March 30, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Reuters photo



Samir Raiti Mtamba



Leaves Of Immortality



Outside, the leaves litter the ground-

Such a mess of dead soldiers in motley camouflage

Falling like lusty locusts on tasselling grain.

The living leaves dance their green leases in the wind

Flecked into luminosity by the setting sun,

And I think of Gilgamesh

And his leaves of immortality.

Convinced of the purity and bliss of life

Beyond the confines of ordinary horizons,

Rivers, cities and their officials

Immortality was the desire of his soul

The ambrosial bliss of the tired human frame loosened.

Yet the rites of passage to fulfilment

He found as arduous and futile as they were elusive

For the man of flesh consigned by haughty gods to mortality

The retributive demands of the other world.

If life here, inferior mirror of the sublime

Be something like pig rot to repent at times

Why yearn for immortality, eternal wheel of fire perhaps?

Immortality should not be sought like

Gilgamesh’s futile exploits under the sea

But the silent tranquillity

That ushers in a summer evening

Quiet, cool after the rain

Away from the affairs of public men and punitive gods

Like the beginning of the beginning,

Immortality only palpably possessed imagined

In the transitory moment of bliss without

The attendant greed and narcissism

For self-preservation.








A Simple Inquiry



One day,

Perhaps tomorrow,

I will study all there is to know

About the ant society

From their Geography, History, Economics,

Sociology, Psychology and more…


I would like to know how they address their queen

What their intelligence organization is called

What their spy chief does

And whether they have had in their midst before

The semblance of Jack the Ripper

Or even a legitimate trade in slaves among their own kind.

O, I would like to know what their sentence for contempt of their queen is

What for invading your neighbour’s land and flowers

What for treason, terrorism, mutiny and so on …


Some day,

Perhaps tomorrow,

I will add some as yet unknown knowledge

About the ant society for the benefit of all mankind.  











Samir Raiti Mtamba

Zimbabwean poet and prose writer of Malawian extraction (b. Harare, Zimbabwe, 1959). Published in Australia, The US, Germany, Ireland, Ghana, Malawi and South Africa among other places in the English-speaking world. Studied at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. Briefly at Dalhousie in Nova Scotia for Graduate Studies. New Leftist by inclination. Interested in Poststructuralist Theories and Children’s Literature. Taught in Zimbabwean high schools and the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU). Now independent researcher.


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