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
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,
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
Would not Smile
Did not like her cry
Paint the Smile at the corner of his mind
However, I am smile
Read tears from the corner of my eye disturbed mind
Is a smile line
Compile the world
One more time.
The incident does not announce
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!
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 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.