POETRY : LET HER LIVE

Into the world, let her be conceived
Let her be born, let her live
Love her bare; no make-up, no weave
Nurture her, love her unconditionally, even without motive
Receive the love she freely gives
Believe the truth she fully weaves
She says you have a lot to achieve,
You better believe.

Ignite her flame,
Tame her not within the confines
Of the cocoon from whence she came
Let her live.
An individual with a character, a personality and a name
Call her Eve, the woman at Genesis
Or a version of.
Scribbling a thousand-page-thick thesis
Juggling an intense work crisis with a million other stresses
She was not just built to be a missus
Power!
She is queen.

Bring her out from within,
Let her escape through the pores of your skin
Let her have her way, let her win,
Take you to places even your mind has never seen
Places you’ve never been to.
Let her remind, you are queen too.
Bring her out!
Her freedom, her liberation let her shout.
Fist held high, screaming;
“Ay’thintw’ imbokodo!”
Bring her out.

She is in there,
Uncage; free her
Embody; be her
Of carefree strolls on thin ice
And late night, top secret calls from allies
Deprive her not
Give it no thought
Bring her out!
Her emancipation, her liberation
Her freedom, her royalty let her shout.
Loose her from these tight, clenched manacles
Shackles and rattles round her wrists and ankles
Set her free.

Finally coated in your beautiful skin,
Eyes seeing through your vision,
Voice surfing on airwaves from the pits of your belly
Iron fist raised in sepia-coloured leather,
Iron fist raised in revolution
Through your lips,let her shout;
“Ay’thintw’ imbokodo!”
Bring her out!
Free her
Embody her
Be her.
Let her live

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POETRY: SINNER

You have been sleeping around

Trying to make that love you never found

(Get it? Make. Love.)

‘cause you got tired of waiting for that special one that never came around

So you too matters into your hands

Turned every foe into a friend.

Laying silk sheets for different devils every night

Laying on your back to be caressed and covered with their kisses

Thinking that might be a hit to your thousand misses

You don’t even care that one of your devils actually has a missus

So while she sits and reminisces on her wedding day

You lay beneath him; panting, hating yourself

And his foul smell and sweat on your skin.

With a sheet, you shamefully cover parts of you he’s already seen.

Showered and dressed up, he places one last lustful kiss on your lips

And exits the scene.

You remain; empty and hollow

Left to wallow in the guilt of your sin,

Clean the sheets and empty the bin.

Sad.

YOU!

Your breath smells awful,

You have been drinking.

You’ve been drinking, drowning, sinking to the bottom of the bottle.

You put on your dapper suit and go to church

Shouting, “God is good!”

While your soul remains trapped in the bottom of ingud’.

In the hood you are misunderstood

‘cause sometimes you are that dude who’s never rude

But when you have drunk from that fountain flowing with slow brewed, extra-matured waters …

My good-ness!

It’s a different story; the lines are blurry.

You stand bare, naked of God’s glory…

No victory, no reward at the end of the day

Yet still further you walk away;

Drinking, dancing your sorrows and our soul to decay.

You hear the call, but still you delay,

Laying with devils depositing different demons into you…

Congratulations, you are with child – children.

Demons – legions incubated in a warm, comfortable home right within you.

Sinner, you have sunk so deep

Into fornication, alcohol, the night life, lust and a thousand more sins.

Yes, if you didn’t know; your lust is sin.

Even when all you did was see,

It was seen and recorded as sin.

Sinner, you have sunk so deep

It is useless to check social media for your ‘Last seen’

Because your last sin is seen encrypted in the lipstick stains on your collar.

Besides, you were last seen in the brothel by the corner;

Stripped, bare, naked of all honour,

Sinner!

Yet you go to church in your slim-fit suits and your slender neckties

Hellos and Hi’s slide so smoothly off your tongue

You even have brethren believing you are one with them in the fold

But behold, onto worldliness you still hold

Even when you have been told time, time, times times time plus time again

For the past five years of your ‘Christianity’

That you should repent

You have remained the same, indifferent to the prophetic truth.

Sinners in all your different coats,

Even you preachers with Bible and S.O.P quotes;

LISTEN;

Half-religion is non-religion

Decisions are made in indecision.

Whether you are Christian, atheist or other –

Praying to another god at the east

Or some king of the weather;

My brother, my sister

You have got to hear this.

There is a man

Who calls you to a peculiar clan

Seeking to separate you from the other peas in the pan.

He speaks right now to you

Through the ink of my pen

Heed His voice; He pleads, He bids

Make the right choice, woza.

While the gate remains ajar

He pleads, He bids; woza.

Child of weakness watch and pray

Your life is in His hand

In His palm, the entire world stands.

Do not delay, do not procrastinate

Do not wait for later because later might just be too late.

He pleads, He bids; Come.

 

VOCABULARY

  • Ingud‘ – South African slang for a 750ml bottle of beer
  • Woza – Come (Language: Zulu, South Africa)

POEM: OUR WORLD

What’s going on?
Gunshots at midnight,
Crack-smoking toddlers.
A world where evil is glorified
This is the world we live in.

What the hell is this?
Babies having babies,
Teenage girls singing, “Daddy is a monster”
Runaway baby,
But where are you gonna hide?
Come back in
It’s too cold outside

Look at them
Hungry on the streets,
But too high to give a flying fleet
Puppets of the pill
Screaming, “R.I.P Amy Winehouse”
Singing at the top of their damaged lungs;
“They tried to make me go to rehab.”
What has our world come to?
Who are we?

POEM: BLESSINGS WE MISS

A touching piece written by one of my friends from the THINK INK poets

Tears fill my eyes
Knelt before the cross
Constantly I cry Lord why?
Why?
Why do I not own a game console like other children?
Why is our television set not as flat as our neighbours?
Why do I only have three pairs of snickers yet others have more?
Why do I constantly have to hunger in the afternoon, yet others throw food into dustbins?
Why do I seem to be blessed way lower than other people my age?
Why?

Tears drown my words as I continue to sob bitterly
My heart not content at His silence
It is as though He is dead and deaf to my pleas
Ever I come and cry but I seem to get no reply
Like a loyal fan i keep sending my tear damped letters hoping for a reply
But still no answer
Only Lord why rings in my ears like a Roman Catholic bell
Causing my whole body to shake cause i have lost my solid ground
Lord why?

Lord why do i go to a second level school and not a prestigious one?
Lord why don’t I own an expense watch though i carry an inexpensive hand?
Lord why don’t I have a fat wallet with cards and cash full?
Why should I count my change and make every cent count?
Why can’t I buy myself something fancy?
Why cant I afford?
Why don’t I drive even if its just a second hand car?
Why should I be the one catching taxis and walking while others travel lux?
Why should I be the less fortunate one in this fortunate world?

Lord why?
Tears dry up on my face
The days spent with no water at home affecting even these reserves
I let out a deep breathe as though am breathing my last
Yes I feel like life is unfair so I would rather just die
Am tired of asking Lord why as if i speak to these walls
Lord why are you not answering me?
That’s funny cause He won’t answer
Lord, why? Are you dead?
You are just dead in my life right?
Might as well just answer myself
Yes. Yes you are.
Yes you are dead to me
And by that fact am dead to you
So yes am dead
Just when i want to scream about how i don’t care i hear faintly the voice one who prays differently from me

“Lord thank you”, he says
“Lord thank you for the brother who gave me his shoes at least I have a pair now
Lord thank you for the sister who bought me lunch
1 meal in two days i feel like am a king
Lord thank you for the church elder who offered to teach me english every thursday
For that little education Lord thank you
Lord thank you for though i walk to seek work in far places
Daily you give me strength and a song to comfort me
Lord thank you for affording watches to those you choose for i can always ask them the time
Lord thank you for i know even though it seems you are not there
Your gift of life ascertains me you want me to continue
Lord thank you for i am blessed beyond measure”

With his words I shake like I’m in the middle of a hurricane
Engulfed by my embarrassment I bend my head to the ground
And the tears begin to roll down my cheeks again
I fail to utter words as the emotion covers my whole being
I fail to utter words as my inside scream words of rebuke to myself
Ungrateful sinner deserving eternal death
Ever crying child with no respect or love
How have you missed the answer so many times
Repent or forever hold your peace when you heart shall never find peace
Immediately i gather the courage to speak
Undeserving as i am i force my strength to give power to my mouth
And I utter…
Lord I am sorry.

A POET’S SCREAMS

“A tribute to a few poets who have influenced the perception about and attitude towards poetry.”

_______________________________________________

The voices in the volumes of her ink
Devastated screams
He sees line-spitting dragons in his dreams
Hot lines in flames skating on lava
Hotlines immersed in screaming telephone rings

African woman, there’s nothing to think about
Just say NO!
The resonant screams of Mam’ Gcina Mhlophe
Say no, African woman, say NO
Uy’mbokodo yesizwe
In your belly twirled and turned iinkokhel’ ez’busizwe
On silk sheets, coated in salve unknown
They were woven, spun and sown
In your belly, Mufomahadi wa moAfrika
They were fed ka maotwane nomhlabathi
And today in their hands zil’ pheth’ ihlabathi
You are Queen!
The volumes in the voices of her ink
African Queen, say it without a blink
NO NO NO!
Say no to being backseated in the liberation wagon
Say no to being told, “Shut up, who cares what you’ve got to say?!”
Just say no!

Nooo!
He screams as the tears stream
Is this a bad dream?
Dreary dragons draped in ox-blood red bandanas he sees
On his knees
For his life a thousand pleas
He flees!
They turn, eyes laced with malicious blood-thirst
Back to this abandoned bundle, lifeless.
Baring fangs, flicking tongues.
He watches from a distance
Fear evoked, he’s speaking tongues
At a snail’s pace he nimbly runs
Staggering drunkenly like a newly born calf
A loud bang…
A loud bang followed hours later by screaming sirens
Awake
Awake, Bab’ Mbuyiseni Mtshali sees familiar calabashes and claypots
And above his head, thatch blackened by smoke
Eyes wide open
He’s been dreaming
Still inside his Zulu hut
Still inside his Zulu hut

Heart.
Heart oh dear heart
You will heal from these deep, deep cuts

VOCABULARY

Uy’mbokodo yesizwe – You’re the rock of the nation
iinkokhel’ ez’busizwe – Leaders that rule the nation
Mufomahadi wa moAfrika – African woman
ka maotwane nomhlabathi – With chicken feet (grilled) and soil (sold, usually by street vendors)
zil’ pheth’ ihlabathi – They carry/ rule over the world

POETRY : OUR WORLD

“The detrimental state of our world today is a saddening reality we daily have to live through. Substance abuse, violence and crime have become the defining strokes on this modern painting of ‘Survival of The Fittest’.

What’s going on?
Gunshots at midnight,
Crack-smoking toddlers.
A world where evil is glorified
This is the world we live in.

What the hell is this?
Babies having babies,
Teenage girls singing, “Daddy is a monster”
Runaway baby,
But where are you gonna hide?
Come back in
It’s too cold outside

Look at them
Hungry on the streets,
But too high to give a flying fleet
Puppets of the pill
Screaming, “R.I.P Amy Winehouse
Singing at the top of their damaged lungs;
“They tried to make me go to rehab.”
What has our world come to?
Who are we?

MY JOURNEY TO HEARING THE VOICE OF THE INK

“You see, the ink is the drive and passion and zeal that pushes from within. The ink is a writer’s refuge when the muses abandon and all sources of inspiration seem paralyzed by the qualms that arise with life – as they do and always will.”

I remember my very first poem; it was a rip off from some popular piece about HIV/ AIDS. It was an amazing experience. It was brilliant, but I wanted something original, something I could claim as my original piece of work.

I went on to write a heartfelt tribute to a South African legend of the struggle and one of the artistic geniuses of her time; the great Mirriam Makeba, popularly known as Mama Africa. This was my breakthrough; as genuine and honest as it was, it also unleashed the writer in me. I would love to say the love of poetry and writing just manifested itself on a somber winter evening; but I cannot. I was sitting at home one afternoon in 2008 watching some talk show; they were interviewing another artistic genius by the name of Lesego Motsepe – a South African actress. When I found out that Lesego was an all-rounding artist, I felt a slight green flushing on my face (dark as I am). I carried on with my writing, I enjoyed it.

Amidst everything I was going through, writing became my way to discharge of all the hurt, the pain and the grief (all cliche, I know) of early teen life and basically life life. It was also a way to express my views and my feelings about anything and everything. The departure of a mother, Torn, Heroes, Mama Africa, You’re next (AIDS’ black-list), I’ve arrived (AIDS), Eternal flaws, I wanna be happy, Remember me, I’m inspired – those are only but a drop in the pool of poems I had written by 2011. Now, here’s one thing about me that I know and have never denied, I AM LAZY, I honestly am! Because of this, I suffered a self-induced writer’s block and I could not do anything about it. I would write a poem or two now and again but I felt like the spark was gone.

A writer at heart never runs out of something to write, no matter how ridiculous or directionless it may be. I continued writing, and the more I wrote the more I realized how hard it is to shut the ink up when it begins to speak. You see, the ink is the drive and passion and zeal that pushes from within. The ink is a writer’s refuge when the muses abandon and all sources of inspiration seem paralyzed by the qualms that arise with life – as they do and always will. The ink can be a haunting spirit or dear friend (a very wise dear friend) to any writer. It whispers, it speaks then it screams; listen, scribble with all that is within you.

ARTICLE : BLACK LACKS

Image result for black consciousness movement

SA HISTORY

“THEIR (White people)  HOMES ARE DIFFERENT, THE STREETS ARE DIFFERENT, THE LIGHTING IS DIFFERENT; SO YOU TEND TO BEGIN TO FEEL THAT THERE IS SOMETHING INCOMPLETE IN YOUR HUMANITY AND THAT COMPLETENESS GOES WITH WHITENESS.” – STEVE BIKO

The above quote speaks in plentiful volumes of the behaviour displayed by many an urban young person. We ‘whiten up’, not because we want to fit into society, but because we feel there is a void in our humanity. We subconsciously carry within our minds the misconception that just being Black is not enough; it is too ordinary and carries no desirability, no weight. Hence we strive to be like our White counterparts (I mean, parallels); to speak like them, to dress like them, to even raise our children to be like them. All this gets me wondering if our fight against White domination is really about what was stolen from us (that is the blatant truth, we were stolen from) or what we deprive ourselves of because of our hyper-consciousness and slightly deluded rage towards the White race and its place (or lack thereof) in Africa.

While there is nothing culturally wrong with hair-straightening or wearing a weave, we should look at the White influences behind the two. Growing up, when a woman had chemically straightened hair or attached artificial straight hair, we used to say unenwele zomlungu (she has the hair of a White person). With this comes the question; “Weave for what?”. Could it be another attempt to fill the void in our perfection, is it a short at completing our incomplete BLACK humanity with Whiteness, or a mere fashion choice? The latter may be the simplest and most common answer at reach, but the truth is that it goes deeper, to a subconsciously tuned mindset that has a skewed perception of beauty. Instead of making basic assumptions for these sorts of decisions, maybe it is time to look deeper into our minds and root out all traces of misled acuity about our colour, our humanity and our individual identity.

 

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BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL