International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм

                                            with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka and Rameeza Nasim

WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND

 

It wasn’t easy when you finally left

War leaves us in pain

I took my time and cleared the debris that was my heart

War leaves us broken

I searched for those broken pieces of my heart and patched them together

But some pieces I never found. The ones that had me in them

War only takes the most important things from us

I struggled and managed to flush out the reeking of loss from my soul

What word can describe the loss brought by war?

I had to rebuild myself and try to look whole again

Even though I knew I would never be complete

War leaves nothing the same

And finally I managed to face me

I looked in the mirror and counted all the scars

Touched all the wounds and saw the victory

And I fell in love with what you left behind-me

War changes us

 

BEING A WOMAN

 

What is it like to be a woman?

It is like being rain in a fire

It is being water in a desert

It is befriending thunder and falling in love with thorns

Is that it? Is that all?

No

Being a Woman is simply teaching war how to love-not everyone can

That’s it

That’s all

Monicah Nairesiae Masikonte

Monicah Nairesiae Masikonte

 I am a budding poet from Kenya. My poems come from my heart and are inspired by various situations, people, things and feelings. I am working on my poetry collection and I hope it will be out soon. My first published poem was in BNAP 2016, and this gave me courage to go on with writing.

The Glorified Lionesses

 

We are the ones

Our foremothers have been waiting for

To retell

Their stories

Our stories

Stories

We are the ones that must speak

Of the baton passed down to us

Taytu Betul

Empress

Steadfast adviser

Familiar with politics

Its tricks

Have you forgotten Her Ethiopia?

We hold the words to reshape our history

To bring to life those fire place oral tales

Those never told truths of Your resistance against colonialism

Nzinga Mbandi

Queen of Ndongo

Now Angola

You dispositioned Goddesses

In the scriptures

We are the once who will sing You praises

As we reposition You on Your rightful thrones

Your role against apartheid

Mariam Makeba

Will resound endlessly

Like Your timeless music

We are the ones who will exhume Your contributions

Charlotte Mannya Maxeke

Mariam Tlali, Ngwanyeruwa, Aoua Keita, Funmilayo Kuti, Ellen Kuzwayo, Winifred Madikizela, Wangazi Maathai…

 

We are the lionesses that will tell

Your stories

Our stories

      Stories glorifying Lionesses

Black Person

 

When the earth waves goodbye to the sun

Darkness welcomes the moon and stars

I cover myself with dream

And as the heart beats

I see Black Person

Beautiful like the chiselled churches of King Lalibela

I smell Black Person

Scented like the unification of soil and rain

I hear Black Person

Echoing like the voice of the Life

I touch Black Person

Strong and unbowed like Kimpa Vita

Yes

Dona Beatrice

And as the heart beats

I am Black Person

Mikateko E. Mbambo

A Warrior Goddess with a passion for her people, the Black Nation. Mikateko E. Mbambo seeks through her poetry to create firstly spaces where Black Girls and Women can identify, aspire, dream, inspire, empower, be empowered, grow, and so much more. Secondly her writing seeks to glorify the Black Nation while reflecting on the times. She is a qualified journalist and content producer by profession. She collects and enjoys African literary works. Apart from writing she is a pastel drawer and crafts woman. Mikateko has poems and stories Africa is waiting to hear and read.

Counting theStars by Tendai R Mwanaka
Tendai R Mwanka

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

A Love in Words

You remind me of an oft-read book,

One I keep going back to,

The scent of time pressed between its pages,

A heady fragrance that clings to you,

Dog-eared, with stains of spilled coffee,

The scars of love your lips left on my body,

A scribble here, a note there,

Secrets your fingers bore into my soul,

I often sleep, with the book on my chest,

Or is it you, listening to my heart?

An oft-read book, one I keep going back to,

With each word, you become me, and I become you.

 

An Old Soul in Love

I remember the time I took out the inkpot,

And searched for a quill in my cupboard,

Mother laughed and called me an old soul,

While I blew the dust off a sheaf of papers,

I moved my desk too, closer to the window,

Where the light is soft, and golden,

I sat there, breathing in the sun-warmed air,

Looking for words that could sum you up,

Old soul, I thought and smiled, a mind like dew,

So many stories to tell, but not as many ears,

And you, a piece of my heart reborn in the mortal world,

You deserve to be committed to memory, through delicate swirls of ink,

The quill must cease between words, to allow me a sigh of remembrance,

The paper must rustle, desperate to receive a likeness of you,

Old soul, they call me, an anachronism,

But aren't we all, when in love?

Rashmi Kulal is a dreamer. Having experienced the starkly different worlds of finance and tourism, she is now a content writer for a content management start-up. She has been exploring abstract forms of poetry since the past 5 years, and considers it to be an incredible medium of expression. She intends to carve her own niche in the world of words, and is determined enough to make her dream come true!

We watched with the eyes of Autumn

I

autumn leaves
brushed her curvaceous chests, 
and gently crunched onto  
her lips,
seared with breathing strawberries 

wind rustled red, 
like rosy cherries of 
a banjolin:
as the smooth strands 
of her moccasin 
weave naked threads under the
                                            moonlight... 

II

romantic waters 
bubbled between her purple breasts
and wilted to the thick
moans of my naked muscles.. 
as
virgin curves of her vertex, 
smeared my thirst for her lips.. 

III

while her mulberry mouth 
tongues the delicate dimples under
my waist,

painted wisps of 
her feminine leaves 
part between my soft sinews:
as her eye, two ripened melons 
ripple between my breath 
of mountain streams 
and dissolve into the 
dying constellations of her nakedness

she entwines
in the strings of my silk
and I drink the maple syrups 
from her madrigal chest

as

we finally watched
the September stars 
drift in the meadows of 
our

                autumn  love..

YESHWANT. S is 15 years old and sends us this from Tamil Nadu, India.

​​CRUMPLED MOON

my scorched soles,
bruised wounds stitched together 
by the waves 
my ankles in moon craters 
my fingers fumbling
to untie the knotted sinews 
of your heart 
water lily 
scattered petals, rumpled 
my soul is laced 
with utmost yearning 
on every petal, I perceive 
a crumpled crescent 
the waning moon
gently crumpling 
a crease on the moon

 

​MIDNIGHT MOONS

 

a solitary flower 
between your locks 
with rumpled petals 
I smooth out the wrinkles 
with my thumb
the creases 
in the crumpling crescent 
your locks 
entwined with moonbeams 
smoothened petals 
of the water lily 
I gasp 
at the waning moons
surprisingly 
they're looking fuller

 Veerangana, 13 years old, from New Delhi, India, was previously published on our Haiku page, and now we are honored to share her free verse on our International page!

 

Solace

yes I was trying harder

to find solace

in what remains with me

I was trying harder

to fight this urge

to end everything within me

But these words

they don't let me die

I'm being tortured by my own writings

The words spill blood

they wrench my soul

and rip it into pieces

every single time I read any of my poem

But yes I'm trying

trying harder

every single moment

to find the hope

to find the light

to illuminate within

to find solace...

 

Hira Naz, loves to play with words and form beautiful poetry. Hira says, "I am a Process Engineer by Profession but poetry is what I am passionate about."

As a special treat, we are privileged to share one of our International Poetry page editors own poetry. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do - Anthony Watkins

 

 

Lost Words 

Those spoken words, 
Heard, 
Felt, 
Apparently forgotten.
Buried deep into the nooks of the heart.

Those lost words might return anytime
They could come somewhere
In the middle of a dark night
In form of a silent tear, 
OR an unknown fear, 
A groan
Or a regret to own

You have to pay for them
Sometimes
Even when you haven't uttered 
Those lost
Yet not forgotten words 

Rameeza Nasim

Rameeza Nasim

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.