Friday, 28 July 2017

The Masks of Africa by Anna Banasiak



In the never-ending dance
the masks of Africa spin to nowhere
they runaway from freedom
imprisoned in life
the words kill like the broken past
millions of lives are passing
at the speed of light
in the darkness of indifference
people are born
like frightened birds
conquering the world
we are only a dust
melting in the music of cosmos
in the expanding universe
the Shakespeare’s mask and the beggar’s mask
are dancing
in the heart of the suffering
whilst the bodies will disappear
in the African rain


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Flavors of Africa



In the pouring rain
I hear the melody of the fleeing birds
I’ m searching for my youth
in the glow of Malikongwa’s poetry
I’m listening to the voice of Africa
the echo of the past mingle with the rain
I’m the wanderer
returning to my land
open as the sky
hidden in the shadows of the trees
I taste the sounds
of eternal Africa

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Africa Untamed by Wayne Visser

AFRICA UNTAMED

By Wayne Visser


Africa is wild:
A land untamed
A people unshamed
A life unrestrained
Yet there are those who would tame Africa
Who would break her unbridled spirit
Who would cage her soaring mind
Who would chain her flexing body

Rest assured:
They will fail
Like so many before them
And so many yet to come
For Africa is a savage hunter
Forever hungry for the next kill
Always preying on her weakest
Stained red in tooth and claw

Africa is free:
A land unyoked
A people uncloaked
A life unrevoked
Yet there are those who would prune Africa
Who would neaten her untidy people
Who would lop off her thorny tribes
Who would fortify her porous borders

Be assured:
They will fail
Like countless before them
And countless yet to come
For Africa is a sprawling jungle
Entangled with human tendrils
Locked in a deadly struggle for life
All competing for a place in the sun

Africa is changing:
A land evolving
A people resolving
A life revolving
Yet there are those who would calm Africa
Who would tranquillise her young agitators
Who would defuse her creative tensions
Who would dampen down her wild passions

Remain assured:
They will fail
Like generations before them
And generations yet to come
For Africa is a raging tempest
Howling with dreams and desires
Thundering with anger and pain
Flashing with imagination and inspiration

Africa may be many things –
Wild and free and changing –
But there is one thing Africa is not:
Africa is not for taming

Copyright 2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The President's Eulogy and Other Poems: Review

The President's Eulogy was my first encounter with Eldoret Poets Association and their enlightening thoughts and tales.
From the introduction I see these poets have a the right tools to make it in the business, their vesertility and drive is truly one of a kind. The prose is quite interesting and easy for even critics to be captivated by the tales of what the "common mwanainch" is going through.

I felt like I was being toured through the lives of these poets.
Thank you Michael ‘Wudz’ Ochoki and Richard Oduor Oduku for the captivating introduction.

The poem deals with themes ranging from politics, love, hope among other relative themes. The rhetoric moulds the reader to comprehend these common Issues in third world nations and funny enough it brings out the need to get in touch with common sense which might not be as common as I once thought.

The frontal flyleaf introduction is on point, the imagery does not need any more description, there's not much that needs explaining, however basic understanding of eulogy and rights of passage especially death is key to understand the juxtaposition.
Post poem reviews are minimal information on how to contact the editor and also a call to budding poets who would like to see their work in the next issues. There is also calls for contributions to make these dreams alive. A 'panda mbegu' of sorts but with the best of intentions.

Most of the poems are about two pages long, more than enough to get a good quote.
Here's an extract from "Faith & Irony",

You seem so agitated Mwananchi
Frothing and scathing,
After my evasive half a decade I am back to solicit your vote Why is anger Provoking your throat? Because I never honored My campaign pledges?
Have you not heard? Mwananchi
That great expectation Make frustrated men? Your eyes burn
With malice and animosity At me, your Mheshimiwa Mwananchi
My shoulders ache
With your village grievances Oh! Good roads Oh! Piped water Oh! Rural electricity Oh! CDF
Oh! Better health facilities Oh! Modern schools Ah! Mwananchi Stop it! Enough of this adolescence talks! I am under ulcers medication!
Mwananchi,

Some poems have grounding narratives that require you to open up your mind to understand. Here is " The Song Of A Divorced Poet",

What shall come of our love?
Honey I've no money but I journey back, Home of souls I broke and all alone I drove to unknown,
Forgive me and give me bliss I plead,
Rest on my chest and let of your breasts warm my bed, The warmth of your thighs, I sing this song tonight, Divorced of my treasures, For my poetess's seizure, Speaks of her prowess, Speaks of my poetess, Baby I'm coming home, I am coming alone, For you and my kids, Sweet moments I miss, Make a bed for me, For I'm a pilgrim,
Searching..... Coming..... Should.. I babe ???? ??? ?? ?

And here is, "Mama Africa," this one is the best of all(according to me).

How you endured this ill timed colonialism,
And why in the name of our forefathers we would cease calling the rains under the mugumo trees; And down our snow capped mountains and started listening to the weather man.
Mama Africa,
Teach me your ways,
Please help this generation understand,
That our forefathers lived of age because they ate of the wild,
Boiling and roasting their kill.
Let them know that their so called modern ways are killing them with cancers and incomprehensible diseases.
Mama Africa,
Teach me to embrace me for who I am Teach me to love my lovely skin color,

This is an attractive compilation of some of the best poems from the region.  I congratulate the efforts of these brood of wordsmiths,  they really captured my imagination.  Can't wait for their next one.
L. A. Miganda(2015)

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Last Piece I Will Ever Write

I call this piece the last piece I will ever write, not because it's the last piece I will ever write but because it's the last piece I will ever...
Right! From the start I sought to chase my whims lusting for a thirst I seeked to quench, never thought that fate is what we make of it but in peace I fought to rest..
My mind on adages and quotes a thousand years before my time, my only crime, being naive so I covered my shame in bliss while these ignorant thoughts broke bread ready for a feast..
See these streets became my teacher, no roof or doors I saw class in every glance, mistook luck for chance and now I rant my sorrows to those who would pay to prey on my emotions while listening to tales from way back in the day when my hair was long and my teeth were still strong,  the thrills rode my mind to reform, conform, deform till I aspired to become..
But what if am wrong...
Am I really wrong to quest for desires I cannot achieve, so why did they say to dream is to believe, survival is for the naive, you show weakness if you forgive...
I heard the sky is the limit so I dawned my cape, that superman thing, and I thought to fly the skies, beyond the clouds so high, the wind in my eyes a reality check and so I kept on falling, falling fast into oblivion, my thoughts and prayers were to God to send His legion, but a sinner's prayers are like noise to His ears, so I bit my tongue till my words bled in faith...
But who knew lust was a man made invention, circumstantial evidence pointed with no due intention, grasped at the clouds but the rains were all tears, their smiles all frowns my deepest fear...

Those who cheered, behind my back stabbed me, they who prayed with me fought hard to stop me, friends indeed I thought to myself, but in need I learned where not to turn when I need help...

Sounds like a plan when in my head, but from my lips it's not the same,

The shame of being sane but when all alone my mind begged for a bullet to end me, but these course floor coverings walked me to the reality of every step..

Treading carefully on calm waters my only mistake, so now I seek enlightenment for my clouded view, from where I stand I seek to return to a life renewed..

The ghosts still walk with me, their souls call for me, their eyes stare at me..

Seems like my ears can't see what my eyes listen to, the deceit smells like garbage sweet and saltied with hugs from a friend turned foe..

But who cares for the past is gone.. I lost the road on my way home...

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Swahili Spice by Wayne Visser (Video)



Poetry by Wayne Visser, Paul Cheneour on Flutes, Lennie Charles on Percussion, Photography by Bob Webzell and Wayne Visser, Video edited by Andi Beqiri. Music recorded during a live performance on 16 November 2013 in London. The poem, Swahili Spice, is published in "I Am an African: Favourite Africa Poems". Copyright 2014 Wayne Visser