Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Uganda haikus (sunrise to 9pm)

Enlarge poem

sunrise. red earth crows
as loud as the rooster for
raindrops, falling seeds

day awakens her
fresh limbs, lays out promises
of millet and tea

Bakongo women
glide to market backs taut as
ndingidi strings

schoolmaster passes
students tremble single file
small eyes starched silent

women’s gossip swells
essential as matoke
in the midday heat

needle drowning in
kanzu cloth, as delicate
as the call to prayer

moonrise. ageing man
pacing towards home weary
as the day’s gunfire

Jessica Horn

Featured Poem:

Lament in ebony

Enlarge poem

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

I see you blackchild
ebony skin and white teeth
resident of shadowlands
the carcass of Gulu town

morning has mothered no millet
afternoon no tea
howling belly full of gunfire
rumbling like raging sky

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

I see you blackhild
camouflage and swagger
patrolling Harlseden pavements
playground of rebels with no cause

dawn rises on broken bottles
dusk on spliffs and rock
howling belly full of gunfire
yearning for a new high

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Poet, activist, interpreter of the ordinary; heiress of a nomadic lineage extending into the Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda and the shadows of New York’s Yankee Stadium. Jessica Horn won the IRN Fanny Ann Eddy Poetry Prize in 2009 for her poem They have killed Sizakele and the Sojourner Poetry Prize judged by June Jordan in 2001 for her poem Dis U.N: For Rwanda. Her prose-poem Dreamings was profiled in the International Museum of Women’s online exhibition Imagining Ourselves. She is also the author of a collection Speaking in Toungues (Mouthmark, 2006). Jessica works in Africa and internationally on issues of women’s rights, health, violence and peace building.

Jessica Horn

Biography

Poet, activist, interpreter of the ordinary; heiress of a nomadic lineage extending into the Ruwenzori Mountains of Uganda and the shadows of New York’s Yankee Stadium. Jessica Horn won the IRN Fanny Ann Eddy Poetry Prize in 2009 for her poem They have killed Sizakele and the Sojourner Poetry Prize judged by June Jordan in 2001 for her poem Dis U.N: For Rwanda. Her prose-poem Dreamings was profiled in the International Museum of Women’s online exhibition Imagining Ourselves. She is also the author of a collection Speaking in Toungues (Mouthmark, 2006). Jessica works in Africa and internationally on issues of women’s rights, health, violence and peace building.

Uganda haikus (sunrise to 9pm)

Enlarge poem

sunrise. red earth crows
as loud as the rooster for
raindrops, falling seeds

day awakens her
fresh limbs, lays out promises
of millet and tea

Bakongo women
glide to market backs taut as
ndingidi strings

schoolmaster passes
students tremble single file
small eyes starched silent

women’s gossip swells
essential as matoke
in the midday heat

needle drowning in
kanzu cloth, as delicate
as the call to prayer

moonrise. ageing man
pacing towards home weary
as the day’s gunfire

Featured Poem:

Lament in ebony

Enlarge poem

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

I see you blackchild
ebony skin and white teeth
resident of shadowlands
the carcass of Gulu town

morning has mothered no millet
afternoon no tea
howling belly full of gunfire
rumbling like raging sky

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

I see you blackhild
camouflage and swagger
patrolling Harlseden pavements
playground of rebels with no cause

dawn rises on broken bottles
dusk on spliffs and rock
howling belly full of gunfire
yearning for a new high

arms are meant for embracing
minds to cultivate dreams of flight

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Uganda haikus (sunrise to 9pm)

Enlarge poem

sunrise. red earth crows
as loud as the rooster for
raindrops, falling seeds

day awakens her
fresh limbs, lays out promises
of millet and tea

Bakongo women
glide to market backs taut as
ndingidi strings

schoolmaster passes
students tremble single file
small eyes starched silent

women’s gossip swells
essential as matoke
in the midday heat

needle drowning in
kanzu cloth, as delicate
as the call to prayer

moonrise. ageing man
pacing towards home weary
as the day’s gunfire

Comments

Your email address will not be published.