and tiredness make

the eyes to wink and blink before words

when the eyes are tired of reading

the books becomes a pillow

the books become a pillow

when the eyes are tired of reading

 

 

(By Oladipo Kehinde Paul – Nigerian Poet and Educator)

 

 

 

 

REAL LOVE

 

 

My mom; my first wealth

My wife; my pride

This combination

Doesn’t need substitution

In life with love

They’re both my strength when times get tough

If I were to commit murder

It’s only to defend them and secure their safety

Against corrupt and heartless men

On state positions

If I were to rob a bank

Then it’s only to free them from debt

And give them financial freedom

For I’m not getting my piece of earth through hardwork

The system doesn’t give me my worthy

From a small wage they tax me

If I were to choose one among them

I would use my mom’s love to love my wife

 

 

(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)

 

 

 

 

A DEEP LITTLE PIECE

 

 

Do not flirt with those who can flip you,

Do not crush on those who can crush you.

 

Flirt not with people lest they flip you,

Crush not on people lest they crush you.

 

Dreams are not realities

Realities are neither dreams,

However, realities could be dreams.

 

Remember, slow seems the time

But steady ticks the hands,

And none dares stop,

For what will be will be

Because what is written is written.

 

 

(By Ngozi Olivia Osuoha – a Nigerian poet/writer/­thinker, a graduate of Estate Management with experience in Banking and Broadcasting. She has published over one hundred and forty poems in over ten countries and featured in over fifteen international anthologies. Her first two longest poems (poetry books) THE TRANSFORMATION TRAIN and LETTER TO MY UNBORN of 355 and 560 verses published in Kenya and Canada respectively are available on Amazon. She writes hymns, psalms and has numerous words on the marble)

 

 

 

 

THE STRUGGLE

 

 

You may wound us but we will never break

Our backs may sour but the muscles will grow

Our hands blister but we fight on

We fight for what we believe in

 

Our sapphire eyes may tear,

But they will see beyond the horizon,

Tones and tones of our beautiful dreams we share.

Dreams for a much better morrow.

 

Our ears may seem small

But are larger than the ears of an elephant

Listening into the future

The future my hands hold, a beautiful bright future

My hands will write on

They will write on to the future despite their bruising, they will write on until they won’t have to anymore. For we will have achieved.

 

 

(By Nungari – Nungari Kabutu is a student in Kenyatta university taking English and Literature, she is involved in writing and reading poetry with a group of other young writers from campus, she enjoys reading poems by Maya Angelou (her favourite being Phenomenon woman ) and Okot P, Bitek. She also enjoys photography and swimming)

 

 

 

 

SHE…

 

 

She sits everyday

At the same place

Same time…

with the same posture

Kept herself too busy

Unmindful of the passers by

And passing vehicles

With two small cloth and plastic

bags by her side…

Involuntarily I started

watching her everyday

 

With tremendous zeal and zest

Devotion and dedication

She dabbled her head deep

With sheets of papers in her lap

scribbling something seriously

On the small note book stealthily

With a ball point pen in her hand

Like a sincere school teacher…

Preparing for the final interview…

 

This routine scene…

On the main road divider

Disturbed me a lot…

Array of queries queued

Their way into my mind

Who’s she?

What’s she writing?

 

Why’s she sitting there?

Where’s she from?

Bindi on the forehead,

Bangles to the hands,

Black beads chain and nail polish

Revealed her identity…

What about her family members?

A million questions…

Crossed my mind all the day…

 

With a mind to help her out

With a heart to listen to her heart…

With a soul to console her soul

One day I went to her

Leaving my vehicle opposite the road

Stood beside her…

Peeped into that book

Tried to open up the conversation…

 

Ma! Hey Ma…

She didn’t look to me

Who are you Ma?

What’re you writing?

She didn’t seem to listen to me

I tried again…’Ma’…I continued…

It’s rush hour…Not safe to sit here…

Come to that side…

Sit under that tree…

She didn’t lift her head

Neither stopped writing

Nor bothered to mind my words…

 

Hello! Ma!

Hello! Ma!

Why’re you sitting here?

Where’re you from?

Is your home nearby?

May I know your name please?

She just observed me a moment

I continued…

You look like an educated lady…

Come to my home…

 

Come…I’ll take you to my home…

It’s so near…I’ll look after you…

She’s immobile…

I tried further…

Ma!

please listen to me…

She paused a while…

Slightly lifted her head

Glanced at me for a second

Hurriedly bent down her head…

Resumed her writing…

 

Thinking that she belongs

to North India…

I started asking in Hindi,

‘Naam kya hai Ma?

Kaha se aaya Ma?

Kya likh rahe hai?’

I tried to read the words,

May be a poem?

May be a short story?

But to my surprise she’s

Writing sentences in both

the languages, English and Telugu

With near clear handwriting…

Seriously answering a question paper!

But…Alas! I pity myself…

I couldn’t make out anything from that…

 

Suddenly she gazed at me silently

Looked at her notebook twice

Blinked her eyes in mute

With damn concentration

Without bothering the

heavy traffic around…

She resumed her writing

As if the world may end

at any minute…

And she should finish it

Before that fatal hour…

Helplessly I crossed the road

Proceeded to my college

 

Oh! God! Almighty! Innumerable your ways!

Show mercy on this poor lady!

Prayed silently in my mind…

 

 

(By Nagasuseela Panchumarthi – International Publisher, Acclaimed Poet and Educationist)

 

 

 

 

 

The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign

 

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