March 3, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Paul Sezzie








23:45 hours:

Good that you have his supper set.

Like he owns your person,

With his drunken fists, he’d have pounded you

And hounded you against the wall

And battered you yet again

I see you can’t sleep on this other side

It’s throbbing; it’s thumping, plain raw pain.


Rest certain he won’t rape you tonight

He’s had it all at the brothel

He paid for his orgasm there, his wallet gone

You’ll have to contend with the scent of strange perfumes

And nauseating imported smells of after-sex

And the noisy stench of sweat and urine

And the foul breath of beer and smoke

And a heap of mannish bones on your marital bed


And I should have told you much earlier

Of this, his student lured by the mousetrap

Of better marks and chocolate

Like a fish to a hook. She is 14. Defiled.

Infected. Pregnant. Forced to abort. And dying.

So this drinking tonight is to the toast

Of the death of a seed… and the shoot.

Not the first. Not the last. Not for now.


And such is his pleasure, their bliss,

The convinvialities of their time

In the staffroom, offices, beer-holes

They pat one another on the genitals

They sing and dance to sweet narrations

Of their escapades; such delirious megalomaniacs!


And such is your pain. Pains of mothers. Pains of God

Pains of a past. Pains of a future. Pains of the land.

But, no, don’t give up. Distress no more. All will come

To pass and you will wear the robe of joy, my love


02: 17 hours:

KNOCK! Bang! Bang! He is on the doorstep,

Wake up now, but before you do, remember

In seven days’ time, your travail pains will begin

And in the clinic, I will be yet another statistic

Of a still birth.











Black night!

And more murky fumes

From the smokestack billow

And we have lost track of the seasons

We have lost count of the months

Heavens! How shall we adore the Child?

We have lost sight of the moon

Of the guiding stars to Bethlehem

We have lost the bond

That bound us to nature’s yielding back


Was nature ever too benevolent with us?

Or we were too hard to please?

Do we really know now?

Which way the wind will blow?

Which crops in fall to sow? Or

What cloud it is that flies high or low?

Or when rains will fall after all?


And when they fall, they fall in arrears

Thunder in the heat of noon

No more rainbows yonder

Bethlehem all in floods

Carrying with them all life’s labour

Rivers bisect roads and homes


The dark ages are here again

The hour hand is going anti-clockwise

But how did Herod ever cheat us

Into this wanton deportment of pruning

By cutting the throats

Of all two year old buds?








Paul Sezzie

Paul is an award winning poet. His poem, Bitter Tales, won the inaugural Dede Kamkondo Poetry Contest (November 2013 and the poem, Children of the Sun, came second in the World Bank Group Essay, Poetry, Artistic Competition on Ending Poverty in Malawi (Poetry Category) (November 2015). He has read poetry at various platforms including at Mwezi Wawala Arts and Land of Poets Festivals in Malawi.  He has also published poetry in the local newspaper, The Weekend Nation.


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