05 August 2020

Read of the day

MBIZO CHIRASHA
Missed Moment, Mind Bumps and Locked Paddocks

Calling the morning with a mournful urgency, sleep fell off
routine checks of protocol and the gong silently, urgently,
summoned a sermon of fleeting feet. A son beheld the sun’s shadow
with loving thoughts packed hurriedly into a strained back.
The beauty of smooth roads and distance hills failed dismally
to tell the dreams on a runway refusing crafts to land.
Temporariness is a weed with long tendrils as only those
with healthy respect for shadows know.
To part with tomorrow’s hope to the hands of a paid Piper
whose mission in “his appointed career” is to poach livelihoods
of passersby in quest for a night’s nest on this migratory routine
is a pain bordering on a tooth extraction without anaesthesia.
That this accepted sin is described in business lingo as lucrative
is tearing off fresh from the living and asking to be thanked.
The revolutionary chant is not over!!!

I am blind and love it because that way I judge nobody.
I am deaf and trust it because that way I hear only hope.
I am immune to cold and heat. The elements don’t scare me.
I am a lamp post planted by hands I can only guess at.
I am a child and a man honest enough to acknowledge God exists
in the spirit of creation and in the hearts of men – however few.
When borders slam doors louder than an irate spouse disgusted
by an assumed slight by love, common sense stirs the soul
for an instinctive triple jump.
I am a son of the South where the sun rises with the song
of the hills and cattle calling milk to duty,
Milk is a source of life and its absence is a bitter song that speaks
kwashiorkor and other third rate needs unmet.
I am a product of great souls that the universe unites
to clear the morning smog with a heart’s torch.

The struggle song is not over!!!
What is Man but a product of Man?
I refuse to reject humanity and I do it with humility.
Where I am is a location whose dust reminds me
of my earliest form and my final formlessness.
I am on a journey and now is the time to chant an old tune,
That no struggle is without cause and course
if it’s the one that chose you, and in the beauty
of such times as we are living in, islands within,
I am counting thousands of breaths in gratitude
for the spice that life and living is.
For spice true, is in the variety, not only of terrain
but of origin, but also the hand that tended it,
the hand that picked and packed it,
as such, making the whole a part of the bits and vice versa.
Cycles refuse to rest, like a month in flight, a soul flies in the
night leaving a sad dream on a prodigal son’s wet eyelids,

And the liberation vibe is not far,
who can say the taste of life is anything but mysterious
and hard at its best? News is best at its absence
if it’s not the birth of a child.
I am awake to all truths even the most banal and morbid.
I am human enough to weep at wickedness and laugh at jest,
but tell me fair men of this land that “unlanded” me
how to virtually bury my own. Tell me like am a three-year-old
how to grieve with dignity this vehicle that bore me
to your shores and must now bid a silent goodbye
in my blinded monastery upon this cavernous existence,
and the redemption thunder is rumbling closer!!!

I am flesh and flesh has demands to weep and touch its own
in making and unmaking, who will roll this mist back a day
and allow a wish to plan a shared hug?
I am a child of the universe bleeding hard on the winds
that make commandments of demented bafoonery,
I fall on weakened knees sending this mute anguish up
into the bloated clouds.
If I see tomorrow it’s all because silence has given me a route
to walk in this barren vacuum of misplaced hunger of human touch,
That voices sprout hands that feed my sanity with a purity
only angels know, I am grateful, and some day, when the grass
has grown over that mound that settled unto itself,
this boy with a grey beard shall come back to plant a fruit tree
on the home square and name it “Silver” in honor of all dawns
and dusks, and the tender hands that give me dew upon this journey
at the earliest of arrivals.
I am all that because you are all that, even as you now ride the stars
in the silence of night and the wind of days.
The revolutionary chanters are chanting still, it’s not yet uhuru.
Aluta Continua, the fight and chant for freedom continues.

**********

Mbizo Chirasha author of A Letter to the President and co-editor of Corpses of Unity is the Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café
(International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe
Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African
Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival (ihraf.org). ‘Missed Moment, Mind Bumps and Locked Paddocks’ is based on his experiences during COVID-19 Lockdowns as an exiled Poet living in a foreign country.


Blast from the past

Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo

NKECHI NWOSU-IGBO
Sculpture Of Dead Thoughts

I put up a cenotaph,
For You, My First Love.
Because finally I have you buried
And thoughts of you
I will try to forget.

I display this monument
For all to see;
But I plead to report
That it comes censored
Only to refute all the ominous

In it I have made sure
That you are drawn and quartered;
So that if once again
I recall thoughts of you,
You will only re-appear in parts.

I put up this cenotaph
And challenge anyone of your likeness
To put it to censure.
Because it was made in your stead
Who is dead and buried elseheart.

**********
‘Sculpture Of Dead Thoughts’ by Nkechi Nwosu-Igbo was first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) Magazine, April 2003.