Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Letter to my unborn child

Enlarge poem

Child
When I get the courage
When I am ready and brave
To bring you in a world
With too many clenched fists
Too many open palms
Too many potholes
And Z.E.S.Aless nights
Too many frolicking leaders
I want to make sure
You are strong and ready
For the furrowed ride
I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Only when I am ready
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

When you get here
I mean if you get here
I imagine the joy of your small
Cute smiles and
Your tiny hands curling
Into little adorable fists
Incapable of hurting no one
Then slowly opening like
The petals of a beautiful rose
I imagine in your sleep
You will dream of happy things
And i will watch you stretch
Your tiny limbs
Saying ‘when I grow up I wanna be…
better than mummy’
but child you are not to say that out loud
especially with me around
Like the words flowing from my tongue
You will wear many names of your choice
For I want to give you that freedom from birth
With the easiness of a happy child’s laughter
To make your own choices beginning with your name
Without me breathing down my failed dreams
On you

Child
I want you to be proud in your skin
So comfortable no one can convince you otherwise
Be weary of brain-pickers i would say
Those who will pick on your brains with shamboks
Like they did on the backs of grandma
In the cotton plantations
Just like your daddy
You will be gifted with brawn
But child that does not mean you are to be a slave
And when you are old like these locks
Tying my world together, at 8
I want your world to be open
To limitless possibility
I want you to be brave
Just like me when I brought you into this world
To labour for your own happiness
To strive to cut the fences, prejudices
Around the skin you will unashamedly be proud of
Child I seek you to find
All-weather wings
A heart as warm
I want you to find love
Give love
And above all, I want you to be you
But for now

I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Safe from the stale promise of democracy
Safe from hate propaganda
pelting my ears from the radio relentlessly
Safe from circus governments of disunity
pawning our rights & freedoms
like zhing-zhong products at the flea market
Only when I am ready
Only when I am ready child
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

Batsirai E Chigama

Featured Poem:

Help me believe

Enlarge poem

I want to know how it feels
To make a woman bleed
To death
Without hearing her cries
Without hearing her pleas
Without seeing the death
Of her dreams.

I want to know
How you felt
I was only two
Did your bludgeoning penis
Feel exhilarated
Pulsate with devilish desire
As you forcibly sowed your shameless seed
On my infertile ground
That you mutilated
The ground that will now
Forever remain infertile
Because of you?

I want to know
If you sleep at night
What kind of dreams you dream?
What kind of man strangles
Fondles a two year old
Was he born of a mother
Like my own who bleeds
Tears every time she sees me
Begging to be forgiven
For not having been there
To protect me from my own father?

Somebody tell me
What kind of a world this is
That sodomises its future
Telling the young ones
Not to believe in love
Not to dream
Not to dare
No to dance
Not to laugh
Not to treasure life
and believe in humanity?

Tell me somebody
Because I must believe in something
I must believe in things kind
And gentle
I must believe that the sun
Not only shines
For those who stand before it shines
But for those like me too
Whose limbs were severed
Before they even learnt to crawl
I must believe
The world can be better than this!

6 November 2010
Inspired by Shailja Patel’s “She Said No” in Shilling Love

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (5)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (3)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (2)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (6)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Comments

  1. Hmmm! A very heartfelt touching emotional express with a soft, sweet innocent voice. Great work!

    James Yalley
  2. This is a very beautiful work. I write too but do not know how to make use of this Balidisha Poetry X-change app or website. Pardon me, I’m not sure what it is. I would love my poems to be read aloud some day.

    Ruby
  3. Just as Ruby has said. I wish my works can be read aloud like this. Otherwise, this is very wonderful writing. I can feel the emotion.

    Lee Oyugi

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

In 2006 when Batsirai started seriously performing her poetry she says there were only three women doing poetry readings at the time including herself. She was felt challenged to add her voice in the poetry circles therefore ventured into the slam community at the Book Cafe in Harare. She is passionate about lending her voice to the women whose voices have been silenced the world over.

Batsirai has performed at several festivals in the region including Harare International Festival of the Arts(HIFA), Intwasa Arts Festival, Thubalethu, Nguva Yedu Youth Festival, Arts Alive(SA), Sadc Poetry Festival(Botswana), Poetry Africa Tour, Tambo Tambulani Art Camp & Festival, Pemba, Mozambique, Shoko Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Festival and recently performed at the Hivos Poetry Cafe, Blantyre Arts Festival, Malawi.

In August 2010, Batsirai was featured in four anthologies published by Mensa Press in the USA: Whispers in the Whirlwind, War against War, Defiled Sacredness & Visions on Motherland. She is also featured in State of the Nation published by Conversation Paper-press in England. Several of her short stories have been published online and an extract from one of her short stories was published in “Writings from Africa” a publication facilitated by the British Council through the Crossing Borders Writers’ Project.

Batsirai also writes short stories and contributes to Zimbojam, the most popular arts website in Zimbabwe.

Batsirai E Chigama

Biography

In 2006 when Batsirai started seriously performing her poetry she says there were only three women doing poetry readings at the time including herself. She was felt challenged to add her voice in the poetry circles therefore ventured into the slam community at the Book Cafe in Harare. She is passionate about lending her voice to the women whose voices have been silenced the world over.

Batsirai has performed at several festivals in the region including Harare International Festival of the Arts(HIFA), Intwasa Arts Festival, Thubalethu, Nguva Yedu Youth Festival, Arts Alive(SA), Sadc Poetry Festival(Botswana), Poetry Africa Tour, Tambo Tambulani Art Camp & Festival, Pemba, Mozambique, Shoko Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Festival and recently performed at the Hivos Poetry Cafe, Blantyre Arts Festival, Malawi.

In August 2010, Batsirai was featured in four anthologies published by Mensa Press in the USA: Whispers in the Whirlwind, War against War, Defiled Sacredness & Visions on Motherland. She is also featured in State of the Nation published by Conversation Paper-press in England. Several of her short stories have been published online and an extract from one of her short stories was published in “Writings from Africa” a publication facilitated by the British Council through the Crossing Borders Writers’ Project.

Batsirai also writes short stories and contributes to Zimbojam, the most popular arts website in Zimbabwe.

Letter to my unborn child

Enlarge poem

Child
When I get the courage
When I am ready and brave
To bring you in a world
With too many clenched fists
Too many open palms
Too many potholes
And Z.E.S.Aless nights
Too many frolicking leaders
I want to make sure
You are strong and ready
For the furrowed ride
I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Only when I am ready
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

When you get here
I mean if you get here
I imagine the joy of your small
Cute smiles and
Your tiny hands curling
Into little adorable fists
Incapable of hurting no one
Then slowly opening like
The petals of a beautiful rose
I imagine in your sleep
You will dream of happy things
And i will watch you stretch
Your tiny limbs
Saying ‘when I grow up I wanna be…
better than mummy’
but child you are not to say that out loud
especially with me around
Like the words flowing from my tongue
You will wear many names of your choice
For I want to give you that freedom from birth
With the easiness of a happy child’s laughter
To make your own choices beginning with your name
Without me breathing down my failed dreams
On you

Child
I want you to be proud in your skin
So comfortable no one can convince you otherwise
Be weary of brain-pickers i would say
Those who will pick on your brains with shamboks
Like they did on the backs of grandma
In the cotton plantations
Just like your daddy
You will be gifted with brawn
But child that does not mean you are to be a slave
And when you are old like these locks
Tying my world together, at 8
I want your world to be open
To limitless possibility
I want you to be brave
Just like me when I brought you into this world
To labour for your own happiness
To strive to cut the fences, prejudices
Around the skin you will unashamedly be proud of
Child I seek you to find
All-weather wings
A heart as warm
I want you to find love
Give love
And above all, I want you to be you
But for now

I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Safe from the stale promise of democracy
Safe from hate propaganda
pelting my ears from the radio relentlessly
Safe from circus governments of disunity
pawning our rights & freedoms
like zhing-zhong products at the flea market
Only when I am ready
Only when I am ready child
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

Featured Poem:

Help me believe

Enlarge poem

I want to know how it feels
To make a woman bleed
To death
Without hearing her cries
Without hearing her pleas
Without seeing the death
Of her dreams.

I want to know
How you felt
I was only two
Did your bludgeoning penis
Feel exhilarated
Pulsate with devilish desire
As you forcibly sowed your shameless seed
On my infertile ground
That you mutilated
The ground that will now
Forever remain infertile
Because of you?

I want to know
If you sleep at night
What kind of dreams you dream?
What kind of man strangles
Fondles a two year old
Was he born of a mother
Like my own who bleeds
Tears every time she sees me
Begging to be forgiven
For not having been there
To protect me from my own father?

Somebody tell me
What kind of a world this is
That sodomises its future
Telling the young ones
Not to believe in love
Not to dream
Not to dare
No to dance
Not to laugh
Not to treasure life
and believe in humanity?

Tell me somebody
Because I must believe in something
I must believe in things kind
And gentle
I must believe that the sun
Not only shines
For those who stand before it shines
But for those like me too
Whose limbs were severed
Before they even learnt to crawl
I must believe
The world can be better than this!

6 November 2010
Inspired by Shailja Patel’s “She Said No” in Shilling Love

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (1)
  • Pride (1)
  • Optimism (4)
  • Anger (5)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (3)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (2)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (6)
  • Fear (1)
  • Jubilation (0)

Letter to my unborn child

Enlarge poem

Child
When I get the courage
When I am ready and brave
To bring you in a world
With too many clenched fists
Too many open palms
Too many potholes
And Z.E.S.Aless nights
Too many frolicking leaders
I want to make sure
You are strong and ready
For the furrowed ride
I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Only when I am ready
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

When you get here
I mean if you get here
I imagine the joy of your small
Cute smiles and
Your tiny hands curling
Into little adorable fists
Incapable of hurting no one
Then slowly opening like
The petals of a beautiful rose
I imagine in your sleep
You will dream of happy things
And i will watch you stretch
Your tiny limbs
Saying ‘when I grow up I wanna be…
better than mummy’
but child you are not to say that out loud
especially with me around
Like the words flowing from my tongue
You will wear many names of your choice
For I want to give you that freedom from birth
With the easiness of a happy child’s laughter
To make your own choices beginning with your name
Without me breathing down my failed dreams
On you

Child
I want you to be proud in your skin
So comfortable no one can convince you otherwise
Be weary of brain-pickers i would say
Those who will pick on your brains with shamboks
Like they did on the backs of grandma
In the cotton plantations
Just like your daddy
You will be gifted with brawn
But child that does not mean you are to be a slave
And when you are old like these locks
Tying my world together, at 8
I want your world to be open
To limitless possibility
I want you to be brave
Just like me when I brought you into this world
To labour for your own happiness
To strive to cut the fences, prejudices
Around the skin you will unashamedly be proud of
Child I seek you to find
All-weather wings
A heart as warm
I want you to find love
Give love
And above all, I want you to be you
But for now

I will keep you safe for now
Wrapped in my scared womb
Safe from the stale promise of democracy
Safe from hate propaganda
pelting my ears from the radio relentlessly
Safe from circus governments of disunity
pawning our rights & freedoms
like zhing-zhong products at the flea market
Only when I am ready
Only when I am ready child
Will I birth you freely
Like the way this poetry flows from my tongue

Comments

  1. Hmmm! A very heartfelt touching emotional express with a soft, sweet innocent voice. Great work!

    James Yalley
  2. This is a very beautiful work. I write too but do not know how to make use of this Balidisha Poetry X-change app or website. Pardon me, I’m not sure what it is. I would love my poems to be read aloud some day.

    Ruby
  3. Just as Ruby has said. I wish my works can be read aloud like this. Otherwise, this is very wonderful writing. I can feel the emotion.

    Lee Oyugi

Your email address will not be published.