More Great African Poetry with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Amitabh Mitra is a visual artist, poet and a medical doctor based at East London, South Africa. Extensively published in the print and web, Amitabh continues trying fusing healing with art and poetry.
Trauma lurks behind close doors and open streets in Mdantsane. It was the same before 1994 and even after that. You may ask me, what’s so important about trauma, isn’t it everywhere in the world. But this here is so different. People instead have lost feeling pain. Trauma occurs in slices of repeated contours as a sun bleeds every day. People don’t remember having seen a slaughtered season so many times.
Yesterday in the deepest dark I encountered a young girl. She was perspiring in fits, her mind jumped in crystalline splinters of cocaine. I could see her only through a sieve of old scars. She tells me in a distance her heart feels like a Sahel drought when blood trickles and disappears, her tongue swollen with many memories and the sand. She was
a migratory bird, her conviction now lost to the many suns she dared dreaming again.
Somewhere in a developed country, you browse through books and people. Academia is a reason and building smoother roads, juggling with history and future is trying hypothesis in refrained units. In Mdantsane, we just don’t conclude. Back home when it rained you had once said, it feels as if the sky wants to share its river with us. What could we have shared with the sky then?
Each day I think of you and I think of my unfinished canvas under my bed. I must start on it again tomorrow like pictures of you I would think of seeing again. The hospital runs on a queer living, roads to it continue to violate a sustainable understanding, clouds do stop at times here and rains dig in potholes hiding nuptials of our many minds. And even though I live here and there, there are acute corners that forever hurt. Somewhere in just an anotherland, you are probably growing flowers circumventing the blue. At the back of your neck is the tiny hurt, a tattoo of seasons all
except just one. You had smiled and said, my hair will hide our memories; its colours would finally fade as our evenings here. Nobody would know we had strayed to a concussed time, nobody would know of our violet living and our surpassed days. And you said, Do you really believe, we are here. I had no answer then. My skin too has changed many colors since then.
Unlike most books paraded as representing Africa while only touching a small portion of the continent and its people and poets, this anthology shows Africa in its multiplicity of races, languages, countries, cultures etc... blacks, whites, Arabic, Indian ... that is really what Africa is about!
All 5 poets have poems in this anthology (link embedded above).
Please visit the link to purchase a copy. Its a massive African Literary offering as it touches on everything that is Africa...over 430pages
Rana is a rebelious female with a sharp pen, artist and thinker. Daughter of a political detainee and Egyptian writer, she keeps to heart paying tribute to him and continues to follow his path. She breaks the cliches about women in Muslim countries. Awarded in HAMSA dream deffered essay contest and contributed author in Graffiti Baladi project that was published in France.
Within my dreams
A mystery, dream and a stone
They pull me apart from my soul
Eyes closed and body relaxed
When nightmares touch and fire attacks
With a sacred touch they left me drained
And held my scent in dark space
They kissed my breath and held me close
For a wind could intertwine their morgue
Smile and hairs should hide my fears
For a precious one, should not bleak
But universe has a different plot
For what’s hidden is not
And far beyond what eyes can see
A fragile heart haunts thee
Eyes wide open__ lips barley breathe
And body is chained still
within my dreams
Melodies of bullets vent in dreams
As rivers of blood paints & screams
Open your eyes_ here comes reality
Dance on streets covered with vanity
Wear their mask to match cruelty
Was it hard to conform?
Do you resist wandering alone?
Close your eyes one more time
Try to escape somewhere divine
Erase memories and violent past
Their piercing voices will never last
Close your eyes and dive away
To find the world your heart portrayed
Seek his voice and words unsaid
Sense his touch.. devour his lips
Draw your lives upon his skin
Sculpt your bodies united… unchained
And with drops of wine from wild roses
Souls align and time is frozen