Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apple Fritter And A Single Rose by Donal Mahoney

After 30 years together,
Carol tells me late one evening
in the manner of a quiet wife
that I have yet to write a poem

about her, something she
will never understand in light
of all those other poems
she says I wrote

about those other women
before she drove North.
And so I tell her once again
I wrote those other poems

about no women I ever knew
the way I now know her
even if I saw them once or twice
for dinner, maybe,

and a little vodka
over lime and ice.
Near midnight, though,
she says again

in the manner of a quiet wife
it's been thirty years
and still no poem.
When morning comes

I motor off to town to buy
a paper and a poem
for Carol
but find instead

undulating in a big glass case
an apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,
lying there just waiting.

So I buy the lovely fritter
and a single long-stem rose
orphaned near the register,
roaring red, and still

at full attention.
I bring them home but find
Carol still asleep
and so I put the fritter

on the breadboard
and the rose right next to it,
at the proper angle.
When she wakes I hope

the fritter and the rose
will buy me time until
somewhere in the attic
of my mind I find

a poem that says
more about us than
this apple fritter,
tanned and glistening,

lying there just waiting,
and a single long-stem rose,
roaring red, and still
at full attention.

Patrolling Boots Are Still Worn by Lloyd Machacha

Government: This local stone
And that diasporan stone
Together can build a House of Stone
From diaspora please come with a construction stone

Diasporas: This diasporan national
And that local national
Should both build through making a choice
In all polls why are we denied a voice?

Government: The nation is now a secure nest
Our Government now wears a colourful zest
East or west, home is best
In mealie meal please come home to rest

Diasporas: A hare can’t escape Alsatians twice
Through the nose we paid for the greed’s rice
With our life we can’t dice
We would rather adapt to spice

Government: We have since called all professionals back home
Why are you not coming back home?
Why are you not sending investments back home?
Why are you not sending your thoughts back home?

Diasporas: The Party Forces are still wearing army boots
Investment laws still wear Party boots
Leadership still has no majority roots
Constitution-making to diaspora isn’t wearing any boots

As long as Patrolling boots are still worn
Our commitment will remain torn

Harvest Time by Michael Lee Johnson

A M├ętis Indian lady, drunk --
hands blanketed as in prayer,
over a large brown fruit basket
naked of fruit, no vine, no vineyard
inside -- approaches the Edmonton,
Alberta adoption agency.
There are only spirit gods
inside her empty purse.

Inside the basket, an infant,
restrained from life,
with a fruity winesap apple
wedged like a teaspoon
of autumn sun
inside its mouth.
A shallow pool of tears
mounts in native blue eyes.
Snuffling, the mother offers
a slim smile, turns away.
She slithers voyeuristically
through near slum streets
and alleyways,
looking for drinking buddies
to share a hefty pint
of applejack wine.

Memory Of Love by Robert Greenfield

Memory. The for-
gotten name. Pain.
The lost kiss. In-
side the miraculous
air & the people
& The Pacific Ocean.
Her human & divine
face. Eyes such as I
have never seen since
nor saw before.
Lucid with love for
me. I lost her name
& the names of her
shadows that followed
her. Time has been
trying to play tricks of
forgetfulness upon the
palimpsest of my psyche.
But it is her body her
face her voice that
walked inside the gate
of my skin & entered
my cells welcomed by
all of me. Now I am
dim of facts. Every day
I see the newest latest
fashions & very most
up to date women of the
current evolutionary
calendar. I am never
totally here. I am always
partially in her absence.

The Inheritors by Fred Nwonwu

They walked in death's shadow
All evil they should've feared
Lives but within their hearts
Bidding then heed
Darkness living inside

Their guns be their strength
Through it our obeisance be got
As they rampage through
This valley, where Sodom's wind blow

Before them we lie
Trembling hearts caught
In-between chattering dental
Bladder loosened by fright
Body taut in heartless readiness
For hot lead to strike

Do they not laugh?
Teeth sparkling ever thus
Polished by choice chop
Behind tinted glasses
They sneer,
As hunger pushes us
Towards them in servitude

They know not your name
Therefore, we beseech you in vain
They hearken only to their need
That hunger that knows no sate
Their god is money

We know their oppression
Be only for this while
We hoped for death's call
Not on us but on them
Its call whispered song

Alas, we hoped in vain
Fate holds back our saving rain
They knew death's name
Planned all along to cheat him

Their progeny returns
Groomed across the seas
Away from empty classrooms
Made tutorless by their forebears
They hoped to keep us blind
While theirs seek the light
That hopefully will make then blind

Alcoholics and addicts
Infused with ways foreign
Speaking white tongue whitely
Speaking our tongue strangely
If they speak at all
They know not our ways

Our culture repulses them
Our dances bemuses them
Their roots cut off
Replanted in cities far away

To them it's said
Our future is given
To carry our flag,
Write our laws,
Fight our wars,
And rule our land.

To them we are
Just another piece of

Misconceived by Maqhawe Mpofu

“Mama please don’t forget to conceive me...”
“Unconceived one, where you want to go there are too many rivers,
Flooded with hate, disunity, poverty, and innocent blood, no more graveyards,
Neighbour is killing neighbour’s son for his father did not pass him a snuff,
Sons are raping mothers...”

“Mama please don’t abort me, I already have a mission in progress,
Africa will flow in one drop...”
“Unborn one, you are just the definition of rape and...”

Mama is lying in front of me, writhing and screaming in pain...
Am standing in front of her, pulling up my trousers...
Pulling the trigger...
Her blood soils the earth...

Terrorist by Tinashe Muchuri

One who invented arms of war
One who uses arms of war
One who manufactures arms of war
One who sells arms of war
One who buys arms of war
One who restores peace
at the expense of innocent lives
One who denies basic human rights
to the masses.

Au Fin by Hugh Fox

Becoming colorless, fitting into nowhereness
since I was Chicago-born, still watching the
news every night, my old neighborhood not
a civil war any more but an Against Us/Ourselves
but the Marquise de Sade out for a (five kids slaughtered
today) little fun,
vultures, hyenas, killer ants/wasps,
always enough money to tweed and Catholic me,
somehow colorlessing myself into Harvard law school
and judgeships, but locking all the night-windows, turning
on the alarm system, this week the fancier the
neighborhood, the hungrier the howls,
identifying with my Sudanese-Haitian-Nigerian
families, but still wondering how many millenia it
will take to
the whole

Only Had I known by Jefta Chikura

Only had I known,
I wouldn’t have joined the others;
Joined the others in unanimously proclaiming
Only had they known
They wouldn’t have contributed
To the appalling cataclysm,
That cataclysm; the same
That has claimed many
Erroneously its foundation we agreed to lay
With all due legitimacy,
The sourced of our hiccups was enacted
With singing, ululation and jubilation,
Its continued existence was upheld
With clenched fists we all strove to keep it in being
Drastically, the transformation began
Subconsciously, we strove to keep it in place
Paradoxically, we become responsible for our own
Our own precarious destiny.
Should we continue the witch hunt and blame game,
While they cost us?
Should we, like Hume, rely entirely on
Carelessness and inattention,
With the protracted view that they alone
Can afford us any remedy
Should we swallow our pride then,
And unanimously, as before,
Delegitimize the existence.
Will there be any guarantee that we won’t again,
Unanimously, unanimously thrust ourselves
Into deeper quicksand
Only had I known,
Only had they known.

This And That by Peycho Kanev

I had rejected the whole discipline of
the arts and the governments and I
understand everything that was
understandable for others:
I lift my whiskey glass now
in this mist
in this grey night
and I get everything:
the gentleness of the morning, the silence,
the walls weep like old paintings
burning at the bonfire, the sky, the black sky
everything is real, unbent, and
shining and burning like the fire in my
this thing in me
screaming, wailing, wanting, demanding
this thing in me
black as the night, eternal
as the face of the mountain, long as
the rope at the gallows, regally as the
dance of the fly in the web.

the spider…

but I have a little more whiskey
and therefore chance.