International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм

with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka and Rameeza Nasim

Letter to AmeriKa

by Mbizo Chirasha who is from Zimbabwe but is staying in Uganda

 

I dreamt sadamu and Kaddafi chasing after America through,

Oil sodden sand dunes

Ghosts of dethroned spirits crossing Blue Nile through the valleys of Sahara

Ghosts with fingers and barefoot burning and cracking in the pans of their Sahara oil

Ghosts whose blood juice up the freedom of their people, people of their song

Ghosts whose ritual is NATO and obituary is gun thunder

I dreamt Afrika shiting typhoid after eating autocracy chocolate coated democracy

Anthropology and ancientry roasted and recycled in ovens of Harvard and California

Professors and politicians juggled like lottery balls

 

My talent riddled fingers itch to write a long letter to AmeriKa

About war cooked in labs and ideologies hatched in test tubes for peanut states to eat and sing-mental genocide

 

Ebola ghosts eating tubes, arvs and Gmos

Mental genocide of Kongo and other cassava republics

Cable and fox networks roasting struggles through stomachs of young revolutions

My nostrils are tired of the stench, stench of human flesh fried in the charcoal of superpower ego

Dear America, my eyes are red itching with political pepper in Panama and Haiti, my heart for their freedom

             

Embers of the Heart

by Wanjohi wa Makokha of Nairobi, Kenya

 

A home can be made from liquids                                                                              

Oh water can be made into homes                                                                               

When skies of dewy dreamyscapes                                                                              

Envelop the spectral light of hope

 

There are miles of winding lanes                                                                          

Those which bear marks of here                                                                         

Engravemented migrant footfalls                                                                                    

Torn sudden from homes of tears

 

Each time the dew falls on, falls…                                                                           

Each time dew drop falls on you                                                                                    

It grows into a grain of memories                                                                                        

We store as tears we dwell within

 

And now, as twilight sketches us                                                                                  

Against the silhouettes of the sun                                                                                         

In fading strokes upon dead miles

A new hearth lures, like an old lore

Colour Walk

by Christine Coates of Cape Town, South Africa

Dried agapanthus starbursts,

mushrooms nut-brown on the pine floor

wooden planks across the river

pines and gums on the mountainside;

their burnt colours could be autumnal

if not for the fires.

Brown restios, dead tree, forest buzzard.

 

But red is the clay path to the boardwalk

and the scented geraniums,

yellow the cobra that lives under the bridge,

and green the grass on the riverbank,

black the large dogs walking together,

black the head of the heron,

and black, black the butterflies of April,

of Easter.

The Caffeine-free Years

 

My doctor told me, the goody-two-shoes, to use

Anything with caffeine sparsely,

As a little doorway to treat my anxiety.

That meant I had to give up my craving needs;

- Like Pemberton’s concoction

Sold as Coca Cola in all parts of the world

And what happy-go-lucky Ethiopian goats

Gave to the world – some beans

Of Coffea arabica. Caffeine could always give

Me a little panic attack, when the heart pushes

The accelerator button and my extended palms

Look like fault lines in California.

 

So I gave up coffee and Coca-Cola for 10 long years,

Calming my senses to a serene place

When I’m sedated like a pacifier-in-mouth baby,

With no fist turbines or cycling compulsions.

It perplexes me, how I resisted two beverages

That armed me to the brink of detonation, holding back

Knee-waves or fingers-on-wood melodies

Or a whistling tune from my lips.

 

All those coffee-less, coke-less years, took its toll on me,

Subduing the quakes inside my body

With no rubble or debris to bury me in,

My stubborn flesh standing stiff

Like the bough of a baobab on the Senegalese coast.

With no intention to let a little sea mistral,

Craft a little belly dance or slide me into

The hip-range of a Hawaiian luau. 

 

I seem to enjoy counting sheep more often now,

Meditated by their unrepentant bleating,

The moonless tide silencing me.

As I pass my time in an amniotic ocean,

A monastic fetus in lotus position, numbed inside

A homely bubble of Zen.

While every butterfly inside the tummy,

Sobers to the incumbent stillness,

Turning my body in to a lepidopterist’s collection

 

I’m almost stoned in rigor mortis now,

OD-ed by a whole decade of decaf,

Looking at a Facebook post,

Envying those nimble Moroccan goats,

Perched on top of an Argania tree.

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth. He blogs at - Kite Dreams

 

Mona Lisa

Would not Smile

She Cried

The person 

Did not like her cry

Paint the Smile at the corner of his mind

However, I am smile

And Painters

Read tears from the corner of my eye disturbed mind

Every morning

Is a smile line

Compile the world

One more time.

 

The incident does not announce

Like you

It comes.

It Happen

And it goes ... /

Mojtaba Darvishi Cohan

An English Teacher at a college in China encouraged his students to submit their work to publications they found in Publishers & Writers. We were pleased they selected us, and now we share their poetry with you, our readers!

AFTER TEN YEARS 

I am a teacher

I will play games with my dear students

Maybe, sometimes they are little rogues

I have no choice but to love

I will teach them knowledge

Maybe, sometimes they are silly

I have no choice but to love.

Jane Du is a Chinese student. She says, "I have many hobbies, but  I like to read some poems recently, so I write something when I have time. "

One can only hope all students find teachers who love them even when they are silly rogues!

A Drifter

 

The high wind blows

Towards me and the hill

That makes me feel chill

One thousands villages in front of my eyes

And ten million lamps behind where mountain lies

While I belong to the moon light.

April Xu, is a Chinese college student who loves writing stories and recently started writing poems with the help of her teacher.

In this poem A Drifter, she expresses a drifter's loneness and deep resignation. 

 

 

We are excited to add two new editors to cover our "Africa desk", and the" Asian desk" We may be adding one or more international editors in the next few issues to reflect the sensibilities of the various continents and regions. We hope this not only offers the poets of these regions a chance to be exposed to a more conventional western readership, but likewise expose our readers to the flavors and sounds and philosophies that make these other places unique.

Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Tendai Rinos Mwanaka

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.

He is a published and exhibited visual artist (photography, painting, drawing, installation, collage, video.), represented by ARNA gallery, Sweden, until 2020, upcoming exhibitions include among others, Alice Art Gallery Johannesburg, February 2017, Le Corridor Gallery, Harare, May 2017, a published sound/musical artist using mostly tradition instrumentations like the mbira.

He is a mentor, translator, scholar, theorist, reviewer, editor, critic, whose work has been published in over 400 journals in over 27 countries, translated into French, Germany and Spanish. He also works part time as a research consultant for a NGO based in Mozambique, in the primary education field. His published work can be found here: Tendai Rinos Mwanaka

Rameeza Nasim, born in Karachi, she is a Paralian, a dreamer and a poet, although she hasn't written much poems but is very passionate about Poetry. Rameeza Nasim has done masters in English Literature and Linguistics from National University of Modern Languages Karachi.she also did an online course of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (ModPo) by University of Pennsylvania.