Saturday, December 14, 2013

Poem To Africa's Greatest Son by Lesedi Evans Shumba

Gone too soon
Always will be remembered
I will cherish your loyalty to Africa
until the day I also see you sited somewhere beside
Peter, Mahatma, Martin and Teresa

I could have sworn I felt the ground shake
When your soul escaped form the body it was kept
I could hear the sounds and celebrations of the jubilations in hell
last night when the world wept -
the angel has gone where he belongs.

Hope they tell me where they bury you
so I come and lie down near you and listen to all your stories
Stories of how you and your comrades marched down the streets towards the enemy
Ran Soweto carrying nothing but banners
the only bullets you had was the shouts of 'freedom'.
How did you really feel when you drank coffee
with the same men who put you in cages?
I bet they almost died of your brutal, unconditional forgiveness.

Dear Nelson
Take thy place as God's greatest grandson
Bring thy head forward to receive your crowning as Africa's greatest son
Twinkle, Twinkle little African star
How I wonder why so soon.
Wish I could put your spineless spirit in a bottle
Then drink it until my heart burst.

One last time
fold your fist hard, bang in the air
Just like how you used to stand in the crowd saying:
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling but in rising every time we fail"

Your enemies and even your dearest comrades
have tied to destroy you but failed each time
You are a lion with nine lives and a thousand hearts.
Wish I could write 10000 words
each for each day you spent in prison
I know you will shred your soul into a thousand pieces
then drop it into the hearts of all the
Leaders of the world, then maybe they would know
how to really treat their people.

Nineteen years ago you made a nation
out of a notion you strongly held.
Nineteen years ago I was born free,

Your hustle was not, just meant for Africa to see
Your courage was like a virus
which I tested positive.
Looked into your eyes and saw a thousand pictures
I Take your soul and make a thousand copies
One great leader is worth a thousand dictators
The giant has closed its eyes
for the world to open its minds and souls

I am a present of the past
Because you made your present not resentment over the past
but the refurbishment of the future,
My future.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmastime in America

You see the oddest things 
at Christmastime in America.
The bigger the city, 
the stranger the sights.
I was driving downtown 
to buy gifts for the family 
and enjoying bouquets
of beautiful people
bundled in big coats
and colorful scarves
clustered on corners,
shopping in good cheer
amid petals of snow 
dancing in the sun. 

One of them, however,
a beautiful young lady,
had stopped to take issue 
with an old woman in a shawl
picketing Planned Parenthood.
The old woman was riding
on a motor scooter 
designed for the elderly.
She held a sign bigger
than she was and kept
motoring back and forth
as resolute as my aunt
who had been renowned 
for protesting any injustice.
Saving seals in the Antarctic 
had been very important to her.

On this day, however, 
the beautiful young lady
who had taken issue
with the old woman  
was livid and screaming.
She marched behind 
the motor scooter and 
yelled at the old woman 
who appeared oblivious
to all the commotion.
Maybe she was deaf,
I thought, like my aunt.
That can be an advantage
at a time like this.

The letters on the sign were huge
but I couldn't read them
so I drove around the block
and found a spot at the curb.

It turned out the sign said,
"What might have happened
if Mary of Nazareth 
had been pro-choice?"
Now I understood 
why the young lady
was ranting and raving
and why the old woman
kept motoring to and fro.
At Christmastime in America
people get excited,
more so than usual.

When I got home 
I hid my packages 
and told my wife at supper
what I had seen.
I also told her that if Mary 
had chosen otherwise,
I wouldn't have had 
to go shopping today.
That's obvious, she said. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

By the Corner On Rivonia by Zibusiso Mpofu

We there by
the corner on Rivonia
Cheering on our hero
Singing our proud hearts out
We sang
He did us proud
did that old boy
Loving him poeticaly was like heaven itself
We were there
Right where he was
Made us proud
Did that old boy!
Loving him poeticaly was like heaven itself,
We were there
Indeed we were
''Nkosi sikelel'Africa'' we sang
By the corner for Rivonia!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Concept Weaveology by Zibusiso Mpofu

Image -

Unbraid our hair into long strands
Of kaffir tufts
Never forget to oil and unbraid and oil again
Before you bind it straight
Into curls of slavery
Circling our ebony foreheads
We must be likened to Sarah and them
Never forget to adorn our heads
With waves of lyrical hair
It_must_scale down our shoulders
And hide the kink of our own hair
The pride of the women that came before us
We must be likened to Sally and them
Without hair that grows towards the sun
Must_Cover_our pride
That we may be reckoned upon
With a lighter eye
Never forget to adorn our heads
With the hair of other women

Ours, we can never protect

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gentleman's Club by Donal Mahoney

With feline grace
and feral eyes 
a ponytail 

of raven hair 
bouncing, bouncing 
waitress tall  

wisp of skirt
spaceship heels 
weaves among 

tiny tables
tray held high
in a disco sky

ice cubes tinkling
a lioness amused 
by eyes of prey

never brushes 
a single shoulder 
as the men drink up,

reach for money.
Maybe she will. 
Let's order another.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wait by Success Sibanda

Image -
Clouds of uncertainty
Turning black
Despair points a mocking finger
Through the pockets of the unknown

 The gap widens
The image is now blurry
The voice inaudible
Maybe it’s not even there

It’s not an easy step to take
The crocodiles may be on either side
It has always been a gamble
Waiting is the safest option

It is too much
Too much to bear
Nearly,   nearly,      near

A sigh
The wait continues
The sadness continues
Thoughts racing; thoughts unclear

Reassembling the image
Rebuilding the voice
There must be a way
It may be over
Ah! Well!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Shine By Thobekile Mpofu

Image -
Shine, oh shine lady of sober origins,
Let them wonder who you are,
Down in the midst of a people so diverse,
Like a rare but beautiful jewel
Against the skin of a classy woman.

Walk with pride down life's journey,
Take every stride like a deity is watching,
Marveling at your beauty oh African woman,
You are the finest flower of Ubuntu
Yes you are!

Dance in the cool summer rain with your bare feet,
Sway your generous hips to the left, to the right, back to the left.
Smile at the setting sun with your milky white teeth.
Let your heart leap with joy as you anticipate
The beginning of a new day, a better day.

Shine; oh shine lady of remarkable aspirations,
Let them know who you are:
A lioness in the jungle: a moon among the stars.
Shine, 'till the haters love it
After all, aren't you a bright morning star?


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Sacrifice by Heather Dube

I was there watching
he lifted the knife high
and sighed
my chest was heaving
heart pounding
like cattle hooves
as they stampede
into father's kraal
I was terrified
he held the knife high
chanting like a mad man
he got into a trance like frenzy
of a possessed man
with one stab
the cow fell
blood spilt
the ancestors were fed

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sadaka by Nyary-ann Nyenya

Image ©Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine from the one man show Biro

Red lips, dark eyes, highlighted with darkness and dark shadow
Long red nails, tight tiny skirt
Pale white skin; red fiery hair
Gorgeous face and thousands of freckles no makeup can hide
Her body sways to the rhythm of the music.
Petite body swaying left to right like a palm tree in a storm.

Her feet dance to the rhythm
Different men
Different hands
Different lips
Different scents linger around her
Hold her; embrace her
She laughs giggles and smiles

She sways willingly into their arms
She allows herself to be lured into their domain.
As the light filters in the next morning
It reveals her nakedness
She feels unworthy and disgusted
She feels dirty and flirty

She looks around for the arms that held her tight the night before
Only to see a couple of banknotes
Tears well up in her eyes
But she quickly clenches her fist and holds them back
She won’t allow herself to cry
As she gets closer to her shabby house she can’t help but tremble

She opens the door to her mother’s weary eyes
Her mother’s eyes fill with tears, sadness and hopelessness
So do hers.
This time she allows herself to cry as she soothes her mother’s bald head
Tears overflow as she tries to straighten the wrinkled skin 

Washed out like ashes due to the disease.

Overwhelmed with pain she quickly walks to her room
Looks at the mirror
Puts on a brave face
As she prepares to get ready for her evening job
To raise a few more funds for chemotherapy.
For her precious mother

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Visions by Ereck Ndewere

The outlet opens a little
Against the copious flood
Stridently, I shout through the closing door
“Please help!”
The water level rises and rises, unabated
 “Help me, please help, I cannot open the door!”
My last lexis before I am swept off my feet
I breathe my last

Impenetrable darkness engulf me
Heart freezes, breathing stops
Eyes roll out as my feet become numb
Lights of the earth fade away
And my spirit bellows!
 “Is it beautiful out there?”
Riotous silence
I leap over the Rubicon

Looking back
Pallbearers and mourners
Watch over my lifeless body,
As family, finances, pleasure
All the things I treasured
I have left behind
Reflections of  heaven and the angels
Bright orange lights do allure me.
What about hell,
The place reserved for evil doers?
Impregnable luminosity!
Drawn to it like a magnet
In manifestations of life and death

Monday, September 9, 2013

Miss Carol's Dumplings by Donal Mahoney

Every month or so
on a Sunday afternoon
I skip the football game
and get in my truck
and drive out from the city
into farm country
to visit Miss Carol
and get my hands
on her plump dumplings.
Biggest I've ever seen.
Best I've ever had,
terrific with her
legs and thighs.
When she lays out 
her chicken dinner  
on that white tablecloth
I start drooling before
I even get a hand on it.
A farm girl, she says 
she's never met 
a man like me
so nuts am I
about her dumplings.
Usually, she says,
men like breast meat,
when it's moist,
and I allow how I
like that as well
but not as much 
as her plump dumplings
on a Sunday afternoon
and her pluperfect
legs and thighs