MP-( with the respect of Solidarity Voices of great Global ,in Africa, America ,EUROPE and Zimbabwe Poets VIVA!) This special November journal is a dedication to the people of Zimbabwe and the political processes at hand . The Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign will always speak for nonviolence, anti-corruption and for peaceful political democratic processes. We need a Zimbabwe, where we are free to walk , free to speak ,free to associate and free to choose leadership of choice . We need a Zimbabwe that holds free and fair elections. A Zimbabwe for everyone not for one but for all . The Word Guerrillas Protest Poets( Poets Free Zimbabwe) are in solidarity with all Zimbabweans who cherish for peace , for attainment of freedom from monarchical regimes , for attainment of liberation from dynastic political arrangements . We continue to voice against human rights abuses and the media rights abuses. Poets, Artists and Writers should be also be given space and platform in Zimbabwe . We can’t continue living in ancient of dictatorship , we need to embrace creative minds for a better Zimbabwe . Poets FREE ZIMBABWE( WORD GUERRILLAS PROTEST POETS ) are still standing by their words that until Zimbabwe realises the rule of law and run free and fair elections the POETS WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK. A Great thank you to WORD GUERRILAS FROM KENYA ,NIGERIA ,UGANDA ,SPAIN , GREECE ,SOUTH AFRICA ,GHANA ,INDIA ,BANGLADESH ,ZAMBIA and of course BRAVE VOICES OF ZIMBABWE for standing with the Campaign and its 3 campaign journals(Brave Voices Poetry Journal-Tuck Magazine, Word Guerrillas Protest Poets –Zimsphere, Poets Free Zimbabwe-MiomboPublishing). We invite to continue voicing with us through WORDSPEARS. ALUTA CONTINUA!- Kindly contact at email@example.com
Or our Facebook, 100 Thousand Poets for Peace- Zimbabwe
-by Mbizo CHIRASHA.
TAKE ME BACK
Put me back in the back of a Peugeot 404
Make me run for the Zupco bus
Take me back to permed hair
Summer dresses and denim jeans
No yoga pants, clothes with seams
Put the paint back on the walls
Fill the cracks, uncrack them
Put us back to work
Let us mint our own currency
Through hard work
Bring the cheer back
Re-unite families, give us our dignity back
No fuel queues, no bread queues, no lines at the bank
No worry lines on our faces
Give me a landline so I can dial up a happier past
Use Cobra to polish my flaws
Vim to scrub my woes clean
Put the NRZ back on track
Take me back
Terence Msuku-( A Zimbabwean, raised in Bulawayo. Now residing in Canada. A lover of literature. Former French and English teacher. Published author of a book of short stories and poems, soon to be re-published in print form. )
A BRAND NEW DAY
There is this looming vibrancy
A new day is dawning
Birds’ songs in the rising sun
There is this divine presence
And my soul is caressed
Feel the hustle and bustle
For the challenges to be surmounted
Seeking self liberation as usual
Never again to be a slave
Buried under mounds of repression
Severing those shackles and chains
That is the divine mission
That was never a soap bubble
That was never rainbow in the sky
Hear the ululation for the new day is here
Jabulani Mzinyathi(Jabulani mzinyathi is a Zimbabwean to the marrow. A firm believer in the peter tosh philosophy that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Jabulani is a pan African and a world citizen)
So what’s all this palaver?
about the visiting head of State
that has hijacked headlines for days on end
as the month-long inter-clan clash in the north
that’s up till now muted hundreds
is broadcast in ‘…local news round-up?’
What a palaver it is,
the Health docket’s utter silence
when countless paupers
are yearning to die in deserted wards
as medical staff’s strike
spill over to week five
over mountains of pay arrears!
who cares for scores of expectant mothers
expiring on their way to Level 4 hospitals?
But, does the appalling state of healthcare
really mean anything to the State?
how on earth could you have the nerves
to demand hefty perks
as our economy gradually crumbles
under the strains of devil-lution?
Hey there, excuse me!
Can somebody please elucidate
our honourable legislators’ empty rhetoric
for dissonantly crafting their idiosyncratic differences
at roadside rallies
to ensure our political discord!
And before I forget,
during retired Senior Chief Kazi Bure’s burial
who didn’t realize
how you honourably ignited a political duel
amidst the bereaved utterly blanketed with grief?
How bizarre it was!
As a racket among the unwaged youth
erupted before your very eyes…
thus grounding the casket?
Alas! You astounded the human race
when you overlooked the frozen form
of retired Senior Chief
and the excruciating wails of the bereft!
How dare you sustain
your callous political squabbling
even when your microphone was muted!
Affirming ‘twas your territory
your political party’s zone!
How insensate to the grieving you proved!
Anyhow, who on earth gives a damn?
Specially when I blether such trivial matters
to the domineering you
for I know damn well
you’ll still rubbish
the above national issues as mere palaver
of a not-good-enough loyalist!
(First published in Best “New” African Poets 2015 Anthology)
Kariuki wa Nyamu– a Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor, translator, critic and educator, earned a Bachelor’s in English, Literature and Education from Makerere University, Uganda. His poems won The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) Literary Awards ‒ 2007 and in 2010, while in third-year, he won Makerere University Creative Writing in the Contemporary World Competition for the best collection of poems. He is published widely both in print and online, in anthologies such as A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Experimental Writing: Volume , Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, Africanization versus Americanization: Volume 1, Africa Vs North America Anthology, Writing on Language, Culture and Development: Volume 1, Africa Vs Asia Anthology, The Mamba Journal for African Haiku: Issue IV, besides co-authoring a Children’s poetry and short story anthology titled When Children Dare to Dream. Kariuki, who also won the Babishai Niwe 2017 Haiku Prize, is presently pursuing a Master of Arts in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.
THERE WAS A COUNTRY.
There was a Country
that rested quietly
on the shoulders of the Zambezi and Limpopo
Envisioned in the philosophy of its forefathers
to offer a home for colourful dreams of their children; to flourish & prosper. .
Then, after a mere scuffle & terrible bloodshed
Hungry wolves grabbed it by neck
their claws down its throat
To siphon its contents
and leave it lifeless
in blood-stained hands
of the few atop the powerhouse.
Zimbabwe lost glory and promise, and trampled
When it left its arena to one evil god
Who has danced to one tune
for thirty seven seasons
And left thousands crippled
by hunger, unemployment, corruption
and a massive labyrinth of economic stress
As he tightened his string of dictatorship round their necks.
Zimbabwe murdered its dream
When it left the only man with a gun,
the only man with a knife,
the only man with strong army
and the only man with powerful muscles
To step on toes of helpless Zimtizens
as the world watched in awe
as if dancing
in one’s blood
is a pretty sight
to foreign eyes!
But whoever danced twice in the arena?
Sunset is here, with a surprise gift for us
A sudden whirlwind of revolution’s sweeping across the continent
And everyone’s dancing as if they’re drunk with it.
Wafula p’Khisa- is a poet, writer and teacher from Kenya. He has been published in The Legendary, Aubade Magazine, Basil O’ Flaherty Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, Lunaris Review, Best ‘New’ African Poets 2015, Best ‘New’ African Poets 2016 and elsewhere in the world. His poetry is revolutionary, combative and (sometimes military).
The tailor booted at sixty told he’s inept
Caused the economy to grow malignantly
Adding zeros at freewill accumulating to
Six figures a note, Amnesia spoken off
If not for the gun held to my forehead
I would have inquired for justice thwarted,
Too, to have denied the self imposed amnesia
Of a century blood overwhelmed by power
Though ruthless be the trailer I will protest
In rage the impartialities brought and deny
Being the victim of circumstances today
The brave voices enchants to wage war
Alas the son of soil got me yoked and mocked
Dancing in the dust, Storms so inflicting
His authority even questioned by her actions
A coup in disguise as she grace his crown.
TYNOE WILSON- (Wilson Tinoteñda Waison , An impeteous mastermind so zealous to out the muddling añd crippling societal affair through stanza.)
THE CLOTHES DICTATORS WEAR
Cloth creases, even worsted, with old age;
tones, even tyrants’, turn cataract blue;
the folded hanky, stained with rheum; the shame
of water marks upon the fly; the rage
of effeminate fists inclined to slew,
limp-wristed, around gatherings of lame
duck eggheads that feed Zimbabwe to gold
diggers, carpetbaggers, corporations
with logos that excite children, excite
mistresses with gross appetites for old
holders of fierce contending nations,
feral dogs dragging promise into night;
dragging suits more wrinkled, more vaguely hung,
no longer moving like a second skin
though once bespoke. But now the lily folds,
the prostate nudges the bladder, the lung
is bunged, the lip minced; and the botox grin
like pressed cloth, dry-cleaning, coat hangers, holds,
holds an Italian design, choosy, slick:
a three-piece suit on a tottering stick.
John Eppel (John Eppel lives in Bulawayo and has 18 publications of poetry and prose to his name, including collaborations with Julius Chingono, Philani Nyoni, and Togara Muzanenhamo.)
WAIL FOR MY VIRGIN MAMA
Weep For Africa
Weep O Africa,
Weep Dear Africa
Weep Mama Africa.
There is a weeping, waiting to be wept.
There is a nation weeping to wait,
There is a country weeping and wailing
Weep, Mama for there was a country
Waiting, weeping, wailing.
A continent weeping to die
A people waiting to weep,
A breed wailing to live,
A specie wanting to be born.
Weep, wail, wait, cry O Africa.
Dear Mama, my proud black rose
O Wail For My Virgin Mama.
Ngozi Olivia Osouha ( Internationally published poet , broadcaster and writer)
WHENEVER,IN RUWENZORI IT (for Danson Sylvester Kahyana)
Twilight sheds its light camouflage
Canoes of rains sail the dying sun!
Maelstroms of shattered liberties
Invade the kraals instead of cattle
Revving of Russian jeeps` engines
Barrack above palace of the kings
As the Resistance firepower pumps
National force into our living rooms
The rain seizes the sunset of dirge
laments to echoes, of setted sons
Waily graves, braves of our king, as
Rifles chant Musevenism in accent
Rained it did in Ruwenzori, we died.
Whenever Ruwenzori reigns, we live.
One day the mountain of our moons
Will rise above all nightfalls of here
One day the rain will be liquid again
Not bronze, bullety, biting and bitter
The cattle shall set for Uganda west
Set for kraals of peace and laughter
We shall then return like whirlwinds
Lift the kingdom from broken eaves
And drink Nile in bottles of new bars
See a new reign arise by Ruwenzori.
Wanjohi wa Makokha-( is the pen name of JKS Makokha, a Kenyan poet, critic and educator. He is based in the Department of Literature, Kenyatta University. He has written and edited several volumes on literary studies. Nest of Stones (2010) is his debut book of verse)
SIT DOWN AFRICAN NAPOLEON! (To a leader for Zimbabweans)
Bring back the dignity of our flag and the sweet taste of our freedom,
Bring back sons and daughters, whose souls kissed charcoal in violence ,
Bring back our gold , you buried under the bushel of greediness , Today we buy life with tissue paper,
Your tiny belly is full of our gems you tainted with our blood ,
Rain is coming, Beware! the fall of your sandy Castle, African Napoleon,
Your rotten mango shrunk lips spit vitriol, dousing dreams of generations to come,
Your violent -chameleon tongue burns our forests once dangling with turgid fruits of peace,
Hungry Children are potbellied with breakfasts of scorching verbs and suppers of acidic idioms( kusvusvura zvituko),
On this tear-soaked land , freedom starts from you and end you with your disgracing bedroom dancing parrot , whose eyes glitter with death and breath hot with hatred,
Sit down African Napoleon, Rain is coming, Beware ! of your hammer of clay
Bring back the summer of our dreams and the spring of our freedom before we bring the rain,
You are a disease that blighted the flowers of our revolution ,
You are the cancerous scar that wiped love from our now violent smitten faces,
Bring back the ballot you stole amidst the charcoal of thuggery, bring back the smiles to mothers who lost their seeds in the winter of death ,
You are a despotic gangrene elections cannot heal , we need a godly ointment to wipe this your Napoleonic -caused autocratic syphilis, our country is no longer fertile of democracy ,Hegemony sterilised the manhood of the state and kleptomania shrunk the womanhood of our country,
Sit Down African Napoleon!
Rain is coming, Beware! Of your glass head
You saliva is hot with gossip, your throat burns with hatred, while your frail limbs tremble with fear,
Every Napoleon is a coward, who walks along with puppies , your vicious puppies you reward with mustard and flesh burrowing canines and when they age , you do the Stalin !
This land is not an Animal Farm or a Pig Sty!
We cannot groan , roar, bellow and grunt forever,
We are tired of digging rot and eating filth!
This land is for me , for you and others ,it’s not for you alone.
, It is a land , whose colours of the flag carry the hopes of poverty scorched villagers you kill with that rough palm of greediness( bring back our gems you tainted with blood),
Sit Down African Napoleon!
You who have soiled the diapers of the revolution,
You who have soiled the pampers of freedom
You who soiled the napkins of peace
You who have broken catheters of life.
You who smash the bones , crunch the flesh , pluck the marrow and drink the soup of this land alone!
Sit down African Napoleon!, Rain is coming.
Mbizo Chirasha- Originator/Instigator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign (Brave Voices Poetry Journal, Word Guerrillas Protest Poetry and Poets Free Zimbabwe blog journal,www.wikipedia.com/mbizochirasha)
MY BIG HOUSE OF STONE
You are my own ,Dzimbabwe,
I architected you
From scratch I built you
With my own earth coloured sweat
I made you wonder
I turned you into a great riddle
With these same black hands
I shall restore you to greatness,
Nganga Mbugua(Mbugua is a poet, award-winning novelist and Editor of Nation on Saturday (Literary Magazine).
OPEN LETTER TO FALSE PROPHETS,
I hereby question your authenticity
Your spiritual clarity
Your holy anointing
Where is your god who planted you nationwide
Only for decoration
Only to rob the poor
Only to protect the oppressors
How long shall Zimbabweans be downtrodden
On the politicians’ wine press
Was not Nathaniel a prophet who confronted David?
Why your god doesn’t fish out oligarchy
Citizens should realize
Magaya is a political bootlicker
Makandiwa is a robber in Jesus name
Uebert Mudzanire is a soothe-sayer and magician
It’s Zimbabwe plagued in a curse
Poverty on the rise.
Political gimmicks and spiritual catastrophes.
Sydney Haile Saize I(A freedom fighter spearheaded piercing the heart of misrule mal-admistration, corruption and injustice. Socio-political commentator only narrates the political ills and suffers the consequences)
THE MISTY SKIES OF MY TOWN
My Uncle, who is Somewhere
whom I sent a picture
Of the misty skies of my town
Sent me a message
Laden with question and exclamation marks:
He wanted to know
Whether that was really mist
Or the smoke
Of a concrete forest burning.
All I could tell him was that
This mist you see
Is the aftermath
Of last night’s heavy rains;
Don’t know when it will clear
Since the weather is still overcast
And promising more rains
To come tumbling
From the sullen skies of my town.
*(Poem inspired by Joan Nyambe’s Facebook posting, “It’s a misty day in Harare today, we remain thankful for the rains!”)
RICHMORE TERA(Richmore Tera is a poet, short story writer, playwright, actor and freelance journalist who once worked for Zimpapers (writing for The Herald, Sunday Mail, Kwayedza, Manica Post, H-Metro) as a reporter but currently focusing on his creative work. Currently, he is the Associate Editor of Chitungiwza Central Hospital’s weelky online newsletter. His works have been read in Zimbabwe, Africa and the Dispora in various publications which he contributes to. He is the author of the monograph, “Here Leaves Silently Fall, a collection of poems, which was published by Arts Initiates in Namibia in 2009.)
MY BRIEF STINT AS A TERRORIST-
A mindless rage has consumed me
No, no, no!
I have had enough of this-
MUGABE, MUGABE, MUGABE,
This and Mugabe that.
I am tired of hearing the same story-
The same old story.
And suddenly killing seems a small irrelevancy,
To the interior happenings-
Inside the country of my brains.
I had been planning for this,
In my thoughts, a couple of-
So there is this friend of mine who stays-
In Soweto, in Kliptown.
I had gone there to see him, and
I returned back with a
.38 service revolver and
A couple rounds of bullets.
Then I pack a couple of clean
Shirts and pants.
The revolver and the bullets
And leave for Zimbabwe.
And a couple of days later here I am
Outside Harare, only that
I have never left my room
In an East Rand ghetto suburb.
It’s only my thoughts that are
In this favrashi of existence.
Did I think, for a moment that
I could kill Mugabe. Yes!
I will wait for him, across,
Norton road, lying on my stomach.
I know that he is spending most of-
His time in Kutama nowadays.
And that he would pass through
On his way to Harare from Kutama.
I also know the car to shoot today.
And it would be that-
Second black Mercedes Benz car, and
I see the motorcade coming through
Into my foci, and I raise
That wobbly shot-gun.
Eager for my first big;
‘SHOOT THAT CAR!’ my thoughts points
and I sight down the barrel and
I am no longer thinking.
But I am seeing my target moving before me
And I close one eye
Pull the trigger!
And I hear a deafening report.
Like an old drum being beaten.
The burning barrel ahead of me
Right at the tyres, dead centre, and
The rising, lifting, car into the air-
Fire, ash, dust and smoke.
And when I question my thoughts,
Whether I thought I could do it?
They thought I couldn’t have done it.
Tendai R.Mwanaka(Literary,Visual&Musical Artist/Critic/Mentor/Editorial Publishing Consultant)
THE ROAD TO PEACE IS COVERED WITH…
No matter how shiny
No matter how small
There’s only one purpose
To make a man fall.
No matter the reason
No matter the aim
There’s only one purpose
A life is to claim.
No matter the colour
No matter the race
There’s only one purpose
Which is, to erase.
The bullets keep flying
without any need
For that only purpose:
To make mankind bleed.
If all the men’s bullets
Would turn into birds
To carry a message
All over this world
Then finally bullets
Would no longer do harm
And LOVE would be purpose
And our only arm.
Lyrics and Illustration “Two of a kind” by: Elange Art
I hope to see the day when people start to use their brain instead of guns. Then they will realize that violence is not the way, that power is worth nothing if it doesn’t take care of the people. That it needs humility to be a great leader.
And LOVE to be a great person.
Aileas (Elange Art)
Elke Lange ( An International Artist , Interventionist and Poet living in SPAIN)
A GRIDLOCK DAWNS
Now we have wanted change for a long time now.
Winds of change have now blown the chaff away.
We have prayed prayers that have called for death.
Yet we know that is not what we ever wanted really.
But God thank you for the peaceful change within.
You have kept the sound of bullets from our doors.
No rumbling of tanks and trucks on our suburbs streets.
No screaming of soldiers for us to remain indoors.
Yes we know that there will be the skirmishes small.
May we taste the peace and change that you allowed.
The only uncertainty we now face is our future new to us.
Can we enjoy a renewal of prosperity for beloved nation.
Can our word be our bond and integrity our creed with pride.
May lives be improved and crime be dissipated from us.
We need to realise that You have brought peaceful change.
That we will look on from today to a hopefully better future.
Help the country and people to again prosper as days of old.
We are a people who have adapted and evolved over time.
A people of you making who have prayed for Your help.
May we never doubt your timing in these matters Lord.
Oh Zimbabwe may we never cease to pray for good of all.
Craig Abrahams- (was born in Harare on 26 July 1962, the third boy in a family of four children. .
He lived in Arcadia, a suburb of mixed ethnicity but a unified community of people;
Craig put his heart to writing a few years ago and enjoys dabbling in varied poetry styles and forms .
He says poetry allows him to address epics in a short colourful way.
Zimbabwe is his home –
“I have been in Zimbabwe all my life and I am passionate about Africa and love my people”)
Statesman, pith pouring pitch and molasses,
What hellish night clouded your heart so?
Burning at bearing cruel countless crosses?
Is that the colour of reluctant scars of war?
Son of Nkrumah, spared your father’s fate,
Did you not ever think it, that Fate withheld
A hand so you’d undo the I’ll your father did?
Your longevity into a curse you have turned,
I pity your sons with so long to live after you,
One of them wears your fouled names both.
As for your daughter, what fate do you ensure?
For your spouse, Macbeth’s harpy in loathe?
Will Wisdom be vindicated by her children?
Far too long from light they have lain hidden.
*First published in ‘The Gonjun Pin & Other Stories’ (the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing anthology), as part of a short story entitled ‘The Sonneteer’. Republished in ‘Mars His Sword’, 2016
Philani Amadeus Nyoni ( a Zimbabwean born wordsmith. He has written award-winning poetry for the page, the stage and the screen. He has also written articles and short stories for various publications, local and international.)
CITY OF STONE
Myth and lore has it that faint voices echo deep within the edifices of the Great Zimbabwe ruins;
chants of differing dialects –
protesting for the ancestral Shona who erected the City of Stone
for monarch and masters;
the priestly seat of
political power and pomp –
Ndipeyi, minimum yangu
Ndipeyi, minimum yangu
(I’ve done all my housekeeping duties
So please, give me my minimum wage)
The ancient muffled voices grieve
with stricken sounds of lamentation;
they sorrow for deliverance from an ancient pneumatics of tyranny,
distress and torment.
Forces of the underworld taunt and provoke a people who are largely ignorant of the malevolence that permeates the atmosphere under the guise of brotherhood and negotiation.
but only for a season will the pleasurable aftermath of compromise and terror linger.
Burning despair and “solid darkness stain’d” will soon visit all who dare shake the hand of King Lear.
The crown will soon be displaced
for the end of time is near –
Flinch and let these prophecies
sear your mind dear King;
invincible you are not.
attend to despairing gloom
that summon the spirit of Grace –
Oh ye friends of this nation
stretch forth your staff and
see the Nile turn to blood.
regai vanhu vangu vaende”!
Let my people go!
“The Power of Words”
Ndipeyi, minimum yangu (from The Servants Ball by Dambudzo Marechera )
(By Beulah Kleinveldt–Jambiya is an emotive writer and storyteller who weaves the tragedy and victory of the human experience into a tapestry of memorable imagery and metaphor. She speaks with honesty on the socio-spiritual challenges of our time.
Jambiya’s works are trail to a feast for those accustomed to the jaded perfunctory cleverness of modern wordsmith)