International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм

with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka and Rameeza Nasim

Maryam Gatawa is a young brilliant Poetess and writer who lives in Kano, Nigeria. She is a graduate of Economics from Bayero University, Kano in Nigeria. She is a human activist with special concern in making the lives of orphans tear-free. Writing and reading are what give her great joy as a passionate lover of arts. But her hobbies include travelling, chatting and brainstorming. Some of her appetizing literary works were published in the African Writer Magazine, Kalahari Review, PIN Quarterly Magazine, The Arts Muse Fair, Tuck Magazine and in local papers. Her pen name is Meegat.

 

UNITY

 

You curl your lips

Sideways

Like old ribs

Your curved edges

Are sharpened

And fierce to your half

Almost overflowing is your stomach

Threatening Eruption

Of Magma on your other halves

Your dangling shoulders

Bombed apart

So your back

In green and white veil

Is soaked in red

 

You were once Grand

A unified Tree

Tending to her fruits

A bubbling Lagoon of patriotism

Which was bigger than Smile

Because You were One

 

Now your walls are eroding

Your hopeful eyes are

Blindfolded by greediness

Of your drivers

The peace that is left

For your battered self

Fades along with the echoes

Of the blasts by your violent arms

Your forehead cups

The red sweats dripping

From your heart

Down to your frail feet

 

Dear Nigeria

Fuse your ribs

Straighten your curves

Sweep the dust of

Hatred in your heart

Fill the hole that

Houses bigotry and jingoism

 

Return to the boat

Sailing to Peace Island

Where your children will

Drink honies of Love

And eat vegetables of Hope

As you rib us all in your sweet web of Unity

 

MOUNTAIN IN PAIN

 

We will drum

To warning bird

That sings out of

Tears for this

Mountain in pain

 

We will guffaw

at tumble of Rats

That squeaks to rob

Stack of coffers'

Vault

 

Let Ice

Freeze callous

Hearts of hordes

That mastered

Art of theft

 

Let Rains

Pour pains

To sly men

With fain

 

Let Breath

Of cons wet

Blanket

Of laughter

 

Only then

We will have a

Laugh that will

Drunk our face.

 

 

WRECKED FATE.

 

In the cries of the rains,

The sea roars

While the earth sighs

The sound of silence

So deafening.

 

Needle out of

A dancing ocean

I guzzled down the storm

 

The world move on its ribs

I ride on the wheels of faith

A blinded chance of fate

With slippers made of ice

To the gardens made of honey

 

The sun laughs at us,

A thunderous unleash of peace

And I praise Thee in His Name

In the Year of the Rooster

 

This is not really Chinese zodiac

But born in a year of the rooster last century

I was fated to crow aloud to summon  

The first morning glows above the

 

Rice-fields, pecking here and there

For a seed or a pebble bit close

To my grandma’s straw-roofed

Cottage, ready to put up a chicken fight

 

With my fleshy crown standing up straight

But never able to fly higher than a broken

Fence, since my body was winged

With more fat than feathers

 

Only after I died did I manage to travel afar

To an exotic land, when my naked being

Was minced and served for a minor course

 

In a recyclable plate as in this last stanza

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan and hosts Happy Yuangsheng in Vancouver; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, seven chapbooks, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1,389 others across 41 countries.  

Baiji, Theory of Evolution

 

He was young.

He was blind.

The eyes on the top of his head

rather decorated but guided him.

He sent and received

mysterious messages

encoded in sound

to feel the rocks, the seaweed

the females and the fish he rarely discovered.

 

The mysterious beings

scrounged his home

and thrusted greater entropy.

Vulgar sounds polluted his village

and dispersed his own kind.

 

Deus vult that he is to live,

but the plan is now to die

In the Yangtze river for a while.

Yanna knew what she wanted to be when she was 15 years old. A software engineer or a psychologist. She was lucky to find a single university that provided higher education in computer science in her country. Graduated and worked for 26 yrs serving Computer Science either by hard work in her office or by teaching students. In the parallel universe of her mind, poetry was a dear friend that accompanied her all the way. Entering her 50's all that was left to carry her further was that faithful dog of a friend that never betrayed her. So, she decided to take the leap into the wormhole."

Triolet – Fake Promises


Just because I took pledges of love, fake,

& you chose to leave not stay,

        our love (inexorable) at stake,

Just because I took pledges of love, fake,

        while leaving, you shatter my heart to break,

              instead of taking the pain away,

Just because I took pledges of love, fake,

& you chose to leave, not stay

Acrostic – Sunlight


Sun shines, upon us, bestowing light,
Under the skies, shines all, bright,
Nature, flabbergasts, with all its might,

 

Look afar, all lands, are in delight,
It's a day brought to us bright,
Gone is the darkness, with the night,
Honor the mother nature's beauteous sight,
To ye, To us all, God speaks through nature that smites

Sonnet  - Love that Lies Within


This hollow feeling, inside I have,

    this shallowness, I feel in my heart,

I don't know, what I have...

    nothing but your image in heart


You are one of the finest of God's Art,

   It just amazes the heart and the eye fascinates,

I feel myself an incomplete puzzle, & you the missing part,

   I want to confess my feelings, but the heart hesitates


There is a flood of emotions, in my heart, growing great,

   I fear myself drowning, deep down within,

All that I can do is pray for you to be my fate,

   A prayer, prayer that my happiness lies within,


I pray the night stops, with the fond memories of you,

As I write how much it means, to be in love with you.

Kazi Nabeel is a passionate writer and a wanderer from the city of Karachi. You can find more of him on his blog www.kaziwrites.blogspot.com where he shares his thoughts and poetry.

Tendai Rinos Mwanaka is a leading poet and writer of the new generation of African writers and works hard to promote African writing through anthologies he has curated and co edited. Mwanaka has been shortlisted and won several writing awards, including being shortlisted for a record 7 times for the UK based Erbacce poetry award, 3 times nominated for the Pushcart, The Caine African Writing Award etc.

Rameeza Nasim was born and lives in Karachi, Pakistan. Holding a masters degree in English Literature and Linguistics, she makes her living through writing and Blogging. Poetry is her Passion and it's something in her genes.

A Musician's Musing

 

I met a great musician once,

Soulful music, resided in whose hand,

His heart bled with true emotions,

With the words he wrote, or the songs he sang.

 

He said, though all music has been mastered by me,

One song has remained special throughout my life,

And though over the years I have tried to forget,

It tends to stay, inside my mind.

 

A love song, he claimed it was,

It was released when he fell in love for the first time,

And it was mysteriously taken off the radios,

The day his love ended her life.

 

He said, at nights he still hears her voice,

Singing along him, as he sings in his void. 

 

The Photograph

 

Cleaning up the attic, late at night,

When I laid my eyes on a divine sight,

Such was my delight it touched my heart,

Cause beauty of that kind,

Couldn’t be described even by the revered poets or bards.

 

My birthday was round the corner, perhaps it was god’s gift,

Shining with his grace as the picture was, brightly lit,

But I had a question, how unlikely though it may seem,

Had I committed deeds so good,

That it led to God presenting me with one of his dreams?

 

The quality of innocence too, the scene adorned,

Years older, still reminded me of babies new born,

Even a tiny bit wasn’t amiss,

Had the power to bring a smile to all,

Never before had I experienced such bliss.

 

But as my eyes refocused, the image had faded,

A new picture started taking form, as I looked on captivated,

And when it ended, the truth was clear, glistening like gold,

Cause my eyes hadn’t been feasting on scenery shaded,

It was the photograph of the girl whom I adored.   

Prasang Agarwal is a teenage writer. "I write short stories, poetry, ballads and sonnets, all based on my personal experiences. I love poetry and what I love about it the most is its power to deliver a lot in just a few words. I am also into music. I play the guitar and write pop and hip hop lyrics." 

Toyota M. Safari's poems are political satires on what he calls the ‘mass looting and shooting’ in Africa. His poems have appeared in various journals like The Kalahari Review, The Best New African poets 2017 Anthology (forth coming); and the Poetry Train Canada. His first poetry collection “Emperor Mobutu’s Naked Palace” (2016) won the Alphonse G. Newcomer Award for poetry, and his second collection “ At Least we have a President” will be released in May this year.

 

AH RAT ATATAT

 

The war drums are heating

and I smell gun powder

besides my own rotting skin.   

 

My boiling words on paper

rest under the fat worms

below your toilet seat,

Let’s end this fracas amicably

with a single shot on Television

when you shoot me now.

I foresee hovering crows  sharpening

their beaks to drink my poetic blood,

liwa ya koko makanga te:                                                                   

A chicken like me has no funeral,

Field Martial Mobutu loved to remind us-

with his own mouth before the worms ate it,

(Oh, how I can’t even stop myself from digressing)

The tray dogs are their teeth brandishing

sharp and ready to drag my rotten intestines

through the pit latrine like pot holes of the city roads.

 

Legions of feasting fat flies on these streets

will glorify thy bountiful till death does you apart

(oh what friends  of yours they’ve become.)

I have recited my last prayers so please send

competent Marksmen: the ones I last saw on the  TV

wasted your bullets and couldn’t shoot straight.

ah rat atatat…ah rat atat atatttttttttttttttttttttttt !

Thato Tshukudu is a South African teenage poet who first made his debut appearance in Tendai Mwanaka’s Best New African Poets 2016 and 2017. He went on to win the Poetry in Mcgregor 2017 national competition and is the author of a poetry book named fly in a beehive.

Black boy cries wolf

 

Silly black boy cries wolf,

Silly black boy forgets he is no wolf,

Silly black boy is actually prey

praying for protection from the light,

Silly black boy forgets that black boys die in the light too,

Silly boy forgets that this skin ain't no longer safe in the hood too

 

He forgets that his pathetic roar calls out the Wolves from their public dens

He forgets that his playground has turned into crosshairs for trigger-happy animals,

Silly boy forgets how his brother's dried-up corpse still hangs on the lips of a crooked judge with a tongue glistening bastard hope for justice

(lips: a purgatory for black souls who were just

at the wrong place, at the wrong time.)

And how the previous accident left his neighbour's corpse flooding the sidewalk in a blood bath for two days

 

Silly black boy

forgot to tell mommy that he is going to the shop around the corner

I don't blame him

He probably forgot that he is no longer the wolf, he is a puppy in the wild

 

Silly black boy

Thinks it is funny to make fun of the wolves,

Silly black boy cries wolf once

And his corpse gets crucified on corrupt lips

before it gets buried under hashtags.

 

But isn't that just the perfect metaphor? 

 

 

De wet street

 

It is 5 AM in De Wet Street

and the dying plants colour the garden with a sombre tint of black,

the trees silhouette the sky like clouds of incense,

grass blades stand tall and proud carrying a pall of stale blood,

rusted fences not high enough to stop thieves from breaking in but thin enough to filter the cold hymns sung in by the crow’s laments,

street lights flicker like a dying star unable to emit anymore rays,

the dissipating tar road proudly reveals its cracks

and poverty sticks his nose out into the night

eagerly waiting for his prey

           

It is 6 AM in De Wet Street,

and as I stare out into the light skies

arid lips

bloodshot eyes

ribs prodding through my flesh and

my thin fingers firmly grasping onto my pen like a knife, I grimly smile.

“I survived another night”

TO WASHINGTON’S GRAVE.

 

I shall go to Washington’s grave,
for my state needs me to be brave.
This freezing winter is making life
on these streets a shallow grave.


As I walk through the snow and frost
I shall fear no more stray canines
for their paws and claws very are bearable.

I shall walk as I sing "God bless America"
but then I have to remix it in rap
to avoid sounding like Boney M:

"By these cold streets of America
we sit and weep when we remember
the legends of the old American dream
When the wicked captains of capitalism

drove us into freezing streets and carried
off our economy in captivity but required
of us a song of joy and gratitude.

How could we sing a loud an accapela
of God bless America in hungry voices
in times of boom and then those of gloom?

I hang my begging gloves right now
on this pavement and I am off in the cold
to tell  it on Father Washington's grave
is in now in a new form of slavery
 that lacking an answer… in black and white.

WHAT THE COUNTRY BIRD TELLS ME ABOUT ITS PRESIDENT

 

I nearly fall into a giant road pothole, distracted

by this lone, cute country bird that is melodically

 singing its sweet foolish things.

 

 I’m stumbling on this road from Kampala to Valhalla,

but this flying  idiot is living with a care,

 and so I consult it out of despair :

 

“Country bird, country sitting on that leafless

 freedom tree in the city I call my city,

You fly without care or snare so tell me:

 

Are there jails for innocent birds in your land?

Is there corruption, oppression, and total injustice

 like this one I see between Kampala and Vahlahla?

Do the statesmen tief and cheat?”

 

And the little bird tell me the choking facts:

That made my head spin about the fate

living under any political system:

 

 “Eza system ya lokuta, eza  tactique ya Kungu Fu*

There without rules mercy kwa l’etat nabiso:

 The big birds eat the little birds,

 and you cant do a fuck about the jungle system.

 

But we sing and weep on in melody

With our version life as we fly in circles,

Caring not to despair at what is unfair.”

 

* loosely translates into:” We live in a system built on deception, and Kung Fu tactics,”in Congolese Lingala language.

Counting theStars by Tendai R Mwanaka

Impossible possible love

 

I love you like bees and honey
this is to say,
Love is hard work.

I love you like midnight and the moon
this is to say,
even in my darkest you light up my world.

I love you like asphalt and tyres
this is to say,
any journey is a destination when I'm with you

I love you like birds and chirping
this is to say,
your name is the only language I want to sing

I love you like the wind and trees
this is to say,
through the strongest gusts I'll still be standing here

I love you like sunsets and horizons
this is to say,
your eyes are the only proof I need to believe a heaven exists

I love you like today and tomorrow and the next day and the day after
I love you like every day,
I love every day that has a shadow thought of you passing past the canvas of my memory

I love the feeling I get when I say I love you
I love you like the three words are spirits;

I love you in time and space like
a heavenly body with a gravity enough to engulf the both of us in your orbit,
Me, as a star or an asteroid, just floating in the aura of your existence, in a limbo of
I want you but can't touch you
like without you,
I am just another lung less breath
this is to stay,
this love right here
is the reason I breathe.

Copyright  Better than Starbucks 2017, a poetry magazine    

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