Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When We Meet Again... by Philani Amadéus Nyoni

Things we regret most are the chances we never took,
Those we love most are those that we forsook.
I don’t believe in living in regret,
So since I am not dead yet
When we meet again
There will be rain…
I will gaze deep into your bewildering eyes,
Then to relinquish my heart’s silent cries
I will tell you how I truly feel.
As an oath that the words are real
I will kiss your soft sweet lips
Where sacred water sleeps...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Country Cafeteria by Donal Mahoney

The two weeks
I spent in that small town
on assignment, I saw no blacks
except for two older women
regal in every way,
hair coifed in silver gray,
working in the Country Cafeteria.
They walked like pastors’ wives
as they worked their 20 tables.
White badges on their uniforms
announced in red their names,
their years of service.
They never said a word,
not even to each other.
They just took the cups and plates away
and wiped oil tablecloths pristine.
I took three meals a day in silence there,
the only place in town to eat.
I was the stranger in a suit and tie,
a city weed among stout farmers in old coveralls
who came to town each day to note 
“no rain yet” and “the corn is dyin’.”
Before each meal instead of saying Grace,
I wanted to stand and ask these ladies
as they bowed before the clutter on their tables:
If you have worked here all these years,
and lived in this town also,
where in the Name of God,
other than at home or church,
are you free to talk or laugh or sing
or clap your hands in emancipation?

Deathbed Confessions by Mandla Nkomo

As I lie here paralyzed by this disease that's claiming my life.
Clasping on to the hand of the woman who for the last forty years I've called my wife.
Poker faced I look into her eyes
Tears well up as I think of all the lies.
Through each one we stood by each other
This is not the love I was told of by my mother.
Yet I met this woman when I was a boy
My childhood sweetheart who brought me such joy.
The love of my life who said I'm her one and only
Death would rob us of this bliss And leave her lonely...

When she was twenty-four I was twenty-five
That’s when we wed the bliss we shared made me know I was alive
When she was thirty-three I was thirty-four
Five children she had bore
Could any man ask for more?

Our lives revolved around our family
Our last child whose name is Emily
Has graduated from university
And now faces the prospect of life in the city
We gave them all the best money could buy
And taught them the all values and virtues to live by:
Honesty, integrity, transparency, truth and courage.

How can I look them each in the eye when I've been so dishonest
The double life I've lived as I built this love-nest
The smokescreens and facade that have filled our home
The lies and deceit are more than the plot to kill Caesar in Rome.
How can I tell them when I know this will destroy us
Maybe I should take it to my grave and not kick up a fuss

The six souls I love with all my heart
Are about to discover a truth that will tear us apart
I cannot believe I find myself in this predicament
My confession will leave such disenchantment
You see I've known all along
In this happy septet I'm the one who doesn't belong
I could have said
I should have said
I would have said
But I may have lost her if did
So I was forced to put it under a lid
How could I open Pandora’s box
And break the heart of one with such lovely locks
You see when it comes to reproduction I am like an ox
A debilitating disease in my youth left me unable produce an heir
This truth leaves a foul stench in the air
Who then is the father of these five?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Limpopo by Abel Phiri

Photo by Mgcini Nyoni

The winding rivers 
have thrust me on callous banks
of merciless nature 
of no familiar  men
nor land
no colour
Just bleak
and dark
and silent
and archaic.

of freeways
penis enlargement ads in public
of skyscrapers
I long for  

Till we meet
in a democratic home
the winding rivers
raging relentless
and calm
she waits.