MIOMBO BLURB -JAMES COBURN After chewing your verses. I found your poetry African in its rhythm and taste. Maybe you can start tracing your roots to African meadows, Nyiragongo Mountains, Nyamulagra valleys and the Rift Valley. Maybe you are a descendant of Black African genealogy tanned to English or American white by the ash of snow, when your forefathers migrated to the Northern Hemispheres running from away colonialism, slavery and poverty from the Southern Hemisphere. Buddie ,Your metaphors taste African salt and wild mushroom .The rhythm that is carried in your protest verse evokes memories of clanging heavy leg irons and strangling chains in eras of madness and epochs of darkness . You bleach barbarism, despondency and tyranny in scalding acidic fable and satire. Threads of your imagery weave your poetry into a revolutionary emblem of freedom, which is sacred and carries the wasp sting of the truth against tyranny, oppression and discordant leadership of today’s world. Your poems are sweet and rebellious .You are not a cheerleader, a charlatan or a praise singer. You are the Griot of the land. Aluta Continua JAMES COBURN, an African griot living Oklahoma. For submissions , creative vibes and more information contact the CURATOR ,MBIZO CHIRASHA at firstname.lastname@example.org
INHERIT THE EARTH
Find God on a desolate street
in the roots of a weed clinging to earth
growing in cracks of an empty lane.
In the cityscape rising above its past,
find the wildflower never seen
in the smallest flicker of hope left in dust.
Grow like a weed; multiply in violet fields.
Cling to stems entwined in cityscape.
Leave new footprints beside
with fireflies through darkness,
from where you are this moment,
and love innocence when shunned.
Grow with the smallest of creatures,
He accepts nothing
which shall not fill
his bank account.
He is the center of his
like a gaping black hole
swallowing every direction
except his own.
His energy pollutes life on earth
in an all-consuming parade
of torching land,
flooding sea coasts,
feeding trash to whales.
Beware of a man
who ushers out science
as a lie,
projecting a void of superstition.
resonating through chaos,
lift people away from puffed up madness.
ignorance hunting man,
so afraid of enlightenment,
you spin oppression.
Deception is your tool to plunder.
You fear voices in the wilderness
crossing rivers, revealing your stench,
your vortex of bile rotting your gut.
Words of poets
synthesize with sun,
magnify your indifference.
we see what you are made of.
Villages starve amid dust.
Rivers are dammed upstream;
neither life nor money flow,
leaving grasslands dry
where water falls in tears.
Poets sense your pulse;
we are leopards of the night
searching phantom land of corporate jungle.
Seething against silk curtains
with eyes on manicured nails.
on the prowl, make midnight runs
down cityscapes lit by full moon,
rub against wine bars and traffic lights
as taxis swish through rain puddles
filling asphalt cracks.
Claws mark trails
denied at press conferences.
Invade marble hunting ground.
A rebellion of words blow away
the corrupt dictators of the world
and climate deniers
clenching plastic cups
and sipping morning coffee
on 44th-floor window
made-to-order metropolis view
of bodies eking out a living. Starvation.
Bullets ricochet killing a mother
carrying home bread.
Leopards rush around corners,
leap across balconies, sniff desks
finding jungle flowers
fossilized amid stoic faces.
Cats hunt down hallways, panting,
tongues hanging low
knowing night must fall
and somebody left the light on.
LOVE BECOMES STRANDED
Hard to destroy
the invisible enemy,
I know the warmonger by his deeds
when one refugee child perishes
due to a lifeless cause.
Cloaked in a chameleon’s garment charming
the masses with words, planning no revival,
but what has been left
to fallen herds.
many months have passed;
the earth has moved since landfall.
You are on my mind
more than usual.
We are the sons and daughters of sorrow.
We dream of lands of plenty,
a birth right taken from our ancestors, indigenous to land.
On every continent forsaken,
a river yet to bend,
with depth reaching footprints,
to a refugee discarded. Let the stream open within.
Love becomes stranded
When a stranger asks for peaceful asylum,
Children shunned may return as vipers
in a generation when they become
what their parents were fleeing from.
Nonviolence walks to survive.
Mosquitoes tasted blood of white men
standing shoulder-to-shoulder across the Canadian River bridge.
Separation of color in black and white,
West of Okemah.
A postcard reveals the 1911 mob lynching;
Laura Nelson and son Lawrence, 15,
Hanged from bridge.
Dead wooden planks dry under footsteps.
I bet a few the 50 spectators photographed
The next morning
Dragged mother, infant and son
From court house jail.
Distant faces exposed to curious stare.
Sunday communion trickled blood of Christ Touching lips.
Mosquitoes swarmed down river.
Communion quenched killers’ Sunday best.
Murder played God.
White hands gripped rope tight to Laura’s neck After gang rape.
Lawrence shoved from bridge.
Slam of gravity forces pants to dangle under Naked feet.
Mosquitoes swarmed down river,
Skimmed the edge, festered torch light
Muted faces of men, women and children
Stood gripping iron bridge a century ago.
You lynchers, dead now with your waters
I spit in your waters. I drink of justice for Mother and son.
They said Lawrence, 15, shot Sheriff Loney
In the stomach.
They said a posse went with Loney to Investigate a cow theft.
Lawrence saw the sheriff draw a weapon.
His father pled guilty to theft; taken to prison.
Laura pled guilty to save Lawrence,
A false trigger of hope.
Postcards sold like slavery.
Mosquitoes swarm down the river,
Skim the edge, fester torch light of malice
JAMES COBURN – is an Oklahoma poet in the United States of America. Coburn has always valued the subtext of life and seeks to reveal its undercurrents. He believes indifference is the enemy of man as it is the benefactor of ignorance, racism and xenophobia. Coburn is currently collaborating with Nairobi poet Brian Kasaine on a book of poetry. His first book of poetry “Words of Rain” was published in 2014. The book was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. In 2016, ten of his poems against terrorism and to save the Sunderbans (wetlands) were published in “Onnyodhara” (The Alternative Way) Eid-special issue festival edition in association with “Anushilon” (The Culture & Literature Society) the National Literary Organization of Bangladesh. Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. He has been published in several anthologies. Three of his poems were published in Canada’s Tuck magazine in 2017-18. He has served as a resident poet at NonDoc.com.
ABOUT THE CURATOR/EDITOR- 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.