THE AFTERMATH ( Brave Voices Poetry Journal 71)

The Brave Voices August Edition is such an amazing platform for young but resilient poetic griots , solemnly holding on to their faith and remain composed to face the AFTERMATHS with due diligence despite the hellholes of the COVID 19 pandemic. writings boldly articulates inspirational messages of hope and courage to adapt to the new normal .In this installment , ten poems were selected; the bigger number of poems is from the hosting country Botswana and the other six from Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda As the editor for this month I would love to thank all contributing poets who responded to this great call and give salutations to those who made it to the top 10 and encourage that we hold on together in these difficult times of the COVID19 menace  as we face the realities and complexities  of  the new normal . As a poet I take it that poetry is a powerful medium to express our feelings with for attaining freedoms and that it is a formula to connect the mind, spirit, soul and other humanity realms. TOGETHER WE RISE-( Gorata Ntshwabi Brave  Voices  August Edition  Guest   Editor and  Brave Voices Botswana  Associate)

AFTERMATH
 
every night I leak dream from the 
fissure I sewn my insecurity  
the dying night is fear, is empty 
& all nights are the same, coldblooded 
night’s knife of victories & losses  
placed in the cliff of darkness 
cut to the heart in silence like bread 
the grief I ran away from 
changes shape like ocean bubbles 
it is the god I worship for favor 
for paradise & mourning avoidance 
the war has ended on the outside 
but, the killing is a river’s journey 
something is always on fire here 
open violence preordaining destinies 
the old gods in the lips of history 
might recognize these arsonists 
the fire that keeps changing its form 
the war has ended, but the ghosts 
of casualty refused to be buried 
they have mistaken what harm them 
for a scent of something delicious 
since this world only recognize 
the handiwork of villains 
every night, the grief I leak from — 
the filled, unused hope, the cracks 
I am picking up life pieces after the storm 
I would use it to cleanse my fate 

UMAR YOGIZA JR-is a poet, builder & photographer, author of three collections of poetry. He writes between Lafia & Abuja Nigeria, where God & Devil toss the coin of his life. His works appeared in Reviews & many online platforms

HOW CAN YOU BE SILENT
 

 
While we think we okay 
Black lives matters doesn’t matter anymore 
 
It now shaken by disease called racism 
Breaking all chains of kindness, unity and love 
 
How can I be silent 
 
While world has turn into mockery 
We as Blacks and white with fabricated faces pretending we all into one unity as one 
No more rainbow nation 
 
How  can I be silent 
 
While the is new epidemic disease 
Invaded our beloved homes 
 
While a young 3year old child is been raped, brutality murdered by her 
Protector, provider front line soldier called father 
 
How can I be silent 
 
While we sang Umkhonto We Sizwe 
Spears of our falling soldiers 
Falling heroes memorabilia of 
 
Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govern Mbeki Oliver Thambo,Chris Hani,Mama MaDikezela Mandela 
All the metaphonical warrious, freedom 
Fighters who spilled their blood put lives on front line 
Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu his blood split 

THAMAGA DITSI, SouthAfrican Wordsmith born made with traceable experience in the entertainment industry embraced his work as Poet, Rapper, motivational speaker,event management,community developer and radio presenter .Born in Monakato Town ship(Rustenburg) SouthAfrica.He developed his love of entertainment at tender age where he began as rapper and poet in 2007,He later registered his company Kasi koncept krew brand

WRETCHED COVID


Manipulation covered by devastation  
Covid you are indeed hungry for our lives 
You feed on the lives of the most vulnerable how dare you 
I am scared of your horrid ways oh my God 
You conquer, destroy and devastate our glittering land  
You have killed hundreds and thousands of innocent human lives 
Like the elegant Nerium oleander you are so toxic  
You so wish to endanger the human species  
We can no longer predict our future as children 
For you have bid a feast of fear and panic upon us 
I still wonder where you really transpire from  
For it seams of the giant devil’s piercing claws 
I may be so scared but I still hold on my faith as a child 
I stand on behalf of the young souls covid we won’t give up 
I swear to my beloved Ancestors and the Heavens 
We shall destroy you to no trace like you have never crossed boarders of our beloved lands 
You are just nothing but a minor obstacle we need to cross while thinking and acting wisely  
We shall conquer you evil destructor 
Like we did with your monster relatives Swine Flu, Ebola and HIV/AIDS  
Children let’s unite apart and hold up our spears and arrows not forgetting our shields as we get ready to conquer  
For the future belongs to us! 

 BRUCE KAGO NTSHWABI  is an upcoming poetess and writer born in Botswana. She is a student at Nanogang Junior Secondary School. Her love for literature started with her passion for writing stories during play time and reading for her siblings. She also enjoyed reading her mum’s literary writings and helping her as well. Bruce’s 1st poem “Rain” was acknowledged in her mum’s poetry book “Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage,Living Arts” published in 2016.

 .

THE AFTERMATH
 

 
The gust of August  
Only painted our brows with dust. 
It whistled the same old tunes 
Rattling pass through grass dunes 
Unraveling the African spring life 
Clearing the chaff for the summer. 
Scattering mounds like careless charmer. 
 
Oh you noisy drummer, 
Your drums rumbled to awaken the slumber, but 
Why didn’t you warn the farmer? 
That the seeds you sow will rise no more. 
Like forgoten heroes buried underneath, 
For the heaven we call on is merely an empty store, 
That once shying sun now a scotching hearth. 
So swift its sag wilting to dry. 
 
Hope as clear as the blue sky 
We stagger to the next summer but, 
Harnessed on my thoughts and imaginations 
Are the smile musked faces  
Worn by my countryside folks, 
Kissing my soul with hope, 
Whispering to my spirit that  
The reservours of penury will fillup. 
Flash flooding our hearts of doubt 
In the aftermath of this drought. 
 

 ENERGY MAVAZA -His stage name is Poyetik enej. Energy is both a page poet and a spoken word artist  He manages various blogs and love inspiring people through poetry.

.

YOU FOUND ME

In catastrophes you taught me balance

Now I stand, a better man I have a stand

Against the mighty wind I walk

Against the great mountain I rise

You found me

Helpless and naïve you shown me my hands

Dull now I have color

Corona, I don’t want to spell you right

Sometimes I sit with colleagues

They bite me, my name is La-Rona

Like I’m somehow responsible for Co-Rona

What an honor

If thus is me then behold I make all things new

You found me, helpless in the dark and gave me a chance to shine

I’m that black sheep, now it feels as if I’m the white in the dark

I am the balance, I am the Black Child

I am found, I rise, I shine

It is what is it is

In this cyclone, I am the eye

LARONA BARUTI is a young Motswana Poet with aspirations of making the world a better place through himself.  A Banking and Financial studies student. He practice poetry and photography

AFTER THE SHACKLES AND WHIPS.

The world faced me

with shackles and whips.

Hours of pain blended perfectly

with the course memories,

That stayed so clear.

My eyes dripped.

Vengeance and bitterness

stacked up,

Filled the air,

And I clinched onto them

To fight my way out.

But,

Two wrongs would not

clean up the mess.

I smiled,

When I meant cry.

Maybe, from the outside,

Life would slowly trickle in.

But it never worked that way.

Slowly,

I realised it was what

the stars had chosen.

Hands once cuffed,

started getting stronger.

I reached out for a cup of coffee,

And clinging onto hope,

I knew luck was still

within my reach.

Life started trickling in.

My face started beaming

and the pain,

Faded at my keyboard.

Having known

two wrongs would not

clean up the mess,

That is what I live for now.

After it all,

Hands once cuffed

are here to defy,

The malice of

the shackles and whips.

PATRICIA JACKLINE FAITH is a budding poet and writer whose ink seeks to transform lives. She is a student at Kabale School of Comprehensive Nursing, Uganda. She lives in Arua, Uganda.

AFTERMATH. 
 
Waking up from thunderstorms of life, 
With thunderbolt consequences, 
The rubbles of tormenting storm, 
And the debris of quaking tornadoes, 
 
It feels like being in a polar convulsion, 
And iceberg confusion, 
With just a slight torrent of hopes, 
 
Picking up the broken cone pieces, 
I mould them into porcelain of brave peace, 
I clay my soul into a mosaic, 
With my mindset optimistic, 
 
I surge ahead, 
With a cyclone of diligence 
And a hurricane of courage, 
Leaving behind the failures of old adage. 

Kenneth Kibet Cheruiyot is a young Kenyan Poet who hails from Molo.
In 2016, he graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology.
His love for Poetry began way back during his High school studies.
His Exquisite skills in Poetry has made him get local and international recognition.He has featured in several online journals, with his work getting published and is part of the upcoming International Anthology pitting him together with the world’s best poets

.

SUFFERING THE NEW STRIAN
 
Empty hearts, empty words  
We have become speechless, hopeless and helpless  
We are like a fallen tree, weeping and screaming  
The new strain has control, power over our lives  
Covid19 how can you be such ruthless?  
You have banned us from visiting our loved ones even during hard times like these you created 
Not even to give them a hug to show our love and commitment! 
Life is all complicated, 
We are losing our loved ones and can’t even say goodbye the way our ancestors taught us 
 
The less privileged are dying of hunger  
Bound in chains and cannot go around search for food  
They are trapped in their poor houses  
Business owners are running at a loss  
Well,about the economy of my beloved Botswana its crisis  
With high shortage of resources  
No petrol for our engine footing 
No food to feast our growling stomachs 
We are democrats and independent please don’t ruin our freedom i beg you 
We believe in hard work and fortitude for success  
In my mother tongue we say “Monna o ja mofufutso wa phatla ya gagwe” 
 
How could you live us in so much pain  
We are children we have the future ahead of us 
You have messed up our academics 
Left us all worried about our suspended academic schedules hanging like palls of smoke 
Our dreams are slowly shuttering and fracturing  
Each day future leaders are fading away how painful  
Oh God!stuck in the dark,eaten by the sharks  
I don’t want to lie  
Each day we live in fear of you Covid-19  
Our hearts are broken but  
Our faith in God shall never disappear though  
You must know that! 

LESANG RACHAEL NTUNYANE is a 16 years old Botswana born poetess with a mission to be the world’s great poetess Lesang is a form 4 student at Kgari Sechele Senior Secondary School  She has done poetry performances at various church and youth conferences.

THEOLOGY OF HOPE 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am 
Hopeful for today, 
Tomorrow and the future 
Whenever I sense a loss of Hope 
I raise my head and  
look up to the blue skies 
I cry my plea to the Almighty LORD 
In outer space 
Who’d never resent me 
Nor rail against me 
 
I say LORD please rescue the world 
Mother Earth is crying a bucket full 
A bucket full of tears of pain 
Because of this horrible pandemic 
The horrible pandemic called corona virus 
For it has entered the souls of the innocent and scattered them 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am 
That one day things will brighten up 
The heavens doors I’ve been long knocking upon shall eventually open and I shall rejoice 
 
Sometimes I imagine where hope is 
In my dreams whispering  
Sometimes I imagine in my dreams that my theology of Hope has finally come 
 
I am hopeful, yes I am  
Whenever I lose my sense of wonder GOD casts the theology of hope upon me and I’m indeed as grateful as I can ever be because of my Theology of Hope 
 

EUNICE BONASO SEBULA is a creative ,self driven writer, poet and teacher based in Botswana  .Her work history includes the Gender Affairs Department where she worked as an Assistant Women Sector Coodinator in 2010-2012 .Eunice had worked closely with the community on HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence related issues

COVID 19, ( Cruel evil bug)

Structs Chinese and mistaken for a lab error

Disguised but yet an invisible terror

   Creeped into God’s own              

      America

   Determines to drain all 

        and crush costa rica

Devilish catastrophe to mock God 

Dr Facuer made the mess more odd

    Universe shutdown in 

        awe

    Uncertain commotions

         in the air 

Undercover the whole

 world went

Thought God will react as we wept

Science and Technology has failed us

Death knows no one but dust

It’s dreadfully contagious I can’t kiss

A caregiver but cannot touch my son Kings

     He is lamed with 

          feeble ribs

    Imprisoned right inside                         

         my crib

Harry and I can no longer mingle

Had to flatten the curve for love to be be maintain

   Hunger awakes to sing              

        war song

   Hoodlums attack with  

         war gong

Terribly living for the moments

Death tolls multiples every minute

Crushed down once endowed economy

Credible nation’s cries out  as it echoes

A medical war frontline

Doctors turn soldiers 

They fought took the bullets from medical folders

     The battle fought yet 

         antidote unknown

    Revived llost hopes          

        restored felt 

            unloved

Health heroes good jobs evergreen mentors

Sands of time forever will store in anthological memoirs

Silence a powerful  scream yells the creator

Sanctioned children  out of school 

Church doors closed  as clerics are mocked

    Evil genius bug marred 

       clerics beliefs

    Symbol of religious 

        strife hostility now

           faithfuls believes

Nation’s unified 

Knitted with love dignified

Behold the new eldorado of the creator

Where unity is trusted with Realtors

     This new normal mist 

        is crazy

     A God forsaken norm 

          so crafty

A norm that denounces cultures

A world of masked face we must cultivate

Has torn families apart 

Yet a bliss in disguise.

Blows it’s trumpets of sanity as it sensitizes

     New normal slogan

          embraced us

              masked

      Hand washing 

          mandated all

               tasked

Elbow shakes over hand shakes 

A phase of erupted twist of nature

Will end with a toast of assured future.

©️ Andrea Okoye

ANDREA OKOYE is a Poet, a journalist and a blogger from Nigeria. She is a graduate of Statistics and Economics from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  Andrea’ has worked with both the print and broadcasting media outfits respectively. She has written so many works in in both local and international journals. She is a Girlchild advocate and a human rights activist.

GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI( August Edition Guest Editor).Botswana Poet and Gender Rights Activist Gorata Ntshwabi is the August Edition Guest Editor of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal.GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI is a result – oriented and self-driven, Artist Poet and Activist. A registered Poetess herein as Poko Boswa Poetry my Heritage specializing in both traditional Spoken Word and Page poetry. She has since authored an English poetry book “Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage, Living Arts and self-published in 2016 and the collection is transcribed into brail for the visually impaired.Gorata holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences with majors in Sociology and Psychology from Central University of Technology Free State in South Africa and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in African Languages and Literature from the University of Botswana. Her Writing and Poetry Arts career was realized since years of her childhood .She participated in Schools Arts Activities.Gorata is a member of Maruping Poetry Organization, had an opportunity to mentor young upcoming artists Tlhale jwa Phala Entertainment Group, potential youth leaders for the African Women Leadership Academy and young Karatekas for Botswana Defense Force Thebephatshwa Air Base Karate Club and some individual youth poets.Gorata’s poem ‘’My Environment my Pride’’ was selected among the best poems published in an anthology entitled ‘’Tranquil Peace/Muse’’ for the 2018 11th Guntur International Poetry Festival in India and her Poem Dear South Africa was also selected for top 10 during the Brave Voices Poetry Journal 67 in 2019.

INFLUENCER- IN CHIEF –Mbizo CHIRASHA- UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist .Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum  Deutschland,Germany. Alumni  of the International Human Rights  Arts Festival in New-York, USA.Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie.  Globally Certified  Arts Mediums Curator and Influencer. Internationally Published Page and Spoken Word Poet. Writer in Residence.  Arts for Human Rights Catalyst.  Core Team Member of the Bezine Arts and Humanities Project. His illustrious poetry , hybrid writings , political commentary ,short fiction , book reviews  and Arts Features are published in more  than 400 spaces notably the Monk  Arts and Soul in  Magazine  in United Kingdom. Atunis Poetry.com in Belgium. Demer press poetry series in Netherlands. World Poetry Almanac in Mongolia.Poesia journal inSlovenia. Bezine Arts and Humanities Webzine in USA. The Poet a Day in Brooklyn ,USA. Litnet Writers Journal in South Africa. African Crayons in Nigeria. Poetry Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Pulp-pit USA.the FictionalCafe international Journal , Texas USA. Best New African Poetry series in Zimbabwe, Zimbolicious Poetry Collections in Zimbabwe. Co-edited Street Voices International Publications with Andreas Weiland  in Germany.Co-Edited  Silent Voices Anthology, a Tribute to Chinua Achebe. Co-Edited the Corpses of Unity,solidarity collection to victimized Cameroonians with Nsah Mala. Curated and Edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry ,Inside Digraceland speaking poetic truth to the Mugabe regime and other bad regimes.  He owns the Time of  the Poet blog zine ,MIOMBOPUBLISHING that published the #GlobalCallforPeaceProject titled the Second of EARTH is Peace.A LETTER to the PRESIDENT his experimental  resistance poetry BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL-A digital literary arts culture republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power , Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. WordSlingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression

BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL-A digital literary arts culture republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power , Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. WordSlingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

FAITH is the Vaccine to calm down TURBULENCE-Brave Voices@70

BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL is the scripture of FREEDOM religion, with her twin’s doctrine of justice and resilience. It comprises two Testaments. (1) the old testament of precolonial Africa; from Genesis of civilization through Exodus to slavery. From kings; Mansa,Tshaka , Selassie…through Psalms; Senghor, Diops,Okara,Brutus. (2)the new Testament of post colonial Africa;with the birth of revolution and the Trinity of Uhuru, Ubuntu and Unhu.the Gospel of Africanism according to Sankara, the Gospel of resilience according to Mandela. It spreads the Gospel of peace,love and hope across Africa and the world. It preaches against tyranny and oppression of fellow humans as well as kick against corruption in high places and embezzlement of public funds. The year 2020 is a turbulent year of panic caused by the devil’s bad breath of Covid-19 pandemic. Humans and economies are being lockdown and knockdown. It is a stormy period which requires the anchor of FAITH to calm the turbulence. FAITH is the vaccine for immunity against the dreaded pandemic.This 70th edition of the BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL features scientists and doctors of letters with their tested and trusted vaccines of FAITH.With Nigeria in focus, Brave Voices deployed her scientists to take samples and experiment. Nigeria with her twin’s pandemic of Covid-19 and corruption needs more attention( Blurb by Guest Editor of BRAVE VOICES 70, Acclaimed Poet and Seasoned Educationist)


ANCHOR OF A NATION

When the future of our nation seems bleak

In forlorn hope; all citizens getting sick

Of corrupt helmsmen and pandemic horror

Faith becomes our vaccine and our savior

Wazobia, the realm of three major tribes,

Endowed with corruption and lawful bribes

The poor fish, the rich freely feed on their fish

The shepherds pick teeth while sheep famish

Wazobia thinks curse of corruption is

enough jolt,

Until her sore is garnished again with salt

When Covid-19 ambushed with new horror,

An Asian pandemic who kindled the terror

Wazobia is like a pig wallowing in a mire 

A nation jumping out of frying pan to fire

Terror of pandemic struck the heart of the nation

With zero panacea to the curse of corruption

To the Holy mighty our nation’s heart resort

For only He can take our turbulences to court

Not grief nor vaccine can mend our situation

But crown faith as the anchor of our nation

Yahaya, Nigerian Poet and Journalist

Yahaya Qasim Oluwapelumi is a Nigerian poet, novelist and journalist. He graduated from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He has won many poetry awards of excellence and has got many of his poems published on various sites. <qoayib@gmail.com>

somewhere , where leadership has more than 100 mansions.

WHEN EVIL MEETS GOOD

When evil meets good,

It turns out to be a deadly clash…

The world plunged deeper

Into the vicious cycle

Of debauchery and parody…

When evil meets good,

Love wore a daunting coat

Of smouldering lust,

Lampooned on falsehood and pretext..

The world is a dangerous hood,

The vices of evil

Are cruel and crude…

Humanity resorted to

Savagery and blood mongery…

When evil meets good,

I kept my hopes alive

Because light will always prevail

Over darkness…

David Adejumo is a Nigerian Poet, Historian Writer, Essayist and Disciple of Jesus Christ.He writes poems to pass a message to Humanity.He has been published on several international and local magazines like: Tuck magazine, Sach ki dastak Hindu magazine, Pride magazine, etc.He has also been published on the annual Chinua Achebe Anthology in 2018, A Spark of Hope Anthology in 2019 and the World Peace Anthology.He is a graduate of History and International studies from Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria. He currently resides in Abuja, Nigeria. davidadejumo1204@gmail.com>

Artistic Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Robinson

.QUAGMIRE

In a land plagued with gruesome pandemic

With the inhabitants swimming in hunger

Negligence clasping its hands around their shoulders like a grandpa admiring his grandson

We are like a kingdom devastated by gunmen

And we run here and there for shelter

Oblivious of the triple sounds of the bullets on the corrugated iron sheets

We scramble and quarantine ourselves in our humble kiosks

Our King has not said a word

Our warriors die with swords in their hands

Children cooing, wailing, weeping

Looking like scorched left over vegetables from the market

As they traverse all lands begging for crumbs

As a hungry lion rushes and devours its food

We stumble on one another for palliatives

For those who got, the Messiah has come

It’s a pity, the unfortunate ones nurse their deep wounds

Though the palliatives -a tantalizer

The road is far but near enough

For those who trust and believe in faith

Together we shall fight and win the plague

For as a loafer invites trouble for himself

We sit and trouble God to trouble this quagmire

Copyright Reserved

Agnes Onuawuchi 21/05/2020I studied English and Literary Studies at University of Nigeria, Nsukka.I’m an English Language teacher and a literary writer from Ahiazu Mbaise in Imo State, Nigeria.

storm

4. I’M FLOATING ABOVE THE TUMULT

I am floating above this tumult

That grips the world in its jugulars

With a deadly viral hold.

I shall fly away to heaven

To merge with the wings of angels

In a gleeful choir

To sing praises of creations

To thank Nature for humanity

I am floating above this tumult

Shimmering in the lights of hope

That’s beset round by the horror

Of a pathogen roaring like a lion.

I shall rise like the phoenix

For I know without a doubt

The world shall soon over come.

I am floating above this tumult

With a feathery speed

That grips words in their heels

In a deadly viral stranglehold

Round the jugulars of candence

I shall fly away to heaven

To merge with the wings of angels

In a gleeful cherubic choir

To sing praises of scansion

To thank Nature for rthymns

I am floating above this tumult

Shimmering in the lights of metaphors

That’s beset round by the horror

Of a pathogen roaring like an onomatopoeia.

I shall rise like the phoenix

From the ashes of redundancies

For I know without a doubt

The world shall soon scale

This peak with a gusto

At the feathery speed of synecdoche.

Nattie O’Sheggzy has decided on his the pen name because it allows him the freedom to write. He is a consummate Nigerian poet who loves to put his thoughts and actions in poetic forms. Nattie has been writing for more than two decades. His works have appeared in anthologies, including BOWL OF PEACE and CHRISTMAS IN OUR HEARTS by Lovely Gracia. Many of his poems have also won awards and recognitions nationally and internationally. Currently, he is working on his first book of poetry. His email address is nattie4all3(AT)gmail(DOT)com, <nattie4all3@gmail.com>

COVID -19


5. COVID-19/HUNGER-20

If money can turn the wise fool

What will agony be to bones that suffer calcium?

If death is a pleasure to watch a game on stool

What shall bring fear to the heart dwelling in crematorium?

It is true “money is the root of every evil”

Plague beautifies the world in deceit

Humans’ petals flowered its garden

Many falling petals are mistreat

Received  enough support but garden isn’t pardon

All to the honor of your pleasure, we forfeited

Gardeners have an awesome merry go round

To watch out others in disguised anticipation

Whereas, their harvest bloom and abound

To the mess of Hunger-20 promotion

A scope of care “stay home” is well propounded   

It isn’t a prank to joke with for all reasons to insanity

Though it seems they had make workers go days starving denizens

Keeping a lot of grains in store for themselves and their cousins

While this is a threat to humanity

They claim to still cherish the welfare of the citizens

Wems Henry Temmy is my pen’s name

Rising Poet ,

Olábòsóyè Wèmímó Oláolúwá by virtue of nomenclature.A poet from Nigeria with art’s love and a teacher of literature.Studied English Literature in Federal College of Education (special) Oyo, class of 2016.Have added a lot of collection of poems and still counting ,  <wemimoolaoluwaolabosoye@gmail.com>

6.  SOLDERING SOULS

The diurnal shall arrive
When the sun rises with igniting sparks
Mother nature rejoicing once again
Together with her disciples
Beating drums and chanting ululations
Cuddling and fondling without fear
Nightingales and quelea singing songs of praise
Lion kings and queens daringly and intrepidly hugging and kissing
Exquisite moon and sun playing hide and seek majestically
Humankind freed from the manacles and shackles
Hellholes and whirlwinds swept away the pricks and stabs
Flood rages desiccated, dehydrated and ashamed
Grave yards weeping sorrowfully
For days passing with stomach stridently crying
The covid19 drastic menace under dark caves
Soldering souls pushing the boat out “the abysmal storm over”!

Stricken emptied and deflated streets becoming “once upon a time”
Market shacks once homes for spiders
Draped and decked with webs all over
Food shelves bedecked and garlanded with sarcastic nets
Boulevards echoing songs of despair
All becoming stories of the past
How pity for the
Typical sluggish and slothful mortals
Who extoled, extolled and exalted the lockdown
Hammering food and snoozing all day
When magnificent eagles flew high above mountains
Exploring adventures and catching up lost dreams
Discovering talent mounting and escalating it
My people,
Faith is the master key that connects chemistry and physics without any friction
Biology then holds on her breath with trust
Certain that remedy for her tormented lungs is finally at the door
Soldering souls pushing the boat out “the abysmal storm over”!

Botswana Poet , Griot and Activist,

Gorata Mighty Ntshwabi is a well organised, goal oriented and self-driven.Botswana citizen registered poetess herein as Poko Boswa Poetry my Heritage specialising in both traditional and contemporary poetry both oral and written.She is an author of an English poetry book “Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage, Living Arts self published in 2016 which she transcribed into brail for the visually impaired.Gorata holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences with majors in Sociology and Psychology from Central University of Technology Free State in South Africa and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in African Languages and Literature from the University of Botswana.

THE ART OF COPING WHEN THE PLATFORMS RUN COLD

By Mercy Geno Apachi.

“Geno, why should people pay to watch spoken-word poetry?” I was asked recently during a Zoom online- poetry show I was humbled to be asked to perform at.

Well I “Uhm-ed” and “ehm-ed” before I could think of brilliant reasons which I shall list as we go on but here is first, a little introduction.

Hi, I am a spoken word poet! Heard of me? Anybody? No? Really? Okay then.

Well, in 2017, Somehow during the helter-skelter of self-discovery, I found out that in-spite of my loudness on social media, I am a rather shy person but one who is good at putting words together(well, most people tell me so)  and therein  I embraced spoken word with the pseudonym , Geno Apachi, the Shy Poet .

That worked just fine for then the below-average paying gigs started and poster after poster with my face, venue and peanut entrance fee got me a seat at the table of the disgruntled, free-spirited, sweet-tongued intellectuals- poets.

There I was, earning applauses, hoots and hope instead of rent from a poetry loving crowd cultivated by older poets and I felt alive, going with the cliché “do it for the passion” vibe, shaking hands and taking selfies with fans, affording a few drinks and snacks here and there, until I realized graduation was long done with no permanent salary to show yet and many a broke day!

Then boom! Covid-19 happens, the world is on lock-down, the usual audience would rather spare that 20k for that extra kilo of rice or a webinar on how to grow business during quarantine than spend it on me because I have neither show nor venue to show up to.

I further realize the money I earned from past events was only enough to help me go by per day and with every painful passing day what is left of it is mercilessly dwindling!

The anxiety begins! The fear of failure, the society pressure to be successful by 25 gnaws on the mind by night and the question at the back of the mind by day is “where shall my next income come from?”

The hope that I once held on to that someday the audience and the value for the art will be bigger loosely dangles.

Unfortunately, a mind that writes is one that dangerously digs way to deep into itself making it prone to easily be swept off by depression- most will not understand.

So how do I cope?

Embracing social-media and its platforms

Building an online presence is very important for one, I sometimes use my pages as a digital marketing platform for whoever is interested and can pay hence the extra income

For most, social media feels like a place where millennials go to seek validation to boost their esteem by posting irritating selfies, air-headed snap chat videos, racist statements and plenty other shenanigans.

But I find it a haven for escapism and career boosting. I search for, write and post poetry or jokes depending on the day and the socialization, conversations, criticism, number of shares, define the quality of my work.

We now have all the time on our hands to use social media to market our brands, build connections and I am so on it!

I want to actually start a blog. One wonders why I took so long to realize this.

Reading

We are so caught up with trying to make ends meet that we rarely get time to sit down and absorb other people’s work.

People are brilliant out there and now that I am reading more, I am beginning to learn more, pick up new words, learn new skills.

Therefore, even if the writer’s block hits (which for some reason happens a lot when one is idle), time is not entirely wasted!

In fact I have gained a few cooking skills (My friends would never believe me)

Writing more

As in regards to the question I was asked in the first paragraph, Poetry is therapeutic for both readers and writers.

 Unlike with many professions, in poetry there are no rules or limits as to the length of emotions or topics you want to vent.

The writer pours out his or her turmoil on paper or nowadays, laptop and the readers relate which helps both of them express and somehow heal from what they battle with.

In doing this, both parties are in touch with their realities. They are awakened and they can find answers hence relief.

Performing on-line

Turns out, the famous Zoom video calling app can stage an online show after all. There are so many things applications can offer for example recording a video on Facebook live or even on IGTV (Instagram) and engaging the audience.

This helps me stay relative to the art and people do not forget that I am a poet as there are many being born every day.

Apparently every one is a writer!

Ugandan Poet , Journalist

Mercy Geno Apachi , Ugandan Poet , Writer and Journalist

8. BIZARRE SLUMBER


Once upon a time
Surely now it’s chime
Walking in darkness
Reaching out for the single brightness
Heard them footsteps behind
Firstly thought it was my mind
Walked faster and they followed suit
Sweating,heart beating. Am i in pursuit?
Cold fear chilled me as i was not acting
Only that i was not hallucinating
Yes i saw them falling the stars
Yes i saw them falling the stars
Willpower came to my rescue
Fearfully i took the cue
Turned around to see my villain
All was in vain
He was wearing all white
Believe you me he was might
All he done was looking at me silently
Blinding stare and stared up the sky diligently
Yes i saw them falling the stars
Yes i saw them falling the stars.

Zimbabwean Wordsmith


©®Chrispah Munyoro 8/4/20CHRISPAH MUNYORO is currently a graduate of Applied Art and Design, Graphics and Website Programming. at Kwekwe Polytechnic College in Zimbabwe . Munyoro is a talented writer, journalist and a dedicated Design Artist. She is natural linguist, fluent in many languages among them English, Shona, Esperanto, Setswana, Swahili, Italiana and Yoruba. She began as a columnist writing feature articles in the Gweru Times in Midlands Province Capital of Zimbabwe. She has worked as a Midlands Chapter Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Association of Freelance Journalists.

9. NAILED OR JAILED.

Father sits under the tree with his calabash

Filled with the local alcohol to celebrate,

In honour of his only son gone oversees.

Mother with bare hands lifts the pot of meat from fire,

Elders of the land gather with bowels of blessings

And in a gathering,the feasting starts.

Just yesterday, father sent his only son to America

To live a lively life the Bourgeoisie,

Today he receives the most atrocious news

That his son got pinned to the earth

On the neck by the White man’s knee.

Tragic!

Wails across the land never end.

Who taught humanity to marry prejudice,

breathe in and out racism and hatred?

They’ve forgotten so soon about the divine law

That all mankind is in God’s image.

Like Cain, they’re not their brother’s keepers.

Like Goshen, their streets filled with the blood of Africans.

The blood of Africans flows like a river

Murdered because they committed a crime called ‘My black skin’.

They hide in darkness for their lives

Light frightens and draws them to the hours of their death.

Tragic!

Africa was sliced and eaten in the Berlin Conference

Dominion is still taken over the black race.

When then shall we be free from being nailed or jailed?

Youthful Ugandan Poet

Awadifo Olga Kili is a Uganda Author, Poetess,Law Student and a human rights activist.She’s the Author of the book “Victorious Tales” that seeks to address human rights concerns. Some of her poems and writings have featured in journals and anthologies internationally. <peacepearlletaasi@gmail.com>

10. .ASSERTING LIFE

Every sunrise brings

new deaths;

we move in the ombre

shades of grief.

I can hear the

helpless apple-red sun

choke back tears.

The virus spreads like

cool green moss

on a river bed.

This life that struggles

like a flower under rocks

I must water every day,

exhaling my fears.

I inhale the fragrance

of faith with every breath

that I draw in.

Poet and Writer from Kolkata

Jagari Mukherjee is the author of three collections of poetry. Her latest book, The Elegant Nobody (2020) was published by Hawakal Publishers, Kolkata. She is the recipient of the prestigious Reuel International Prize For Poetry, 2019, apart from other awards,mjagari@gmail.com>

11. 2020

2020, the year of the grim locust,

Mankind loss her “focused”

The year of the devil’s bad breath,

Spreading across the world’s breadth.

A year of cosmic curfew

Even upon holy pew.

A year of cosmic anger,

That forced mankind to hunger.

A year of cosmic reckoning,

With no hope beckoning.

Ours is a bad market

Of Covid and corruption bracket.

A year of golden opportunity

For our corrupt leading community

Who stashed at home the bullions

Of public Covid billions.

Building treatment centers for ghost

While they sit at home to toast.

Our cosmic year of turbulence,

Their year of earthly opulence.

Struck with hunger to hate

We depend on our immunity of faith.

Left in darkness to grope,

We depend on inner light of hope.

PROFILE OF THE GUEST EDITOR

Brave Voices Poetry Journal June EDition.

GUEST EDITOR AND   NIGERIAN  POET FRANCIS OTOLE .A Nigerian poet, from the middle belt region of Benue state. He is an avid reader and lover of books. Studied; B.ed English from the prestigious Benue state university.He is an educationalist, a researcher, an academician, a philanthropist, a scholar (Chaucerian) and a pro earth; lover of nature and humanity.A passionate poet with many poems to his credit, with literary contributions, commendations and awards; locally and internationally.A member of the Association of Nigerian Authors( ANA)and many online poetry groups and associations. Has featured in magazine, journals and anthologies; internationally.

MEET THE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

Artist in Residence,Rebecca Robinson

REBECCA ROBINSON studied fashion design in Atlanta, Ga. and continued her education at North Carolina Central University where she majored in Art/ VisualCommunications and graduated with high honors. Her background also includes art history, printmaking, photography, graphic design, film, and creative marketing. Rebecca is mostly known for her fashion design company psnob.com (pronounced snob) which launched in 2001. In the spring of 2019, Rebecca began the initial stages of forming her nonprofit organization called “ONE ARRT TM”, which will become the first art supply brand that specifically supports all artists, art organizations, art education, museums/galleries and communities in need who would prosper with proper funding and resources. Rebecca has also contributed towards several nonprofit organizations throughout the country by auctioning her one of a kind handbags and fine art. Rebecca’s artwork has been featured in dozens of media outlets including; Jezebel Magazine, Pattern Magazine, New York Examiner, Points North Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, The National Endowment Of The Arts and recently exhibited her painting made with the medium concrete and tar of jazz legend Miles Davis at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. In the summer of 2019, Rebecca was selected by the Arts Council of Indianapolis to showcase her work for the annual High Art Billboard project (2019-2020).  Rebecca is also a self-published author of the book “Arts Honor”. In 2018, Rebecca released the award-winning documentary film “The Color of Medicine” in which she worked as a co-producer and media manager. In honor of the historic documentary film, Rebecca received an official scroll from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas from the county of Los Angeles for her contribution to preserving an important part of history and giving back to the community of St. Louis and beyond.

MEET THE Projects   Curator And  Brave  Voices Poetry Journal Influencer.

Founder and Curator of Brave Voices Poetry Journal

MBIZO CHIRASHA, Chronicler  at  Africa  Writers Caravan.  Founder and Author of  the Time of the Poet. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist.  Featured Poetry Artist  at WorldBeyondWar.Org. Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum  Deutschland,Germany..Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie 2020 Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café (International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival( ihraf.org) , Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .His Profiles , Interview and Poems are featured on poesis.si ,in Slovenia. Founder and Chief Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal collection( English , African Languages and Germany) intiated by Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at African Books Collective. Mbizo Chirasha is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Founder and Creative Director of Girl Child Talent Festival and GirlChildCreativity Project. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009 Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture and Development (ICACD) in Ghana.The Vice President of Poetsof the WORLD,poetasdelmundo.com ,African Region. Global Peace Chain Ambassador. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO- Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015 Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer, publicist is published in more 420 spaces in print and online.

BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL-A digital literary arts culture republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power , Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. WordSlingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

Our June Edition Guest Editor is Poet Francis Otole,

Nigerian Poet Francis Otole is the Guest Editor of Brave Voices June Edition.The selected Guest Editor of the month is to select the final 15 poems and the poets to be published in the Edition and to write the Editorial Commentary for the Brave Voices Edition and also sending out promotional submission messages to poets, writers and activists. Our June Edition Country of Focus is Nigeria. For the selected 15 poems and Poets for this Edition, 5 must be from Nigerian Poets currently living in any of the Nigerian states.

All Submissions  re sent to bravevoicespoetry@gmail.com.   Writers must not   send  Attachment. Send your material as body mail messages and  include short profiles of the Writer. The Submission Deadline is the 18th of June 2020.The THEME for this EDITION is FAITH-We have suffered the brunt of the COVID 19 menace for the last 5 months, we are hoping for a miraculous end of this menacing pandemic. And remember Faith the protein of to the balanced and unbalanced diet. The entries must have a SUBJECT LINE written as Brave Voices 70 Submission, FAITH.

Francis Otole, the June Edition Guest Edition.

FRANCIS OTOLE ( Guest Editor of Brave Voices 70) is a Nigerian poet, from the middle belt region of Benue state. He is an avid reader and lover of books. A graduate, from the prestigious Benue State University. He is an educationalist, a researcher, an academician, a philanthropist, a scholar (Chaucerian) and a pro earth; lover of nature and humanity. A passionate poet with many poems to his credit, with literary contributions, commendations and awards; locally and internationally. Has featured in magazine, journals and anthologies; internationally and a recipient of many international awards,

All questions pertaining and submissions to be directed to  the eDitor at bravevoicespoetry@gmail.com

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS#A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word -Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

INSIDE # Poetry Cafeteria with Literary Genius ,Tracy Yvonne Breazile.

Courtesy of Five Senses Coffee

Talking to TRACY YVONNE BREAZILE is one great voice worthy listening to.  The Brave Voices Poetry family and the Zimbabwean We Want Poetry Campaign has tapped a lot of literary coconut milk of wisdom and skills from the illustrious writings and her poetry mentorship drills since 2018. Creative Abundance. Breazile boasts of a very beautiful but thought-provoking writing niche.  Creative writing mentor par excellence. Her poetry is revolutionary and the vibe is nerve rattling and deep. She writes and sing Africa as if is an African princess born and bred in the length and breadth of Savanna miombo and Africa South of Sahara. Her subject matters are beautifully presented for the reader to enjoy the brew with a ravenous poetic appetite. Brave Voices Editor met with the Tracy Yvonne Breazile over a literary breakfast, Tracy brought mentorship ginger biscuits and Mbizo brought a poetic brew laced with pure wild honey. A wonderful breakfast. It is always exciting to mingle with excellence, talk prowess and write dexterity. Aluta Continua- WOMAWORDS eDitor.

Courtesy of Tracy Yvonne Breazile Facebook Album

INSIDE #POETRY CAFETERIA

Courtesy of 4570bookinfo.


1.        You are such a vibrant writer with a poetic revolutionary voice,
what is your inspiration?

In 2017, I found your page through my Facebook feed. I was inspired to help in some way. As a Zimbabwean Poet in Exile, freedom of speech was your main conflict. I spent hours reading content and poems on your page and many others trying to gain a sense of issues that a poet may find important.

As I recall, you had three main goals: Obtain content for an online interactive platform on Facebook, gain certification in some type of poetry study, and expand your platform from specifically Central Africa, Zimbabwe, to both northern and southern regions of the continent.

Themes in music can provide some pretty potent positive impacts on a personal and cultural level. Artisans can bring to life the situations and historical context of ‘prisoners of conscious” like Peter Gabriel’s Biko.

Social injustice is a major motivating force that calls me to write. I wanted deeply to help in ways that might benefit someone in some way.

I love to write, so I just started writing.


2.       Its three full years bow working with the Young and Women Creative
Activism Projects in Africa inclusive of the Zimbabwe We WANT Poetry
Campaign, Brave Voices Poetry Journal and the WOMAWORDS LITERARY
PRESS, what is your experience, any significant changes in your
literary arts trend.

Courtesy of Tracy Yvonne Breazile Album

In 2018, -2019.  I was granted the opportunity to serve as WRITERS MENTOR IN RESIDENCE as a Writer/Copy Specialist, with the ZIMBABWE WE WANT POETRY CAMPAIGN.

The goal of this Mentorship is to empower writers of all ages begin, develop or master the craft of discussing issues ranging from personal trauma of some sort to a more humorous tone.

These writers would likely tell their story of physical events surrounding them and some could involve personal change. Healing the tests of time is generally the main reason why writers write.

By telling their stories, they may find insight that will benefit their readers.

In 2019, I participated as the Writer in Residence with the task of a Short Story Mentorship Program content creation intended to empower writers with the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively communicate their Short Story.

In 2019-2020, I served as GUEST EDITOR for WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. I have had the opportunity learn some lay-out and design techniques by formatting real Journals for publication. I have been fortunate to have various poems included in WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS.

I was granted the opportunity to serve as EDITORAL CONSULTANT, Writers Mentorship and Skills Development, for the 2019 BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL. I gained valuable insight into the poetry content judging process.

I have recently begun a novel project. I am excited to complete it one day soon.


3.      How many books have you published, briefly summarize your
published writings?

Courtesy of Google Photos

I created Echoes of Africa (a workbook) for an online mentorship program in partnership with Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign.This was a Creative Rhetoric for African Poets and Poets interested in creating and illustrating various perspectives through poetry. This was created for the poet wishing to express conflicts of consciousness and fairness with basic human rights for all, specifically, freedom of speech.I was able to discuss the definitions of many forms of poetry in the textbook The Making of a Poem.Echoes of Africa was a collection of composition and rhetoric articles with examples and illustrations with contemporary and updated poems that a reader may find in a current-day livelihood ruled by an oppressive regime.  All of the poems are fictious echoes, but my hope was that a student could develop their own style and create poems or lyrics.This is also in many ways a nod to Pink Floyd’s famous Echoes (Part 1 and Part 2.)I feel songs can evoke emotions and help people make sense of confusion.


4.      What are your artistic and human rights interventions during these
tumultuous times of COVID19?

Courtesy of PRI.ORG

With this uncertain threat mantling the world, we have finally found a common ground.On Facebook, I have followed many doctors without borders as they find their way home from a tour of duty, musicians echoing hopeful tones in the courtyards Italy, and the local news channels with daily death tolls.I have also been comforted by many artisans and performers that are actively engaging, entertaining, and inspiring our world with such generous selected readings and musical performances on social-media and other information outlets.I applaud all who have offered knowledge and talents in our time of need.I have created some poems that can illustrate some of the confusion that I have seen and felt on our inward journeys. I feel strongly that our separation has brought us closer as a people. We are one world. We share similar problems and conflicts. We can all live together and prosper in peace.My heart is with every life lost or touched by the shadows of this horrid virus known as COVID19, and the devastating upheavals left in its wake.


5.       What is your parting short to the Brave Voices Writing,
Activism and Poetry Family?

Courtesy of Tambira

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the Brave Voices Writing,
Activism and Poetry Family.
I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most influential voices of the world. I have also been positively influenced in my writing as well as my personal development.The Brave Voices Writing, Activism and Poetry Family has empowered me with an exciting glimpse into the possibilities of global communication and problem solving.Each and every member of the Team has given me a better understanding of not only writing, but living a happy and enriched life.


Iconic Tracy Yvonne Breazile

Tracy Yvonne Breazile is a Creative Thinker, Multi-Tasker and General Lover of LifeShe has worked in Media & Communication, Engineering & Architecture, Management & Business.Breazile has been granted the opportunity to serve as the 2020 Brave Voices Journal, Mentor in Residence.She would like to help people voice their feelings and attitudes about their conflicts and dilemmas through poetry.It is her hope that freedoms of speech encompass the entire globe.Her work has been published on and off the internet, in anthologies and interactive platforms.She served as EDITORAL CONSULTANT, Writers Mentorship and Skills Development, for the 2019 BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL.She is currently serving as GUEST EDITOR for WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS.She served as the 2018-2019 WRITERS MENTOR IN RESIDENCE as a Writer/Copy Specialist, with the ZIMBABWE WE WANT POETRY CAMPAIGN. She developed a handbook for use in FACEBOOK interactive platforms.She has always wanted to be a Writer.  She would like to help people voice their feelings and attitudes about their conflicts and dilemmas through writing.She has earned a B.A. in Language and Literature with an emphasis in Professional Writing, from COLUMBUS STATE (CSU, a member of the University System of Georgia, USA.)She is currently working on her first novel.Peace is her passion.

MEET THE BRAVE VOICES EDITOR

MBIZO CHIRASHA

 Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum  Deutschland,Germany. Alumni  of the International Human Rights  Arts Festival in New-York, USA.Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie.  Globaly Certified  Arts Mediums Curator and Influencer. Internationally Published Page and Spoken Word Poet. Writer in Residence.  Arts for Human Rights Catalyst.  Core Team Member of the Bezine Arts and Humanities Project. His illustrious poetry , hybrid writings , political commentary ,short fiction , book reviews  and Arts Features are published in more  than 400 spaces notably the Monk  Arts and Soul in  Magazine  in United Kingdom. Atunis Poetry.com in Belgium. Demer press poetry series in Netherlands. World Poetry Almanac in Mongolia.Poesia journal inSlovenia. Bezine Arts and Humanities Webzine in USA. The Poet a Day in Brooklyn ,USA. Litnet Writers Journal in South Africa. African Crayons in Nigeria. Poetry Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Pulp-pit USA.the FictionalCafe international Journal , Texas USA. Best New African Poetry series in Zimbabwe, Zimbolicious Poetry Collections in Zimbabwe. Co-edited Street Voices International Publications with Andreas Weiland  in Germany.Co-Edited  Silent Voices Anthology, a Tribute to Chinua Achebe. Co-Edited the Corpses of Unity,solidarity collection to victimzed Cameroonians with Nsah Mala. Curated and Edited the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry ,Inside Digraceland speaking poetic truth to the Mugabe regime and other bad regimes.  He owns the Time of  the Poet blog zine ,MIOMBOPUBLISHING that published the #GlobalCallforPeaceProject titled the Second of EARTH is Peace.A LETTER to the PRESIDENT his experimental  resistance poetry colection was released  in August 2019 by Mwanaka and Media Publishing.. Co- Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi with Sweta Vikram in India. Good Morning President his first poetry collection was published in 2011  by Zimbabwean published based in United Kingdom, Diaspora Publishers.COVID 19 Satansdeadly fart is forthcoming. Chirasha is  Founder  and the Chief Editor of Brave Voices Poetry Journal, https://bravevoicespress.home.blog/ and    WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS,https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/

A fist of DEFIANCE

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS#A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word -Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

INSIDE #RevolutionPoetryStudio with Literary Tigress Munia Khan

Courtesy of Google Photos

#BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL is maturing every season like the proverbial wine in old wine sacks. We are over- joyed to profile excellence, to archive prowess and to speak revolution. Today, WOMAWORDS #Founding eDitor #Mbizo Chirasha sat for a Tate to Tate with #Iconic Poetry Tigress of Bangladesh#MUNIA KHAN. An Acclaimed Poet of unmatchable standards. Her myriad of writings is the graffiti swag donned by Airport lounges. Amazingly, her poems are taglines carved on illustrious plaques of business malls across nations. The heave of her poesy is a valuable ingredient of oxygen for digital thickets of our times. Her lyrical dexterity is a thirst -quenching refreshment to literary famished souls. Her pen is a blazing gun roasting unrepentant -pseudo revolutionary cockerels squandering earthly treasures in barricaded pizzerias and skyscraper official-doms without restraint. Her voice is a chant of defiance. Her poetic ink bathes cheap propaganda zealots into clean disciples of truth. Her revolutionary pen is a whip lashing at corruption hardened bottoms of political imbeciles drunk with fake ideological cocaine. Her writings are a soul song to the living and departed. #Legendary. 

#Our Vision 2020 is a signal for our giant step into literary arts culture stardom. Together WE Rise, #BRAVE Voices Press eDitor.

Courtesy of Google photos

INSIDE #REVOLUTIONPOETRYSTUDIO

BVP. You are one hardworking writer poet and internationally acclaimed,

What motivates your writings?

A REVOLUTION CHANT

# In the beginning, when I was about 9 years old, my one and only elder sister Fauzia Haque used to write a lot of satirical fun poems and she was my ever first inspiration for poetry writing. I began to write little rhyme back then. Later during my teen days, I started writing poems for my friends as little gifts on their birthdays and other occasions. Initially, my adoration towards my family and friends motivated my writing, but those were all unpublished poems many of which I’ve lost completely. After the year 2009 I became very serious in writing as I started to publish my work in various online poetry forums. In course of time, now everything around me motivates my writing- human behavior, beauty of nature, natural disaster, animal kingdom, miseries of life and living, my joyful days and happy memories – all things inspire me to write. And last but not the least, my passion and enthusiasm for writing motivates my writings.  

Students In Bangladesh Protest In Solidarity With Jamia Millia ...
Courtesy of HuffPost , India

BVP. How are your human rights standards in Bangladesh and how do you respond to human rights crisis as a poet artist writer?

 # As far as the fundamental rights are concerned, Bangladesh has been always very active ensuring it to its citizens- especially non-governmental organizations have been playing a vital role to navigate human rights crisis with much positive approach. Even though in Part III (Article 26-44) of the Constitution of Bangladesh human rights have been guaranteed, it requires more enforcement retaining democratic values. The commencement of a new Act in 2009, Act No.53 of 2009 (which was to establish National Human Rights Commission) 11 years ago, was a very fruitful step and it paved the way to a national advocacy institution for human rights protection and promotion in Bangladesh which included Bangladesh’s commitment to international human rights law.

During my working period with the law firm in Dhaka, I dealt with human rights cases where with suggested legal remedy fundamental rights were established. But not that it was always a success in a dark world filled with corruption and bribery, to be honest. Therefore, a country needs to be less corrupted (I’m saying ‘less corrupted’ because a state, totally devoid of corruption is a mere dream in this part of the world) in order to raise its human rights standard to a higher level. As an author and poet, I have always written poems and articles in protest of the dark and in support of the aggrieved people suffering from human rights’ violation. Hence, life is no bed of roses as everyone says and people still suffer…and we poets, we try and try and we will keep trying to make this earth a better place.

Courtesy of Google photos

BVP. How many books have you written so far and is the market faring for you?

Book Cover of Attainable

# So far, I have written one electronic book and five physical books amongst which the book titled ‘Attainable’ is an inspirational non-fiction dedicated to the people of the world.

Beyond the Vernal Mind

I don’t think much about how many of my books are being sold, rather I concentrate on how many readers I have of my books because acceptance of my writing to the readers is very important to me. By God’s grace I am blessed that readers appreciate my work. I have not spent any money yet for the marketing of my past and present books. Those who like my work are always kind enough to buy a copy of my book.

Fireclay by Munia Khan

BVP.  Who are your female poets living and passed on?

An Interview with Tarfia Faizullah
Tarfia Faizullah photo Courtesy of Paris Review, One of Munia KHANs best Poet.

#Tarfia Faizullah and Alicia E Stallings I love so much amongst the living poets and Sylvia Plath, Stevie Smith and Emily Dickinson from the classic time.

Sylvia Plath | Poetry Foundation
Sylvia Plath Photo courtesy of Poetry Foundation.

BVP. What are your social or cultural interventions to the vulnerable?

during these COVID 19 times?

Coronavirus: Bangladesh mass prayer event prompts alarm - BBC News
MassPrayer against COVID19 ,Courtesy of BBC

# Staying at home by following and maintaining one’s city rules of precaution on COVID19 is the best thing everyone should do. At least I have been doing it. And indeed we should not be panicked. Nothing much we can do about it because behind this lethal pandemic something else (political) is hidden. If we call this entire world “one nation”, Covid disaster is indeed a real genocide.    

 BVP.  Have you ever written for women? What’s your major concern about

women and girls in military states and war torn zones like Sudan and

other countries?

Sudan: After years of conflict, millions require aid; But is the ...
A Photo of Sudanese war Refugees, Courtesy of UNNews-United Nations

# Yes, I have written poems, stories and articles on women. As far as women’s rights are concerned, I appreciate feminism. Through my work of writing I try, as much as I can, to extend my hands of support and care to the oppressed women in the world.  

With bombing and ground attack destroying schools and clinics is the most common devastation in war torn zones or military states, and even more common calamity is the assault of every kind on women and girls. Government forces, rebels and other armed men have been brutal abusing women: that includes evil deeds like burning women alive and serving their limbs and also girls and women are the victims of corporal punishments like stoning or flogging. To talk about Sudan, violation of women’s rights spread across the country, not only it is limited in the conflict zones. According to a report given by OXFAM 65% of women and girls have experienced sexual violence and physical assault and 73% girls missing out of school in South Sudan and in Yemen gender-based violence for women and children increased by 63%in the past few years. 

A continuum of suffering: violence against women and girls in the ...
Courtesy of Humanitarian Practice Network

Security council of every war-ridden state or country should take strong initiative to stop this savage physical violence. The condemnation should be publicly announced. Even I, living in a South Asian country, can feel from miles away the misery, hardship and horror of those war victim-women-and-girls in Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen and other countries. In this world of globalization, we, writers must assist them through our words of care and also, we should donate to the charitable organizations to aid the victims. 

Courtesy of LifeSavvy

#A POETRY REFRESHMENT from Legendary #MUNIA KHAN

Perfect Fake Blood - Easiest Recipe Ever | Experiments | Steve ...
Courtesy of Spangler Science

‘STAIN OF BLOOD’

She is a stain of blood on the wall

On the wall in a prison cell

A verdict of soul-slaughter

on the grounds of a provocative swell

This ancient wall of judgment

here firmly made of stone

And it shows mercy everyday

as she stays on it to atone

She’s getting darker in time,

to soak blackening depth of red

As her sense is no more,

 evidence slain under the bed

Dangling her hopeless bones

in a nearby woods of dreams

Skull given to the physicians;

she still can hear the screams

She is a bloodstain on the wall

On the wall of a darkest jail

In this crooked world’s slammer

A confinement to avail

Frustrated adventurousness of youth

springs from nowhere

She may forgive her becoming a stain,

if only her soul craves for the fair!

A big hand for Mandela: artist reveals giant portrait | The ...
Courtesy of the INDEPENDENT

NAME OF THE LEGEND’

(An Acrostic tribute to Nelson Mandela)

Name of the legend

Echoed eternally

Luminous forever through

South African sun

One glorious soul shines

Nelson Mandela!

Millions of living hearts

Always will ache for this

Nobel peace prize winner

Death itself now mourns for

Each of his sacred deeds

Leader he remains restoring

All colors, peace and love!

MUNIA KHAN ,Bangladeshs Poetic Tigress

# MUNIA KHAN was born on a spring night of 15th March in the year 1981. She enjoys her journey to the literary world. Most of her works are poems of different genres, short stories and articles. She  authored  four poetry collections and one non-fiction inspirational book : ‘Beyond The Vernal Mind’ (Published from USA, 2012), ‘To Evince The Blue’ (Published from USA, 2014), ‘Versified’ (Published from Tel Aviv, Israel, 2016) and ‘Fireclay’ ( Published from USA, 2020) and ‘Attainable’ ( USA, 2 June, 2020). Her 6th book called ‘The Half Circle’ will be released later this year. Her works have been translated into various languages: Japanese, Romanian, Urdu, Italian, Dutch, Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Albanian, Finnish, Greek, Indonesian, Hindi, Turkish, Arabic, Bengali and in Irish language. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, literary journals, magazines and in newspapers.

#MEET THE BRAVE VOICE PRESS Chief Editor

MBIZO CHIRASHA, the Projects Curator and Founder of BRAVE VOICES PRESS

MBIZO CHIRASHA is 2020 Freedom of Speech/Literary Arts Activism Culture Fellow at PEN-Zentrum Deutschland, Germany. Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café
(International publishing and literary digital space) USA . 2019 Sotambe
Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African
Fellow for the International Human Rights Art
Festival(https://ihraf.org/international-fellows ) , Essays
Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts
Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .Featured Writer
Poet Activist at The Poet A Day(https://jamiededes.com/). Core Team
Member and African Contributor to Bezine of Arts and
Humanities(https://thebezine.com/) in USA. Flash/Short Fiction Writer
for Squawk Back
Publication(http://www.thesquawkback.com/2020/01/mbizo.html).Contributing
Writer( Africa) to IHRAF
Publishes-https://ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes. African Contributor to the 2020 BlackWell Poetry Pamphlet of Oxford School of Poetry, UK. Hybrid Writings Contributor to Pulp-Pit Review, USA.The Originator of the
Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Curator of MiomboPublishing Blog
Journal(https://miombopublishing.wordpress.com/). Founder and Chief
Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS(https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/about/) . Founder and Curator of the Brave
Voices Poetry Journal(https://bravevoicespress.home.blog/). Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal
collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by
Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in
Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book
Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac
Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental
poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and
Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at
African Books Collective. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the
Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009
Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture
and Development (ICACD) in Ghana. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO-
Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015
Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and
Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary
arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of
Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen
Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human
Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer,
publicist is published in more 400 spaces in print and online

                                                     

Germany PEN
Fist of Defiance

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS#A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word -Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression.

In Partnership with thebezine.com, Arts and Humanities Publication.
Hand in glove with ihraf.org

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS marks the beginning of a new literary arts revolution .Its birthmarks are resistance and resilience. We sling words of resistance to dictatorship , super-power arrogance and to cantankerous cancerous autocratic systems. Wielding pens of resilience to crude-corrupt governments and unrepentant cash barons and war-lords in Africa and beyond.

WE CHANT RESISTANCE!

A FIST OF DEFIANCE,Together We can*
PING WANG published 12 books of poetry, prose, and translation had many multi-media solo exhibits. She’s recipient of NEA, Bush, Lannan and McKnight Fellowships. She’s the founder/director of the Kinship of Rivers project. She teaches Creative Writing as a Professor of English, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.

*Click Prof WANG PING link on top and listen to the heart raving verses in this visual -audio beat**

A Chant of Resistence

This special EDition is a revolutionary chant against the menacing cantankerous demonic , satanic COVID 19. And again doubles as a bold and poetic supplication to the great Almighty God to release us off this pandemic bondage. This Edition is a poetically driven spiritual prayer for freedom of expression and freedom after expression. It carries turgid metaphors, succulent with meaning, rich of reason, accompanied with amazing verbal bravado slinged from defiant weapons of literary combatants.   This edified special journal reflects inclusivity, exclusivity and diversity.  We are also featuring #Winning Poems of the 2019 Inaugural Poetry Contest coupled with Judges verdicts. Despite these tumultuous times, we cheer and fervently ululate hard work done by our Jury team members notably Dr. Michael Dickel (Head Judge from Jerusalem, Israel) and his iconic team, Author Omwa Ombara (USA), Poet James Coburn (Oklahoma, USA) and our Prolific Writer Tracy Yvonne Breazile. Freedom Voices Poetry winners, first Prize Adesina Ajala (Nigeria), second Prize, Chrispah Munyoro (Zimbabwe), third Prize winner Christopher Kudyahakudadirwe are already part of   the Brave Voices Combatants of Mass Instruction as our bold step to nurture talent and cultivating literary prowess. Unfortunately, we still owe them their monetary prizes. We are still working on mending that motivational gap. Another rich ingredient of special  journal is the inclusion of prolific poets from the https://thebezine.com/project-tag/jamie-dedes/ Be Zine ,Arts  and  Humanities  Poetry month Edition  edited and coordinated by our Versatile literary Arts Activism Partner Jamie Dedes and  our Poetry Chef  Michael Dickel . Brave Voices Press compliments the Bezine s bold response to the tumultuous COVID19 pandemic. A special mention goes  to Professor Poet Wang Ping with her captivating visual poetry delivery.

#OUTSTANDING #

Before we graze through this great literary offing. Let’s observe a minute of silence for the passing on of my biological MOTHER, Sylvia Maposa on the 29th of March 2020. Rest in the Warmth of godly Embrace beloved Goddess of all Times.  

          We chant  RESISTANCE !  – BRAVE VOICES Editor

SECTION A # A BOLD CHANT AGAINST THE SATANIC COVID19

*(Hair raising poetic chants against COVID 19 and blood raving verses unraveling the LOCKDOWNS farce)*

Michael Ancher, “The Sick Girl”, 1882, Statens Museum for Kunst / Public domain photograph courtesy of Michael Peter Ancher*

#UNWELCOMED#

Corona, stop digging your heels deep

at the junction of our fortitude

fanning our fear from your nostrils

even as you coax to be embraced

by outstretched arms of nonchalance

Flags are raised to our hospitality

but the raging noise of your silence

broke the calabash holding our today

while your hideous facelessness

rush us to mask our vulnerabilities

Bid us farewell now, we beseech you

your fire has roasted the ‘furrah’*

we sacrificed to our hungry ancestors

in your gluttony, you consumed

kolanuts left for welcomed spirits

Corona, leave our farmhouses now

even while the thatch is up in flames

we will run down to our river of hope

to fetch water to put out your memory

forbid not your stench graze in our lungs

#Unwelcomed

 

SAMUELLA J. CONTEH is from Sierra Leone, West Africa. CONTEH is a writer, poet, dramatist and motivational speaker. She is a member of the Sierra Leone Writers Forum and Member of Board of PEN-SL.  President of the International African Writers Association in Sierra Leone.Samuella’s poems and short stories have been featured in several national and international anthologies. She has also received many awards including the Medal of Ambassador de Literature (ADL), Award of World Poetic Star, Award of Mahatma Medal, and most recently, the Order Of Shakespeare (OOS).

COVID 19 VIRUS

THE SKEAN

Boomeranged, the skean slashed, unseen like phosgene on
the terrene, unforeseen unseen, it ripped smothered innocent
breathers, hundreds at once, to thousands in seconds.

Ominous signs forewarned, scary ghostly widespread happening
suspended in the blue expanses a cloudy white sinister skull trailing
horrifically, manifested across boundless, beyond measure,

unknown, space disturbed, restless undines sensed strange miracles in
ocean fathoms-staggering, half-clad, barefooted, marginalized living
bodies, swayed in dizzy drunken states,

dozing, drowning in Shebeen, for uncounted times, now fully wayward,
drifting, stepping, sinking in dunes, sliding aimlessly, what hopes
for humanity when denes destroyed by humanity itself?

Habitats erased mercilessly and clear silver streams
filled with propylene. No Hippochrine in soul and spirit awakens here,
silence the tambourines, smoke not the dudeen,

Sunk to Lethe lust and greed, oblivious of love kindness and good deeds
why to animal level have humans fallen? Believing not The One Unseen?
Now fearing this—though invisible?

The world in speed, metamorphosed  by tiny  Covid-19—enforcing equity—
knows not rank nor caste, nor color nor creed, nor walls nor wires of any
country, nor age nor gender nor family.

Humanity now on a single plane, no one to lose or gain, death is ordained
for rich or poor, dark or fair, all belong here, shrouds no pockets have, just
fabric layers—

Covid-19—with fear you conquer but one strong weapon will win over you,
Humans have faith and prayer, good deeds and Hope—
Hope is their strength—with Hope the pandemic will surely end.

© 2020, Anjum Wasim Dar

Born in Srinagar (Indian Occupied )Kashmir,Migrant Pakistani.Educated at St Anne’s Presentation Convent Rawalpindi. MA in English MA in History ( Ancient Indo-Pak  Elective) CPE Cert.of Proficiency in English Cambridge UK. -Dip.TEFL AIOU Open Uni. Islamabad Pakistan.Writing poems articles and stories since 1980.Published  Poet.Awarded Poet of Merit Bronze Medal  2000 USA .Worked as Creative Writer Teacher Trainer.  Educational Consultant by Profession.Published Poet.Author of 3 Adventure Novels (Series)  7 Times Winner NANOWRIMO 2011- 2014

Courtesy of VOX

LOCKDOWN


Bronchi- and alveoli-seeking respiratory droplets
Float on the air, a nightmare of guided munitions
Always a reckoning when such assassins are loosed,
And now the vineyard of joy is dead and gated, the
Elders are on lockdown, prisoners of COVID-19,
Of a government that moves too slowly, and this
Virus that moves with speed, children sent home
From school, the workers forced from their jobs, a
Run on TP, tissues and hand sanitizers, breezes
Caressing the face, now just a memory like love
And blisses, handshakes and bracing bear-hugs
Like social networking of the off-line variety

Originally published in Jamie Dedes’ The Poet by Day Webzine  

Founding Editor The Poet a Day

JAMIE DEDES curates The Poet by Day, and am a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. The Poet by Day [jamiededes.com] is an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights. Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments. I am also the founding editor of “The BeZine” and manage all associated activities. Email: bardogroup@gmail.com

EARTHQUAKE AND DEVASTATION

Shaken earth weeps
floods of ice in all lands,
attempts to cleanse itself.

We diseased cells have
metastasized, eaten
its forbidden flesh,
perforated its bones.

What it cannot shake
off it sweeps away
with wind and rain,
or burns off in fires.

Glaciers wear down
what remains. Everything
known is now extinct.

Only new forms will emerge,
scathed and transformed
by death, cancerous greed,
into fallen-Phoenix grace.

An earlier version of this poem appeared in The BeZine, Summer 2018. It is part of a selected and new poems collection with the working title, Necropolis. It is presented here as a metaphor for the pandemic.

International Poetry Chef.

MICHAEL DICKEL, co-managing editor of The BeZine, has writing and art in print and online in many venues. His poetry has won the international Reuben Rose Poetry Award  and been translated into several languages. His latest collection of poetry Nothing Remembers, came out in 2019 from Finishing Line Press, and received 3rd place for poetry in the Feathered Quill Book Awards–2020. A poetry chap book, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism, came out in 2017; The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, a flash fiction collection, came out in 2016. Previous books: War Surrounds Us (2014), Midwest / Mid-East (2012), and The World Behind It, Chaos… (2009). He co-edited Voices Israel Volume 36, was managing editor for arc-23 and -24, and is a past-chair of the Israel Association of Writers in English. With producer / director David Fisher, he received a U.S.A. National Endowment of Humanities documentary-film development grant. He currently is a lecturer at David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem, Israel.

SO ENTICING ,SO DELECTIBLE

Just think about it please, and don’t worry a bit
As no one lasts that long anyways, but here’s the
Scoop, I am still here, and so glad to know you
Are still here, but then, what can we make of
All those who now are not here, and somehow
I’d like to be acquainted with all of you who have
Up and left us, in spite of all the care and love of
Everyone who hoped to save you, and all you
Who probably inhaled the wrong wisp of air
That promised an early death to you and all
Those close to you, and this is what we all
Wonder about, as we try to go about wondering
How in the heck did any of us every plan for
Something as wicked and invasive as something
Like this, and nobody, nobody ever wants this
To keep dropping people, some of whom are
As close to us as a wife, or a loved one, or our
Dear grandparents who we love so much but
Are now gasping for air, and wondering who
Just now breathed this deadly gasp of air
Which now has infected almost all of us who
Seem to not have any idea that we’re
On the way out, even though most of us
Had hoped for a lovely evening with all
Of us, gathered around a plate of such
Delectables what we all so wanted to
Taste and savor and toast to our beautiful
Loved ones, who we simply cannot imagine
Not being here tomorrow, as we’re now
At the crematorium, wondering why Julie
And Maurice are now measuring just how
High the temperature is to send all of us who
Know how flesh will slowly sear to invisibility
Into what’s left of ash and bone, and possibly
We’ll be there too, in just a few days, as
Nobody really knows who’s coughed and
Sprayed so many unknown travelers that
Sooner or later, as in, pretty soon, you and
Perhaps even me, well, we’re all going to
End up as ash and bone, and nobody will
Ever remember any of this in even a few
Years, but isn’t this what everybody predicted,
That sooner or later, all of us would inhale
Someone else, and then we’d be the un-
Fortunate one who stopped breathing
In only a few minutes, and no one no one
Knew exactly what had just happened
Even though no one no one really expected
Something like this, for even the neighbors
Asked, are you okay, and of course, no one could
Even wonder that no one no one was okay as all
Of us, or most of us, will leave the earth for ever
And no one no one wanted any of this to happen
Except for a small harmless creature as so few
Knew anything about was harvested for its flesh,
And then, quite surprisingly, we all just died
Just like that, sometimes in a matter of just
A few minutes, and how, how could that
Be something we thought was so cute, so
Charming, so delectable, so enticing, so now?

Poetry Professor

DeWITT CLINTON is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood. Recent poems of his have appeared in The Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry, Santa Fe Literary Review, Verse-Virtual, New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, Diaphanous Press, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, The Arabesques Review, Lowestoft Chronicle, The New Reader Review, The Bezine, The Poet by Day, Poetry Hall, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Across the Margin. He has two poetry collections from New Rivers Press, a recent collection of poems, At the End of the War, (Kelsay Books, 2018), and another is in production from Is A Rose Press, a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.

Courtesy of VOX

THE WORLD AS A TERROR FIELD

World as a Terror-Field
Think of those sunflower petals
Flying away so yellow in a golden light
Think of the anarchists’ red shirts
Pungent in Guadalajara, overt and blood-drenched,
Think of you this sunny morning receiving a spam email
Threatening to contaminate your whole house with Coronavirus.
There is no safe place anymore to dream of La La Land.
We can be reached anywhere and pulled and tugged,
Unhinged even from the safety of our soul.

I think of Virginia Woolf having coffee, her mind,
Measuring the world of decades, stirring the sugar in her coffee.
It’s as though her mind-place reached around the world.
At a glance, with her word nest intact.
Now, we are within walls polished so transparent,
Our souls close like an x-ray’s light, all seen into.

There’s a terror of no intimacy, leaking passwords and invasive viruses.
Megabytes of someone else’s knowing
When all we need is what we know
Curse those who disparage the robin
Plucking away, the stalwart bluejay.
Curse those who say we don’t matter
Anyway, any way.


Literary Combatant blowing away oppression*

LINDA E. CHOWN, grew up in Berkeley, Ca. in the days of action. Civil Rights arrests at Sheraton Palace and Auto Row.  BA UC Berkeley Intellectual History; MA Creative Writing SFSU; PHd Comparative Literature University of Washington. Four books of poetry. Many poems published on line at Numero Cinq, Empty Mirror, The Bezine, Dura, Poet Head and others. Many articles on Oliver Sachs, Doris Lessing, Virginia Woolf, and many others. Twenty years in Spain with friends who lived through the worst of Franco. I was in Spain (Granada, Conil and Cádiz) during Franco’s rule, there the day of his death when people took to the streets in celebration. Interviewed nine major Spanish Women Novelists, including Ana María Matute and Carmen Laforet and Carmen Martín Gaite.

         

Courtesy of New York Magazine

SEEKING GREENER PASTURES IN SYMPTOMS THAT FEVER ME

in my dark moments, i am a wild night eating a blind bat whose belly button is untidy.
my silence a broken hourglass, i plot every breath & mouth into it—to create plastic suspense,
to know how echoes die in an empty room crammed with silence.

i sneeze my childhood into rubber toys,
a girl’s anime, broken arms, a detached thigh.
i make to assemble them,
but it humpty-dumpties into a fresh past.

i carry my absence like the sky’s white stretch marks,
& the moon holds my resemblance in the dark.
the clouds here do not stay woke if it’s not an indian boy dying,
this is where i alarm myself in red.

nature files my fingernails into an arc where a whitlow quarantines me,
looking for the symptoms that fever me.
the fingers are the most populated things our body ever nurtured so much,
that we sometimes forget to observe it census.

fate delays my visa in a world seeking greener pastures too.
life reshuffles my luggage,
& a century prays me into a quick recovery.

Nnadi SAMUEL is a twenty-year-old graduate of English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published in Artifact, Inverse Journal, Awakening Review, The Collidescope, Jams & Sand and other online and digital journals. He was shortlisted in the annual Poet’s Choice writing and was the second prize winner of the EOPP 2019 contest. If he is not writing, you find him burning meals in search of his muse.

She/Heroes and Heroes at work

S/HEROES

Like swat teams, they sleep on the ready,
Never asking why or how,
Hearts worn on the giving hands,
The most unlikely of places you find them giving ,
The most precarious of spaces you find their hands extended,
Working beyond the call of duty and convenience,
Putting one tired foot ahead of another spasming in numbness,
Men and women life has got dependent on,
Even as few among us ‘ only look to the self,’
Time of the double digit year that rose with a cold and runs with the heat,
Unsung saints have crashed from the weight of humanity’s needs,
Undocumented stretches of giving and then some more,
Going the extra mile on fumes and the indomitable spirit of humanity,
Men and women beyond professional duties riding the waves of disastrous contacts to save a life,
Human angels filling the emptiness of commercial shelves with basics upon a cold night,
Medics walking on slippery quarrantine quarters to offer hope to a lone sufferer,
What of that ambulance man who last slept last week?
And the nurse whoses duty goes beyond administration of bandages into listening and a reassuring voice?
What of the old man who goes shopping on your behalf because you can’t?
The bedridden mum of three calling to cheer you up as your nose runs red,
What of that ‘highway man’ without a home and now down with flu,
His best shot would have been a blue look but for that lady berieved recently,
Times and seasons have a rhythm and a tune all it’s it’s own,
For the hurricane of worry that COVID 19 has thrust amidst humanity,
One thing has come up for sure,
Man is capable of being a human being for sure,
Discarding old habits and biases to stand and be counted,
To help within means and beyond those most in need,
And as the world sighs deeply with the burden of sick and dying,
Heros rise every day to perform tasks that make all proud,
It’s to such deeds and acts of kindly giving,
That tells earth is habitat of man,
A hard-work of a loving deity,
Once lost but now found,
At a time when such heroism is indeed needed.
Names may be forgotten but not the acts,
Time will pass and this monster conquered,
But let the lessons forever stay,
That with love, nothing is too hard to gain,
And that we are strongest,
When we are a brother’s keeper.
S/HEROS everywhere,
May you never lack a supporting hand while you live.
Yours, too, shall be tended by the seeds you tend today.

African Poetic Lioness*

NANCY NDEKE is the Associate Editor of Liberated Voices,  a Poet of international acclaim, and a reputable literary arts consultant. Her writings and her poetry are featured in several collections, anthologies and publications around the globe including the American magazine Wild Fire, Save Africa Anthology. World Federation of Poets in Mexico. Ndeke is a Resident Contributor of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal since mid-2018. African Contributor to the DIFFERENT TRUTHS, a publication that sensitizes the world on the plight of Autism edited by Aridham Roy. SAVE AFRCA ANTHOLOGY, edited by Prof. Dave Gretch of Canada and reviewed by Joseph Spence Jr., has featured her poetry and a paper on issues afflicting Africa and Africans. Nancy’s Amazon Page is HERE.

LOVE IN TIME OF CORONA

Yea, though I sit in the shadow of Corona
Watching the talking heads spew new rules
From a flickering screen two meters away
Thou shalt not congregate in groups more than ten
And thou shalt not hug or kiss anybody else.
Then I got to thinking about the people
I’ve hugged and kissed over the years
And thought I’d better make a list before I forgot
But then I thought of you, all of a sudden,
The thrill of you that rippled through my body
The shiver of warmth and coolness,
The seconds that spilled through my fingers
Though I tried to save them from oblivion,
How they rolled away like balls of mercury
Disappearing between the floorboards of a dark room.
I put the list down, still blank, on the desk,
And the darkness reached into the room
Through the window, replacing the afternoon light.

The Poetic Tiger*

MIKE STONE (Uncollected Works) was born in Columbus Ohio, USA, in 1947. He lived in San Diego and Chicago. Mike played clarinet and saxophone in his high school marching band, dance band, and concert band. He also composed music. He started out with a Fine Arts major but then graduated from Ohio State University with a BA in Psychology. He served in both the US Army (stationed in Germany) and the Israeli Defense Forces. Mike has traveled throughout Europe and to several Arab countries. Mike has been writing poetry since he was a student at OSU. He has published four books of poetry (The Uncollected WorksYet another Book of PoetryBemused, and Call of the Whippoorwill), a book of essays, and four science fiction novels (The Tin ManThe Rats and the SapsWhirlpool, and Out of Time).

Get it delivered

If you can’t come to us, we’ll go to you.

CORONA VIRUS LOCK DOWNS( A Powerful hybrid presentation from Kentucky , USA)*


The scurrilous virus is serenading the world with conquistador songs of victims in their imprisonment and captivity.Oh, dearest virus my moon stills shine and my midnight strolls are my sanctuary.An origin from a fish market, bio-warfare, punishments for human’s blackened hearts, or perchance Doom’s Day to terminate all living life ,do tell are animals in zoos also being contaminated? Now we live in containment or as verbally shouted lockdown.

Some part of the world ,

Oh, dearest virus ,my Almighty hears our prayers regarding the strive of the inhabitants of the world.Is it hilarious was your heart nefarious when you laughed at others?Do you still laugh? Positive cases increase, but without grace, did it cross your mind that you initially glared at the ones you deemed inferior?

Oh, dearest virus your deleterious behaviors will never master an ecstatic and delirious ending.Perchance, the lucky victims are bored or lonely. The homeless ones, peasants, impoverished ones, untouchables, members of lower caste system, victims of unimaginable nightmares from wars, abusive situations, rape, prostituting children and women, elder abuse, the mentally and physical unhealthy were never appropriately cared for.

Oh, dearest virus you have opened our eyes and hearts to the suffering in the world.There are many politicians, religious leaders, philanthropists, and humanists in the news espousing love and assistance to the sick and needy, but why isn’t it ever amended?

Oh, dearest virus thanks for the reason we are evolving; perhaps leaders around the world will lead the rehab of terminating unfairness of humanity.Lockdown, physically and mentally, is an unexpected way of life for many around the world. Was it ever expected that greed would lead the actions and calculations of the living?

Oh, dearest virus, we are Spiritual, we are the morning sunlight, we are bequeathed with God’s light and love.Loneliness, loss of jobs, financial fears, uptick in domestic abuse, deaths worldwide, hospitalizations and no visitors, funerals with no loved ones in attendance, fear of strangers in the grocery stores, and tales of greediness overloading by exploiting fears.

Oh, dearest virus there are also tender stories of couples and families enhancing their relationships with the renewal of what once was with unfailingly optimism and physical energy.The Coronavirus has created a vacuum between people and people contacts, but the need of the hour is to find out solutions on social and economic front.

Oh, dearest virus nothing is in our control; it is all in the hands of a Superior Power, our Creator. He is all Omnipotent.

Ever cheerful Weaver of Reflections*

MELISSA BEGLEY ,I am from the South in the USA, but have lived in many states and abroad. My friends and colleagues have encouraged me to become a writer for the reason I have a wild imagination and that I am deemed as pleasantly eccentric. Magically, the past couple of years the manifestation of poets and authors have entered into my world. The individuals that are distinguished and honorable wordsmiths convert words into the magnificent power of describing heartlessness, tragedy, hate, love, war, poverty, unfairness, humor, pain, and wisdom. My background is in the healthcare industry and I served as a Patient Advocate, trainer for new employees to be Patient Centered and Patient Focused, and my favorite assignment was the backup Elder Navigator.

SALESMAN NIGHTMARES

AK47 assault rifles bristling like porcupine quills,

You see them riding in 30-car motorcades

Always surrounded by half drugged zombies

Masquerading as bodyguards of fat bodies.

You see them strutting on resplendent podiums

Like newly matured cockerels ready for a claw-fight

With those who dare to challenge their positions.

They smooth-talk unsuspecting foreign ambassadors

While wooing those ululating to their bigotry.

You see them in the AU chambers in Addis Ababa

Headphones bracketing their heads as if listening

To the cries of those whose death they sanctioned,

Those they left being murdered by their insecurity forces

Before coming to innocently attend this summit.

They are ever creating problems for us citizens

Then they create other problems to deal

With the first problems they created –

The cycle goes on and on and on …

When will the sun of true governance rise?

What lessons have citizens learnt in all this?



Third Prize Winner, Freedom Voices Poetry Contest

CHRISTOPHER KUDYAHADADIRWE is a Zimbabwean freelance writer, poet and photographer living and working in South Africa. He recently published a collection of short stories entitled The Big Noise and Other Noises. His poems have been published in an anthology entitled Harvest: The University of the Western Cape Masters in Creative Writing Poetry Anthology 2016 and various magazines in and outside South Africa. He holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of the Western Cape. He is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at UWC.

*CHUKU*

I wear my chuku like a crown,

I wear my skin like a gown,

I wear my feet like a heel,

I don’t care what you feel.

I am the universal topic,

The radiant Rose of the tropic.

I am the warriors pride,

The duty of the mandinkas tribe.

I am the ancient culture,

Pestilence born and resilience nurtured.

I am the African beauty,

The real essence of purity.

I wear my heritage so proud,

I tell you my name so loud.

I am the Jewel of the wild,

I am known far and wide.

I wear my shackle like bangles,

I wear my scars like spangles.

I wear my stench like perfume,

I don’t care if it makes you fume.

*chuku* this is a simple braids popular in the west African community.

Brave Voices Associate in Nigeria

FRANCIS OTOLE is a Nigerian poet, from the middle belt region of Benue state. He is an avid reader and lover of books. A graduate, from the prestigious Benue state university.He is an educationalist, a researcher, an academician, a philanthropist, a scholar (Chaucerian) and a pro earth; lover of nature and humanity.A passionate poet with many poems to his credit, with literary contributions, commendations and awards; locally and internationally.Has featured in magazine, journals and anthologies; internationally and a recipient of many international awards.

CORONA VIRUS

LIVING BY THE CODE

      

Day in, day out

We breathe by the sacred code

The code that enslaves us all

The holy code, we embrace

With pride, we drink  its airs

By the code, we fight your battles

Wars you provoke only to chicken from

Fights you start without finishing

The fists and blows you throw

Yet using as us shields

It’s the code we vow to obey

Deserting our weeping babies defenseless

Ignoring pleas from loved ones

Only to fight your wars

The wars you create for personal gain

Now, this green monster

Devouring the old and young

The powerful and the wretched

Munching fresh to the bone

Sucking out the breath of life

Creating hell on earth

We shiver that we shake

As   trees in  a heavy storm

Bathed in hot tears

Eyes heavy with multiple sleep

gaged against the badly bad winds

Fear gripping these once gallant tendons

Courage, valour melted into nothing

Reduced to mere nitwits

Pride and decency washed down

The bitter stream of modesty

Choking on own saliva

Breaths counting down each second

A million swords slicing the insides

Slowly engulfed in a dark crowd

Forced into the lonely dark pits

(For all noble medical personnels died in a battle against Covid-19)

FRANK KALIATI

A Malawian, aged 28. A secondary school teacher by profession ( Teaching English Literature and Language). Poetry has always been his passion since my student days in secondary school. Currently, I’m teaching at Chikowa Community Day Secondary School in Neno, Malawi.

slums

PHANTOM OF GHETTO

Life in the ghetto is a parable

The streets tell a tale: how the people wail

The young rowing their boats in the tears of the old

Stalking a life from the traces of tears on their fathers’ cheeks

Rowing forth with their hands for the oars

Everything they do spelling a ghetto their fathers bemoan

Popping pills, smoking weed

While drinking the dirty politics of the day

Because the price of beer is beyond ghetto

A cent is spent to buy a spark

Darkness is to us the light

Day is night and night is an extension of our day

The lines on my father’s face speak of a better ghetto

The houses they built exist as a say so

When they scribbled their names in graffiti

It was to say, this ghetto is my home

When we bow to the sewages in the ghetto

It is our way of saying;

This ghetto was once my father’s pride

When they ask of ghetto don’t give them a picture from my father’s gallery

Tell them its where poverty resides

We miss the ghetto we live in

A life was crucified at night

Not what we have but what we know

When the people woke up

There was no ghetto to live in only but the houses they built

There is no power in the ghetto, life is a black out

The wolves move their pawns at night

When the sun comes out, another piece of life is out of sight

Our taps denying us just a drop to wash away the dirt on the streets

All future is bleak

With the youths popping pills,

Smoking weed while drinking the vile of politics

A loafer’s day is done with the setting sun

Nameless Radio Station*

EDWARD DZONZE is a Zimbabwean born writer whose drop of ink comes to shame the dark shades of African existence .He writes from his ghetto residence of Budiriro in Harare .He is a published author with three tittles to his name; Many Truths Told at Once;  Wisdom Speaks and Breakfast with Marechera .His fourth poetry collection ;Shades of Black is set to hit the galleries soon .He have contributed to more than 15 anthologies and journals across the globe .He is currently working on his fifth poetry collection ; Here We Stand.

Get it delivered

If you can’t come to us, we’ll go to you.

IMAGINATION ( A tale by Miroslava Panayotova)
‘Hello’ , said the flower. ‘How are you? Are you fine? How about the celebrations?’ ‘I’m fine, thanks. And the celebrations are OK. All is good. Life is wonderful.’ ‘Really? What about the truth? Is there a truth in these actions you did?’ ‘Oh, there is always meaning in all of my actions. I always know what I have to do.’ ‘Do not forget that the meaning is not in the actions but in your attitude to them.’ ‘Thank you, dear flower. You know that people are imperfect.’ ‘Yes, I know. How could I forget this! The examples of this are everywhere.’ Don’t be too hard with me, flower. I’m still a human.’ ‘ Yes, you are human. But not be only a human, sometimes you have to be a flower to some degree. For to understand the things of life. Understand?” ‘A flower? Is it possible?’ ‘I think that it is not only possible but it is necessary. Flowers can be silent when there is a need of this. Flowers can be beautiful when this is meaningful. They can be all you need.’ ‘All? It’s impossible.’ ‘Of course. It is impossible. But life is also impossible with a little imagination

THE STORY TELLER

MIROSLAVA PANAYOTOVA graduated from Plovdiv University, specialized in Bulgarian philology. She has have published poems, stories, tales, aphorisms, essays, criticisms, translations, articles and interviews in periodical and collections. Panayotovas poetry booksincludes: Nuances, 1994, God of the senses, 2005, Whisper of leaves, 2017, Green feeling, 2018; two books with stories: An end, and then a beginning, 2017, The path of love, 2018; two eBooks: Laws of communicatons /aphorisms/, 2018, Old things /poetry/, 2018. She an ardent a member of the Union of the Independent Bulgarian Writers and a member of the International Association of Independent Writers “Sodrujestvo”.

 

DAWN

A belle forever struttingIn display of natural beauty

Round wearing a charming smile

Adored and envied in equal measure

Yet for eons abused

Made ashamed of dark hue

The protection from sunshine

On the catwalks

The concept of beauty defined

By the gloss magazine cover models

Famished to lose your bounty

The fashioned plastic smile

Tall and light like a feather

As lights flickered and cameras rolled…

Seeking knowledge from the foreign institutions

Mimicking the master’s ways

Disregarding old tested ways

That were branded backward.

Shall you ever discover your tongue

As you wax like Shakespeare doth

Will you dance to your tunes

Unlearn the songs and dances

That only pollute the soul?

It is time to return

To your roots and tubers

Sugarless porridge

Pounded yams that made you strong

The bitter vegetables whose sting

Is lessened with fresh milk

Beer milked from trees at dawn

Or fermented with sweet honey..

.A new day has dawned

The sun peeping from dark hills

That must be roused from eternal slumber,

Tis’ time to regain your sayIn affairs

that affect your destiny

Show the world the way.

MICHAEL MWANGI MACHARIA

African Chronicler*

A prolific poet who was born and raised in Nakuru county of the expansive Rift Valley in Kenya.He is a graduate of Moi University .He was anthologized in Echoes Across the Valley and has published in online journals.He also contributes articles in Saturday Nation.He also has interest in photography, fine arts,music,drama and dance.He is associated with a private publisher and has edited a few manuscripts. He finds poetry a worthwhile and great pastime as well as form of expression.He feels the information technology revolution has been a great opportunity for poets to link up and create positive change in the world today.

Courtesy of Google

THIS QUARANTINE.

This quarantine, I get reminded to read

Books and writings that can quench my thirst,

That fills my soul with strength to lead.

This quarantine, I find wisdom that can last

Inside pages of books, treasures I find

That welds my mind to reason meaningfully

Consistently and as fast the wind

That blows calmly in all directions, not forcefully.

This quarantine, I set my goals to work

With the pen and papers,courage and increase

Effectively, feeling safe like I’m the Noah’s Ark.

This quarantine, laziness and frivolousness I decrease.

As long as I live, I’ll take my sole stand

To read and read, and life I’ll understand.

The Rising Poetess*

AWADIFO OLGA KILI is a Ugandan Author, Law Student, Poetess and Human rights activist.She’s the Author of the book”Victorious Tales” which is human rights based. Some of her writings have featured in journals and anthologies internationally.

ideas for LIFE

The PANDEMIC!


Involuntarily, people are dying,
Without witnesses, souls are being stolen;
Without saying goodbye, people are departing,
Without your consent, the virus is invading.

Everyday,
Caskets are closing,
Tears over flowing;
Cemeteries overcrowding;
People are not returning.

Empty streets,
Buses with empty sits;
Shops with no people to collect receipts;
Not sure if eternal life exists.

Look,it’s you and I left,
Everybody has gone,
We are left alone;
Not sure if we can make it to dawn,

It has fallen into our hands,
No one knows how it ends,
Or,on what does it depends;
But we know how it offends.

You and I are now slaves,
We have no time for raves;
In front of us,are graves,

The virus has claimed many lives,
Who is going to revitalise;
There’s no time for lies,
We are scared of this tragic demise.

Open your eyes Israel,
Pharaoh has returned;
Be vigilant David,
Goliath is back;
Carry your bags Lot,
For your home is about to be burnt down.

Take your new born baby,
And run away Joseph,
For, Herod wants him dead;
Put the baby Moses in the basket,
For the Pharaoh’s giants are coming for him.

The virus is not considering your;
Religion,
Region,
Or origin

It doesn’t matter whether you’re
An electrician,
Politician,
Musician,
Or physician;
The pandemic hurts more than a lesion!

Take down your ego Neiman,
For the maid is the one to help you;
Cary your sling David;
Humble yourselves brothers,
Joseph is the governor and he can help us.

Let’s put blood on our doors,
And save our selves from this pandemic;
How do we do that?

Lets wash our hands gently,
Sanitize wherever we’re,
Practice social distancing,
And of paramount essentials,
Stay indoors!

Let’s put up our protracted resistance,
We can erase the virus from existence;
Let’s not display our ignorance,
Let’s fight while we still have a chance.

Rising Poet



CRAIG NGWENYA
, known as The Fervent poet is a Zimbabwean poet and spoken word artist,born and raised in Highfield, the center of the capital city,Harare.The realization that most young people are suffering compelled Craig to youth advocacy and motivational writing as he seeks to establish a segregation free environment for young people.It was at this time when the poet found himself using poetry to articulate the challenges being faced by young people and ways to combat them. His poems have received great acclaim including the one ‘Sorrow’ which he did a video on

FROM RED DIRT TO RHODODENDRONS OF HIMALAYAS

Mist rises in slurried reflection.

Eyes change course

when 1,000 beats per second

test positive for coronavirus.

Today marks noisy minds

on silent streets.

Tonight calls for day

but is met with masks

hovering over groceries.

Every breath is heard.

Long for distinction between syllables.

Long for deep breath transcending pain.

No more shadow lands in crossover streets

No more dead ends.

Just crossings to the next breath.

Few are polluting the sky

to afraid to fly.

I see the Himalayans from the city

Land of sages

away, away, and high above

the avalanche.

Safe in my room for now

away from coronavirus;

the quiet is peaceful

after a day of intense focus,

weeks of intense focus

writing nothing but the virus.

Sequestered

but not secluded from friends

across the world feeling as I do,

hoping between us

the other will be safe.

Our need to touch

met by our sentiments

spans a broken world

rebuilding itself from wreckage.

We are here

more united than divided

like a flock of birds

knowing the feather upon

the nest.

We rest in each other’s comfort

given freely without harm.

Good morning, goodnight dear friend

the world is turning

We are safe connecting kindness

with faith,

hopeful what lasts is shared

between us.

Poet of OKLAHOMA*

JAMES COBURN is an Oklahoma poet in the United States of America. Coburn has always valued the subtext of life and seeks to reveal its undercurrents. He believes indifference is the enemy of man as it is the benefactor of ignorance, racism and xenophobia. His first book of poetry “Words of Rain” was published in 2014. The book was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. In 2016, ten of his poems against terrorism and to save the Sunderbans (wetlands) were published in “Onnyodhara” (The Alternative Way) Eid-special issue festival edition in association with “Anushilon” (The Culture & Literature Society) the National Literary Organization of Bangladesh. Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

courtesy of WIKIPEDIA

ANYADWEE, THE BLACK PLUM

Scorpions of jealousy

Sting my buttocks,

Watching those buffaloes of boys

Float around you like clouds of saints,

All tearing chests of other boys

Whispering to your ears

Their sweet nothings.

They hang around like monkeys

Squating on dead trees,

They clap their monkey hands,

Whistle their lips

Like tongues of thorns

Whistling in the wind.

I am jealous like God

Of the flies

That fall in the puppy’s milk,

Those peering eyes at your beauty,

In borrowed cars,

And white shorts,

And swallow saliva

At your dangling breasts

Towering like flowers.

They click their god-child lips in dismay,

Wondering why

You don’t wear skimpy skirts

Like those other girls.

In the dance arena:

Anyadwee,

Who matches you,

Acoli girl;

Who with lipsticks,

And ash dust,

You whose waist,

Full of Gipir’s beads,

Is a spring,

And neck the neck of giraffe,

And breasts the arrows of pawpaw,

And teeth the July simsim,

And skin the bark of bicycle bell.

A guinea-fowl is not completed for

With the owner of the string.

Okotis grandson

Kabedoopong Piddo Ddibe’st A published Ugandan poet, artist and Language teacher, born and bred in the early nineties in Kitgum district, Acholi land, Northern Uganda. With his war experiences, he studied in a war torn area of the country, with a poor education standard.This molded him into a writer whose brave dissident voice continues breaking through sociopolitical, economical, cultural and religious spheres of life in his time. He’s been published in a number of publishing venues, both online and in anthologies.He’s working on a number of poetry books, for which he seeks publishing assistance. For his poetry, one can check online, and read and read and read.

IN PARTERSHIP with https://thebezine.com/*

SECTION B # JUDGES VERDICT ON THE 2019 FREEDOM VOICES POETRY PRIZE#

Head Judge /Poetry Chef MICHAEL DICKEL – #Poetry contest judges almost always must comment on the subjectivity of what we do. While the Freedom Prize has criteria to decide the quality of the poems, which I used, how well we I as a single reader see the fit of any given poem to those criteria has to do with myself as reader as much as to the poem itself. In this case, there were four criteria: 1.) The poem fit the stated theme of the contest, 2.) the poem was indeed poetry and not slogans and clichés, 3.) the quality of the words and language used, and 4.) the originality and creativity of the poem. The first round of judging selected a “short-list” of ten poems, from which I was asked to select and rank the three best poems. All of this done anonymously, of course.

Another reader reading the ten poems on the short-list of poems might have found other poems of more merit for one reason or another. Reasonable readers may disagree with each other. I had the honor of being asked to select, and I have chosen three that I think stood out. However, this was not an easy task. The passion of the voices in these ten poems would come across to any reader. The music of the poems, with rhythm and rhyme flowing, consonance and assonance, sounds crafted into what we call poetry. The poet of each of these poems deserves praise both for political activism expressed as poetry and for caring for others, their people, the world.

The Third Place poem I chose is The Buds Are Fruiting. In this highly original poem, we learn “That the seeds…” Dambudzo Marechera “…sowed in us/ Have sprouted and are doing well…” and “The flowers he left slowly budding/ Have unfurled their bright petals…” Unfortunately, “fermenting corruption,” “nepotism,” and “cancerous looting” have also budded, and need to be nipped. Merechera is blamed and indicted by finger pointers. Yet, the poem ends with hope: “We, the little buds, will continue/ That work that you left unfinished.”

The Second Place poem, Echo Chamber introduced me to a new word, eobiont (a hypothetical primordial pre-life chemical) in its opening line. The poem moves from the “father” (of life?) to “Living in darkness” and moves through Sodom and Gomorrah, vampires that Christen the speaker of the poem in Hades…the speaker’s “toys, wails and anguish/ Bathing with my sweat…” This dark poem paints a vivid picture in images painted with a few words, and in these images we see and feel the suffering of Africa and its children from “That chieftain, who rules by subterfuge/ Who had fried his heart eons ago/ In glee at the cries of the babies…” This poem strongly condemns and indicts the cruelty of those in power who savor the suffering of others. Rather than taking responsibility and stopping the suffering, they savor it, and this has cost them their hearts (and souls).

(For Ken Saro-Wiwa), my selection as the First Place poem in the Freedom Prize contest, combines the strengths of these other two poems. It speaks to an historical figure, using strong images and poetic skill to create a poem that reaches the heart, lays bare injustices, but also ends with a type of hope. After a significant date in the first line, “October 10, 1941,” we read “A sweet cry creaked into the crevices of Bori…” The repeated hard “c”— cry, creaked, crevices— pulls us along with some dread, given their contretemps to the “sweet.” The next line begins with “cascaded,” repeating that same hard “c” into “the swings of time/ into songs in a time of war.” In the next stanza we read that “Shrapnel of crude oil scarred faces of waters.” The oil goes on to “march” through farmland, destroying the environment as it goes, until “This loud silence would be treason merely set in four farcical plays.” We are given “genocide,” “warlords,” and “gallows,” along the way “the agony in the Ogoni girl became bared on the transistor radio.” And after Saro has been hung, where is the hope? “Tell the hand that cuts the mahogany, his stump has sprout fresh leaves./ This poem, a leaf, sways.” The hope comes from the poem, from poets. At least, we hope that this will be true#—Poetry Chef Michael Dickel, Jerusalem, November 2019

Head of Jury and Special Projects, BRAVE VOICES PRESS**#Michael (Dickel) Dekel has authored six published books and chapbooks (pamphlets) of poetry and short fiction, and published over 200 individually published poems, short stories, and non-fiction pieces, in addition to book-reviews and academic articles—under his birth name, Michael Dickel.

people yearning for their land,

(For Ken Saro-Wiwa)

October 10, 1941, 

A sweet cry creaked into the crevices of Bori,

Cascaded with the swings of time

into songs in a time of war.

Like the anopheles mosquito, war was the drill poking Basi & company—

an ethnic minority, crisp lands & fecund rivers.

Shrapnel of crude oilscarred faces of waters.

Oil marched the wicks of farmlands, wrecked every lushness in its paths.

A forest of flowers wilted, shed petals, 

Became silhouette on a darkling plain.

The singing anthill homed bland silence.

This loud silence would be treason merely set in four farcical plays.

Berserk bites of genocide in ogoniland

& the Sozaboy chanted the Lemona’s tale— 

the agony in the Ogoni girl became bared on the transistor radio.

& the warlords wrangled Wiwa’s weighted words,

Clasped him like prisoners of Jebs,

& clenched his body between the teeth of gallows.

Tell the hand that cuts the mahogany, his stump has sprout fresh leaves.

This poem, a leaf, sways.

Doctor of Words* FIRST PRIZE WINNER

ADESINA AJALA. A sprouting Nigerian medical doctor and writer, Adesina Ajala, desires to grow roots in the loam of the pen and the stethoscope. He does not know how he would fare, but he believes in journeying, in chances, possibilities and the divine. His works have found home in Writers Space Africa, EBOquills, Libretto, Featiler Rays, Brave Voices Poetry Journal and elsewhere. He was the co-winner of the first place of 2018 TSWF Writers Prize.

BADTIMES

ECHO CHAMBER

When eobiont is my father

Living in darkness

Languishing sodom and gommorah

Christened by vampires

Baptised in Hades

My toys,wails and anguish

Bathing with my sweat

Lullaby of sjamboks,button sticks and tear gases

I am a graduate of doom

Hunger and thirst my delicacies

Daughters and sons of darkness

That chieftain, ,who rules by subterfuge

Who had fried his heart eons ago

In glee at the cries of the babies

Salivating in total erasure of humans

Ejaculating venomous fire

How then can i think paradise is there

When i am a citizen of hell

Pot trained to be a hardcore bandit

Shriveling,flowers squashed mercilessly

Future suspended and eroded

Pissing on the precious blemish

Expecting fruits from cactus

Zimbabwean Pen WIELDER, SECOND PRIZE WINNER

CHRISPAH MUNYORO,  A graduate of Applied Art and Design, Graphics and Website Programming. at Kwekwe Polytechnic College in Zimbabwe . Munyoro is a talented writer, journalist and a dedicated Design Artist. She is natural linguist, fluent in many languages among them English, Shona, Esperanto, Setswana, Swahili, Italiana and Yoruba. She began as a columnist writing feature articles in the Gweru Times in Midlands Province Capital of Zimbabwe. She has worked as a Midlands Chapter Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Association of Freelance Journalists. The Writer, Artist, Poet, Journalist and athlete has been writing poetry since her tender years and she has participated in various writers ,poetry ,journalism and sports workshops.

DOYENS OF ZIMBABWE LITERARY ARTS CULTURE*

THE BUDS ARE FRUITING

Who will tell Dambudzo Marechera

That the seeds that he sowed in us
Have sprouted and are doing well?
That’s right, we want him to know that
The flowers he left slowly budding
Have unfurled their bright petals
To grace the garden of literary bliss
Allowing bees to drink nectar sweet verse.?

Who will tell our gallant literary hero:
One of the few who made living prophecies,
About the fermenting corruption
By trying to nip sprouting nepotism
And the cancerous looting in the bud
That would seize our house of stone?

Who will tell Dambudzo Marechera
What has become of the house of hunger
Which he was mind-blasting about
While non-believers stood on the fence
Pointing accusing fingers at him?
But, let me say: never mind your departure.
We, the little buds, will continue
That work that you left unfinished.

MASTER OF WORDS, THIRD PRIZE WINNER

CHRISTOPHER KUDYAHAKUDADIRWE is a Zimbabwean freelance writer, poet and photographer living and working in South Africa. He recently published a collection of short stories entitled The Big Noise and Other Noises. His poems have been published in an anthology entitled Harvest: The University of the Western Cape Masters in Creative Writing Poetry Anthology 2016 and various magazines in and outside South Africa. He holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of the Western Cape. He is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at UWC.

Time to stand up*

DEAR SOUTH AFRICA

I am the Gods’ sent angel
My tongue is loaded with words of wisdom
My tongue twists words of courage
Though
My lips dance tunes of fear
I am so scared and my eyes are tightly closed
Blood streaming again reminds me of South Africa back then
The anger in your faces my people I’m shivering
What went wrong blood of my bones?
What went wrong marrow of my bones?
Our forefathers sent me to remind you that the best solution of confrontation is through negotiations!
Hear me so well!

Why can’t we bear the sweat of our brothers and sisters
Heroes and heroines like Steve Bantu Biko and Winnie Mandela
Pioneers of Africa who fought for liberation in South Africa
Who traveled in thorny bushes hunting for freedom
Stomachs echoing tunes of hunger
Spending sleepless nights working out formulas to solve simultaneous equations
Heart hitting!
Biko stripped and manacled for days but never gave up
Shackled to a grille in mother nature’s blanket
At the back of the van frothing at the mouth struggling to say a word
Oh my Ancestors!

How shame on us
Our streets are fumed with human flesh grilled smoke
How painful
Stray dogs today are celebrating plenty of free meat
Hearts and souls of our black coats
Blood winery is tones and tones
The color of our fertile soil has turned reddish
Let’s remember our national anthem “Nkosi sikeleli Afrika!
Long live South Africa!
Long live Africa!
One heart one love!

Gorata Mighty NTSWAMBI, SPECIAL MENTION FREEDOM VOICES*

GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI,  Botswana citizen, registered poetess here in as Poko Boswa Poetry my Heritage, Living Arts specialising in both traditional and contemporary poetry both oral and written.She is an author of an English poetry book ‘Exploring the Roots Poetry my Heritage, Living Arts self-published in 2016.Gorata holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences with majors in Sociology and psychology from Central University of Technology Free State in South Africa and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in African Languages and Literature from the University of Botswana.

#JUDGES VERDICTS continued……………………………………………………..

#The competition was pretty Stiff. I hated to let some poems go.I hope the rest get literary mentions.Thank you for the opportunity to judge#Comrade OMWA OMBARA.

omwa 54
Member of the Freedom Voices Jury Team
Contributing Editor (Global Women and Artist Rights Reviews) is AUTHOR OMWA OMBARA –The Editor in Chief at Tujipange Africa Media, a diaspora based Magazine in United States of America

 

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#I was happy to read each poem. Each writer should be encouraged, as well as the ones not chosen. It was a pleasure reading the force and magnetic insight of each word. These are living words with a life of their own. Powerful and penetrating, forged in the flame of heart and traversing fear. Their ancestors would be proud# POET JAMES COBURN.

JAMES COBURN ,Member of the Jury, Freedom of Voices PRIZE*#His first book of poetry “Words of Rain” was published in 2014. The book was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. In 2016, ten of his poems against terrorism and to save the Sunderbans (wetlands) were published in “Onnyodhara” (The Alternative Way) Eid-special issue festival edition in association with “Anushilon” (The Culture & Literature Society) the National Literary Organization of Bangladesh

#I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Brave Voices Poetry Journal 67 (FREEDOM VOICES PRIZE) ushering in the beginning of the Freedom Voices Poetry Prize.The poets aimed to discuss tolerance, human rights, freedom of expression and creative resilience are peaceful avenues of resistance that may foster understanding and facilitate discussions about peace and the conflicts that hinder humanitarian efforts across the globe.The prize promises to promote freedom of expression and literary activism with the topic of remembering voices and their creative impacts on society.Reading the poems, I was delighted to find polished and confident voices. The poets offered a promise of creative potential surpassing my expectations.  The quantity and quality of the writing served to motivate and challenge the mind with a common respect for the voices that linger in our shadows, reminding us of the importance that poetry can bring to problems that demand solutions.The only problem that I found was removing some from the list. This task was far more difficult that I had imagined.In the end, the poems that most closely matched the guidelines were the only match for decision making.They were all beautifully crafted in both form and function.I do declare, this was a tough task.Although ultimately, there will be a list of winners, I found all of the poems that I read to be prized pieces of poetry that deserve a standing ovation.I found letters meant for reading and listening. Literature and Orature# TRACY YVONNE BREAZILE#

TRACY YVONNE BREAZILE,Member of Jury Freedom Voices Prize#a Writer living in the United States of America. She was granted the opportunity to serve as Writer/Mentor in Residence with the 2018 Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Mentorship Program,

#MEET THE BRAVE VOICES CHIEF EDITOR#

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS INFLUENCER IN -CHIEF#

MBIZO CHIRASHA is the Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café
(International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe
Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African
Fellow for the International Human Rights Art
Festival(https://ihraf.org/international-fellows ) , Essays
Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts
Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .Featured Writer
Poet Activist at The Poet A Day(https://jamiededes.com/). Core Team
Member and African Contributor to Bezine of Arts and
Humanities(https://thebezine.com/) in USA. Flash/Short Fiction Writer
for Squawk Back
Publication(http://www.thesquawkback.com/2020/01/mbizo.html).Contributing
Writer( Africa) to IHRAF
Publishes-https://ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes. African Contributor to the 2020 BlackWell Poetry Pamphlet of Oxford School of Poetry, UK. Hybrid Writings Contributor to Pulp-Pit Review, USA.The Originator of the
Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Curator of MiomboPublishing Blog
Journal(https://miombopublishing.wordpress.com/). Founder and Chief
Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave
Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal
collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by
Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in
Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book
Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac
Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental
poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and
Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at
African Books Collective. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the
Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009
Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture
and Development (ICACD) in Ghana. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO-
Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015
Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and
Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary
arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of
Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen
Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human
Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer,
publicist is published in more 200 spaces in print and online.

Courtesy of Germany PEN.

Fist of Resistance*

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS #A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression. Brave Voices is founded by Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie , International Human Rights Art Festival Fellowship Alumni , Poet in Residence of the Fictional Cafe , Contributing Essayist to Monk , Arts and Soul Magazine , Poetry Arts Activist in Residence at The Poet a Day and BeZine of Arts and Humanities. Founding Editor of the MIOMBOPUBLISHING and Chief Editor of the WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS.Mbizo Chirasha an award winning and Internationally acclaimed Poet from Zimbabwe. For more DETAILS on *SUBMISSIONS* , FREEDOM VOICES CONTEST* and BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL* on the MENU appearing on the Home Page.#

 

CHAPTER 1. Loomings

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Talking Poetry, Nsah Mala An African Poet Patriot

# A CRITICAL BOOK REVIEW by the BRAVE VOICES EDITOR Mbizo Chirasha#

The virality of letters: the Covid-19 literary archive keeps growing
The power of books, courtesy of Google.

CONSTIMOCRAZY is a story of Africa weaved by an African poet patriot, a slinger wielding the spear, his pen, against treachery perpetrated by history and its cruelty. The same pen wielder rebukes Africa for frying its own beauty, dignity and morality in copper-roasting furnaces of disgrace and despotism. The African poet patriot traverses with us around, from African natural landscapes, up to the climes of the slave master where Africans are bleached in English syntax and spaghetti culture. The poet and his poetry are an experience of Africa, her story and his story. Though the poet seems intoxicated by pessimistic verbal concoction, the poet patriot does not completely relegate the reader to wallow in pastures ridden by slavery nagana, valleys smitten by colonial whooping cough and pathways strewn by African despotism. The poet is a natural wanderer, a traveller of course. Nsah Mala brings to the fore a dose of optimism as he drags us through mystic endowments of Africa and natural wonders of mother Earth, shifting our minds off from tragedies and economic ailments to the mysterious beauty the earth carries in its belly, especially if it was given more time to heal from scars poised by history and bruises of present-day traumas . The African poet patriot is a master of word- economics and a dexter carving captivating ,paradoxical  poetry art.

CONSTIMOCRAZY is divided into two parts. This graphical arrangement is supposedly intentional by the writer poet who wants us to follow through his story weaved in poetry like trackers in a journey alongside a great river. The collection is truly great river, whose waters flow both vile and pure: we meet whispering crocodiles, hissing snakes, beautiful fish, gurgling streams, singing birds, dancing mermaids and their rituals, fishermen and their lines, hippos and rotting carcasses, beautiful valleys, gowns of mist, stunning gorges and laughing waterfalls.

Nsah Mala, the Griot of People

Mala boldly interrogates the present day African with a poetic whip in his hand. his pen is his whipping sjmbok. The poem “Refugees” reflects the rot that stinks in  African rondavels: “Out of their abodes, something pulled them: natural – earthquake, flood, eruption, tsunami… man-made – strike, coup, war, terrorism… War and terror are the worst of them all.” The poem grapples with pain, displacement, identity crisis and lack of belongingness. And these are contemporary African crises, which have become generational, even after the calamities of slavery and colonialism. These tragic crises mainly come from within; they are perpetuated by warlords, poor governance, terrorism, banditry, despotism and corruption by the post-independent African leadership. In the same poem, the poet also points out how the angry finger of God contributes to nature-caused tragedies: earthquakes, floods, eruptions and tsunamis. These natural tragedies are not only threatening the African child but also go beyond African borders. However, in Africa they are extremely severe, as they are inherited again from generation to generation due to carelessness, poverty, poor resource management and lack of preparedness and then the refugee tragedy becomes an African totem problem. Mala also reminds Africa to get organized and walk in the path of light as her children suffer as underdogs in alien lands. Most of the poems in the first section exhibit political decadence, economic malaise and moral rot in Africa. In most cases, in the closing lines of his poems, Mala reminds the reader, the perpetrator and the victim that light can still show up if we remain resilient and correct our past hurdles; that we can also reshape our present.

In the poem “Forced into Oblivion”, Mala plays the role of a traditionalist, a griot, a ritualist. He pays tribute to a national fallen hero through a soul-nipping poetry rite. Thus, his role as an African griot, a beacon of spiritual  light. The poem identifies Africa as a hub of religious diversity. Africa is a calabash frothing and brimming  with super-concoctions of diverse beliefs, traditions and sacred rites we perform for the dead: praises, songs, poems, dances, the animal blood we spill for them and the millet brew we spit on their fresh graves in the spirit that they will rise again to live with us, protect us and be at peace with us. It is again our show of respect to the reputed departed who might be silenced by death but still linger among us. Here the poet becomes a traditional ambassador of his people; he becomes a cultural diplomat who serves the audience with a menu of sacred rituals of a departed family or national hero in his land:

… I trod across seas of dust

to pour on your tomb my buckets of tears

and clear away the labyrinth of aching fears

which have haunted me since you left in 1989

‘coz we did not unfeather fowls on your tomb!

We did not tear family sackcloth after your burial.

We did not tie the gods’ fowl above your corpse.

The African poet patriot in Mala also knocks heavily on the iron-buckled doors, whose tenants are dictators, despots and autocrats, through his poem “Sonnet for Dictators.” In this poem, the African poet patriot renews himself into the African word slinger. The poet is candid and brutally honest; his verses know no sacred cow. He reminds despots that they are a minority and they thrive on using the masses to gain popularity and benefit from power. Because of their negative energy extremes, they munch constitutions and they become constitutions themselves. They squash law under their feet and they become law themselves. The poem is rather ironical on its tail as the poet bemoans the absence of Gadhafi, assuming that he was a better dictator who led a rich country while other African leaders drink and suck everything out of their earth – the real dictators. The poet here plays teacher and counsellor. He is trying to rehabilitate rabid African leaders who have since become unrepentant and infected their countries with deadly autocratic rabies, not so easy to heal, and dictatorship has since become endemic in Africa: “After polls, all governments are a dictating minority,// but chosen by and answerable to an electoral majority.”

Africa is blessed to have birthed the calibre of  brutal-honest word slingers and  truth hardened griots  like Nsah Mala. Africa will never be the same as the poet rebukes the bastardization of Africa by colonial trendsetters. The patriot poet voices against the tragedy of dictatorship, political and moral decadence. The poet Nsah Mala is a true African patriot, a story teller, a teacher, a cultural activist and an overseer of African dignity.

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#NSAH MALA#Nsah Mala is a multilingual Anglophone Cameroonian poet and short story writer with 4 poetry books published. He is currently doing his PhD studies.

Kenneth Toah Mala , Poet Extraordinaire

Cameroon-born poet, writer, motivational speaker and youth leader. He is the author of three poetry collections: Chaining Freedom, Bites of Insanity, and If You Must Fall Bush. His short story “Christmas Disappointment” won a prize from the Cameroonian Ministry of Arts and Culture in 2016. His poems and other writings have appeared (are forthcoming) in anthologies and magazines in Cameroon, Nigeria, Canada, USA, India, and France. His works are found in places like Stories for Humanity, Dissident Voice, Scarlet Leaf Review, The Kalahari Review, Spillwords Press, Modern Research Studies and Tuck Magazine. In 2017, his French poem “Marché mondial des maladies” was used in the novel En compagnie des hommes by the internationally-acclaimed Franco-Ivorian writer Véronique Tadjo. His poetry collection in French is forthcoming.

MBIZO CHIRASHA# BRAVE VOICES PROJECTS CURATOR*

Mbizo Chirasha, Chief Editor Brave Voices

MBIZO CHIRASHA is the Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café
(International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe
Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African
Fellow for the International Human Rights Art
Festival(https://ihraf.org/international-fellows ) , Essays
Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts
Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .Featured Writer
Poet Activist at The Poet A Day(https://jamiededes.com/). Core Team
Member and African Contributor to Bezine of Arts and
Humanities(https://thebezine.com/) in USA. Flash/Short Fiction Writer
for Squawk Back
Publication(http://www.thesquawkback.com/2020/01/mbizo.html).Contributing
Writer( Africa) to IHRAF
Publishes-https://ihraf.org/ihraf-publishes. African Contributor to the 2020 BlackWell Poetry Pamphlet of Oxford School of Poetry, UK. Hybrid Writings Contributor to Pulp-Pit Review, USA.The Originator of the
Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Curator of MiomboPublishing Blog
Journal(https://miombopublishing.wordpress.com/). Founder and Chief
Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave
Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal
collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by
Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in
Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book
Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac
Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental
poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and
Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at
African Books Collective. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the
Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009
Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture
and Development (ICACD) in Ghana. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO-
Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015
Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and
Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary
arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of
Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen
Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human
Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer,
publicist is published in more 200 spaces in print and online

#BRAVE VOICES PRESS #A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression. Brave Voices is founded by Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie , International Human Rights Art Festival Fellowship Alumni , Poet in Residence of the Fictional Cafe , Contributing Essayist to Monk , Arts and Soul Magazine , Poetry Arts Activist in Residence at The Poet a Day and BeZine of Arts and Humanities. Founding Editor of the MIOMBOPUBLISHING and Chief Editor of the WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS.Mbizo Chirasha an award winning and Internationally acclaimed Poet from Zimbabwe. For more DETAILS on *SUBMISSIONS* , FREEDOM VOICES CONTEST* and BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL* on the MENU appearing on the Home Page.#

CHAPTER 1. Loomings

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Digital Bonfire Conversations with Iconic IHRAFs Thomas Block.

IHRAF or the International Human Rights Art Festival is an iconic art for human rights platform. A Haven of freedom voices. The global Human Rights and Arts Culture Activism brand is endowed with creative excellence, artistic diversity, versatility and organizational prowess.  On the 23rd of April 2020, before the beloved earth got dressed in night gowns and before owls began to announce their deathly anthems. Mbizo Chirasha, the Editor of the New Brave Voices Press and the IHRAF 2019 Fellow sat with The Iconic Artistic Curator and Iconic Producer Thomas Block of IHRAF beside the digital bonfire, somewhere near the fontanel of the Internet jungle. Thomas Block brought with him ripe IHRAF berries ,a jug of fermented literary gin and an artistic lantern  . Mbizo Chirasha wielded a pen, a green-leaf writing pad and of course a poetry waxed  voice box. It is encouraging to discuss and archive Excellence. Thank you, Thomas Block, and the IHRAF Team for the good work and for affording us this great opportunity to enjoy the succulent IHRAF berries. EXCLUSIVE   -* BRAVE VOICES PRESS, Editor*

#DIGITAL BONFIRE CONVERSATIONS#

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    #Give  us a  brief hybrid  essay about International Human Rights Art Festival.

The International Human Rights Art Festival (IHRAF.ORG) provides a forum to international artists whose voices can be overlooked, underrepresented and, in some cases, actively repressed.  We offer live performances in all media; a literary magazine , an award; a recording platform and a yearly International Fellowship.  These represent the most important voices safeguarding the ideals of human rights and social justice: those whose only weapon is their passion, commitment and beauty.

The IHRAF not only provides these artists visibility, but it highlights the most important issues facing our societies: how to safeguard and expand human rights, social justice, democracy and equality, in all countries around the world.  We are especially drawn to artists  around the world who promote these ideals through their dedication to truth and beauty.  

We use the energy of this art to engage with stakeholders at all levels, including politicians, social leaders, NGO’s and activists on the front line of the struggle for truth and justice.

We have worked with artists and activists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Uganda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Gambia, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Haiti, Martinique, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Columbia, Venezuela, Italy, Germany, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Sioux Nation, as well as most of the United States.

The IHRAF has presented more than 500 artists in 20 interim events and 3 week-long Festivals, all in New York City.  Additionally, IHRAF has published more than 50 writers on the IHRAF Publishes literary platform.  The organization has been covered more than 30 times in press outlets, including the New York Times, NBC TV Live!, Fox 5 Good Morning, Metro-NY, Huffington Post, Crain’s NY Business, New York Observer, Voice of America: Mandarin,  AM and many others.

    #What differentiates IHRAF from other Human Rights, Arts Activism
and Festival Projects
.

Founded in 2017 at Dixon Place Theater in New York, the IHRAF is already the largest human rights art festival in the world.  While there are nearly 50 human rights film festivals, very few art-activist organizations focus in an ongoing manner on performance of all types, including dance, theatre, music, spoken word, circus and any other method of bringing art and soul to a live audience.

Additionally, we separate ourselves from other arts-activism projects by our engagement with decision makers, from our honorary co-sponsors in the political realm (many United States Senators and Congresspersons), to our work with governmental agencies such as the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

We have also developed and implemented a number of other year-round, international manners of using art in the struggle for human rights and justice.  Our “IHRAF Publishes” platform publishes weekly art-activist literary work.  Our “Creators of Justice Literary Award” will highlight the best activist writing from around the globe.  Our “International Fellow” program highlights the work of a single art-activist every year, as well as introducing the IHRAF to their audience.  Lastly, through our Direct Action component, we help artists-at-risk, whose activities have put them in harm’s way with their own, often repressive governments.

Taken together, we offer a unique manner of bringing artists’ voice and social change together.  And as we expand our programming, visibility and outreach, we will spread these voices of truth, beauty, sincerity and engagement ever-wider.

A IHRAF Artists Collaborative Effort,

#     IHRAF Publishes is fast growing and is significantly impacting on
the growth of Arts Activism and Abroad, what are the future prospects
on the publishing, literature section of IHRAF.

This is a very exciting aspect of our work — and we have published more than 50 pieces from around the world.  We currently publish work — poetry, essays and short stories — on a weekly basis, as well as inaugurating the Creators of Justice Literary Award, which will offer monetary awards and publishing opportunities to the winners.

We are also working on two anthologies: an online anthology of the best youth writing (under 21), edited and produced by our Youth Fellow, Uma Menon, as well a print anthology of some of the best writing that we have published, from what will then be nearly 100 pieces to choose from.

The literary arts are central to the struggle for human rights, as well as reaching diverse and far-flung audiences.  We are excited about the growth of IHRAF Publishes, and look forward to offering more initiatives under its banner in the future.

#  Summarize the importance of the CREATORS OF JUSTICE LITERARY AWARD

The Creators of Justice Literary Award highlights the best activist literary work from around the world.  We look for work based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement.  Words spoken from the mouth never get past the ears, but words spoke from the heart, enter the heart.  We provide a voice and transparency for writers who are underrepresented, repressed and sometimes in personal danger due to their unflinching commitment to using their word to support and further Truth.  We are honored by the work we have received, and as the Award submission period remains open until June 1, we hope to receive many more beautiful submissions!

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#INSIDE THE ADVERTORIAL#

IHRAF Publishes

ANNOUNCES

CREATORS OF JUSTICE LITERARY AWARD

THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE FOR PARTICIPATION.

Deadline: June 1, 2020

Please send submissions to: ihrafpublishes@gmail.com with the subject line: “Creators of Justice Literary Award”

The International Human Rights Art Festivalannounces the creation of this new literary award, celebrating poetry, short stories and essays which use the written word to celebrate justice.  

This ideal may be imagined in any manner in which the writer sees fit, however, it must be based in our signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement.  We do not publish work or engage with artists whose work is based in anger, or stems from an “us v. them” mentality.  We feel strongly that all human conflict is representative of human spiritual immaturity — and no group of people, ethnicity or religion are immune from human spiritual immaturity.  

There are three monetary prizes in each category: Poetry, Short Story and Essay.  Each writer may make one submission in each category (total of 3 submission per writer).  Awards are as follows:

  • First Prize: $150
  • Second Prize: $100
  • Third Prize: $50
  • Honorable Mention: 5 writers will have their work published on IHRAF Publishes

All winners and honorable mention writers will be considered for our IHRAF Publishes Anthology 2019-2020, which will be collected and published in summer 2021.

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#THOMAS BLOCK Iconic IHRAF Producer and Versatile Arts Curator*

No alt text provided for this image
IHRAF Founder and Producer

I am a visual artist and writer based in New York City, in one of America’s most diverse neighborhoods, Jackson Heights. I utilize my creative output – painting, writing plays and books, producing human rights art festivals and teaching courses in applied mysticism — to explore the interaction between the spiritual life of humanity and our sometimes-sad shared reality. My work is hardly religious, but it explores humans’ attempts to make sense of this world and our shared struggle to develop and live by a moral code. At the very best, I hope that my art will have an activist influence, causing viewers to question their own personal roles in making the world a better place to live.I work in series: I begin with a philosophical and activist impulse, proceed through reading on the subject, writing, drawing and then, finally, to creating a body of work in response to the particular issue at hand. I have undertaken a series of projects as part of this ongoing inquiry. I painted three bodies of work based in the highest impulses of the Abrahamic faiths – the Sufi masters of Islam, the Baal Shem Tov of Judaism and Meister Eckhart of Christianity. I followed this with my Human Rights Painting Project, in conjunction with Amnesty International. This series of portraits highlighted human rights advocates from around the world and the vital work of Amnesty International. I have also undertaken a project entitled Shalom/Salaam, based in a virtually unknown tale of mystical intermingling between Jewish and Muslim mystics over nearly a thousand years of human history. I created a series of paintings entitled Response to Machiavelli, which looks at the small-minded, self-serving state of our current political system and uses the philosophy of great social thinkers from the past few millennia to propose another, more caring way. Lastly, I have explored the lie of classical mysticism through my series In the Garden of the Mystical Redoubt.In addition to writing, painting, teaching and producing art festivals, I partner with well-known individuals and non-profit groups working on the same issues; present my ideas at conferences; sponsor interfaith events in conjunction with my exhibits and reach out through the mass media with my ideas, all in the hopes of effecting positive change in the society at large.In past projects, I have worked with such organizations as Amnesty International, American Task Force on Palestine, Greater Washington Forum on Arab Israeli Issues, Habitat for Humanity, National Center for Children and Familes, Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, Girls Gotta Run, Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma and numerous others.I have also enjoyed the support on various projects from honorary co-sponsors including the Dalai Lama; Senators Bernie Sanders, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senator Paul Wellstone (deceased), Secretary John Kerry, Senator Susan Collins, Senator Chris Van Hollen; Congressman and Civil Rights Hero John Lewis; Congresspersons Dennis Kucinich, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Congressman Jamie Raskin; Chinese Democracy activist Wei JingSheng and many others. 

#MBIZO CHIRASHA  ( Brave Voices Chief Editor and Projects Curator)*

Mbizo Chirasha Brave Voices Chief Editor, Projects Curator

Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café
(International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe

Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African
Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival( ihraf.org) ,
Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom
.Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .His
Profiles , Interview and Poems are featured on poesis.si ,in Slovenia.
Founder and Chief Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and
Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices
Poetry triluangal collection( English , African Languages and Germany)
intiated by Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to
AtunisPoetry.com in Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress
International Poetry Book Series in Netherlands. African Contributor
to the World Poetry Almanac Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019
collection of experimental poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was
released by Mwanaka Media and Publishing and is both in print, on
Amazon.com and at is featured at African Books Collective. Mbizo
Chirasha is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign.
Founder and Creative Director of Girl Child Talent Festival and
GirlChildCreativity Project. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the
Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009
Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture
and Development (ICACD) in Ghana.The Vice President of Poetsof the
WORLD,poetasdelmundo.com ,African Region. Global Peace Chain
Ambassador. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO- Africa Photo- Novel
Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015 Artist in Residence
of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and Arts Festival in
Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary arts influencer,
Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend
Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen Deutschland
Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human Rights
Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer, publicist
is published in more 200 spaces in print and online.

#BRAVE  VOICES PRESS # A digital literary arts culture Republic featuring Resistance Poetry and Voices  of Mass Instruction . Speaking hard truth to Abusers of Power . Telling  Transparency to greed and corrupt political leadership. Wielding Pen for the upholding of  human rights. Word Slingers  in trenches  in their struggle for Freedom of Expression and Freedom after Expression. Brave Voices is founded by Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie , International Human Rights Art Festival Fellowship Alumni , Poet in Residence of the Fictional Cafe , Contributing Essayist to Monk , Arts and Soul Magazine , Poetry Arts Activist in Residence at The Poet a Day and BeZine of Arts and Humanities. Founding Editor of the MIOMBOPUBLISHING and Chief Editor of the WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Mbizo Chirasha an award winning and Internationally acclaimed Poet from Zimbabwe. For more DETAILS on *SUBMISSIONS* , FREEDOM VOICES CONTEST* and BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNAL* on the MENU appearing on the Home Page.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Audrey_Varaidzo

A Blog About Nothing and Everything...

AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN

This is a Virtual Cruise -Ship of African – Word Smith , Pen-Slingers and Young Poetry Artists. The Digital Caravan carries in its insatiable belly breath taking short writings, mesmerizing essays, heart warming reflections, bone crashing poetry, marrow chilling commentary and mind spinning Hybrid by African Writers ,Poets , Essayists ,Thought leaders in Colleges , Universities and Out of School Writers. The African Caravan celebrates Literary Prowess ,Creative Diversity and Poetry Arts Scholarship. The platform also proffer regular mentor- ship and opportunities to the budding creators of words and rising Literary Artist. It is Founded and published by Literary Arts Diplomatie. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist .FreeSPEECH Fellow at PEN-Zentrum Deutschland. Featured Poetry Artist at WorldBeyondWar.Org.2020 Poet in Residence of the Fictional Cafe .2019 African Fellow at Ihraf.org.

Life From The Ashes

Former Foster Kid, Mother, Gardener, Wife and more.

Dare Boldly

Artful Words to Inspire Fearless Living

Experience Writing

Insight and inspiration for writers and readers

Words Of Dahlusion

The Art of Dahlusion

Profrksingh's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

ATUNIS GALAXY POETRY

Poetët janë paraprijës të agimeve në zbardhje, janë muza dhe shpirti i ëndrrave shpresë, janë fryma dhe muzikaliteti i fjalës shenjtëruar, janë koloriti më i ndritshëm i qenësisë tonë qytetërim!

Wend Poetry

celebrating the new and adventurous

WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS

*Literary Dope* Extra-Revolutionary* Creative Crazy*

Meta/ Phor(e) /Play

Words, Images, & More

The Literary Gangster

Dare To Write | Get Wise

Aesthetic Dreams

Beauty, poetry, dreams and anything related to aestheticism.

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Poets, Poetry, News, Reviews, Readings, Resources & Opportunities for Poets and Writers

The Unsaid Words of Untold Stories

This happens everywhere ~stories make life

~ Dragon's Dreams ~

Carpe Noctem Quod Tempus Fugit!

The BeZine

Be inspired...Be creative...Be peace...Be

TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC

An Internet-Based Writers' Center, Archiving Theme-Based Digital Poetry Anthologies and Publishing Iconic Poets, Writers and Artists from Around the Globe

BRAVE VOICES PRESS

A digital literary Arts Culture telling truth , voicing freedom and speaking transparency to political powers

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

A digital literary Arts Culture telling truth , voicing freedom and speaking transparency to political powers

Longreads

The best longform stories on the web

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The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

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