Sunday, February 19, 2023

My Life By Michael Lee Johnson

My life began with a skeleton 

with a smile and bubbling eyes

in my garden of dandelions.

Everything else fell off the edge,

a jigsaw puzzle piece cut in half.

When young, I pressed

against my mother’s breast,

but youthful memories fell short.

I tried at 8 to kiss my father, 

but he was a welder, fox hunter,

coon hunter, and voyeuristic man.

My young life was a mixture

of black, white, dark dreams,

and mellow yellow sun bright hopes.

Rewind, sunshine was a stranger

in dandelion fields,

shadows in my eyes.

I grabbed my injured legs

leap forward into the future.

I’m now a vitamin C boy

it keeps me immured

from catching colds or Covid-19.

Everything now still leaks, in parts,

but I press forward.



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

My Hero by Skaps The Advocate

Our journey has not been a smooth journey
Its never been sweet and rosey
Its been Bumpy and full of  storms
With a patient and loving driver
She is my hero
She is my mother

Swollen feet and High blood pressure
Unpredictable and unreasonable cravings
Supercharged moods and happy moments
A burgeoning tummy
You carried me nine months
Of sicknesses and no medication

You are my hero
You are my mother
In celebrating you
I celebrate your love
I celebrate your bravery
I celebrate your patience

Mama to show me the way
You would slap my right cheek
Cane me when angry but with great love
You could punish me
To give direction not to hurt me
How I wish I could do the same to my Norma
I can only watch and say stop it
We have been schooled and colonised  by the west

Mama you toiled
Worked hard and you still do
For me and my siblings you never rested
For us to have the precious meal on our table
From changing my diapers to my life coach
Mama you my hero

Mama i toiled worked my fingers out
Worked in the fields before and from school
As a child I saw a wicked and abusive mother
The western culture sees child labour
As an adult now I see a great teacher in you
You trained a winner
I love you mama
Mama you my hero

Now it’s the time
The time you sit down
Sit and be served like a queen
Take off the apron
It's the time I toil and put food on your table
Its time I changed your torn and patched wardrobe
From a servant to a queen
Mama you my hero
I love you 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Freedom by Zee Nyathi

You’re too mortal to understand
Why, I -
With this body
You call ’to die for ’
Still choose not to bandage my limbs
Or cripple my soul.
I dress the way I do
Not because of fashion deformity.
If it wasn't against the law,
I would walk naked
But I understand,
Ragged chic, Bohemian chic
Is as close I will ever get to Eden!
My being is expression
of freedom & spirituality.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Overdue Letter by Matewe Dumisani Albert

I don’t eat chicken, may you please give me a job
Electricity, water and proper health care system
Oh! and papa this poem is too small for everything I need
But we can start with the ones that I mentioned

I do work and go to school simultaneously
Who said only women are good at multitasking?
As old as I am, which other future for me is in preparation?
Or you just want to boost up my tension?

Ngazviende!!! Hatizvide!!! Zvii zvacho?
Will this war cry make everyone else feel macho?
How do I succeed with?
Nothing else is selfish than a croc

If you can hear us, we are down here
The people you stepped on climbing up there
Do you know what happens when your time is up to be again down here?
You need the same people to step on from up there

I am claustrophobic, from this shell how do I penetrate?
I mean like at one point I thought Zimbabwe was lit
Before we faced this bottomless pit

Monday, September 23, 2019

Young Couple @ Heart Attack Greasy Grill by Michael Lee Johnson

I was a little boy,
tad hillbilly son,
patterned then in
present tense,
hardly old enough
tall enough to work
nor notice if I had pubic hair-
large or small endowment
growing up self-conscious
about short comings
narrow chest.

Just a teen aged nighttime boy
looking 4 a part-time hook up-
little girl play, with a five-card stud.

Preacher daddy raised me,
back-seat Christian boy
low on faith high on doobie
rolled cigarettes.

I took my 1st job, pancake flipper
@ Heart Attack–Greasy Grill, 24-7
pocket coins 4 tips, a few greasy dollars,
pancake short stack, secret menu was that
boss’s daughter, blood on hands,
my bun busted now stale, stained, & baked.
Eliminate lines unessential:
waitress injected me some spice
old time recipe.

The Next One by Holly Day

Image -

she rolls over and sighs in her sleep
a song of distant cherubs

such a tiny, slight sound
the sound of the sun rising.
she reaches for me
slips soft hands into
my worn palms, fingers that feel
too old.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

She Likes to Hurt Me by Robert Beveridge

Image -

She called
on what would have been
our anniversary
to say
that she and her pusher
are getting married
on what would have been
our wedding day

so I told her
even if it wasn't true
I eloped
with her dog
and we had bought
a house in Tijuana
and we would never
even send her a postcard

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Infirm by Natasha Chebet Mutai

I can’t feel the pain anymore
The monster is no more
But the trauma is in yet
His cold grip of iron squeezes
Tears cascade down my visage
I’m sad beyond salvage
Worn out

I saw him
He winked
I squeaked
As he shortened the distance
I suffered to elongate it
I turned,
Ran…. skipped puddles in the rain
But when I turned,
His yellow tainted canines
Black with rot at the gums
Were right behind me
The grin spelt death
As he let out a cold breath

I shuddered at his mere sight
I froze as his hand rose
He grabbed me
Wrestled me to the ground
And there I lay before him
His unsated hunger
Dangerous lust
And deep-rooted libido
Etching dangerously in his eyes
His touch as cold as ice
Like the crawls of a thousand mice

Then came the pain so excruciating
The unbearable torture
His was no excursion
Only lust that was poison
Branded and paraded
Rendered valueless

I still feel the pain
Too painful to measure
My priceless body tortured
Humiliated and dismantled
For his pleasure
All for his gain
I can’t find the innocence
In my dreams I feel his presence
Was it of any essence?

 I see my blood
As it flowed
The tears fell
My cries hitting solid wall
And now-
Now to love I must
This destroyed body
Still shaken
No hope
Yet he is all over
Free as a bird
While I am caged
In the memory of his injustice
I’m to nothing
I live because I survived

I speak because I exist

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I am Khanga by Khwezi

I wrap myself around the curvaceous bodies of women all over Africa
I am the perfect nightdress on those hot African nights
The ideal attire for household chores
I secure babies happily on their mother’s backs
Am the perfect gift for new bride and new mother alike
Armed with proverbs, I am vehicle for communication between women
I exist for the comfort and convenience of a woman
But no no no make no mistake …
I am not here to please a man
And I certainly am not a seductress
Please don’t use me as an excuse to rape
Don’t hide behind me when you choose to abuse
You see
That’s what he said my Malume
The man who called himself my daddy’s best friend
Shared a cell with him on [Robben] Island for ten whole years
He said I wanted it
That my khanga said it
That with it I lured him to my bed
That with it I want you is what I said
But what about the NO I uttered with my mouth
Not once but twice
And the please no I said with my body
What about the tear that ran down my face as I lay stiff with shock
In what sick world is that sex
In what sick world is that consent
The same world where the rapist becomes the victim
The same world where I become the bitch that must burn
The same world where I am forced into exile because I spoke out?
This is NOT my world
I reject that world
My world is a world where fathers protect and don’t rape
My world is a world where a woman can speak out
Without fear for her safety
My world is a world where no one, but no one is above the law
My world is a world where sex is pleasurable not painful

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Edict to Africa by Sibonokuhle Ndhlovu-Ncube

Image -
Land that hid the King of Kings, Selah
Plundered of many yet undiminished
Your frenemies have been unmasked!
Their conundrum on invocations will no longer confuse you
With prescience, let your leaders arise
Let them rule justly under delegation and reverence of the Almighty;
For it can no longer be the blood of liberation that rules
But that of the One whose blood speaks better things than that of Abel!
Let the King return to his throne
Let the King of glory return to his throne!
Then ancient gates will break asunder, ancient principalities
Demoted from your spiritual gates;
Land that hid the King of Kings
And gave the shoulder of Simon to bear the cursed cross;
Liberated from man but subject to God –
Cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him;
You have been given Cape to Cairo and the world to feed all, for all!
Beneficiation, appropriation, sustainable development, accountability,
Ubuntu, let all anthems ring – after having done all look to your king and live!
May God forgive and bless our land.