CAROLYNE M.ACEN is a rising and prolific verses carver, literalist and spoken word artist. When you read through her lines you easily can easily fall from metaphorical seizures and allegoric epilepsy .Her poetry is heart throbbing and brain thumping . You need to armor yourself with poetry combat as you get trapped in the spiritual realms of poetic gods or goddesses . I want to say Acen’s verses flow rapidly like gushing river. Blood rippling. Heart ripping. Acen is surely an Afro-Floetic Queen. Uganda you birthed a Poetic Queen. Makerere here is a new petal of Ugandan literary revolution. For submissions ,more information and creative vibes contact the Curator/Editor MBIZO CHIRASHA at firstname.lastname@example.org,
TEACHING FATHER HOW TO LOVE
When the night visits like
a long distance traveler, and an
ocean of darkness fills the sky.
Nubile women scurry home
carrying jerricans filled with water.
Roosters start strutting on the lawn
and the German shepherd patrols the
old paling fence like a medieval soldier.
Father, sit me by the fireplace as
the wind howls and the leaves rustle.
Let your voice be modulated.
Massage my eardrums like the
burbling stream in Amabeere ga
Summon the spirits of our forefathers
as the night lets go of its inhibitions.
Serve me a bowl full of folktales and
let truth spill from your mouth like a pot
of marwa after the naming ceremony.
Let your counsel warm my heart
like an answered prayer.
I will break the calabash of
imprudence and perk up my ears
as the fire crackles and the flames
leap high and swirl across the
charcoalized trunk of the old mahogany.
I’ll lay down my own indolence,
wipe this acquired attitude and
retrace my foot steps back to the
matriarchal house that groomed
As daylight peers through the holes
of the mabati roof and you’re lost
to a lucid dream, I will rise
at the butt crack of dawn to till the land
that feeds us.
So, father let your words be the
proverbs to my life.
When your speech falters,
and your eye sight fails.
When you’re reduced to a shattered
shell of who you were, your words
will forever stand like a monument.
YOU CAN’T HAVE MY MIND
Tie me down like cattle and
lead me to the slaughterhouse.
Let your whips descend upon
my back and rip my flesh.
Manacle my hands behind my
back and bludgeon me with
your baton until I am unconscious.
Marinate my wounds with salt and
pacify me with slave spirituals.
Preach nonexistent freedom again
to this monument of a woman.
Clip my wings and shackle my
feet with hate.
Drag me like a corpse through
the insomniac streets with
and gushing wounds.
Even in chains, I will still roam
The circumference of this
dim lit cell like a free man.
Besiege my soul, calcify my spirit.
Sentence me to a purgatory of me.
Execute roseate dreams and
corrode my psyche with your lies.
Fill my mental crypt with fossilized tales.
Scathe relics of emotion from my heart.
Crucify hope and let faith falter.
Distort my narrative.
Tell the world that I am a
Philosophical con; a rebel-
a child of treason.
Erase me with Photoshop.
Wrap the noose of injustice
around my neck and let me
hang from the courthouse.
Even in death, I will walk free.
I am a master of my own life.
You can have my body, but
not my mind.
THE DAY I DIED
The day I died; no one noticed.
There was a whirring sound and the
clock’s chime signaled my demise.
The world was not cognizant of the
impeding attack on my consciousness.
The church bells knelled.
The piano sighed out a dirge to a
congregation of me.
There were a few shed tears but
only for pity’s sake.
Amnesia was used as a scapegoat.
I’d been forgotten.
Nature eulogized me with the chirping
of the crickets, the howling of the wind
and the stream water gurgling over rocks.
The day I died.
No one heard my squeals at cockcrow.
Everyone was hooked to their smart phones.
Smog enshrouded the city.
The environmentalists blamed it on pollution.
My screams were quietened by the
deafening sound of thunder.
The rain washed my tears and smudged
my gloomy face like a Monet masterpiece.
The day I died; no one cared.
The love that held me back like shards
of glass was ignored and wrapped
with a deceptive veil.
Waves of nausea churned my insides
and created a storm.
My deeds were passed on like handouts.
I watched the sun’s peek over the horizon
usher in an orb of new beginnings.
The day I died; i was filled with a
wave of euphoria.
Exuberance created a concert in my heart.
No longer could I be hurt, mistreated
I slept on Mother nature’s bosom as
the blanket of earth warmed me
from the cold.
An aura of peace engulfed me once more.
I was finally free.
Fate abandoned me in the arms of
abuse last night.
My husband bludgeoned me to near death.
Barred the windows and tightened the
loose door locks.
The rancid smell of spoiled cooked
Dough filled the air.
I tried to knead my problems yesterday.
The night played detective to his
Accusatory stare as his smoky whiskey
breath created a storm inside my mind.
Perspiration popularized my face.
Tears formed a hurricane around
my eyes as his veins bulged and he
clenched his fists.
Lashing words tumbled down like rain
on my exposed skin and scarred the little
The blows on my face and kicks all over
my body destroyed my pride.
My mouth bled; spirit broke.
Pain engulfed my whole being and
paralysis assumed control.
Escape was almost impossible.
I was done creasing the carpet
with my blood.
I wanted him to hit me so hard this time.
Crash my skull!
His bloody knuckles; the confusion
brewing inside his blood shot eyes
and the guilt pursing beneath his finger
tips couldn’t summon contrition.
Regret could barely resuscitate his misdeeds.
Predilections for violence are ironies in wait.
Life is costly wearing these stitches on
my lips, face, and thighs.
It is difficult roaming the earth like i
got roses draped on my skin.
He should have killed me.
THE NIGHT WOMEN OF MANSEZE – UWANJA WA FISI
The murky air of desperation filled
the insomniac town.
Music as loud as thunder echoed
through the streets like a clarion
call for the midnight dance.
My skin tingled in the presence of
skepticism as I sauntered through
Video halls gained remonstrance.
Nude, sweaty chicken somersaulted
on the grill.
Revelers gathered courage like grain
to flirt with the dust and
negotiate with the waning moon.
The night scanned out decrepit houses
lined like a row of graveyards.
Narrow corridors built like a latrine.
Dim lit rooms competing with the night.
Thin, screaming walls; shattered windows
begging the wind for a visit.
The night women perched outside
narrow doors hung on hinges at
a jaunty angle.
Rooms only fit for a bed.
Marinated bodies laid out to dry
under the sun like fish.
Lips smeared with red paint.
Pregnant stares- faces brimming
with excitement, eyes pigmented
with woe and persistence.
They squawked like cockatiels
enacting the mating call.
Tooting for attention as the wind
howled like a horror movie.
The women scrutinized hunched male
figures tottering through the corridors
like roaches with chibuku beer
stained on their shirts.
Mortars laid out; old and new
for pestles with a price tag.
The prettier, the haggling begins.
“Kaka! Karibu hapa, bei poa….kwa 3,500 tu”
More skill and patronage, the better the rent.
Moans vibrate through the walls
as the music fades.
Receding as the night of passion.
Condom wrappers decorate thoroughfares.
Promises of tomorrow night drip from
their thighs and peer through keyholes
like a streak for charity.
CAROLYNE M.ACEN is a Ugandan Spoken word poet, and writer.Her work revolves around society and women stories.She is also a mentor to young poets.In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Haiku Africa Competition.She competed in the East Africa Poetic Hour competition early this year. Her poetry has been published in poetry magazines like African writers space. She has featured as a guest performing poet at poetry monthly events like Ladu Poetry slam. She is a counselor who creates awareness about mental illness using poetry. She recently had her first themed poetry show about love.She writes to inspire and educate.
MBIZO CHIRASHA Recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017) Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York.2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. African Contributor to the Table of Words Demer Press International Poetry anthology edited by Hannie Rouweler in Netherlands. Solidarity Member of Global Alliance for Politics and Arts. African Participant to the 2014-2020 World Poetry Almanac Anthologies series in Mongolia edited by Hadaa Sendoo. Co-Editor of German Africa Bilingual Collection with German International Translator Andreas Weiland in 2016 (http://www.street-voice.de/SV7/SVissue7.html).2003 Zimbabwean Young literary Delegate to the Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden ( presented at Nordic Africa institute, Swedish Writers union , SIDA Diplomatic luncheon , Radio Dialogue , Swedish International library Association , Sweden National Education Summit).2009 Poet in residence of ICACD ,international Conference of Africa Culture and Development courtesy of African Culture Development Institute .Founder of the GIRLCHILDCREATIVITY PROJECT. Curator of MIOMBOPUBLISHING, miombopublishing.wordpress.com and PERSONALITIES OF INSPIRATION, personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com.