Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Home

Enlarge poem

If I asked you what home was I wonder what you would say,
Because home for me is the small dusty hand-print on the inside of white-washed walls,

The calling card of a child who knows that life lives just outside,
halfway between the doorway and the sky,

It’s the way that half sun softens and shows universal languages of selflessness when it wraps crimson textures on red soil before she sleeps

Under a moon the beams silver spoons vivid, so alive, you’d
imagine cats in cradles, bovine astronauts and check your dish
for legs,

If you get my gist just listen, it’s harder than it sounds,

Home is the way that plants grow through holes in the road to
the way tat time means everything and nothing depending on
whether you’re using a clock or your tongue to tell it,

Because two hands aren’t big enough to measure its depth,
you’re my presence, your past or direction,

It’s making plans off beaten tracks, it’s the fact that where I’m
from there’s a traffic light that shows red and green at the same
time like reflections of life are enshrined by crossroads,

But we live on a sphere where people like boxes and lines that
define where home begins and ends like we weren’t built to
share gardens that shelter what’s yours and mine,

Like our sunshine is eclipsed by difference,

It’s cloaking skins in Union Jacks, Zimbabwe Birds and Star-
Spangled Banners that make us forget the true meaning of a
human home,

We can still hold hands over a dead man’s depiction of a
bordered world,

And my story isn’t written on one page,
So home for me is also passionate rebellion in the underbelly of
an imperial beast,

It’s activists branded with tipsy dreams of freedom for all,

Malfunctioning cogs in a man-made machine that’s always been
operated under the influence of the most corrupting of drugs,

It’s having the power to blow clouds away with cigarette smoke
because you don’t know how cold I get sometimes.

Home for me is warmth.

If it’s places for you then for me it’s people whose bric-a-brac
bricks break down walls and make this place seem that little bit
more open

Because I want to believe in

Japanese Rastafarais with Bolivian roots and Palestian Samurais
with a penchant for change,

Zimbabwean Ninjas seeking scrolls ‘cos they can, Swiss
Anarchists who make mocolate for fun,

poachers who pedal the skins of their counterparts just to make
a point, commercial rappers who believe their ‘crib’ is not their
home

And Roman Emperors who act like Bhuddists when in Rome.

Home for me is knowing that borders are scabs,

Dried up blood lines of Kith and Kin,

Conqueror and slave,

Flags in a dust that molds all footprints and praises no leader
or tribe,

A dust that has no warring desires,

Humble enough to color feet regardless of skin,

To make horizons you could cry to,

Not lines in the sky.

It sees itself as the canvas on which the longing we have for one
another finds paint,

To make art

That looks like Rockabilly, Dubstep, Reggae/Jazz Fusion spat in
Creole Hip Hop,

With A’capella breaks on silent nights styled by a Euro-Tech
Dread-Punk to flickers of a Banjo, Birimbau and a chorus of
stirring string and horn sections,

A dust,

That will touch paw prints of children to leave us memories of a
younger wisdom that screamed out,

With unclenched fist,

That home is only ever as far away as the distance between me

And everyone you’ve ever known

And you.

Dikson

Featured Poem:

Limbo the Clown

Enlarge poem

He held a grudge against the devil but more so with the god, pick one and give it a name…he liked ‘the great pretender’
Sends shivers down his crooked spine when he thinks back to the time before the time before time when they were close,
Shared dreams like yin and yang tagged over with a smiley,
A delicate balance of beliefs snapped with the kind of divine carelessness that turns people into salt and runs blood through drainpipes,
The wishbone splintered halfway between the flames of hell and its smoke that billows in the sky, the place where angels reside,
He used to be part of this holy trinity passing spliffs and prophecies around a round table slouched back in his chair leaning on the weakest leg hoping that maybe he might fall and lighten the mood, let me introduce…limbo the clown,

He found deep pockets of inspiration in the lining of his hand-stitched, patchwork and polka dot baby-grow suit,
Colour was his thing, bright colour, slapdash face paint showed how wide his lips would smile if they could
And tears forming blue pearls in the place where eyelids touch hadn’t met sadness, their creator was the unashamed joy that respawns them in the split seconds that make up 7 days…
He knew not what they said about guys with big shoes scuffed on sandy pilgrimages through time and space shepherding the essence of his beliefs
But his technicolour crown birthed a burning bush of coiled hair and gave him the idea to create slinkys on the day that god rested,
It was the same day he made dodo birds, dinosaurs, funny bones and wished the Irish good luck,
His breast pocket was where he kept his rainbows and confetti, ready to add a splash of colour to dimly lit moments,
Baggy sleeves left room for his trickery to breathe through the gills in his needlework
And caution to the wind allowed the sun to give his nose a rosy glow on the days he spent marvelling at what his mother had created…

…Around the time we switched the letters A. and D. and B. and C. and started counting numbers he was giving Jesus tips on party tricks like turning water into wine and telling the devil to play dead to see if the world remembered how to say his name,
On days when preaching took place he’d burn effigies of anything, dance like the possessed and speak human to human about how some things are too big to describe so just trust your eyes and whatever it is that makes you smile,
He’d carve animals out of stone and watch happily as carnival kids walked around dragging these dusty figurines on the ground,
They were taught not to trust him but they didn’t care, he wore a smile while their parents looked to god for punishment like masochistic children shaken by the unpredictability of freedom and the fear of what death might bring,
For him the blandness of purity and fables of the damned were too tame a thought, heaven offered him only white and hell the deepest black but he wanted colour because that’s what he saw,
If this was a simple place where darkness stopped and daylight began like twilight wasn’t worth witnessing then he wouldn’t be here,
He wanted his story told but not in the scriptures by those who through divine pillow talk birth the ugly child he never saw,
No he planted his spirit in painted faces and the diversity of our fluorescent existence, so he keeps heaven and hell at an arms length, just close enough to humour himself with the fragility both and stay safe in the knowledge
That the most high, with his head in the clouds and his inbred, pyromaniac, red cousin with the horns, haven’t visited this place in a long, long time,
And while the stitching in his patchwork might be fraying its fabric won’t fade, and his face paint is resistant to moments when the heavens open,
He knows limbo doesn’t exist between biblical lines but it’s fine because he chose to fall back from his chair flinging cream-filled pies as he did towards the clouds landing face up on the ground, laughing uncontrollably at the irony of his banishment,
No longer would he be stuck in the middle of a chequered chessboard that entrances the colour-blind to believe
That in a place where life is as vivid as midnight rainbows
Anything could be as black and white as the time before the time before…time.

Dikson

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

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Biography

Dikson has been performing spoken word since 2006 when his virgin outing saw him qualify as the youngest competitor in the semi-finals of the UK-wide BBC Radio 4 poetry slam. Now based in Zimbabwe the artist has organised festival events, worked with youth on varied projects and performed across Europe and Southern Africa. His poetry has been translated into German and Danish. Dikson has performed on numerous occasions in Zimbabwe and South Africa including a feature performance at the renowned Poetry Africa Festival. He has also performed in Germany, Norway and Denmark as part of two separate tours. He has collaborated with artists from the US, England, Norway and Botswana and has been a part of jazz-fusion acts, electronic and poetic fusions. He has conducted workshops for disadvantaged youth in Zimbabwe and in schools in South Africa, Norway and Denmark.

He is the workshops, conferences and exhibitions manager for Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival, Shoko. The focus of the festival is on empowering urban youth and culture by providing a platform for urban art forms and artists. Hip-hop and spoken word is at the nucleus of this festival where local artists collaborate with international artists from around the world. In the past they have had Natty (UK) perform and conduct workshops, Akala (UK) collaborate with local artists and share the similarities between hip-hop and Shakespeare in the workshop programme, Tumi and the Volume (SA) perform and conduct song-writing workshops, amongst many others from Germany, the US, Botswana and Kenya. This involves a close working relationship with international artists and ensuring that their needs are met: the practicalities of transport, accommodation, fees, budgeting and itinerary as well as providing them with ample information, being flexible when it comes to their creative wishes and reliable throughout the tour.

Zimbabwe’s most well known festival, HIFA has also recruited the artist and organiser for the last few years as both the Youth Zone consultant and the Workshops and Masterclasses consultant. As the latter he had to create and co-ordinate a programme that included 22 public workshops for adults and youth as well as a master class programme that involved over 30 international artists from Africa, Europe, the US and Australia that spanned the week of the festival. He was responsible for liaising with the artists and finalising the content of each workshop.

Dikson placed a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange and created an innovative selection of workshops that were collaboratively run by local and international artists. In this way they were able to fuse different styles and sounds.

Dikson is also the editor and creative director of the Zimbabwean youth platform, Kalabash. The website was launched in mid-May of 2013 and has become the country’s leading youth opinion site. His role has been to direct young writers from around the country to come up with content on arts, culture, society and politics. Either in the office or through online correspondence he has mentored and urged them to break the boundaries of archaic writing styles and approaches. Through workshops he has encouraged young contributors to explore different media such as film, audio and photography to capture their Zimbabwe. The site has also been selected as one of the eighteen winners of the World Summit Youth Awards out of over 400 applicants.

Aside from this Dikson is also a staff writer for the US-based travel and culture site, Matador. He has held 2 exhibitions of his photographic work and is a general lover of all things art.

Dikson

Dikson
Dikson

Biography

Dikson has been performing spoken word since 2006 when his virgin outing saw him qualify as the youngest competitor in the semi-finals of the UK-wide BBC Radio 4 poetry slam. Now based in Zimbabwe the artist has organised festival events, worked with youth on varied projects and performed across Europe and Southern Africa. His poetry has been translated into German and Danish. Dikson has performed on numerous occasions in Zimbabwe and South Africa including a feature performance at the renowned Poetry Africa Festival. He has also performed in Germany, Norway and Denmark as part of two separate tours. He has collaborated with artists from the US, England, Norway and Botswana and has been a part of jazz-fusion acts, electronic and poetic fusions. He has conducted workshops for disadvantaged youth in Zimbabwe and in schools in South Africa, Norway and Denmark.

He is the workshops, conferences and exhibitions manager for Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival, Shoko. The focus of the festival is on empowering urban youth and culture by providing a platform for urban art forms and artists. Hip-hop and spoken word is at the nucleus of this festival where local artists collaborate with international artists from around the world. In the past they have had Natty (UK) perform and conduct workshops, Akala (UK) collaborate with local artists and share the similarities between hip-hop and Shakespeare in the workshop programme, Tumi and the Volume (SA) perform and conduct song-writing workshops, amongst many others from Germany, the US, Botswana and Kenya. This involves a close working relationship with international artists and ensuring that their needs are met: the practicalities of transport, accommodation, fees, budgeting and itinerary as well as providing them with ample information, being flexible when it comes to their creative wishes and reliable throughout the tour.

Zimbabwe’s most well known festival, HIFA has also recruited the artist and organiser for the last few years as both the Youth Zone consultant and the Workshops and Masterclasses consultant. As the latter he had to create and co-ordinate a programme that included 22 public workshops for adults and youth as well as a master class programme that involved over 30 international artists from Africa, Europe, the US and Australia that spanned the week of the festival. He was responsible for liaising with the artists and finalising the content of each workshop.

Dikson placed a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange and created an innovative selection of workshops that were collaboratively run by local and international artists. In this way they were able to fuse different styles and sounds.

Dikson is also the editor and creative director of the Zimbabwean youth platform, Kalabash. The website was launched in mid-May of 2013 and has become the country’s leading youth opinion site. His role has been to direct young writers from around the country to come up with content on arts, culture, society and politics. Either in the office or through online correspondence he has mentored and urged them to break the boundaries of archaic writing styles and approaches. Through workshops he has encouraged young contributors to explore different media such as film, audio and photography to capture their Zimbabwe. The site has also been selected as one of the eighteen winners of the World Summit Youth Awards out of over 400 applicants.

Aside from this Dikson is also a staff writer for the US-based travel and culture site, Matador. He has held 2 exhibitions of his photographic work and is a general lover of all things art.

Home

Enlarge poem

If I asked you what home was I wonder what you would say,
Because home for me is the small dusty hand-print on the inside of white-washed walls,

The calling card of a child who knows that life lives just outside,
halfway between the doorway and the sky,

It’s the way that half sun softens and shows universal languages of selflessness when it wraps crimson textures on red soil before she sleeps

Under a moon the beams silver spoons vivid, so alive, you’d
imagine cats in cradles, bovine astronauts and check your dish
for legs,

If you get my gist just listen, it’s harder than it sounds,

Home is the way that plants grow through holes in the road to
the way tat time means everything and nothing depending on
whether you’re using a clock or your tongue to tell it,

Because two hands aren’t big enough to measure its depth,
you’re my presence, your past or direction,

It’s making plans off beaten tracks, it’s the fact that where I’m
from there’s a traffic light that shows red and green at the same
time like reflections of life are enshrined by crossroads,

But we live on a sphere where people like boxes and lines that
define where home begins and ends like we weren’t built to
share gardens that shelter what’s yours and mine,

Like our sunshine is eclipsed by difference,

It’s cloaking skins in Union Jacks, Zimbabwe Birds and Star-
Spangled Banners that make us forget the true meaning of a
human home,

We can still hold hands over a dead man’s depiction of a
bordered world,

And my story isn’t written on one page,
So home for me is also passionate rebellion in the underbelly of
an imperial beast,

It’s activists branded with tipsy dreams of freedom for all,

Malfunctioning cogs in a man-made machine that’s always been
operated under the influence of the most corrupting of drugs,

It’s having the power to blow clouds away with cigarette smoke
because you don’t know how cold I get sometimes.

Home for me is warmth.

If it’s places for you then for me it’s people whose bric-a-brac
bricks break down walls and make this place seem that little bit
more open

Because I want to believe in

Japanese Rastafarais with Bolivian roots and Palestian Samurais
with a penchant for change,

Zimbabwean Ninjas seeking scrolls ‘cos they can, Swiss
Anarchists who make mocolate for fun,

poachers who pedal the skins of their counterparts just to make
a point, commercial rappers who believe their ‘crib’ is not their
home

And Roman Emperors who act like Bhuddists when in Rome.

Home for me is knowing that borders are scabs,

Dried up blood lines of Kith and Kin,

Conqueror and slave,

Flags in a dust that molds all footprints and praises no leader
or tribe,

A dust that has no warring desires,

Humble enough to color feet regardless of skin,

To make horizons you could cry to,

Not lines in the sky.

It sees itself as the canvas on which the longing we have for one
another finds paint,

To make art

That looks like Rockabilly, Dubstep, Reggae/Jazz Fusion spat in
Creole Hip Hop,

With A’capella breaks on silent nights styled by a Euro-Tech
Dread-Punk to flickers of a Banjo, Birimbau and a chorus of
stirring string and horn sections,

A dust,

That will touch paw prints of children to leave us memories of a
younger wisdom that screamed out,

With unclenched fist,

That home is only ever as far away as the distance between me

And everyone you’ve ever known

And you.

Featured Poem:

Limbo the Clown

Enlarge poem

He held a grudge against the devil but more so with the god, pick one and give it a name…he liked ‘the great pretender’
Sends shivers down his crooked spine when he thinks back to the time before the time before time when they were close,
Shared dreams like yin and yang tagged over with a smiley,
A delicate balance of beliefs snapped with the kind of divine carelessness that turns people into salt and runs blood through drainpipes,
The wishbone splintered halfway between the flames of hell and its smoke that billows in the sky, the place where angels reside,
He used to be part of this holy trinity passing spliffs and prophecies around a round table slouched back in his chair leaning on the weakest leg hoping that maybe he might fall and lighten the mood, let me introduce…limbo the clown,

He found deep pockets of inspiration in the lining of his hand-stitched, patchwork and polka dot baby-grow suit,
Colour was his thing, bright colour, slapdash face paint showed how wide his lips would smile if they could
And tears forming blue pearls in the place where eyelids touch hadn’t met sadness, their creator was the unashamed joy that respawns them in the split seconds that make up 7 days…
He knew not what they said about guys with big shoes scuffed on sandy pilgrimages through time and space shepherding the essence of his beliefs
But his technicolour crown birthed a burning bush of coiled hair and gave him the idea to create slinkys on the day that god rested,
It was the same day he made dodo birds, dinosaurs, funny bones and wished the Irish good luck,
His breast pocket was where he kept his rainbows and confetti, ready to add a splash of colour to dimly lit moments,
Baggy sleeves left room for his trickery to breathe through the gills in his needlework
And caution to the wind allowed the sun to give his nose a rosy glow on the days he spent marvelling at what his mother had created…

…Around the time we switched the letters A. and D. and B. and C. and started counting numbers he was giving Jesus tips on party tricks like turning water into wine and telling the devil to play dead to see if the world remembered how to say his name,
On days when preaching took place he’d burn effigies of anything, dance like the possessed and speak human to human about how some things are too big to describe so just trust your eyes and whatever it is that makes you smile,
He’d carve animals out of stone and watch happily as carnival kids walked around dragging these dusty figurines on the ground,
They were taught not to trust him but they didn’t care, he wore a smile while their parents looked to god for punishment like masochistic children shaken by the unpredictability of freedom and the fear of what death might bring,
For him the blandness of purity and fables of the damned were too tame a thought, heaven offered him only white and hell the deepest black but he wanted colour because that’s what he saw,
If this was a simple place where darkness stopped and daylight began like twilight wasn’t worth witnessing then he wouldn’t be here,
He wanted his story told but not in the scriptures by those who through divine pillow talk birth the ugly child he never saw,
No he planted his spirit in painted faces and the diversity of our fluorescent existence, so he keeps heaven and hell at an arms length, just close enough to humour himself with the fragility both and stay safe in the knowledge
That the most high, with his head in the clouds and his inbred, pyromaniac, red cousin with the horns, haven’t visited this place in a long, long time,
And while the stitching in his patchwork might be fraying its fabric won’t fade, and his face paint is resistant to moments when the heavens open,
He knows limbo doesn’t exist between biblical lines but it’s fine because he chose to fall back from his chair flinging cream-filled pies as he did towards the clouds landing face up on the ground, laughing uncontrollably at the irony of his banishment,
No longer would he be stuck in the middle of a chequered chessboard that entrances the colour-blind to believe
That in a place where life is as vivid as midnight rainbows
Anything could be as black and white as the time before the time before…time.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Home

Enlarge poem

If I asked you what home was I wonder what you would say,
Because home for me is the small dusty hand-print on the inside of white-washed walls,

The calling card of a child who knows that life lives just outside,
halfway between the doorway and the sky,

It’s the way that half sun softens and shows universal languages of selflessness when it wraps crimson textures on red soil before she sleeps

Under a moon the beams silver spoons vivid, so alive, you’d
imagine cats in cradles, bovine astronauts and check your dish
for legs,

If you get my gist just listen, it’s harder than it sounds,

Home is the way that plants grow through holes in the road to
the way tat time means everything and nothing depending on
whether you’re using a clock or your tongue to tell it,

Because two hands aren’t big enough to measure its depth,
you’re my presence, your past or direction,

It’s making plans off beaten tracks, it’s the fact that where I’m
from there’s a traffic light that shows red and green at the same
time like reflections of life are enshrined by crossroads,

But we live on a sphere where people like boxes and lines that
define where home begins and ends like we weren’t built to
share gardens that shelter what’s yours and mine,

Like our sunshine is eclipsed by difference,

It’s cloaking skins in Union Jacks, Zimbabwe Birds and Star-
Spangled Banners that make us forget the true meaning of a
human home,

We can still hold hands over a dead man’s depiction of a
bordered world,

And my story isn’t written on one page,
So home for me is also passionate rebellion in the underbelly of
an imperial beast,

It’s activists branded with tipsy dreams of freedom for all,

Malfunctioning cogs in a man-made machine that’s always been
operated under the influence of the most corrupting of drugs,

It’s having the power to blow clouds away with cigarette smoke
because you don’t know how cold I get sometimes.

Home for me is warmth.

If it’s places for you then for me it’s people whose bric-a-brac
bricks break down walls and make this place seem that little bit
more open

Because I want to believe in

Japanese Rastafarais with Bolivian roots and Palestian Samurais
with a penchant for change,

Zimbabwean Ninjas seeking scrolls ‘cos they can, Swiss
Anarchists who make mocolate for fun,

poachers who pedal the skins of their counterparts just to make
a point, commercial rappers who believe their ‘crib’ is not their
home

And Roman Emperors who act like Bhuddists when in Rome.

Home for me is knowing that borders are scabs,

Dried up blood lines of Kith and Kin,

Conqueror and slave,

Flags in a dust that molds all footprints and praises no leader
or tribe,

A dust that has no warring desires,

Humble enough to color feet regardless of skin,

To make horizons you could cry to,

Not lines in the sky.

It sees itself as the canvas on which the longing we have for one
another finds paint,

To make art

That looks like Rockabilly, Dubstep, Reggae/Jazz Fusion spat in
Creole Hip Hop,

With A’capella breaks on silent nights styled by a Euro-Tech
Dread-Punk to flickers of a Banjo, Birimbau and a chorus of
stirring string and horn sections,

A dust,

That will touch paw prints of children to leave us memories of a
younger wisdom that screamed out,

With unclenched fist,

That home is only ever as far away as the distance between me

And everyone you’ve ever known

And you.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.