International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм

African Poetry with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka

African :Poetry Editor 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.

Counting theStars by Tendai R Mwanaka

Suffering to have you

 

Sun explodes in the sky

Burning the moon

Destroying the eternal blue

Germinates in my womb

Star packed with music It hurts everything

Swollen mother

Wrapped stomach

Blushing breasts

My undulating body

 It's just the blanket that covers a river

Blanket wounded by the shadow of music.

My feet step on the mud of the world.

With the weight of a child in the womb,

Fear steps my soul In a new dawn

How I suffer to have you!

 

It is believed in color

 

Everything has a color

That's what they say.

Drops that feed the universe

Sound that absorbs the taste of the cigarette

Hasty

Passage Step

Elastics that imprison

Hair on one breast

Sentence buried in the shade

Odors that merge with pencil

Everything has a color

That's what they say.

The hugs of the lunatics

Have color

 

 

Swallowed

 

Laughing swallows the words

Sloth swallows the care

In its turn The look swallows the smile

And all the coffee's taste is

Crushed and swallowed

By rancor

 

 

Gloria Sofia, 1985, from Cape Verde, has majored in engineering and Environmental Management at the University of Azores. She has musicalized poems, published 3 books and translated 4 Anthologies.

WHAT MOTHER THINKS OF NIGHT

 

The night is no veil

And does not understand darkness

You can not call what is with the moon dark

It's like having a child and giving it no name

My mother likes the night

She says she comes from it and

Will return to it.

Most times, you find her staring at the moon,

And pointing at her bedroom

And I do not think she means the room with no light.

It's a mystery I am yet to understand.

 

 

There's Fire and there's Water

 

Nancy is a girl her name touches my lips.

It's like love.

It's like hate.

But I like it when we share our sweats, and

When she understands that there are bodies

More flowered than other bodies.

I'm not trying to say what you think.

There are times meant to see and go your way.

Because there's fire and there's water.

 

Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto (@ChinuaEzenwa) is a Nigerian and a lover of literature. He won the Association Of Nigerian Author’s Literary Award for Mazariyya Ana Teen Poetry Prize 2009.

INFIDELITY

 

One couple entwined,

Sweating with passion that burn

One couple apart,

United through the pain of love

            From the Book  Além das Palavras – Original: Infidelidade Pag 21

 

 

LET'S TALK ABOUT US AFRICA

 

Let's talk about our land.

Aboutthe resources

About the people who are no longer in war

 

Let's talk about us

 

About the failed past

About this conquered present

About the desired future

 

Let's talk about us

 

About my brother, my father.

About your grandmother, my grandfather

About the unity of opposites

About Freedom of Thought

Let's talk about us

Aboutthe culture, the pleasure

About the soul of the brave soldier

About the happy farmer

 

Let's talk about love ... about everything

About our generation

 

But let’s talk!

Let’s talk about us.

            From the Book Além das Palavras

                – Original: Vamos Falar de nós. Page 22

 

 

Domingos Cupa is Angolan. He was born in the 80's. He began writing in 1997. His first work is a poem book entitled ‘Além das Palavras’, in which, he expresses the most varied feelings, with greater emphasis on praising love in his texts.

For my poetry mother and father

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

 

    My mother was a wife in my father’s arms.

    While she watched television, she was a

    wife. Worked in the garden, cooked our dinners

    she was a wife. During a spell of leaves, and

    winter. Nerves and anxiety. After the rain

    and stormy weather, I was plunged into water.

    Coming up for air, take this arrogant blade

    away from me. Outside-outside there’s a

    persuasion that tugs. I whisper my hunger

    like I know better. The decay of wilderness

in my throat. This is for my poetry mother and father.

    Pain is supposed to shift over time. A flock

    of birds flies off a ridge. My thighs stick

    together in summer heat while I do the laundry.

    I have the smell of the prizewinning of

    flesh in my hands. Of bone. Of skin. Of Natalie

    Eilbert. Clouds pass while I sip grief from a

    porcelain teacup. If anybody can believe

 

    that. I sip water from the cold roots of

webs of narrative. Once upon a time clouds passing

    by while you loved me, while I still prayed

    for the love of my life to save me. But then

    I got hot and it rained a summer rain and dust

    got swept away. Pavements were slick and ice

    became warm. We danced then in a club.

    Found mercy and a kind of grace in each other’s

    arms. I found a map in my chest. Found

    sharp exquisite blue light in canyons and

    my face was lit with glory. Sunlight was

    angelic then. There is no light at the end of

    the world only solemn-wounds and trees

    that haunt in the heavenly country where

    I live. Everyone suffers at some point in

 

    their lives. Reindeer of hurt planted on their

    tongue. Soak this in sea or plateau. Landscape

    or context. Coming to poetry in the beginning

    was difficult for me. Words were like jam and

    had their own alter-ego. And then poetry loosened

    its soul against my own and went all-historic

    on me. It was poetry that took me to the sea.

    It was poetry that took me to the mountain. Covered

    me in shroud, veil, and ornamental tapestry.

And sometimes in the evenings I watch the birds come home

    until the light of day becomes ecclesiastical.

Things you need to know about stardust

(for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee)

    Open the door and you will find a kingdom

    there. There are things that you need to

    know about me. I have a conversation

    inside my head about how some people

    should not be parents but they are. But

    they are. They fight in front of their children.

    They watch the news or inappropriate

    films. I look at my mother’s bent head

    over her work. I am doing this for her

    but she does not notice. Does not say

    anything. I look at her bird nose and her

    beak mouth and I have this urge to connect

    with her but she does not want to connect

    with me. I feel tribal towards her. She’s

    an orphan in the world now. I dreamt about

my grandfather last night or was it last

    week. I think of the pale fire of the sea

 

    that resonates within me like thunder. Of

    course, I have always wanted music in

    my life. People are writing about modern

    loss now. Living in loops. I look at my

    mother’s bare neck. Her shoulder blades,

    and I think to myself that I came from

    that. I came from her intense psychologies.

    There’s the upward push of her fingers

    as she works. I would have put music on

    or the radio but she said that she works

    better in silence. She works barefoot like a

    girl, and I think of her pressing into my

    father’s back at night when they sleep together in the

same bed, and I think of how some people

    should never have been parents and then

 

I think of mine. I think of the silence in their bedroom and

    the last things they say to each other before

    putting out the light and putting their heads

    on the pillow. I wonder did my father

    always make my mother feel safe. I don’t

    know what that’s like. Believing in a man.

    Believing that he can give you the world.

    I think of the truth about loneliness. About

    how it’s all stardust, moonlight and roses.

    I think of the men who have been kind to

    my mother in her life because she was a

    beautiful woman and didn’t have to work

    hard for attention from kind or unkind men.

    The way that I have had to work hard for

    it my entire life, and I wonder if my mother

has ever kissed my father’s neck like I kissed

    the last man that I was ever in love with.

Stranger made of flesh and Nineveh

(for Ambronese)

    Burn bright tonight tigers inside

    this room. Bring me courage so

    delicate. The sensation of falling.

    Jerusalem. Moses. Desert country.

The ancient knowledge of the importance of

    family. Scarlet thread to patchwork

    the burning tapestry of my soul.

I’ve been wounded before all of this.

 

I’m crying and I don’t know why I’m crying.

    Living with illness has done this

    to me. Coming home from the sea

    we have a shared interest for the

rural. Obituary. Sympathy for grassroots and

    community. Proof that singing in

the rain could not dampen our spirits. Our prayer

    for the eternity of the grace of the

    tomorrow-land of mountain-roots.

The blue light persists. Exists only to promise

    moral scorching. A wasteland of

    gathering stages of spring decay and

    pollen falling like dandelion clocks

all around. Such is the strange nature of illness

    and the authentic mud season in the

    garden. Leaves lyrical. We’re the

    hope. The soul on fire almost spiritual.

    All I see is a field that burns me up.

    Flowers survive in the moonlight.

 

Anointed with perfume and music schools.

After dreamy-loneliness and death comes a

    world of concern. Grief brings with it

    silence. Love that can move planets.

    All writers are poets in their own way.

    The rain saved me. It always saved

    me. Breathed life back into me. I’m

    only in need of a survival-kit. Little-fed

    waves of afternoon sunlight. Believe

    in me is all that I ask of the men and

 

    women in my life. Fish swim towards

the nature of life. The psychological compass of its

    wet valleys and runaway plankton.

    Picturesque sea don’t forget about me.

    My strong limbs swimming against

the current. It is wild out there. A church.

 

Woman with the graceful neck you must love me.

 

 

Pushcart Prize nominated Abigail George is a South African blogger, essayist, poet, short story writer, and aspirant novelist. She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, the Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and ECPACC in East London.

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