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WE CHANT RESISTANCE!

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

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.

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

#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.

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