Friday, May 1, 2015

Tendai R. Mwanaka - Two Poems

The War

I have decided to leave this city of war. The war has gone out of 
          control. You never know who belongs to whom,
                  anymore. What the fight is all about.
                           The war is still dragging on its
                                   fiery tail through the
                                          dead city like
giant prehistoric creature. I take a maze of trail, which threads 
       its way out of the city, through the unchecked growth
             and rubbish. I keep walking, leaving the images
                   of the city, into the wilderness. The sky
                         is layers of cotton-thick smoke.
                              Wild, cross-bred thorny
                                      roses, scraggly
plants, hollyhocks, and emaciated chrysanthemums dotes the
            trail. Sprigs of tamarisk, sprigs of furze, herbs still
                   exuding scents, the grass is singing dirges
                         around my feet, as I pass between
                                air’s legs, it snakes a hiss,
                                    a bark. I begin to see,
                                         to feel another
in these species difficult and deeper into great piles of life 
      fomenting. An irresistible occasion, this garland of 
               demonstrations! Morning glories, their
                     purple flowers look down on the
                           melee much as generals
                                  observe their wars
                                       whilst others
doing the actual fighting. These generals are the ravishment of
      their own extending success, a display. The wheat fields   
             weaving brushstrokes of their pride, they dance
                    and shout as of people of a ceaselessly
                             bombed city when it’s freed.
                                     Rose bushes poised
                                          like ballerinas,
     choreography which  gathers them in front of the 
        forsythia. Quack grass, thistle, cockleburs and
                 black eyed Susan: are the privates,
                         sergeants, lieutenants,
                                   and captains;
war for the generals, the morning glories. This war does not  
    pace itself, space itself…, for it is self contained in itself.

If You Are Going

If you are going
Linger a little while
Like the setting sun’s rays
Touching the coming night

If you are going
Touch the coming night

If you are going
Linger a little while
Kiss me good night
Hold me for the last time

If you are going
Hold me for the last time

If you are going
Linger a little while
Say you care a little
Come for good-bye

If you are going
Come for a good-bye

Tendai. R. Mwanaka is a multidisciplinary artist from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. His oeuvre of works touches on literary disciplines (non-fictions, poetry, plays, fictions), music and sound art disciplines, visual art disciplines (photography, drawings, paintings, video, collage). His work has been published in over 300 journals, anthologies and magazines in over 27 countries. Nominated, shortlisted and won some prizes and work has been translated into French and Spanish.

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