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)
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
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
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!
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.
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
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
Filled the air,
And I clinched onto them
To fight my way out.
Two wrongs would not
clean up the mess.
When I meant cry.
Maybe, from the outside,
Life would slowly trickle in.
But it never worked that way.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
COVID 19, ( Cruel evil bug)
Structs Chinese and mistaken for a lab error
Disguised but yet an invisible terror
Creeped into God’s own
Determines to drain all
and crush costa rica
Devilish catastrophe to mock God
Dr Facuer made the mess more odd
Universe shutdown in
in the air
Undercover the whole
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
Imprisoned right inside
Harry and I can no longer mingle
Had to flatten the curve for love to be be maintain
Hunger awakes to sing
Hoodlums attack with
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
Revived llost hopes
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
Symbol of religious
strife hostility now
Knitted with love dignified
Behold the new eldorado of the creator
Where unity is trusted with Realtors
This new normal mist
A God forsaken norm
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
Elbow shakes over hand shakes
A phase of erupted twist of nature
Will end with a toast of assured future.
©️ Andrea Okoye<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>GORATA MIGHTY NTSHWABI</strong>( 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<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>BRAVE VOICES POETRY JOURNA</strong>L-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.